You know those meetings where there is a group of people all in a circle, and you introduce yourself and admit you have a problem? Well I know we aren’t in a circle, but I’m Katie and I like eating out versus cooking. But here’s the real problem—my wallet prefers when I grocery shop and actually prepare restaurant recipes at home. Especially as our family grows, so does the bill after we are done devouring food at our favorite spots.
So over the past couple years, I have come up with some easy restaurant hacks that I can make at home.
It’s easier with kids, too!
This is great because I have four littles, and we all know how easy it is to take the kiddos to a restaurant—not!
Most of the recipes now taste even better than when we do happen to go out. It’s actually inspired me to try new things when we do go out, since I can now get my favorites at home! These recipes have been tweaked a little to fit our family’s preferences, but they do reflect the restaurant we were inspired by. I hope these inspire you to find some of your favorite dishes, and or sides, and try to replicate them in the comfort of your own home. Best part is, it is typically a fraction of the price!
My original inspiration was Olive Garden:
My other favorite recipe right now is a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop hack:
Restaurant recipes I’m trying out or looking into:
- Starbucks’ lemon loaf
- Chick-fil-a nuggets
- Chili’s chicken crispers
- IHOP pancakes
- Panera’s mac n’ cheese
And sooooo many more! Pinterest has been an invaluable tool throughout this entire process, along with reading comments from actual employees about the accuracy. Sometimes if it seems right, you can simply ask your waiter/waitress how they make their food the next time you visit that restaurant.
Whenever I’m reading over a recipe, there are three main things I consider:
- Do I already have some of these ingredients in my pantry? I will only buy random ingredients if it is a food I really enjoy, and know I will make many times.
- Do these flavors seem consistent with those at the restaurant?
- Can I actually follow these steps to achieve the desired goal?
From one food-loving mama to another, happy restaurant hacking!