Monday, February 7, 2011

Zuppa Toscana ~ (Olive Garden Copycat)

This is my favorite soup at Olive Garden!! I love making this one at home as well!! 

Olive Garden Copy Cat ~ Zuppa Toscana 


4 slices bacon, cut into a small dice
1 pound hot Italian sausage, ground or links with casings removed
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth or stock
3 cups Russet potatoes, cubed
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 loose packed cups kale, in bite size pieces
1 cup heavy cream or 14 ounce can evaporated milk
Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving


1. In a large soup pot or sauce pan cook bacon over medium until crispy. Add sausage and break it apart as it cooks. Once sausage is browned and crumbled drain off the grease leaving a tablespoon or two to saute onion.

2. Push the sausage to the edges of the pot and add onion to center; saute until translucent; add garlic; saute until fragrant. 

3. Stir in broth and potatoes, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, simmer for about 20 minute or until potatoes are tender.

4. Add kale and heavy cream or evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crab Linguine Alfredo ~ (Red Lobster Copy Cat)

Red Lobster Copy Cat - Crab Linguine Alfredo (Serves 1)

Sweet crabmeat tossed in Parmesan cream sauce with linguine. A pinch of cayenne pepper gives this dish a little extra zip.


1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup half-and-half, plus more as needed
6 ounces snow crab meat, cut into chunks
3 tables spoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Sal and white pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 ounces linguine pasta


In a small sauce, melt the butter and whisk in the flour, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Add the half-and-half and simmer for about 5 minutes

Add the crabmeat and the 2 tablespoons Parmesan and stir to combine well. Season with salt and white pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Stir and let simmer for 2 minutes. If the sauce get to think, thin it with a little more half-and-half.

Toss the cooked pasta with the crab sauce. Serve the pasta in a warmed bowl and finish with a little more Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!!

P.S. ~ If you have some great ideas for improving this recipe or adding to it please comment! Thanks!

Monday, January 10, 2011

El Nino Margarita ~ (Chili's Copy Cat)

Time for a refreshing El Nino Margarita from Chili's!!


1 1/2 oz. Herradura Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz. Patron Citronge Liqueur
3/4 oz. Gran Gala Italian Liqueur
3 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
1 Lime Squeezed
1/8 Orange Squeezed

Combine all ingredients and flash blend (10 seconds)

Pour over ice in a salted 18 oz. Margarita Martini Glass

Garnish with an inverted orange wedge!!


Bourbon Street Steak ~ (Applebee's Copy Cat)

Applebee's Copy Cat - Bourbon Street Steak (Serves 4)

A juicy tender steak with the zing of Cajun spices, topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions. 


1/2 cup steak sauce
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Teaspoons Cajun Seasoning (extra as needed)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
4 - 10 oz beef rib steaks, round steaks or chuck steaks
Sauteed mushrooms and onion, for steak topping


Make a marinade by mixing the steak sauce, bourbon, the 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, the honey and mustard. A1 is the usual favorite for steak sauce, and you can use whiskey or brandy in place of the bourbon if you prefer. Put the steaks in a resealable bag with the marinade and give them a quick massage, making sure the marinade is evenly distributed. Let the steaks sit for at least 4 hours in the fridge (marinating overnight will enhance the flavors and tenderize the meat).

When you are ready to cook the steaks, preheat the broiler or light a charcoal grill. Line the broiler pan with foil or put a drip pan under the grate to catch the juices.

Remove the steaks from the marinade and drain them well. Season both sides of the meat with Cajun seasoning and discard the marinade. Broil or grill at medium-high heat until the steaks are lightly charred on one side, then turn over and finish cooking. Remove the steak to a warmed platter and let them sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Be sure to save an juices that collect on the platter to pour over the steaks.

Serve your steaks topped with the sauteed mushrooms and onion, plus any reserved juices from the steak platter.

Bon Appetit!!

P.S. ~ If you have some great ideas for improving this recipe or adding to it please comment! Thanks!