Cheddars Scratch Kitchen (Cookeville, TN)

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Cheddars Scratch Kitchen is an American restaurant located on 1375 Interstate Drive in Cookeville TN, and is not far from Tennessee Tech University. The atmosphere of the restaurant is comfortable and casual. The staff is also very personable and attentive taking good care of their customers. They have a wide selection of food and beverages to choose from a full bar including spirits, local craft beers, wine, and soft drinks. When customers arrive, they will find seating in the dining room and bar area with the option of a booth or a table. The food is  all homemade, reasonably priced, and very delicious. Their open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 11 pm, and on Friday and Saturday they are open from 10:30 am to 11 pm.

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We had the combo platter with Top Sirloin Steak and Shrimp, combo platter with Top Sirloin Steak and Chicken Tenders, Chicken Tender platter, and the Bacon Cheeseburger. The Top Sirloin Steak with Shrimp is a 6 oz steak served with either grilled or fried shrimp with a choice of two sides. I chose mashed potatoes and a house salad.

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The combo Top Sirloin Steak with Chicken tenders is a 6 oz steak served with hand breaded chicken tenders and a choice of two sides.

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The Chicken Tender platter is served with hand breaded chicken tenders with a choice of two sides.

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The Bacon Cheeseburger is as described. It comes with four slices of bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and honey mayo. Any sides are an additional charge.

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Finally for dessert we ordered the Cheddars Legendary Monster Cookie, which is served with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry. You can also ask them to add nuts if you like nuts.

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Unfortunately, the cookie did not hold up to its name. I have had it in the past, and this time it was a lot smaller than what it normally is because it usually fills the whole pan. I’m not sure what happened, and it was definitely not worth $6.00. Hopefully, the next time I go back the food quantity goes back to the way it was in the past. All the portions were much smaller, but the prices remain the same. It used to be a great value to eat at Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, but I don’t think it is as good a value anymore. If you are interested in checking out Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, click here: https://cheddars.com/our-story/

© 2018 Sundown Pointe

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Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite dishes to have on the table during the Thanksgiving holiday. Usually for Thanksgiving, my family and I buy the canned cranberry sauce in order to save time, but this year I decided to make my own. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out at first, but it was very simple to prepare and very tasty! I have included the recipe down below, so you can try making it for this upcoming Thanksgiving.

Makes 8-10 servings

Things you’ll need:

2/3 cup water

2/3 cup sugar

1- 6oz bag of whole cranberries 

Instructions:

  1. Add water and sugar to saucepan, and let it boil.
  2. Add the cranberries, and return to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat down to low, and stir occasionally until cranberries are purple, or the skin pops. 40 min for 1 hour for full bag.
  4. Remove from heat, and let it sit at room temperature.
  5. Put in bowl and serve immediately, or put it in the fridge until ready to serve
  6. ENJOY!! 

© 2018 Sundown Pointe

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

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Welcome fall. I’ve always been a fan of pumpkin flavored food and drinks in the fall, and knowing fall just started and it’s the season where coffee shops are starting to sell pumpkin flavored drinks, I wanted to create a fall brownie. Pumpkin and chocolate are one of my favorite combinations to use in the fall, because it gets you into the fall spirit. I made pumpkin chocolate brownies for the season. The pumpkin complements the chocolate very well, and gives the brownie a little spice. This recipe is super easy and great for family get-togethers, and you can decorate them for Halloween parties. I look forward to reading your comments! Happy Fall!

Makes 14 bars

Things you will need:

1 box of brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1 egg

1/3 cup of water

1/2 cup of oil

Two mixing bowls

9×9 pan

1/2 cup of canned pumpkin (I used Libby’s)

16 oz of cream cheese icing

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

2 tbsp of powdered sugar

Instructions for brownies:

  1. Using your first mixing bowl, mix together brownie mix, water, oil, and egg.
  2. Grease your 9×9 pan and pour brownie mixture into pan.
  3. Place in oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Pull out of oven and let cool before spreading icing on.

Instructions for Pumpkin Icing:

  1. Using your other mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese icing, pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. Mix in powdered sugar to help thicken the icing.
  3. Spread onto brownies.
  4. Enjoy!!

Note: While brownies are cooling, place icing in fridge to thicken.

© 2018 Sundown Pointe

 

The Half Door (Hartford, CT)

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The Half Door is an Irish pub located in Hartford, CT on 270 Sisson Ave. This restaurant is not far from both the Mark Twain house museum, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. It is a 10 minute walk from both the museum to the Half Door. The atmosphere of the restaurant is comfortable and the staff is very nice taking great care of their customers. They have a good selection of food and beverages to choose from both beers and non-alcoholic drinks. When customers arrive, they will find seating in the dining room, bar, and outside patio. The food is reasonably priced and very delicious. Their open for Brunch starting at 10 am on weekends. Happy hour is from 3-6 pm Monday-Friday, and 9:30-11 pm Wednesday-Saturday. The pub is open until 1 am every day except Friday and Saturday, since they are open until 2 am.

