Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Out to lunch comes home...

If you are one of my personal friends or follow me on facebook, you'll know my love for Pita Jungle. My fav lunch spot quickly became the must stop spot for all my out of town friends, our go to hot- spot for girly get-togethers, and one of my many guilty pleasures.

One of my girlfriends who visits often from California has grown to crave PJ and I'm sure she'll soon be making visits just to satisfy her food craving rather than to see me. Anyways, she is hosting a bridal shower for her sister this summer, and asked me to recreate one of the salads from Pita Jungle that we always order. The Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad --- doesn't the name say it all???

Well, I'm happy to say, the recipe has been recreated and it is A-MAZ-ING!!! Although not exactly the same as PJ, its pretty darn close and definitely a gourmet make at home delight!

(this photo only shows the spinach and pasta)

We mixed together a delicious Pesto blend that I found at Sam's club, with balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice, whole wheat spiral pasta and feta cheese. When making for our guests we used tri-colored pasta and added veggies (tomatoes/mushrooms) for added color.

In all honesty - since creating this salad - I've made one pretty much every day for myself to enjoy. SERIOUSLY!!!

Now, if I could only recreate their Mango Lemonade....I'd be in business.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Red Velvet Heaven

My husbands family recently visited, so between the two of us we wanted to "show off"....I mean provide them a delicious meal for the evening. My hubby took a half day from work and started up his smoker, to smoke ribs with his very special "secret" bbq sauce drenched over top. Since hubby was covering dinner, I planned dessert for the evening, which was my favorite Paula Deen recipe (so far). It's her Red Velvet Bundt Cake and its soooooo amazing!

I was first struggling with what to make at first, since I asked my husband what his dad's favorite dessert was and his reply was "banana splits". Since I wasn't going to make banana splits I called upon my sister in law (who lives very close to my in laws) and asked her what dad likes for dessert. "Cake and Ice cream is always a go to for dad!"

I then decided to bake up the red velvet cake for a few reasons. One being that its so moist and dense there's no way you could possibly not like it and two...I LOVE decorating it.

Come to find out, my father in law had never even tried Red Velvet Cake (um, hello dad, you're REALLY missing out here) So I was glad to provide him with his first taste....and he Approved!

It was wonderful seeing our parents and we were so happy to provide them with such a yummy delicious meal for the evening.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wonderful Wanda's

For the longest time I have been calling this place Wacky Wanda's! hah. My husband finally corrected me and said, "It's Wonderful Wanda's" while laughing under his breathe about my mistake. So anyways, Wonderful Wanda's is our new favorite breakfast spot. It's located just down the road from us, and so far they have the best Breakfast Burrito's in ARIZONA!!!

Back in California, we had at least 4 breakfast spots within walking distance that all had killer burritos! All the right mixin's and wrapped in a delicious homemade tortilla. We've now been in Arizona for almost 4 years now, and it's taken us this long to actually find a place we enjoy for mornings when we get our burrito cravings. (and don't want to make them ourselves....because let me tell ya....Burritos at Casa de Douma *our home* are sooooo yummy!)

(the recipe is in my cookbook -- Our First Year )

When we go to WONDERFUL Wanda's I usually get the plain burrito that includes: Potatoes, Cheese and Eggs. And my hubby tends to switch it up between the: Royal Burrito or Blue Ribbon Burrito, but today he ventured off and got the Country Burrito which includes Sausage Gravy in it! HE LOVED IT!!!

Needless to say, Imma thinkin we'll be making a few *extra* trips over the next weeks he liked it so much!

They also serve lunch, but we haven't made it over there yet to test out those menu items. Here is their website if you'd like to check them out:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Craving Oreo's?

I rarely purchase Oreo's but occasionally I'll crave an Oreo Cookie. Actually, I've probably only ever purchased a package of Oreo's maybe twice to eat just as a cookie. (I have purchased them for a few desserts though).

Well I had overheard someone talking about chocolate dipped Oreo's and I was so intrigued. I immediately ran to the craft store to purchase some dipping chocolate, as well as dipping peanut butter chips. I had originally tried putting the Oreo's on sticks (the type you'd use for chocolate suckers), but that plan sort of failed. I think the sticks I had were too wide, or it may have been too hot in my Arizona home.

I resorted to just dipping the cookies in the melted chocolate and they came out delicious! I really want to try some white chocolate dipped cookies and also some mint chocolate dipped cookies....ooo which reminds me, they sell Oreo cookies that are mint flavored or with peanut butter filling! That would be amazing!!!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

S'more Please..

I am so excited for the newest dessert that will be added to my cookbook. I was craving S'mores, and our next camping trip wasn't schedule for another month and a half. Then, to top it off, we have electric appliances here in the house so it wasn't even like I could roast a marshmallow on the stove top.

I started visualizing this amazing dessert in my head and after a few trial rounds, S'more Please was born. Graham cracker crust, rich brownie filling and topped with golden marshmallows.....

I cannot wait for everyone to experience this delectable dessert warm out of the oven.
Check out the new recipe in this year's cookbook! (follow me on Facebook to find out the release date!)