olive garden chicken giardino recipe

Recipe Post – My version of Olive Garden’s Chicken Giardino

Chicken Giardino is quite possibly my favorite dish at Olive Garden. I love the light lemon pepper sauce and the perfectly grilled chicken. Recently I found out that the recipe uses white wine, and since I do not consume alcohol in any form or quantity, I decided to make it at home, with a few alterations.

The following recipe is taken from Olive Garden, and I’ve made a few modifications to suit my personal palate.

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chicken chili dry Pakistani indian desi Chinese recipe

Recipe Post – Chicken Chili Dry

One of the many things I miss about living in Pakistani is Desi Chinese. I know all countries have their own brand of Chinese food which combines local flavors with traditionally Asian ingredients, and Pakistan is no different.

(Desi is pronounced dey-see, btw. Not Desi, like Lucy and Desi.)

There are so many restaurants back home which cater to desi-Chinese loving individuals like me, and one of their more popular dishes is Chicken Chili Dry, which is basically flour-coated, “breaded” chicken tossed in a spicy gravy with vegetables.

I’ve been looking for a good Chicken Chili Dry recipe for ages now, and I have finally found an easy and delicious one via Huma In The Kitchen on YouTube.

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Potato Cheese Balls recipe The Girl Loves Makeup

Recipe Post: Potato Cheese Balls!

Potato Cheese Balls recipe The Girl Loves Makeup

Potato Cheese Balls

Makes 8 large balls or 10 – 12 small ones

I decided to begin the new year on a deep-fried, carb-filled, but delicious note with these potato cheese balls.

I’ve made them in the past but sometimes they break up as I’m frying them and sometimes the coating doesn’t stick.

I’ve combined two recipes to ensure that will not be the case. One is from Hungry For Goodies and the other is from Sooperchef. Both blogs have YouTube accounts as well. I highly recommend checking them out for tasty, tested recipes.

These potato cheese balls are best enjoyed with some sweet chilli sauce and a warm cup of tea.


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What’s in my handbag?

Today’s post is a fun little diversion from the review blog posts I usually do. I’m going to tell you all about what I managed to fit in my tiny little shoulder bag that I used while out and about on vacation recently! Also, if you stick around, you’ll read about my trips to Chicago and Cedar Point, and the tv shows I’m currently obsessing over.

Image result for get ready gif

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Recipe Post – Pasta with Chicken Broth, Butter, and Parmesan!

I got this recipe from the site sprinklesandsprouts.

It is so good for a dreary winter’s day. I spiced it up a bit with 1 heaped teaspoon of chilli sauce and 1 teaspoon of chilli vinegar. I also added corn for a sweet kick.

Instead of chicken broth, I dissolved Better Than Bouillon roasted chicken base in water for my soup. I live by this stuff! It is perfectly seasoned and so tasty!

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Cajun Chicken Pasta ala The Pioneer Woman



I adore this pasta. My husband loves it. I have made it time and time again. This recipe is perfection and requires no tweaks; just a bit of extra cayenne if you like your spice (and I do).

Follow it to the T, I would say, and don’t try to keep cooking it to make the sauce thicker (as I did the first time I made it) because the sauce will thicken on its own, as it sits.

Here is the recipe.

That is all.

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My Punta Cana Vacation!

All images in this post are mine; please do not use them without my permission. Thank you.



Our private pool and the view from our room

CHIC Punta Cana

So, this past week, my husband and I went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on vacation. We stayed at this resort right by the beach called CHIC Punta Cana.

Now I’m not any good at reviewing hotels and resorts, but I’ll try to tell you the Yays and Mehs of this one, plus my vacation in general.

The Yays

  •  Gorgeous resort. Good mix of relaxation plus entertainment.
  •  Friendly staff. They were very polite and hospitable, even those who had to work on Christmas Day.
  • Lots of places and rooms all over the resort for guests to lounge about or explore.
  • Spa facilities plus vouchers for services.
  • Huge all-inclusive buffet, with a selection of dishes from various cuisines including Mediterranean, Arabian, including Italian, and more. The buffet had a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Various restaurants on the premises which offered a selection of cuisines.
  • A general store within the resort which offered medicine, items of personal hygiene, and apparel among other things.
  • The fact that the beach was right next to the resort and could be accessed on foot.
  • Not too many people this time of the year which I personally liked. The resort and beach weren’t crowded which meant more space and privacy.
  • Spacious rooms, and ours included an adjoining private pool as well. They had vouchers for room upgrades as well.
  • Singing, dancing, karaoke, belly dancing, and other forms of entertainment for guests.
  • The resort was divided into families and adults only sections. We stayed in the latter, which I liked.
  • Lots of stuff to do in Punta Cana including speed-boating and snuba (scuba + snorkeling) which we did. I really, really enjoyed this experience, despite actually not knowing how to swim. I held on to a raft and swam underwater with fishes and OMG it was such a rush!!! 😳😳😳🙆🏻🙆🏻🙆🏻
  • The beach. Loved it.
  • Excellent cleaning services. They made the place look untouched once they were through with it.
  • No bugs at the resort! Yaas!
  • Wifi. Duh.




The Meh

  • Room service food was so mediocre. I almost think this was done on purpose to redirect people to the buffet and restaurants. If you ever go to CHIC Punta Cana and order room service, choose the scrambled eggs for breakfast and chicken fingers or pizza for lunch and dinner. They’re somewhat better than the rest of the menu items.
  • Here’s what I didn’t like about the bath: while there was an amazing rain shower and a jacuzzi, the bathroom wasn’t exactly one room. It was broken down into three separate sections, wherein the actual loo was in a small separate room next to two wash basins which were beside the shower/jacuzzi “room”. I know I kind of suck at describing this setting, but bear with me. The main thing is, the bathroom wasn’t one whole room, but broken down into three “sets” of rooms, which didn’t exactly invite privacy. And mama likes her privacy, ya know?
  • The sea wasn’t very friendly, this time of the year at least, which some people may not like. (We still had a blast trying to keep standing upright against the waves, tough!)
  • Some staff members didn’t know how to speak English which was a bit of a communication barrier.
  • They kind of blasted loud music until 12 AM which early sleepers may not like.

Overall Experience

Honestly, I would give this resort 4/5 were I to rate it. Despite some flaws, it really was a great place to stay at, especially because of its proximity to the beach! I really liked Punta Cana and the generally relaxed and friendly temperament of its people. I would definitely recommend going there on vacation, alone or with family/friends, and staying at CHIC for this experience. 😊😊 (Just remember to order what I advised you to, if you order room service. You’re welcome.)

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