Mago Grill Review

We recently were looking for a place to eat in Arlington Heights, Illinois and came across the Mago Grill restaurant.

When we arrived they were still setting tables up outside, but we were seated immediately.

Our waiter came and poured water for us and took our drink and dinner selections.

The outdoor ambience was really nice while we were there but the sky was blue and the imminent rain shower that threatened drifted by.

This is not your “typical” Mexican restaurant as we soon found out. The menu is clear on what you get though.

My friend ordered the Arroz Con Pollo which is baked in a flaky pastry. It is much different than what I grew up with. Different but delicious.

Arroz Con Pollo In Pastry Puff

The dish I ordered, which was also quite delicious, was the Fillete Churrasco. I had asked for it to be cooked well done and most times it comes either burnt or overcooked. This time I was pleasantly surprised as it was well done and juicy.

Fillete Churrasco

Since I didn’t want the mashed potatoes, I asked if I could substitute them for the sweet plantains ~ I was accommodated with no extra charge.

We will definitely return to dine here again. Both service and food were great!

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Review of Bow Tie Salad With Tuna

Being home most of the day now, I’ve been looking for easier recipes to make. Call it laziness ~ although, I am looking for NEW recipes to make during this coronavirus pandemic.

Seeing as I had purchased tuna in bulk (shouldn’t we be prepared for food shortages, after all?), I needed tuna recipes.

This recipe was quite easy to make and tasty.

It does require chickpeas. Chickpeas?!!! Yes, this is the first pasta recipe I’ve tried with chickpeas. And it came out quite good.

I did cut back on the dressing though as I thought it would be a little strong and was wise to do that. I also didn’t use cucumbers. Maybe next time … Since I had olive I decided to toss a few in there. So daring I am! Ha!

I decided to use Farfelle pasta for no other reason than it was on sale at the store plus I like the cute bows.

Farfelle Pasta

As I mentioned before, I cut the dressing in half using about 1/8 of the red wine vinegar and olive oil. I also used 1 tablespoon of the Dijon Mustard as I didn’t want it to taste too mustard-y.

Dressing for Bow Tie Salad with Tuna

This recipe was easy and quite good. I served it with toasted garlic bread.

Bow Tie Salad with Tuna

So ~ here’s the link to where you can find the whole recipe. And, enjoy!

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Burmese Chicken Soup Review

For those of you who get the Costco Connection magazine, you’ll find in the January edition a recipe for Burmese Chicken Soup.

And I have to say, it is scrumptious!

The recipe is easy to make although you probably have to make a grocery run as most people don’t have some of the basic recipe ingredients in their cupboard.

What I especially liked is that it uses boneless and skinless chicken thighs which makes for a tender meat. And the spices ~ whoa!

The use of sweet potatoes with chicken in a coconut and chicken broth had not occurred to me before. The pairing was very good and we served it with garlic naan bread.

Here’s what the pot of soup looks like when it’s finished:

If you haven’t guessed by now, I give this recipe five stars. That’s five out of five. To see the recipe, click here.

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A Quick & Scrumptious Dinner

Sometimes I feel lazy and want a quick and easy recipe to make for dinner. Enter the website Cooking Light. I’ve made other recipes from this website before and most of the recipes are quite good ~ just like this one was.

The recipe I made was Pasta with Charred Broccoli , Feta and Lemon.

I didn’t char the broccoli as much as their picture shows but the recipe came out pretty good just the same.

Pasta with Charred Broccoli, Feta and Lemon

So ~ here’s the link for the recipe in case you’re looking for something quite good to make.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Home Chef Review – Day 2

Our first box from Home Chef included 3 days of meals for two people.

The first meal we tried was the One Pot Creamy Chicken Chowder which was delicious!

Our second Home Chef meal was the Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Cream.  This meal is also shown as “mild” for spiciness but I have found that if I use all the red pepper flakes in the recipe I will suffer since I don’t enjoy spicy food.

So with this particular recipe I reduced the red pepper flakes to 1/4 of the packet.  That gave the meal a “friendly” hint of spice without being overpowering.

I have to say ~ the Home Chef meals, although “appearing” to be small in portion size, are quite hearty and very delicious.  This meal was no exception.  Even the mushrooms (and I’m not a mushroom fan) tasted great!

Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Cream

To view the recipe click here.



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Home Chef Review

Home Chef – One Pot Creamy Chicken Chowder

Our niece recently started getting Home Chef meals and gave us a code so we could get $30 off our first order.