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We had the Crispy Whiskey burger, the Stuffed French Toast, the Cobblestones, and the Frittata. The Crispy Whiskey burger is an 8 oz burger which includes cheddar cheese, fried onions, and whiskey burger sauce.

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The Stuffed French Toast, is stuffed with cream cheese with strawberries and whip cream on top with a side of bacon.

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The Cobblestones are rolls with steak, American cheese, caramelized onions, and mushrooms inside.

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Finally, the Frittata is an egg dish that is fried with asparagus, mushrooms, arugula, goat cheese, and balsamic glaze.

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Everyone enjoyed their meal, but my most favorite had to be the Crispy Whiskey burger. I definitely recommend trying it when visiting The Half Door. I would also recommend this restaurant to anyone who’s in the area looking for a great place to eat. If you are interested in checking out The Half Door online, click here: http://thehalfdoor.com

Sláinte!☘️

© 2018 Sundown Pointe

Stuffed French Toast

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If you love French Toast as much as I do, then this recipe is for you!  Stuffed French Toast is a quick and delicious recipe to make for breakfast. In fact, this is one of my favorite breakfast recipes to make, especially when you dip it in maple syrup. I highly recommend trying this recipe for breakfast. It will definitely change your view on French Toast. I look forward to reading all your comments! Happy eating!!!

Things you will need:

4 slices of thick bread ( I used Artisan Wheat bread)

2 mixing bowls

Cutting board

Cream cheese (You can also substitute the cream cheese for whip cream)

Sliced strawberries

4 beaten eggs

Blip  of milk or cream

Small dash of vanilla extract

Small pinch of cinnamon

Maple syrup

Whip Cream

Instructions for Stuffed French Toast:

  1. Using your mixing bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon.
  2. Place bread in egg mixture, making sure both sides are coated.
  3. Once both sides are coated, lightly grease your griddle and cook the bread until brown on both sides.
  4. Using your second mixing bowl, add cream cheese and cut up strawberries and mix well.
  5. Next, spread the cut up strawberries on two slices of bread.
  6. Finally, top with the second piece of bread like a sandwich.
  7. Squirt whip cream with fresh strawberries on top.
  8. Cut in half, and serve on a plate with maple syrup on the side or drizzle on top.
  9. Enjoy!!!!

© 2018 Sundown Pointe

 

 

Cheesecake Factory (Chestnut Hill, MA)

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The Cheesecake Factory is an American restaurant that is known for their Cheesecakes. They also have a wonderful eat in or take out menu. Their Thai peanut lettuce wraps are my favorite. There are a variety of Cheesecake Factories across the states which include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The Cheesecake Factory I visited recently was located on 199 Boylston St, Chestnut Hill, MA at the The Shops at Chestnut Hill. The Cheesecake Factory has always been a family favorite. We go at least two or three times a year to get a cheesecake. The atmosphere of the restaurant is comfortable and the staff is very nice and takes great care of their customers. They have a wide variety of Cheesecakes to choose from. This can seem overwhelming at times especially if you’re not sure which Cheesecake to get, because I know I feel overwhelmed sometimes when trying to pick out a Cheesecake.

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There are three different sizes of cheesecakes customers can choose from. They can choose between a six inch, seven inch, and ten inch. My family and I normally order the seven inch, which feeds 6-8 people. My favorite is the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. They have an option to add fresh strawberries on top. If you are interested in checking out the Cheesecake Factory online, click here: https://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/menu/ .

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© 2018 Sundown Pointe

Gluten Free: Garlic Basil Bread

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Garlic Basil bread is an easy gluten free recipe if you’re looking for a quick and easy bread. I was impressed at how tasty this bread turned out. Therefore, I highly recommend trying this recipe. This recipe is also great with pasta dishes, dinner, and snacking. I look forward to reading all your comments! Happy eating!!!

Things you will need:

2 mixing bowls

1 baking sheet

Parchment Paper

1 c. shredded mozzarella (Or any shredded cheese)

1/2 c. almond flour

2 tbsp. cream cheese

1/2 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. baking powder

Small pinch of salt

1  egg 

1 tbsp. melted butter

1tsp minced garlic  

Chopped fresh Basil

Note: Before microwaving your first six ingredients, I would place the shredded cheese on top as the last thing you add to the bowl.

Instructions for Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay parchment paper on baking sheet.
  3. Using your mixing bowl, mix together the almond flour, garlic powder, baking powder, small pinch of salt, cream cheese, and shredded cheese.
  4. Place in microwave for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
  5. Add egg to the dough bowl and mix well.
  6. Once everything is incorporated, place dough on lined backing sheet and press into desired shape.
  7. In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, minced garlic, and chopped basil.
  8. Brush over dough and place in oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Let cool and enjoy!!!!

© 2018 Sundown Pointe