Friday, January 11, 2013

foodie blues (or, I really miss Olive Garden)

Yesterday afternoon while folding laundry, I decided to watch a little bit of television. I don't often do this so early in the day, but it was quicker than putting in a DVD because I'm too indecisive for that and I would have spent at least half an hour choosing something. Anyway. The channel I chose to watch was the Cooking Channel. (Not the Food Network -- hooray for two food channels!) As I was matching socks and sipping a mug of reheated coffee (black -- I was tired), I realized something. I am a foodie. A HUGE foodie.

This may not come as a surprise to some of you. I grew up in a household where my parents (especially my dad) tried to expose my siblings and me to as many cuisines as possible. Our favorite, to this day, is Indian, for many reasons. Dad's mom grew up in India as a child of missionaries, and the food got carried over to the U.S. One of our favorite dishes (and the most typical one Mom makes now) is chicken curry with rice. Oh, and don't forget the poppadoms! And my dear husband knows I'm not kidding when I say one of the tests for belonging with the Blieses is trying and liking curry! (Don't worry, he passed!)

Other cuisines we were exposed to at a young age were Japanese (Dad's been to Japan four times.), Chinese (which is always fun), Mexican (tacos, anyone??), and Italian. I also really like Thai food, but I obviously have a thing for anything Asian. Of course, I've eaten my fair share of European cuisine. Good old German food is always delicious, if a bit heavy (I love me some bratwurst.). And though it can be bland, I ate some delicious food in England, too. And I live for England's afternoon tea spreads.

But out of all of these, I think I've finally found my favorite. (Excepting Indian, because that tops them all no matter what.) My favorite, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, is Italian. Any time I see an Italian recipe, my mouth waters. I make simple spaghetti and meat sauce at home a lot. But all the experimenting I do in my too-small kitchen will probably never top the gloriousness that is Olive Garden. At least once a week I find myself craving a meal from Olive Garden. This has been happening with alarming regularity for the last few years, and it doesn't help at all that the closest restaurant to us is either in Milwaukee or Appleton. Since we rarely make it to Milwaukee, and then it's to visit family where we'll be fed amazing food anyway, that's kind of out of the question. And Appleton is rather a lot farther away, but we'd be more likely to eat at the Olive Garden there...

So you see my dilemma. My favorite restaurant is not close enough. And I haven't yet found a suitable Italian replacement in Sheboygan County. Le sigh. So I'm left with my severe case of the foodie blues once again. I suppose I can console myself with a yummy fish fry tonight at our favorite bar.


  1. I bet you could easily make some Italian food to rival Olive Garden's at home--and for a fraction of the cost! I recommend Giada De Laurentis's recipes (she's on Food Network, but check out her Food Network website: Also, you could ask my mother, who is 1/4 Italian and, as you know, a great cook! :)

    1. I adore Giada's show! That's a good idea. Not to mention the advice of asking your mom -- that is a REALLY good idea! Thanks! :)