Foodie Friday {BRAVO! Cucina Italiana}…

I had several Girl’s Nights planned this week so my menu planning was pretty sparse.  Raymond had a Guy’s Night planned with his brother and dad on Tuesday, which left us to one day of enjoying dinner together.

We cooked dinners that I have blogged about before which leads me to, “Nothing new here.”

BRAVO! Cucina ItalianaSo I thought I would blog about Bravo!’s Happy Hour menu.

Bravo! Cucina Italiana is located at Northlake Mall.  I have never been to this restaurant and had no idea it was Italian food.  The full name had escaped my attention.

A few weeks ago a friend invited me to Bravo! for an after work get together.  She said they had Happy Hour specials.  Count me in!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’m not a big fan of Italian food.  Shocking, I know.  😉

Let’s just say … this place is awesome!

The Happy Hour specials are available Monday – Friday, 3-7pm & 9pm-close.  

They have appetizers available for $3.95 and several drink options for $5.

BRAVO! Drink Menu BRAVO Bar Menu

I’ve been twice and each time ordered the same thing … well almost.  Raymond is so mad that I haven’t taken him yet. 😉 Maybe next week.

What I’ve tried:

  • Shrimp Fra Diavolo w/Crispy Eggplant
    • Famous Fra Diavolo sauce, topped with green onions and pesto bread crumbs
    • Pretty good but fairly saucy
  • Crispy Shrimp Napoli
    • Fried shrimp with green onions and our lemon butter, charred tomato Napoli sauce
    • My FAVORITE dish!
  • Caprese Salad
    • A classic with marinated tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, basil and a field greens salad
    • Very good — the mozzarella was definitely fresh
  • Portbello & Boursin Bruschetta
    • Topped with melted Provolone, carmelized onions, crushed red pepper, tomatoes and Boursin
    • 2nd FAVORITE dish!

I might order the BRAVO! Burger when I go with Raymond. 🙂

They offer a variety of martinis, sangria, and other mixed drinks for $5 as well.  The White Peach Sangria was a little too sweet, but the Lemon Basil Martini was delicious!

So if you ever want to try out the restaurant and need a date — call me! 😉

BRAVO! (NORTHLAKE MALL)

6851 North Lake Mall Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28216

(p) (704) 597-1455 | (f) (704) 597-1026

What is your favorite Happy Hour spot?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

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Foodie Friday {“Grilled Chicken”}…

Happy happy Friday!  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  I spent the morning reading, walking with Raymond and Cody, chatting about childhood memories {Raymond and I have the best convos}, eating breakfast, then writing!

You see … I need to update this website.  I’m in dire need of something that is much more organized and pretty.  Something magical is in the works, but in order to go from “current” to “complete” the designers need content.  That content needs to come from me.

I finally finished putting together the content today.  I am SO excited about the final product!

But anywho … I’m supposed to talk about recipes today! 🙂

Today’s recipe is pretty easy and you might say to yourself, “Why did she even bother?”

I bothered writing this because there was some interest in the topic at my last Girl’s Retreat.

Without further ado …

Grilled Chicken Supplies

“GRILLED” CHICKEN (OVEN BAKED W/CAST IRON SKILLET)

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, thawed
    • More or less depending on how many you are feeding
  • Canola oil
  • Favorite seasoning
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cast iron skillet in oven while preheating.
  3. Fillet the chicken breasts.  *Optional step:  I like making the chicken go further.  You know … bang for that buck!
  4. Prepare salad.  We always eat our “grilled” chicken on a salad, so while the oven preheats I prepare the salad.
  5. Remove pan from oven.
  6. Drizzle with canola oil.  Just enough to cover the bottom.
  7. Season chicken with your favorite spice.
    1. Right now mine is Weber Beer Can Chicken.
  8. Don’t forget to season both sides!
  9. Place chicken in pan and back in oven.
  10. Cook for 7-8 minutes — then turn.
  11. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.
    1. Keep a watch on the chicken.  The time depends on the thickness of the breasts.
    2. Thicker the breast, the longer it should cook.

My favorite cast iron skillet?  The griddle style!

Cleaning a cast iron skillet?  There are several suggested ways.  I have found this to be the easiest:

  • Place 2-3 inches of water in cast iron skillet.
  • Place on stovetop and boil for 5-10 minutes.
  • Discard water and wipe with paper towel.

Enjoy!

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Overnight Oats In A Jar}…

In an attempt to actually eat a balanced healthy breakfast every day I went on the hunt for easy recipes.  I love my breakfast casserole but I needed something a little easier.

Overnight Oats In A Jar | Recipe

I have been following Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life for about 6 months, and Courtney always raves about her delicious Overnight Oats In A Jar.  Well I gave in this week and tried it out.

I’m slightly obsessed.  I tweaked the recipe and came up with my own, but did use her recipe as a base.

My favorite part of the whole thing?  It is easy peasy!  I can make it at night, grab in the morning, and enjoy a balanced breakfast while printing off forms for a meeting or checking email.

