Olga’s REVIEW – A Lunch Date With My Mom At This St. Clair Shores Restaurant

It has been a while since my mother and I have dined out together. My mom is my best friend and I always look forward to our get-togethers. Yesterday she invited me out to lunch at Olga’s in St. Clair Shores, MI. I love Olga’s and haven’t dined there for at least a couple of years so I was very excited and pumped to go there. My mom had located a Groupon for Olga’s and it was a great deal, way too good to pass up! Today I will be reviewing the Olga’s location in St. Clair Shores, MI.

We arrived fairly early on in the day and there were a few tables of people dining. It was not busy and I loved that because I was hangry and starrrrrving! Our waitress was pleasant and prompt. Our food arrived in a timely manner and everything was absolutely great from start to finish. Continue reading to find out more about the food that we gave a whirl!

Olga's in St Clair Shores, MI
Olga’s in St Clair Shores, MI

What’s for lunch at Olga’s?

I am still trying to maintain a gluten-free diet and dining out at a restaurant is often challenging. I feel very limited on what I can order. I viewed the menu before coming here and I really liked what I saw for the seasonal offerings. I was planning on ordering the Kale and Roasted Apple Salad with Chicken but when I inquired about the seasonal menu when we got there the waitress informed me that they did not have a seasonal menu. I was a little stumped because it is on Olga’s website. Bummer! Oh well.

Interior of Olga's Kitchen in St Clair Shores
Interior of Olga’s Kitchen in St Clair Shores

For starters

Even though I eat mainly gluten-free sometimes I take a chance and order something that does have gluten in it and that was the case with the Quinoa Harvest Salad that I orderd for an appetizer. I do not believe I have Celiac Disease but gluten often puts a big-time damper on my mood (depression and fatigue) and I also try my best to avoid gluten because I like to stick with a paleo-ish diet. Wondering what was in this dish?

Golden quinoa, wheat berry, red pepper, almond, currant, romaine, Olga’s herb dressing

This was a fabulous small plate to kick off my lunch at Olga’s. All of these ingredients combined to make a great appetizer for me. I loved the taste and texture of this. The Olga’s Herb Dressing was a big hit with me! Not sure of what exactly was in the dressing but whatever herbs they used, they nailed it and this really hit the spot!

Olga’s has some great appetizers and small plates on the menu. When I went to Olga’s back in the day I would order the Spinach Pie every single time. Olga sure whips up a tasty spinach pie. The Greek Curly Fries looked appetizing. They probably put Arby’s curly fries to shame. They are served with a garlic-yoghurt sauce, feta, and rosemary.

Quinoa Harvest Salad
Quinoa Harvest Salad

Gala Apple Pecan Salad for me!

So instead of ordering a salad from the seasonal, limited time only menu, the Gala Apple Pecan Salad really caught my eye on the menu. It is fall, after all, and I can not think of a better topping on a salad this time of year than apples! The salad sounded pretty exciting to me! It consists of field greens, Gala apple, red onion, feta, cranberries, candied pecans, and a white balsamic to top it with. I ordered mine as a medium and I added some grilled chicken to it. The other meat options include grilled chicken, Atlantic salmon, flat iron steak or Olga’s seasoned beef and lamb (at an additional cost).

Olga's salads on the menu
Olga’s salads on the menu

Continue reading “Olga’s REVIEW – A Lunch Date With My Mom At This St. Clair Shores Restaurant”

Kitchen Gadgets You Need For Next Level Cooking – Top 10

It is time for another one of my top-lists that I enjoy putting together for my readers. Today I will be talking all about kitchen gadgets that can simplify your life and take your cooking to the next level. There are so many gadgets available now in 2018 and I wish I had space and storage to hoard them all. I searched Amazon to bring you some of my current favorites.  Some of these products just blow my mind. So grateful for the brilliant minds that come up with these gadgets.

These items are all in stock and ready to be shipped with Amazon Prime.

Not a Prime member? You can sign up for a free 30-day trial. I am telling you, you will be hooked once you try out Amazon Prime. I can not imagine my life without it.

Non-Stick Burger Press Patty Maker by Twisted Chef

Let’s kick things off here with this burger press kitchen gadget. I love whipping up burgers in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen and this sure would come in handy. This will also help you make stuffed burgers! Love sliders? This kit also includes a press for little slider patties.

All-In-One Sushi Making Kit | Sushi Bazooka, Sushi Mat & Bamboo Chopsticks Set + 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer

A long time ago I tried making my own sushi and failed miserably. Well, it is 2018 and what a time to be alive! Now we have a kitchen gadget to help with the painstaking process of making perfect sushi. May I present to you the Sushi Bazooka! With this gadget you simply open the device, fill it up with your favorite sushi ingredients, close it up, and then squeeze out the perfect sushi roll! It doesn’t get any easier than this folks! And to sweeten the deal it also includes an avocado slicer so you slice up your avocado with ease.

