Friday, July 29, 2016

145.8...Chopped Salad with Garlic Oregano Vinaigrette

The final Bunco salad recipe is the Chopped Salad with Garlic Oregano Vinaigrette. I loved chopped salads….you can put anything in them. This one has so many fabulous flavors! 

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Chopped Salad with Garlic Oregano Vinaigrette (Serves 4 to 6)

Recipe from Phillis Carey 


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper to taste

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 cups seeded diced plum tomatoes

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 cup diced stick salami

1/2 cup diced whole milk mozzarella 

1/2 cup diced provolone

1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup diced Kalamata olives

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 

2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley


2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano


1. Trim chicken and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a shallow baking dish.

2. Whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup dressing over the chicken, turning to coat well. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Chill remaining dressing until serving time.

3. Remove chicken from marinade and grill 3 to 5 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked  through. Set aside to cool and then cut into 1/2-inch dice.

4. In a large bowl toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, salami, cheeses, garbanzo beans, olives, basil, parsley and cooled chicken. Just before serving toss with dressing to coat well.

Printable Recipe 

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Out of the freezer came our dinner last night. Indian Chicken Tikka Masala on Yellow Basmati Rice with Peas

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Today’s breakfast:

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I dropped my son off at camp and came home. I have a busy weekend ahead! 

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Arnold and Wally say to have a great weekend!

Chopped Salad fan?

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

146.6...Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

The Bunco salad recipes continue with Tomato Feta Pasta Salad. Ina Garten hit one out of the ballpark with this one as well!

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Tomato Feta Pasta Salad (Serves 6 to 8)

Recipe from Ina Garten 


1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta

Kosher salt

Good olive oil

1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced

3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced

1 pound good feta cheese, medium-diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

6 Tbsp good olive oil

1 garlic clove, diced

1 tsp. capers, drained

1 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped


1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. 

2. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, feta and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

3. For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

4. Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and parsley, and toss well.

Printable Recipe

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Tuesday night the kids wanted to go to Olive Garden for dinner so off we went. I’m not thing biggest OG fan but I do love their salad:

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I ordered one of their new items on their “lighter fare” menu: Tilapia Piccata:

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It was actually pretty tasty. It was under 400 calories and plenty filling. Score!

Wednesday’s breakfast:

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I took my son to camp, then my daughter and I went to her orthodontist appointment, then to get our nails done. Lunch was at Crust Pizzeria. I ordered their slice and salad lunch special. I had the pesto, heirloom tomato and mozzarella pizza and a Caesar salad.

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The pizza was a bit dry unfortunately. I had been there before and liked it so maybe it was just a fluke this time.

For dinner, I met some friends at Pacific Coast Grill. Here’s a place that I’ve never had a bad meal. Their food never disappoints. Besides the fabulous food and company, we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset over the water. 

We all shared the White Truffle House-Cut Kennebec Fries (tossed with sea salt, Reggiano Parmigiano & parsley):

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Of course these were good!

Alicia and I shared a few things. Yellowtail Tartare Stack (with avocado habanero mango sauce and sesame ginger wontons):

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While it was good, it was our least favorite. I think because we ordered two sushi rolls that were outstanding!!!

PGA Rainbow Roll (salmon, ahi, hamachi, shrimp, crab, unagi, shishito peppers and jalapeno ponzu):

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Cardiff Reef Roll (spicy tuna, lump crab, tempura jalapeños, avocado & ginger ponzu sauce):

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I don’t know which one I liked better. They both were excellent! 

We enjoyed two different desserts.

Dark Chocolate Custard (black lava salt pretzel crust served with Kona coffee gelato, black pepper-cherry sauce & macadamia nuts)

White Chocolate Bread Pudding (with caramel bourbon sauce)

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Both were so good but the bread pudding was the stand out for me! Fabulous meal!

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Can’t wait to go back!


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I took my son to camp, went to an appointment, then home for lunch. Tuna sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing:

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We have a trip coming up and I need to get a whole lot of packing done today! 

Have you been traveling or are going to travel this summer?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

146.6...Panzanella Salad

The Bunco recipes continue with another fabulous salad: Panzanella. Again, this was another Ina Garten recipe so I knew it would be spectacular!

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Panzanella (Serves 12)

Recipe from Ina Garten 


3 Tbsp good olive oil

1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced

20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped 

3 Tbsp capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:

1 tsp. finely minced garlic

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp champagne vinegar

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

2. For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together. 

3. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for half an hour for the flavors to blend. 

Printable Recipe

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Last night there wasn’t a ton of time for dinner so pasta and salad it was!

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My husband is participating in his company’s basketball team so we went to watch his game last night.