So ~ we decided to try it.

Our first meal was a One Pot Creamy Chicken Chowder with poblano and crispy tortillas.

The meal itself looks small, i.e. not enough to fill us ~ perhaps because we usually have an entree, a salad and a vegetable with almost all of our evening meals.

That being said, this meal was quite hearty and very very good.  It is not dairy free as it uses a light cream and chihuahua cheese.

The recipe states this meal is mild although it uses 1 poblano pepper.

Since I do not like spicy food at all, I used 1/4 of the poblano pepper and half of the chile and cumin rub.  It turned out perfect.  Just a small hint of the poblano pepper flavor.

Home Chef – One Pot Creamy Chicken Chowder

So ~ I recommend this meal.  It was quite tasteful and filling for us.

To see and try the recipe, click here.

If you’re interested in getting the code for $30 off, just contact me and I’d be happy to provide it for you.

Mostly ~ enjoy this recipe.  It’s delicious!

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Grain Free Paleo Puffs

Grain Free Paleo Puffs

I’ve been searching for snack-y foods for a friend to munch on that was paleo friendly and came across the Grain Free Paleo Puffs at Whole Foods. Why not try it? I said to myself.

Although they don’t look very appetizing (beige food never does), they actually tasted quite good to me. There’s a small hint of cheese although there is no cheese in them.

Reviews varied though ~ out of four people who tried them at our house, 1 said “quite good,” another “alright,” the third said they weren’t good and the fourth said “okay.”

Grain Free Paleo Puffs

So ~ it will be up to your taste buds as to whether  you like them or not.

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An Instant Pot Duo Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Stew

I was recently gifted the Instant Pot Duo ~ well, 3 months have past since I was gifted it but that’s another story.

The Instant Pot looks more complicated than my rice cooker but so far it appears to be easy to use.

I did have to deal with a psychological block: when we were at a friend’s for lunch a few years back, she had used a pressure cooker to make her lentil beans and while we were waiting for them to cook, the pressure cooker blew up in her kitchen and we spent lots of time cleaning lentils from the walls, cabinets, ceiling and floors.

So ~ with that small (uh, large) remembrance in mind, I stealthily tiptoed around the Instant Pot making sure I read all the directions.

There is one very small piece of instruction that I believe they left out ~ well, I can’t find it in my User Manual.  When you start the Instant Pot (once everything is in the pot and the lid is securely closed), it has to warm up before it actually starts.  The “Keep Warm” button was lit when I started my recipe and it didn’t turn off until the Instant Pot reached its desired temperature to begin.

Instant Pot Duo

That made me a little nervous because I assumed I had done something wrong but two recipes later and that seems to be a pattern ~ well, okay, two times is not much of a pattern but it’s what I’ve got right now.

The first recipe I made was one I found on the internet for a beef stew.  In our household the reviews were mixed “it was okay” to “it was very good.”  Of course, when I make a new recipe I usually introduce it to the family with “you will love this!”  I find the brain has a funny way of enveloping what it’s told although quite honestly, my husband’s brain is a little harder to deal with (laughing).

I have to say that I deviated a little from the original beef stew recipe by Damn Delicious. I didn’t add Worcestershire sauce, caraway seeds nor celery.  I tend to like my soups less complicated.  I also replaced the all purpose flour with tapioca flour (a habit from my paleo days). In spite of that it came out great!

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Looking scrumptious, eh?

Instant Pot Beef Stew

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Mushroom Stroganoff with Spinach and Peas


Mushroom Stroganoff with Spinach and Peas

Today I decided to make a recipe from the Sun Basket website.

Have you heard of Sun Basket?  They are a company, similar to Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, where you can order meals by having the ingredients of that meal delivered to your home.  Then you can make it when you’re ready.  They send along a recipe book for all of the meals for that particular week.

I usually only order 2 different meals when I need a break from trying to think of what to make and want to try something new ~ which is not too often.

Like Hello Fresh, I’ve received food that is not good to use, mainly vegetables that have gone bad.  Sun Basket is good at giving me credit but the fact is, you don’t have the complete meal that you anticipated you would and you wind up having to substitute.

This Mushroom Stroganoff with Spinach and Peas recipe is not one that I ordered but it was in the recipe book and sounded interesting so I decided to try it.

