Monday, August 29, 2011

7 Layer Greek Dip

Tomorrow night my hubby & I have seperate (and very gender appropriate) activities going on.  My hubby has a Fantasy Football Draft party & I have bookclub.  Now, I don't know much about all that football draft stuff...but I do really enjoy getting together with the girls.  We each bring an appetizer & the person hosting for the evening provides the wine.  This past month we read Honolulu by Alan Brennert.  It wasn't the best book we've read but I did finish it, which says quite a bit.

I've made this dip before, but I believe we had gone golfing & must have been starving when we got home because it was almost all gone before I remembered to take pictures.  So here is round 2...hopefully the girls enjoy tomorrow night!

{7 Layer Greek Dip}
recipe adapted from

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat)
1 tsp. dill weed
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 package hummus
1 c. seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c. seeded, diced tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c. chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
1/2 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1/8-1/4 c. minced fresh basil

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta cheese, and basil. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, and/or flatbread.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken

Last week, we were driving back to Denver from Vail.  A trip that usually takes us about 2 hours literally took us over 3 hours: construction, summer traffic, etc.  The trip home is usually the worst thing about heading up the hill, so to pass time, I started looking at the recipe index from Our Best Bites.  They have the best recipes! 

As I've blogged in the past, our trips to Vail usually include a lot of golfing, eating out & drinking.  After a few days up there, we were ready to come home, unpack & cook a healthy meal.   I flagged a few recipes to try & this is the first one.  We loved the rub/glaze on the chicken (we actually used it to glaze some porkchops later in the week.)  The salad was really good- the dressing was so light & the mangoes were awesome with the red onion.

{Spicy Glazed Chicken}
recipe compliments of Our Best Bites

8 boneless chicken thighs; about 2 lbs
2 tsp vegetable oil

2 tsp granulated garlic
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 cup honey
1 TBSP cider vinegar

Combine all the rub spices in a bowl & mix well.

Use kitchen shears to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces.  Pat dry.  Drizzle oil over chicken & rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces.  Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well.  Use your hands and get it in there!  Grill chicken.

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it's not so thick.  Add the vinegar & combine well.  Reserve 2 TBSP honey glaze for later.  Take the rest & brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling. 

Right before eating, drizzle with reserved honey mixture.

{Spicy Honey Chicken Salad}
recipe compliments of Our Best Bites
serves 4 large salad

1-2 heads romaine lettuce; shredded
2 ripe mangoes; thinly sliced into strips & chilled*
2-3 ripe avocado; thinly sliced into strips
red onion; thinly sliced

{Honey-Citrus Vinaigrette}

1 garlic clove; minced
1/2 TBSP grated onion
1/3 cup fresh OJ
3 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP honey
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Combine all & shake well

Combine all salad ingredients & drizzle with salad dressing.  Serve with chicken.  Enjoy!

* this is a good time to talk about my most favorite kitchen tool of late.  My mango pitter that I purchased from Crate & Barrel.  You can purchase one here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Red Sangria

I LOVE sangria. 

I really, really like it.  What I cannot stand is bad sangria.  Like Applebees...they have terrible sangria.
I have a personal preference when it comes to my sangria...and the very best comes from San Chez Tapas Bistro in Grand Rapids, Michigan (my home town.)  If you're ever in the area...check it out.

So here it goes:

pardon my mani...I was gardening.

Best. Sangria. Recipe. Ever.

{Red Sangria}
recipes compliments of San Chez
Note: Makes 1 Gallon of base (which is ALOT)

46 oz. can Guava Juice
5 Liters Burgundy Wine
1 cup Nonalcoholic Triple Sec
1 cup Brandy
1 qt. Orange Juice
splash of lemon lime soda in each glass
Assorted fresh fruit

Combine all but lemon lime soda & fresh fruit.  Dispense into iced glasses or pitcher.  Finish with soda & fruit.  

Note: it is impossible to find non-alcoholic triple sec.  Go big or go home...just get the usual stuff.