Monday, September 15, 2014

New Changes at Olive Garden!

I was recently invited to an Olive Garden menu tasting and I was quite impressed. Let me back up a little and mention how even their logo has changed!
 

What do you think of the new logo? I will admit that when I first saw it, I was not a fan, but I guess it's grown on me because I actually love it now. The brown background is eh, but I love the font and the simplicity.
 
 
Now for the new menu items!
 
  • Crispy Risotto Bites - Bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served in marinara sauce.

 
  • Polenta Shrimp alla Greca - Sautéed shrimp served on creamy polenta and topped with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce.

  • Artichoke Fritti - Marinated artichoke hearts, lightly battered and fried. Served with a five cheese marinara dipping sauce.

  • Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper - Fresh mozzarella bites, roasted tomato, bell pepper, basil, kale and an extra-virgin olive oil drizzle.

  • Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich - Smashed chicken meatballs with roasted bell peppers and mozzarella on a focaccia bun.
 
  • Bucatini with Spicy Diavolo Sauce and Sausage Meatballs - Bucatini with a zesty tomato marinara sauce with crushed red pepper and fresh garlic, topped with sausage meatballs. Part of Cucina Mia!


  • Garlic Rosemary Chicken -  Grilled marinated chicken breast topped with rosemary and caramelized garlic cloves. Served with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and fresh spinach.
 
  • Lasagna Fresca -  Hand-folded vegetable lasagna, sautéed shrimp and grilled tomatoes with sundried tomato sauce.
     
  • Pappardelle Pescatore - Sautéed shrimp, bay scallops and clams tossed with pappardelle pasta, fresh asparagus and tomatoes in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce.


  • Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries - Sweet summer strawberries top a rich and creamy vanilla custard inspired by Italy’s mountainous Piedmont region.
 
Out of all the new menu items, I especially love the Artichoke Fritti. Seriously, Olive Garden! It's only for a limited time right now, but I'm hopeful others will declare their love for it and convince Olive Garden to keep it all the time! I loved the Garlic Rosemary Chicken and the Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich! If you are hesitant with trying new things, just at least try the new dessert, Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries. You will love it!
    Disclaimer: I did receive samples of each of these menu items for my honest opinion. No other compensation was involved.  
     
     


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Supportive Saturday (22)

Did you celebrate Roald Dahl Day? This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! I figured I would do this week's Supportive Saturday on Roald Dahl and his amazingness! :)
 
 
1. Roald Dahl Inspirational Wall Plaque, BooBooAndTed ($20.02 USD, ships from United Kingdom) 2. Roald Dahl Quotes Mini Notebooks, papertaxi ($15 USD for a set of 3, ships from U.S.) 3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Nesting Dolls, bobobabushka ($190 USD, ships from Australia) 4. Willy Wonka Quote Art Print, simplekidindustries ($10.50 USD, ships from United Kingdom) 5. Limited Edition Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Print, LauraBHallett ($50.05 USD, ships from United Kingdom)
 
I think my absolute favorite from these is the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory nesting dolls. I might be obsessed with nesting dolls period! I also really love the sun wall plaque and if I had a daughter, I would put it in her room. :)
 
Which Etsy find is your favorite? Or what is your favorite book or quote from Roald Dahl?
 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Ghosting by Edith Pattou

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from BookSparks PR in order to facilitate an honest review.
 
 
About the Book:
 
On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes that alter lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario that’s all too familiar. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.
Told through multiple points of view in free verse and stream of consciousness, Ghosting is an unforgettable, haunting tale.
Get the Book:        Amazon            Barnes & Noble
 
 
 
Review:
 
First off, the entire book is written in verse so that threw me off initially. After the first few pages, I found myself intrigued so I didn't pay attention to how the words were. I loved that the author told the story through several different characters. I think my favorite character is Maxie. She seems antisocial but she is a nice young girl. She's a budding photographer and deep thinker. I also loved Faith, the younger sister of one of the teen characters. Faith has a huge heart filled with love for her family, but seems to genuinely care a great deal for others in her life as well. The author gave a little insight into the sisters bond (which was very important for the story). In face, we get a little background story on each of the teens before a tragic event happens. After the tragedy occurs, we see a little of how they are changed forever. Not all the endings are happy ones, but by the end of the book, I felt satisfied. If you enjoy page-turners, this is one to look for. I loved it and finished it fairly quickly given my hectic days! 5 out of 5 stars!
About the Author:
 
 
 
 
Edith Pattou has found acclaim as a writer in middle-grade fantasy with such award-winning books as East, which received starred reviews in Booklist and School Library Journal; was selected as a Top Ten Book for YA, an American Library Association Notable Book, a School Library Journal Top Ten YA Book, one of the 100 Best of the Best YA Books for the 21st Century by the Young Adult Library Services Association; and was nominated for numerous state awards. It’s a nominee for NPR’s all-time Best YA Novels list.
Connect:    Facebook    Twitter    Website     Goodreads
 
 
 



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Supportive Saturday (21)

Hi, everyone! A little late in the day, but this week's Supportive Saturday theme is Kawaii! I just discovered the cuteness! Such cuteness ! Read on to check out these Etsy finds!
 
 
1. Decorative Sushi Pillow, mymimi ($14 USD, ships from U.S.) 2. Kawaii Breakfast Mini Letter Set, askingfortrouble ($3.40 USD, ships from United Kingdom) 3. Toilet Paper & Poo Stamps, JapaneseRubberStamps ($8.51 each or $15.32 for both, ships from United Kingdom 4. Kawaii Rice Balls Backpack, gesshokudesigns ($28 USD, ships from U.S.) 5. Cute Cartoon Animal Pens, CuteScribbles ($2.99 each pen, ships from U.S.)
 
 
I love that backpack (and it comes in 3 different colors)! My bed would look so much happier with that Sushi pillow and I can imagine writing on that breakfast stationery.
 
Do you like Kawaii? Or which item above would you love to own?