Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greek Pasta Salad

Our sister in-law Suzanne made us dinner the other night and it was terrific. She tried to copy it from a Greek salad she had tried at Costco. I loved the flavors that each of the ingredients brought to the dish. They blended together nicely. I really don't know what else to say besides it was a delicious pasta dish, one I will be making again soon.

Greek Pasta Salad
recipe from Suzanne

Makes a BIG bowl!

2 lb penne or rotini pasta, cooked
1 bottle Greek salad vinaigrette (Wishbone)
1 jar Greek olive blend, drained
1 container grape tomatoes
8 oz. pkg. Feta cheese
1 jar artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
cooked, cubed chicken, or rotesserie chicken shredded

First, cook your chicken (unless using a rotisserie chicken). Just season it with a little salt, pepper, and a little of the greek salad dressing. Suzanne also poured in some of the juice from the artichoke hearts to give it more flavor. I liked that idea. When chicken is cooked and cubed, set aside. Next, cook your pasta according to directions and drain. Place pasta in a large bowl. Combine with the rest of the ingredients, olives (drained), tomatoes, feta cheese, artichoke hearts (drained), and red onion. Now pour the vinaigrette on top and combine well. Use a little vinaigrette at a time, you may not want to use all of it, just however much you like. This dish is normally served cold, so refrigerate for a couple hours before serving! Serve with a side of garlic bread. Delish!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Muddy Buddies


We all know and love Muddy Buddies or some people call them Puppy Chow. It is such a quick, yummy treat to make when you are hunkering for something sweet. Always a favorite!

Muddy Buddies
recipe from Chex
9 cups Chex cereal, Rice, Corn or a combination of both
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Measure cereal in a large bowl. Set aside. In a microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter on high, uncovered for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 30 more seconds, mix until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal. Stir until evenly coated. Pour into a 2 gallon plastic resealable storage bag. Add powdered sugar, seal bag, and shake until evenly coated. Store in airtight container in fridge.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mom's Spanish Rice


This dish is a favorite from my childhood. I have no idea where my mom got it or why it is even called Spanish rice, but she's been making it for forever and our family loves it. It is kind of a funny recipe and really isn't anything like the spanish rice you are probably used to, but give it a chance. When I married my husband he thought it was the strangest thing, but now he loves it. The bacon really makes this dish spectacular. We always ate it as a main dish instead of a side dish and always with a can of green beans, but for you skeptics out there you can serve it as a side dish. :)

Mom's Spanish Rice
recipe from mom

3 cups cooked white rice (I'll do a half white and brown sometimes)
6 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled (save a little bacon grease to cook onion)
1/2 onion diced
1 can tomato soup condensed
Shredded cheddar cheese
*Salt and pepper to taste (we always just seasoned our own portion to taste after it was cooked)

Cook rice. Cook bacon and leave some bacon grease in skillet or griddle, however you cook it. Cook the diced onions in the bacon grease until translucent. Mix the 3 cups cooked rice with the tomato soup. Throw in  the crumbled bacon and onions.  Mix together until combined. Spread into a casserole dish, fits nicely into the smaller than 9x13 size. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yogurt Fruit Salad

 picture from Cookin' with Cousins

This salad always makes an appearance at all our family get togethers. We love it because one, it is really good, two, it is loaded with yogurt and fruit and three, it is super easy! You can whip this up in no time flat and have a delicious side dish to share at your next summer barbecue. You can make it as yogurty or as fruity as you want. You can even mix and match fruit and yogurt flavors. It is that easy. During those winter months, you can use frozen mixed fruit or strawberries and it comes out great too. Try it this summer, you'll love it!

My sister Callie is featuring this salad at her Cookin' With Cousins blog. Instead of using fresh fruit, she teaches a great way in how to incorporate your freeze dried fruits you may have in your food storage. They are always offering great ways and tips to use your food storage items. Check it out! 

Yogurt Fruit Salad
recipe from Delicious Discoveries

large carton strawberry yogurt
1 regular size container Cool Whip
3 bananas sliced
1 carton strawberries sliced
1 carton blueberries

Mix yogurt and cool whip together until combined. Fold in fruit until combined! You really can add as much or as little fruit as you want.