KitchenAid KSMPEXTA Gourmet Pasta Press Attachment with 6 Interchangeable Pasta Plates

I own a KitchenAid stand mixer and I love how versatile it is with the attachments that are out there. This kitchen gadget for your mixer will help you crank out some fresh pasta. It includes six different plates:

  • Spaghetti
  • Bucatini
  • Rigatoni
  • Fusilli
  • Large or small macaroni

This would be a wonderful gadget for making some gluten-free noodles at home. Nothing beats fresh pasta!

KitchenAid 3.5-Cup Food Chopper, Guava Glaze

This KitchenAid kitchen gadget will simplify your chopping routine in the kitchen. Yes, it is another KitchenAid product… huge fan over here! This is a versatile kitchen gadget and it is capable of chopping up anything from onions to nuts. It has 2 different speeds and a pulse option. Not digging that pink color? There are 19 different colors to choose from.

Gourmia 3 In 1 Handle Push Cutter, Mango, Apple Slicer & Corer With Bonus French Fries Blade, 3 Stainless Steel And Interchangeable Blades

This kitchen gadget has three uses. It can cut a mango properly (cutting mangos is so hard!), core an apple, and create French fries out of your potatoes.

Continue reading “Kitchen Gadgets You Need For Next Level Cooking – Top 10”

Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker Easy-To-Do Healthy Popsicles Made At Home – REVIEW + RECIPE

Summer may be winding down here but when is it ever a bad idea to enjoy a homemade frozen treat? Never! Making my own popsicles at home is a new venture for me. I have dilly-dallied around with making my own ice-cream on occasion and found that to be a fun experience. Making homemade popsicles is an easy treat to prepare and I can even have my 8-year-old daughter, Chloe help me out with this project. In this post I will be discussing the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker.

Kombucha popsicle with passion fruit and blueberries

 

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Chloe with her dragon fruit popsicle

Zoku has a product line that includes popsicle-making kits. I had the opportunity to try out the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker and also the Zoku Character Kit. You can enjoy your homemade popsicles in as little as 7-8 minutes. In order for this to work, you must place the Quick Pop Maker (the inner core) in the freezer overnight. Once this has been in the freezer for at least 8+ hours you pour your desired juice into the popsicle maker with the popsicle stick in place. It is so wonderful to have a product like this so you can conveniently whip up a tasty frozen treat in a matter of minutes. Need a healthy dessert? No problem! Having this quick and easy device on hand will produce that nutritious dessert that you desire.

Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker
Zoku Character Kit

Check out the video below to see how simple the Quick Pop Maker is to use!

The Zoku Character Kit includes several stencils that you use with sliced fruit to make fun faces on your popsicles. Honestly, we found this quite difficult to do because the popsicle opening is not very wide and fruit needs to be razor thin in order for it to be placed inside.

You start out by using the stencils on your fruit. You then apply the cutouts to the face plate. The next step is to place the frozen Quick Pop Maker on the stand and insert face place. Press the face plate up against the top side of the mold and hold for 15-30 seconds. You then remove the face plate and pour in your favorite fruit juice after you put the popsicle stick into position. Allow the pops to freeze for at least 8 minutes.

My favorite pop that I created was made by using fresh passion fruit and also a bit of Juice From The Raw‘s Passion Fruit Cleanser juice. Making that particular pop is simple and easy. What I did was scooped the guts out of the passion fruit and placed it on the little green board (faceplate) and then inserted it inside the pop maker (while pop maker is in vertical position) and pressed the board up for 30 seconds to get the fruit in place. After your fruit is inside the pop maker place the pop maker in an upright position, place the popsicle stick in place, and then gently and carefully pour the juice inside. There is a fill line inside of the pop maker. I can not stress this enough but do not let your juice contents go above that fill line because you will have a very difficult time removing that pop. I had my juice go very very slightly above that fill line and ran into a problem removing it.

Passion Fruit Popsicle
Kevita Kombucha Blueberry Passion Fruit Popsicle
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Svelte Vanilla Protein Shake Popsicle
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Svelte Vanilla Protein Shake Popsicle

The wonderful thing about the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker is how versatile it is when it comes to ingredients. The possibilities are endless and all rely on your imagination. We made a popsicle with Kevita Raspberry Lemon Kombucha and we also made a protein pop with Svelte French Vanilla Protein Shake.

Final Thoughts

My overall opinion of the popsicle maker was that it was a little finicky to get it to work properly. There is a learning curve to this. It takes a lot of trial and error to get the popsicle to come out correctly. We were not successful at producing a popsicle with a fun face with the character kit. I just could not get the fruit sliced thin enough to go into the cavity. However and despite all of this it was very fun to use and a fascinating project for my daughter to work on. Teamwork and creativity resulted in some tasty frozen treats!

You can find out more about Zoku on their social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you feel inclined to give this a whirl I have added the links to these items. They can all be found on Amazon.


DISCLAIMER: Zoku sent me these products to review. All opinions stated here are my own. This is my honest review. Also, this post contains Amazon affiliate links. I receive a small commission if items are purchased through those links.

Love Unicorns = Rainbows

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Homemade Pizza Night & A Couple Of Smoothies To Wash It Down

Yesterday was an enjoyable day spent with family. We went to the beach, had from-scratch pizzas, and had a couple of smoothies for dessert. It was another full day in the kitchen making things for my family to gobble up.