I am not a mushroom eater ~ and I would never eat them raw.  But I’ve tried the cremini mushrooms in this recipe and they actually taste pretty good so ~ why not try a new recipe?

Surprisingly this meal came out quite good.  I say surprisingly because the cream is made with almond milk which is a little bit of a twist, wouldn’t you say?

Mushroom Stroganoff with Spinach and Peas

Although the recipe does not call for parmesan cheese, I shaved a little on top.

Here’s the link where you can find this recipe.  It’s pretty easy and makes for a filling meal.


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Corned Beef Hash with Fried Eggs – Paleo

Corned Beef Hash with Fried Eggs

On this cold bitter morning, I left the house with a grocery list in hand with every intention of getting all the groceries at only one store. No grocery store hopping for me today.

Upon exiting the car, I was immediately hit with a northern wind that me feel that my face was going to freeze.  Spontaneously, my gloved hand raised and covered my mouth.

Brrrr. Quickly walking to the entrance of the store, I picked up a grocery cart, swiped it with a cleaning cloth and proceeded to the produce section.

How does my husband do it?  I wondered.  Here I drive around in a Ford Escape that has remote startup and heated seats and the poor guy leaves home every morning in a 1997 Toyota Camry that has, well, heated nothing.  By the time he makes it to work the car has just started to warm up.  Then it sits all day outside and he has to get in the cold car for a cold trip home.

I decided I was going to make him a special dinner today for his daily sacrifice and since one of his favorite meals is Corned Beef Hash, I was determined to make it for him.  That would hopefully help his mood when he arrived home, right?

After finding everything on my list I was about to check out when I suddenly remembered, where’s the corned beef?  So ~ off to the back of the store I went.  I waited as the butcher helped another customer.  Asking for what I needed, he led me to the place where I could select the corned beef that I was looking for.

$25.00!!!! Granted it was 3.5 pounds but I felt insulted.  No, no way am I going to pay $25. Besides, I reasoned, it was too much meat and the recipe I had only called for 8 ounces.

So, I left the store after paying for my groceries.  Driving around, I decided to call another store and see if they had corned beef.  The first store I called was Lunds and Byerlys. This should be the model store for all stores, well except for their prices. The aisles are wide and you don’t bump into people, the store is organized so well and they always seem to have what I want.

I was transferred to the meat department and the woman assured me that “yes, we have corned beef but only have two left.  Shall I put one aside for you?”  Of course I said.  I asked if they sold it by the pound and she said yes. “How much?” I wanted to know.  $11.00.

So she put it it aside for me and I gleefully drove there to pick it up.

There’s a lot of love for my husband in my heart ~ the $33.00 I paid for the almost 3 pounds was more than what I was willing to pay before but I reasoned it was worth it.  Stepping into this store makes my heart soft which is why I don’t go in there very often.  Everything is packaged so beautifully, including the beef brisket.

And so ~ I have to say this “love” meal came out quite delicious. Although I had a recipe to start, I had to go out “on my own” and figure things out as I went along.

The ingredients for this dish are simple. I started with a medium onion and a yam (or white sweet potato for paleo-ites).  I diced the onion and threw it in the oiled skillet, mixed it around until it was almost cooked through then added the diced yam.

Yam and Onion

This process doesn’t take too long but you do want to make sure the potato is almost cooked before adding the beef.

Yam and Onion

The only herb I used in this was tarragon as the beef comes seasoned.  You could use any other herb you like ~ I chose tarragon because it seems to be used in so few recipes and I like the flavor.


For the corned beef brisket, you just follow the directions on the label as to how long to cook it … well, that is, unless it doesn’t come with instructions.  The only instructions I had were to cook it until it was cooked to 165 or 170 degrees. I’m glad I had a meat thermometer.  Whew!

Although I had 3 pounds of beef, I decided to halve it and freeze the other half for another day.  The 1.5 pounds I baked took almost 2 hours.

Corned Beef Brisket

I left it out to cool for about 15 minutes before I cut it into small pieces for the corned beef hash.

Corned Beef Brisket

But first I had to cut the fat off of it.

Corned Beef Brisket

Dice Corned Beef Brisket

Once the potato is almost cooked, add the cut corned beef brisket to the skillet and blend it to combine it all.

Looks pretty good, eh?

Corned Beef Brisket with Fried Eggs

And here’s the recipe for you to enjoy ~

Corned Beef Hash with Fried Eggs

For additional paleo recipes, click here.

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