You can use it to top delicious waffles if you want! It is pretty darn good.
picture from Cookin' with Cousins

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cookie Dough Brownies

 I really do love brownies and these are one of my favorite ways to dress a brownie up. It is rich and delicious and pretty much a perfect way to indulge after dinner. The gal from Cookies and Cups is always posting creative and delicious treats. This is a great one! She made her brownies from scratch, which I would suggest if you have the time and the ingredients, but we were in a pinch and used our favorite box mix. It worked out great, but definitely follow her advice of letting the brownies cool overnight or refrigerate them until completely cool! You can try just plain ol' chocolate chip cookie dough, or jazz it up with some Reese's Pieces! The taste of peanut butter was a nice touch. :) 

Cookie Dough Brownies
Recipe from Cookies and Cups 

Brownie layer:
(You can use a box mix or follow the recipe below from her website)

1 c. butter
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder (She used Hershey's Special Dark)
2 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Line 9x13 baking pan with foil, so the bottom and sides are covered. Spray with cooking spray. Melt 2 sticks of butter in a medium saucepan; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until combined. Add flour and baking powder; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 

*Good tip for brownies is remove from oven when toothpick inserted 1-2 inches from edge comes out clean.
Allow brownies to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Cookie dough layer:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (and/or Reese's Pieces)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream together. Add flour and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread in an even layer on top of cooled brownies. Chill for at least 15 minutes in fridge before adding the chocolate topping.

Chocolate topping layer:
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. Crisco shortening

Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave for 1 minute, stirring until smooth. Spread over the cookie dough layer and chill until topping is set. Keep refrigerated until serving.

This dessert is best served cold!!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Grilled Taco Chicken

We have had our eyes on this recipe ever since we opened up Our Best Bites new cookbook. They always have such great ideas and yummy recipes. Like all of their recipes, you will love this one too. It is fantastic and a great summery night meal. We served ours with the Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing, that we posted on Monday. It was the perfect accompaniment. You could chop the chicken up and have it on a salad, or just eat it plain. We decided to eat ours as a chicken wrap. It was great!

Grilled Taco Chicken
recipe from Our Best Bites

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used tenderloins, but it is best to use breasts)
2-3 juicy limes
1-2 T red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place chicken breasts (or tenderloins) in a zip-lock plastic bag. Squeeze limes over chicken and add vinegar and garlic. Seal the bag and shake to distribute the marinade evenly. Marinate 4-8 hours. After they have marinated, preheat grill to medium-high heat (400 degrees). Combine chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Remove chicken from bag and discard the used marinade. Rub the spices into the chicken. Place chicken breasts on the hot grill. Grill for 7 minutes, turn, and grill for an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat to a clean plate and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cafe Rio Tomatillo House Dressing

I know you all love Cafe Rio out there and you've all had this amazing dressing. It is a cinch to make in your blender or food processor, so don't be afraid! It goes wonderfully with lots of different dishes. My favorite being their Cafe Rio Pork, which I'll have to post soon and a delicious chicken recipe we tried last week that I will post on Wednesday. This dressing is creamy, and full of flavor, with just a hint of spice and lime. It really goes great with any Mexican dish!

Cafe Rio Tomatillo House Dressing
not sure where original recipe comes from, but this is Callie's version of it

Set aside:
1/3 c buttermilk (or you can do 1/3 c milk to 1/3 T vinegar or lemon juice and let set 5 minutes)

Place the following in a blender/food processor and blend:
3-4 fresh tomatillos, quartered and skinned
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 c mayonnaise
1 packet Ranch Dressing (dry)
1 jalapeno diced (leave seeds out for less heat)
2 cloves garlic crushed
Cilantro to taste (or none at all)

Now add buttermilk to blender and blend! Refrigerate one hour before serving.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Raspeberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

We're back and happy to be posting again! Sorry for the long absence. It has been quite the month! Thank you for visiting while we were away. We hope to be back to our regularly scheduled posting here at Delicious Discoveries. :)

I'm excited to be posting about a most delightful little cookie. These were super easy and super delicious.  It's always nice to have a cookie that's different from "the usuals". They are pretty too! 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe from Amber Gale

Makes 2 Dozen

1 C Butter, softened
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2 C Flour
1/2 C Raspberry Jam (I actually didn't measure and just spooned the jam onto the cookies directly from the jam jar)
2/3 C Sugar

In a large bowl add sugar, butter, and extract.  Mix until creamy.  Add flour and beat until well mixed.  Shape into 1" ball.  With thumb, make a well in the middle of each cookie.  Fill with jam.  Bake 350 for 14-18 min until lightly brown.  Cool completely.  (Mine were still a bit warm, but I wanted my topping to melt just a bit).

1 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2-3 tsp Water
1 C Powdered Sugar

In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, extract, and water until smooth.  Drizzle over top.

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