The day kicked off with my paleo and vegan version of Unicorn French Toast for my family. I promise I will do a recipe post on this in the future. I just need to tweak my recipe a bit. I had an unfortunate situation happen with my loaf of bread when I got it out of the pan. My bread broke into pieces. I was determined not to let it go to waste so I just ended up dipping the chunks of bread into the batter and cooked it up that way. This was my first time ever using candy sprinkles from Mr. Sprinkles. I sure do love the fun bottle that they are contained in. I am, and have always been, down with clowns!

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Unicorn French Toast with Mr. Sprinkles

I had quite an amazing lunch too. I really had a hankering for apples. I don’t know about you but I am ready for fall! I want hoodie weather, apple picking, and Halloween to hurry up and get here soon! For lunch, I tried out a new salad dressing. I used Hilary’s Apple Fennel Dressing. For my salad, I used baby spring mix as a base and topped it with grilled chicken, thin Honeycrisp apple slices, and walnuts. This salad was exactly what I needed yesterday. I think I will be loading up on some apples with my next shopping trip.

After lunch, we packed up the beach bag and got Stormy ready to head out to Metro Beach for a day of fun and relaxation. Chloe and Joe went to the pool and Stormy and I made our way along the lake and got our steps in yesterday. My focus was on fitness because I have been somewhat slacking on meeting my step goal lately.

It was a very hot day yesterday and thank goodness for the little bit of breeze coming off of the water. Stormy and I had a great time together and I know that Chloe definitely had a blast in the big pool and slide with her daddy.

I must be getting old because yesterday I wore an inspirational shirt and I think that maybe old people do that?? LOL! I am 37 years old and I whine about aging quite a bit. Anyway, I sure do love the shirt. I got it from Nordstrom and it is gray with pink lettering on it. The shirt is by the brand Desert Dreamer.

I feel that the shirt really speaks volumes to me at the moment. It says, find what you love and do that”.  I started this blog up on June 6th so my 2 month anniversary is approaching and let me tell you this~ I absolutely LOVE blogging! I really wish I would have gotten into this years ago when I first set out on my cooking and baking expedition. As many of you know, cooking and baking are hands down my #1 passion in life. I am always in the kitchen and I am always researching ways to better my food and technique.

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After our little day-trip to the beach, it was time for me to crank out dinner for the fam. I will let you in on a little something, my pizza is in high-demand! Joe and Chloe absolutely love my homemade pizzas. They are a lot of work but totally worth the time and effort when I hear ooo’s and ahh’s at the dinner table.

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Just me playing with my balls

I created two pizzas last night. One was made for myself and the other for Joe and Chloe. They prefer a more traditional pizza with pepperoni on it. I have never been a fan of pepperoni but I sure do love to have mushrooms in every single bite of my pizza.

I had a little carton of shiitake mushrooms to work with. I figured I would be better off with some sort of white sauce rather than a tomato sauce. I searched a bit online for a good recipe and came across one from Primal Palate. It was a dairy free sauce that used full-fat coconut milk as the base. Honestly, you would never know the sauce was made with coconut milk! There is not one hint of coconut flavor in that awesome sauce recipe. The recipe also called for some nutritional yeast, which I did add because it lends a taste of cheese to the sauce.

For my pizza I used some grilled chicken pieces and the entire carton of shiitake mushrooms. I sauteed the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil with some Italian seasonings. I have never had a pizza with this type of mushrooms and I am pleased to say that the taste of this pizza was glorious! Every single morsel of that pizza was thoroughly enjoyed by me!

For both pizzas I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Crust Mix once again. I used it last week and it produced a phenomenal crust! I am trying to eliminate as much gluten as I can from my diet but Joe and Chloe really don’t want to be on-board with a gluten-free diet. It is like hitting the jackpot when you come up with a gluten-free dinner that can win over anyone.

For dessert I really had a craving for some froyo, it’s been awhile and I’m dying for a heaping cup of it. But we have a bevy of beautiful fruits over here in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen so instead of froyo I ended up making a couple of smoothies for me and Chloe to share.

The first smoothie I made had a golden dragonfruit in it, a banana, and a splash of full fat coconut milk. The second smoothie that I made had strawberries, raspberries, a baby banana, splash of coconut milk, and I also used a scoop of acai powder. Hard to say which smoothie won the battle of being best. It was like comparing apples to oranges, they were two completely different drinks.

The weekend isn’t over. Joe’s two days off from work are over though and he had to go in today. Me and the Pearl Girl have an exciting day ahead of us in the kitchen so stayed tuned because you can bet your booty I will be blogging about my day today!

Did you do anything exciting this weekend? What’s cooking in your kitchen that you are proud of? Leave me a comment and let me know because I love reading comments from my beloved readers!

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AMAZON AFFILIATE LINKS. I DO RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF ITEMS ARE PURCHASED THROUGH THESE LINKS. ALL OPINIONS STATED HERE ARE MY OWN. ANY COMMISSION I RECEIVE IS USED TO BETTER YOUR BLOG EXPERIENCE HERE.

 

 

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