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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 9

    Menu Description: "Our famous pumpkin pie has just the right amount of spice."

    The vittles from Marie Callender's have made an impression beyond the chain's West Coast roots with home-style packaged entrees and side dishes available in frozen food sections of supermarkets across the country. Pie making is where the chain excels. A fresh slice of a Marie Callender's pie is as close as you'll get to homemade heaven this side of Grandma's porch window. This clone is an obvious selection, since the restaurant sells more pumpkin pies than any other, even in non-holiday months. This clone is a perfect opportunity to improve on icky pumpkin pie recipes (like those found on cans of canned pumpkin, for example) in many ways. For one thing, there's no need to use canned evaporated milk when fresh whole milk and cream is so much better. And three eggs, versus two found in many recipes, will add to the richness and firmness of the cooked filling. After mixing the filling we'll let it sit for a bit while waiting for the oven to preheat. This way it can come closer to room temperature, and the pie filling will bake more evenly. The clone recipe included here for the crust uses a chilled combination of butter and shortening for the perfect mix of flavor and flakiness.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

    Update 10/12/17: I made a few changes to improve this recipe. I increased the pumpkin to 19 ounces (or 2 1/2 cups) to better fill the crust. Get a large can of pumpkin. Also, I took the egg yolk out of the crust for a flakier and more tender finished product. Also, because of the additional filling, I've increased the baking time by 10 minutes to 60 to 70 minutes. If you find your crust getting too dark on top, use a pie crust shield or mold some foil around the top of the crust to prevent it from over-browning.

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    Score: 4.40. Votes: 15

    It's dark, moist and delicious, and it comes in a breadbasket to your table at this French-themed West Coast casual restaurant. Now the tastiest carrot bread ever can be yours to create at home with a couple of grated carrots, molasses, raisins and chopped walnuts. You'll be baking this one in the oven for at least an hour. That should be enough time to warm up the house and send an incredible aroma wafting through every room. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 5

    Arthur Simms was in the restaurant business for many years before he opened the first Mimi's Cafe with his son, Tom, in Anaheim, California in 1978. Back in the Golden Age of Hollywood Arthur was the guy running things in the MGM Studios commissary where, on any given day, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and Judy Garland might stop in for a grazing. Arthur named his New Orleans-influenced, bistro-style restaurant after a woman he met and fell in love with in Paris during the war. Today it's Tom who runs the show at this growing 93-unit chain where regulars return for the staple favorites including the French Market Onion SoupCarrot Raisin Bread and the delicious corn chowder, cloned right here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.81. Votes: 16

    Menu Description: "A traditional topping of roma tomatoes, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil. Served with freshly toasted ciabatta bread."

    Olive Garden's recently redesigned bruschetta recipe improves on the Italian chain's previous version. The tomato salad includes a little sun-dried tomato and balsamic vinegar, and it is now served in a separate dish rather than on the bread. Now the bread doesn't get soggy. The tomatoes are finely diced before mixing with the other ingredients, and the ciabatta bread is sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan cheese before it's toasted. Try to find a nice, chewy loaf of Italian bread for this dish—get the best bread in the store. The better your bread, the better your bruschetta.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.10. Votes: 10

    Menu Description: "Fresh vegetables, beans and pasta in a light tomato broth—a vegetarian classic."

    This copycat Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe is jam-packed with beans, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, carrots, pasta, and spices; but O.G.'s secret formula doesn't include chicken broth. Canned vegetable broth found in the soup aisle of most markets works as a base here in this secret formula that bursts with flavor as a purely vegetarian dish.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 9

    Menu Description: "Parmesan, Romano and mozzarella cheese, clams and herb breadcrumbs baked in mushroom caps."

    Breadcrumbs, clams and three types of cheese are baked into white mushroom caps in this clone of a top pick from Olive Garden's appetizer menu. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl, fill the mushroom caps, sprinkle on some minced red bell pepper, cover the mushrooms with a blanket of mozzarella cheese slices, and bake. After 15 minutes you'll have a great appetizer or hors doeuvre for 4 to 6 people—that's twice the serving size of the dish from the restaurant.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    This Outback margarita will quench and soothe—just what the doctor ordered. A mildly fruity on-the-rocks margarita is powerful ammunition in any home bartender's arsenal of party cocktails. I like tequila. Tequila is my friend. But watch yourself. If you get to the bottom of too many of these tasty pink drinks you might feel like a used pinata in the morning.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 8

    Menu Description: "Vanilla ice cream rolled in toasted coconut, covered in chocolate sauce and topped with whipped cream."

    Here's an easy-to-make dessert that will give you a cool way to use the vanilla ice cream that's gathering ice crystals in the freezer. The key to this recipe is to plan ahead a bit by placing your serving plates into the freezer (give 'em at least 30 minutes). While the plates are chilling out, toast some coconut in the oven, then roll scoops of ice cream in it. Top your masterpiece with canned whipped cream or make your own from the simple recipe included here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    Why waste time chopping up the lettuce when you can just hack a head of iceberg into four cool wedges, then dress it up and serve? This unique presentation is not only easy to make, but is also a deliciously different way to serve your next salad. The creamy bleu cheese dressing is a breeze to craft from scratch and tastes much better than anything you'll buy in a store. Add a bit of extra crumbled bleu over the top, some freshly diced tomatoes, and you're well on your way to a fancy-pants side salad thatll surely impress.

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    Score: 4.08. Votes: 12

    You might not think that a tough World War II flying ace would open a restaurant called "Mimi's," but that's exactly what happened in the 70s. Arthur J. Simms flew spy missions over France during the war and helped liberate a small French town near Versailles. After the war Arthur ran the commissary at MGM studios in Hollywood, stuffing the bellies of big-time celebs like Judy Garland, Clark Gable and Mickey Rooney. He later joined his son Tom in several restaurant ventures including one called "French Quarter" in West Hollywood. This was the prototype for the French-themed Mimi's Cafe. In 1978, the first Mimi's opened in Anaheim, California. Today there's over 90 Mimi's in the chain with a new one opening every other week; all of them serving this great French onion soup that's topped with not one, not two...three different cheeses. Oui!

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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