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September 22, 2013


The Honey To My Pepper

I have always enjoyed dinning at Applebee’s. Eating delicious food and experiencing great service always makes for a great meal out. I was so excited when I found out about the Applebee’s new Honey Pepper Grill items and thrilled to have a chance to review them.

My family has a very dynamic palate. My Dad pretty much loves all kinds of foods and can never have enough spice. My sister is also pretty adventurous and can handle a moderate level of spice. I am somewhat of a picky eater but love foods that happen to be spicy. Unfortunately, I have no tolerance and end up consuming twice the amount of water I need for the week in a single meal. My Mom is pickier than me and likes flavorful foods but with little to no spice.

My parents are in town helping prepare for some house renovations so I thought it would be nice to take them out as a thank you while testing out some of the Honey Pepper Grill items. Of course we let this handsome little devil tag along too ๐Ÿ™‚
Parker enjoyed the kids mac n’ cheese. I tried to sneak some broccoli in but he didn’t skip a beat and started separating them. Even at 15 months old he is taking after his momma, oops! 

The soup of the day was the potato, cheese and bacon. I don’t usually go for soup but this sounded way to good to pass up. It tasted fantastic and we all ended up sharing it before our meals came out. 
I decided to try the Honey Pepper Chicken & Shrimp which came with a healthy portion of green beans and potatoes. It’s very rare that a meal comes out looking like the pictures. Even taken with my iPhone, you can see what a great job they did plating the meal. The shrimp was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. There was a sweet and salty taste that was simply fantastic. You could taste the honey and pepper in each bite which mixed nicely. The chicken was juicy and tender pairing perfectly with the shrimp. I happily ate my green veggies that day as they also had a sweet and salty taste. The potatoes were a great side also I was enjoying the veggies, chicken and shrimp so there were some left. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.   

I have to admit I was a little jealous when I saw my Dad’s, 4-Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders. His plate looked amazing. It was a hearty portion, enough for two, of mac n’ cheese with three chicken tenders and bacon sprinkled on top. He let me taste some, ya know for review purposes ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Mac & Cheese was rich and very cheesy. The chicken tenders had a great mixture of sweet and salty and were really juicy inside. The bacon added a nice crunch and a little more of the salty taste.

Not only did Parker finish his whole meal, but he managed to get a hold of my Dad’s plate and started digging in! Dare I say he liked my Dad’s meal more than his ๐Ÿ™‚  

Applebeeโ€™s Executive Chef Michael Slavin was asked, what was the inspiration behind creating the Honey Pepper Grill menu?”

“We wanted to combine great textures with a smooth, highly cravable sauce that would balance nicely with steak, chicken and shrimp.  The soothing appeal of warm honey with the earthy bite of cracked black pepper created the perfect blending of flavors.  Each dish has a distinct crunchy element to it.  The Honey Pepper Sirloin has crispy jalapenos and onion straws, the Honey Pepper Chicken and Shrimp has Panko breaded shrimp and fresh green beans and the 4-Cheese Mac and Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders gets its crunch from bacon strips and chicken tenders.  These specific ingredients really benefit from the sauce we created because of the way it easily coats and enhances each item.”
Parker was the only one who finished his entire plate but he isn’t the only one who gets to enjoy a treat! One lucky Cherry Blossom Love reader will win a $50 gift card to Applebee’s. Take that special honey to your pepper out for dinner and enjoy one of Applebee’s new menu options! 
Applebee’s is a proud member of the Kids Live Well program. With about 2,000 locations in 49 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory there is surely one near you! The Honey Pepper Grill items are available on the 2 for $20 menu until November 12th. Enjoy two full-sized entrees and a shareable appetizer for just $20. Just make sure to leave enough room for dessert! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Parker Month 15

Parker still isn’t walking. He is perfectly capable of it, but he just doesn’t want to. He has been crusing a lot more and I will even catch him balancing with no hands and a big smile on his face. Around the 20th of September he realized he could stand up with his plastic shopping cart and walk across the room. He gets so excited and shouts the whole time.

He also loves when I pick him up, or he climbs up, to the couch. He will sit there with me for awhile just looking around. He loves when he sees an iPad and starts to giggle because he knows you are going to give it to him to play with. He has also learned the Fisher Price iPad/iPhone jingle and knows it means a game is coming on.

Some new words are… 
Ba Ba Bam (aka my Mom, Bam)
I also thing is said the word shoe but can’t be 100% certain. It was in the right context and he was playing with one at the time.
He also has started saying noooowwww, which I am told is what I sound like when I say the word no.

This month Parker has… 
* Figured out how to climb and sit in a chair.
* Started to push cars around the floor.
* Become a little pickier with food. He doesn’t seem to like red meat no matter what kind or how it is prepared. He also isn’t thrilled about veggies so I still reply on pouches. He is obsessed with fruit though and loves grapes.

Swim time!

“I help Momma!”

“Come home Daddy.”

“Man, Carly has some of the best toys!”

“Listen, my Bam needs to come home and play with me so she just can’t help you right now.”

“But I wanna fall off the back of the couch!!!”

“Are you suureee it isn’t bath time Momma?”

New obsession, getting into to anything he can!

Lookin good kid!