Today’s breakfast:

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I dropped my son off at camp, ran some errands, then headed to the La Jolla Community Center for a cooking class with Phillis Carey. Today’s class was “Fresh Summer Cooking."

The first recipe was Provencal Grilled Pizzas Topped with Eggplant, Tomatoes, Olives, Arugula and Goat Cheese:

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Fabulous! The flavors were so delicious together! 

The next plate had two recipes: 

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Caprese and Grilled Zucchini and Pepper Bow Tie Pasta Salad:

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While the chicken was really tasty, the pasta salad stole the show. I wish I had had this recipe for my salad Bunco! Next time!

Next up was Spicy Basil Balsamic Marinated Grilled Salmon Topped with Corn and Pepper Relish:

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Another good one! I didn’t love the black olives in the corn relish but other than that, it was good!

The next recipe was Grilled Teriyaki Flank Steak with Mango Cucumber Relish:

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The teriyaki sauce was fabulous. Loved it on the flank steak. As for the relish, probably a bit too much fruit for me. :)

Dessert was Summer Fruit Cheesecake Tart:

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So good! Another winner. This would have been a good dessert for my Bunco!

Tonight my daughter and I have another cooking class! It’s been quite a cooking day!

Found any good summer recipes lately?

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Monday, July 25, 2016

146.8...Gina's Orzo Salad

Another one of the many salads I made at my Bunco was Gina’s Orzo Salad. It was so fresh and delicious. It would be a great picnic dish for sure!

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Gina’s Orzo Salad (Serves 6 to 8)

Recipe adapted from The Neelys


1 pound orzo

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

2 lemons, juiced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

2 Tbsp chiffonade fresh basil leaves

2 Tbsp chiffonade fresh mint leaves

5 ounces crumbled feta cheese


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender yet firm, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain into a colander and let cool.

2. Whisk together the Dijon, olive oil, and lemon juice in a large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cooled orzo, cherry tomatoes, almonds, red onion, green onions, basil, mint, and feta. Toss together and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve. 

Printable Recipe

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On Friday night, I headed to our club with our friends Dave & Stacy to do something I never thought I’d do: play tennis beer pong. Yep. I had never heard of it before either. You can check out this video here so it will make more sense. 

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Your objective is to get your tennis ball into the other team’s trashcan. They they have to drink beer (In my case it was wine. Lol).

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The team that has no trashcans left loses. 

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There were six teams total. 

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In between all the fun, I enjoyed a few pieces of pizza and a red velvet mini bundt cake. 

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Somehow, I managed to make the winning shot into our opponent’s trash can to come in second place! Our prize:

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Lol. Love it!! I had such a fun night!

Saturday’s breakfast: 

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Saturday was spent doing laundry and cleaning out my daughter’s room and closet which was in pretty bad shape. It took hours. 

Lunch was a big salad. I basically threw whatever I could find in the fridge in it.

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That night we all went to Pizza Rev for dinner. We had a family meal deal that included salad, pizzas and a dessert pizza. 

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I love Pizza Rev.

Sunday’s breakfast:

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I did some more cleaning around the house. My husband picked up Luna Grill for lunch. Greek Salad with a chicken kabob:

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We went bowling in the afternoon. For dinner, I grilled burgers and corn complete with all the burger fixings and baked beans. Fabulous meal!

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Today’s breakfast:

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I dropped my son off at camp, then headed to the gym. I ran some errands then came home for lunch. Same salad as Saturday:

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Have you ever played tennis beer pong??

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Friday, July 22, 2016

147.6...Shrimp Salad

One of the many salads I made at my Bunco on Monday was Shrimp Salad. I had never tried the recipe before but wasn’t worried. It’s an Ina Garten recipe. She can do no wrong in my book. The salad was fabulous, of course!

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Shrimp Salad (Serves 12)

Recipe from Ina Garten


3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. kosher salt

1 lemon cut into quarters

4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)

2 cups good mayonnaise

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp white wine or white wine vinegar

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 Tbsp minced fresh dill

1 cup minced red onion (1 onion)

3 cups minced celery (6 stalks)


1. Bring 5 quarts of water, 3 Tbsp salt, and the lemon to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for only 3 minutes or until the shrimp are barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Let cool; then peel, and devein the shrimp.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine or vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours. 

Printable Recipe 

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Lunch yesterday was a turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing. 

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After all the camp pickups were done, I took the kids to Pizza Rev for dinner. 

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It had been WAY too long since I’ve had this beautiful pizza!

This morning’s breakfast:

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Another crazy morning of camp drop offs. Then I went to Zumba at the gym, ran errands and came home for lunch. Same as yesterday:

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Happy Friday!!

Is there a certain chef that you trust their recipes implicitly? 

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