#DIY-lish! Make your favorite restaurant dishes in your own kitchen

Craving McDonald's fries, Chipotle guac or some other dish from your fave restaurant...but don’t feel like leaving your house? Save some $$$ and whip 'em up in your own kitchen with these copycat recipes. Bon appetit! 
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    Chipotle guac

    When this recipe was released, we felt like it was Christmas all over again.  Best part of making this at home? Not having to be asked if you know that guac is extra. 

    What you’ll need: 

    • 2 ripe Hass avocados
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
    • ½ of a finely chopped jalapeño 
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

    What you’ll do: 

    1. Choose avocados that feel squishy yet firm, like how the palm of your hand feels, and are a nice dark green color on the inside. 

    2. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. 

    3. Scoop the avocados and place them in a bowl.

    4. Squirt on some limejuice and toss the avocados. 

    5. Add the salt and then mash with a fork or potato masher. 

    6. Throw in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

    7. Taste and adjust with more seasoning if you’d like.

    Recipe and photo courtesy of

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    Cheesecake Factory cheesecake

    Show off your baking skills with a drool-worthy dessert.

    What you’ll need:

    For the crust:

    • ½ cup finely ground almonds
    • ½ cup finely ground vanilla wafers
    • ½ cup ground graham crackers
    • 2 tablespoons melted butter

    For the filling:

    • 24 ounces cream cheese
    • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
    • 5 large eggs
    • 16 ounces sour cream
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

    What you’ll do: 

    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch pan with cooking spray.

    2. To make the crust, mix the nuts, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, and melted butter in a bowl.  Pat the mixture into the pan.  Make sure to press firmly into bottom and about an inch and a half up the sides of the pan.  

    3. For the filing, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese on low until it is light and fluffy.  Add the sugar in little by little and then beat the mixture until it is creamy.  Next, add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each egg.  Then add the flour, vanilla, and lemon juice and then mix.  Finally, pour in the sour cream and mix well. To get air bubbles out of the mix, tap the bowl against the counter. 

    4. Pour the filling into the pan, making sure the mixture is evenly distributed. Cook in the oven for an hour and 30 minutes or until the cake is firm.

    5. Turn off the heat and leave the cake in the oven with the door propped open for an hour.

    6. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on the counter before chilling in the fridge for at least 12 hours.  

    7. Serve plain or add some fresh strawberries for a sweet topping.  

    Recipe and photo courtesy of

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    IHOP Buttermilk Pancakes

    Avoid the long brunch lines and have breakfast in bed with IHOP-quality flapjacks.

    What you’ll need: 

    • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ cup cooking oil
    • 1 pinch salt

    What you’ll do:

    1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat.

    2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

    3. Melt a little bit of butter in the pan.

    4. Pour the batter by spoonfuls onto the pan.  You should form circles that are about 5 inches.

    5. When the edges appear hard, flip the pancakes.

    6. Cook until both sides are golden brown. 

    7. Drizzle on some syrup or add fresh fruit on top and enjoy!

    Recipe and photo courtesy of

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    McDonald’s French fries

    Craving greasy, delicious taste without the fast food experience? This recipe will have you saying, “I’m lovin’ it."

    What you’ll need: 

    • 2 Idaho russet potatoes
    • ¼ cup corn syrup
    • 1 ½ cups water
    • 6 cups peanut oil
    • ¼ cup beef lard
    • 2 teaspoons salt

    What you’ll do:

    1. Peel and julienne the peeled potatoes into shoestring fries.  They should be ¼ inch by ¼ inch thick and about 4 to 6 inches long.

    2. In a bowl, combine the corn syrup and water.  Make sure the corn syrup is evenly distributed.  Then add the french fries to the mixture. Stick the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

    3. Heat the peanut oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot or deep fryer until it reaches 375 degrees.  

    4. Remove the fries from the sugar water and pat dry.  Add them to the oil carefully and partially fry them for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Take them out of the fryer and place on paper towel-lined plate.  Put the light golden brown fries in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes. 

    5. Add the beef lard to the peanut oil and heat to 400 degrees.  Place the fries back into the beef fat and oil mixture for five to seven minutes. 

    6. Sprinkle on salt and enjoy! 

    Recipe and photo courtesy of

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by Kelsie Ahern | 2/1/2016