I think it is delicious but Raymond won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.  It looks less than appetizing. 😉

OOIAJ Recipe | Pure & Simple

Have you ever tried cold oatmeal before?  If so, what did you think?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday…

So it’s Foodie Friday and I have come up short.  :/

I got up this morning and frantically started flipping through my Recipe Binder and Pinterest board to find a recipe to showcase today.  I came up with nothing.  I want to stick with healthy recipes … afterall it is still January and those healthy resolutions should still be top of mind. 😉

But in all honesty … this is a great reflection of my life from the past few weeks.  If I don’t have a recipe to showcase, then I haven’t been cooking.  See when you have a big birthday like I just had, you end up going out a lot for dinners and such.  Going out means no cooking. 🙂

Business has really picked up thanks to recent PR.  But when business picks up, I don’t get much else done.  I especially don’t have time to write out weekly menus, type out a grocery list, and muster up the energy to grocery hop.  Raymond went to the grocery store 2 weeks ago (thank goodness) but we are now down to the bare bones.  We have eaten out a lot this week.  It is something I hate doing, but will resort to it if I don’t have time for anything else.

So I ask you … any good recipes you would like to share?  🙂  Even pointing me in the direction of your Pinterest Foodie Board would be awesome. 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad}…

Whew … what a week!  I sent Raymond to the store sans grocery list earlier this week.  I had a lot going on and grocery list making + grocery shopping was not one of them.  He did an awesome job.  I might be transferring that domestic duty to him more often. 🙂

Last week we made this amazing dish that I found on Pinterest here.

The recipe was for Tex Mex Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  I liked the idea of the mexican lettuce wraps, but we decided to eat it in a taco salad.  Which was awesome btw!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad

  • 4 chicken breasts (frozen)
  • 1/2 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 jalapeño (seeded & sliced)
  • 16 oz jar of salsa
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  1. Place the frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. 
  2. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on top of chicken.
  3. Add jalapeño and onion to the crock pot.
  4. Top with the jar of salsa.
  5. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  6. After 4 hours, take the chicken breasts out.  Chop or shred the chicken.  Place back in the crock pot.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Serve in a taco shell bowl with chopped lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, fresh tomatoes … and any other garnishes.

Super easy — I love crock pot dinners!  Enjoy!

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Homemade Italian Dressing}…

Before I proceed with Foodie Friday’s recipe, I need to know something.  Flax or chia?  What do you do with the flax?  I bought flax seeds and flax meal from Trader Joes.  Both have been sitting on the counter while I try to decide what to do with them.  Then I hear chia is the new flax. Way to be late to the party Jennifer… Foodie help please? 🙂

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I know … I’m writing a post about salad dressing.  Boooring.  😛  Well in keeping with my healthy recipes for Foodie Friday, I wanted to blog about my favorite salad dressing.  Well my fave is Ranch … but that is beside the point.

I love eating salads.  I especially love eating salads at home (much cheaper!).

I hate bottled dressing.  All of them.  I like some in the refrigerated section of the produce department but I prefer to make my own.

I’m not an O&V + lemon juice kinda gal either.  I need some flavor to go along with that lettuce afterall! 😉

I have made this several times over the past month and Raymond LOVES it!  I store it in a mason jar.  Love me some mason jars!

Modified from this recipe

Homemade Italian Dressing

  • 1 packet Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Mix
    • Oil, water, vinegar (for the packet)
    • I use slightly more vinegar and water than the instructions call for to cut down on the oil consumption.
  • 1 TSP Dried oregano
  • 1/2 TSP
    • Sugar
    • Mayonnaise
    • Pepper
  • 1/4 TSP Garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP water
  1. Prepare Good Seasonings dressing according to package.  I make this in the carafe that comes with the dressing kit.
  2. Pour in a medium bowl.
  3. Add additional ingredients.  Whisk until mixed thoroughly.
  4. Store in the refrigerator.

Hello you big beautiful bowl of lettuce! 🙂

Now … please share any Ranch recipes that might be healthy. 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Foodie Friday {Breakfast Casserole}…

Happy Friday — first Friday of the new year! 🙂

In keeping with my January resolution, the Foodie Friday posts for this month will be healthy recipes. 🙂

One way I’m working to keep this resolution is to eat breakfast and lunch.  I love this breakfast casserole recipe because it’s easy to make and easy to heat up throughout the week!  If I’m prepared, then I’m more likely to eat breakfast.

Modified from this recipe

BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

  • 1 can (8 ct) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • (1/4) Gimme Lean Soy Sausage Roll
    • We don’t eat pork hence the soy sausage.  It is awesome btw!
    • Regular sausage could be substituted (not as healthy) 😉
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray baking dish with non stick spray.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls.  Press into bottom of baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle with sausage crumbles.
  5. Top with cheese.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites, eggs, and skim milk.
  7. Pour over top.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

We eat the casserole with sliced avocado, salsa, and a piece of fruit.

Very easy.  Very yummy.

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature