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 two 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:

Screenshot 2016-07-31 22.51.07

Screenshot 2016-07-31 22.21.45

My other favorite recipe right now is a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop hack:

Screenshot 2016-07-31 22.57.57

Restaurant recipes I’m trying out or looking into:

  • Starbuck’s 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! Comment or post your hacks and use #therealhousewivesofcosprings

restaurant recipes

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Katie, Senior Writer
Katie is a Colorado Native, only knowing CO as home. She loves to travel though, but seeing the "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign will always be her favorite thing to come home too. She met her CO Native husband when she was 14, & they have been together since she was 15. They are best friends, tackling parenting their kids together. Norah (4), Jonah (3), Micah (1), & Maggie (coming in January) grow and stretch her everyday--literally. Katie is passionate for interior design, photography, and anything pretty. There's always music playing in her home, or a good podcast. She's a sucker for a good classic movie, and knows every part of "Sound of Music" by heart. This is her first year winging homeschooling her daughter, mainly to avoid learning how make cutesy lunches & continue serving those Dino nuggets daily. Solid in her faith, she gives all the glory to God for any grace, kindness, or love in her life. Writing for the Colorado Springs Moms Blog has blessed her more ways than she can count, and is proud to be apart of this tribe of mamas creating community in her hometown!

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