Orzo & Feta Salad

This is a very refreshing salad to bring to a party or serve at lunchtime. We used to have a grocery store that made an excellent version of this, and The recipe that follows is the inspiration. I also borrowed heavily from a version that Gia DeLaurentis makes. The beauty is you can add or sub in any ingredients you want – There are versions with fresh tomatoes or garbanzo beans, for example.

Recipe level: easy

Serves: 6

Time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c. orzo
  • 4 c. Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 3/4 cup feta
  • 1/2 cup sweet pepper, chopped fine
  • Sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
  • 1/4 c pitted kalamata olives, quartered

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 c. Red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 c. Virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. Fresh mint

Step one:

Boil the chicken broth and add the orzo. Make sure to stir, because orzo can get starchy. Cook for about seven minutes and then drain and set aside.

Step two:

Assemble the dressing and then toss with drained orzo.

Step three:

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Planning a Hobbit Party

Every year for my daughter’s birthday, I throw a neighborhood party with a theme of her choosing. With pinterest, a little creativity, and some fun I have pulled off some great parties over the years. This year my daugher read The Hobbit and fell in love with the book, so naturally our party had to be based on Bilbo Baggins and the Shire. We always have a pinata as a tradition, so I found one from Amazon and filled it with candy I bought at Walmart.
The Menu –
  • Seed Cakes
  • Lembas Bread
  • Gollum’s Wriggling Fish – Swedish fish
  • Smaug’s Fire Dip – Buffalo chicken dip
  • Chocolate & Vanilla cupcakes – Hobbit rings from Amazon
  • Green Dragon Ale – Ginger Ale
  • Prancing Pony Potion – Koolaid
  • Brown Dragon Brew – Root Beer
  • Second Breakfast – Fruits and Veggies
  • Elevensies – Hamburgers and Hot dogs
I simply used parchment paper (that I had from my office) and a sharpie. Also, we found some games and used some “Hello My Name is” tags, as well.
More Decorations

Buffalo Chicken Dip


I made this for my daughter’s Hobbit party, and called it: Smaug’s fire dip

Many people have their version of Buffalo chicken dip, but this is my favorite – stolen from my friend Hector:)

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
16 oz.  Philadelphia cream cheese – full fat, softened
1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup Frank’s Red Hot original or Buffalo
2 (12.5 oz) cans of drained white chicken breast or rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
1-2 dollops of sour cream (not too much or it will ruin the flavor)

HEAT oven to 350°F. Blend cream cheese, garlic, and salad dressing until smooth. Mix hot sauce, cheese and chicken. Pour into a baking dish (8×8). BAKE 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through and bubbling. After it has cooled down, blend the ingredients.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos


This is a recipe I modified from: http://stayforsupper.com/2012/08/21/buffalo-chicken-taquitos/ and it has been a good hit. If you wrap the taquitos tightly, it will yield about 18.

Serve with blue cheese dip and/or celery sticks. You can also cut the hot sauce with regular buffalo sauce to diminish the heat.

  1. tortillas – I prefer El Banderito – some brands aren’t that good for rolling i.e. mission
  2. 4 cups shredded chicken – you can cook it yourself, or use a rotisserie
  3. 2 cups mozzarella
  4. 4 oz cream cheese
  5. 1/3 cup franks hot sauce
  6. 1/3 cup milk
  7. 2 tbs butter
  8. 1 clove garlic, minced
  9. sea salt & pepper, to taste
  10. 1 tsp cumin
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pot over medium low heat, melt butter.
  3. Add garlic and cumin
  4. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and completely combined with butter and spices.
  5. Wisk in hot sauce and milk and simmer for 5 – 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Combine chicken and sauce.
  7. Lay out a tortilla; I use maybe 2 tbs chicken and a sprinkle of mozzarella.           IMG_0208          IMG_0210-0
  8. Tightly roll up taquito and place on a greased baking sheet; repeat until chicken is gone. I use a pastry brush and water to seal the tortilla well.                                                                                    IMG_0212
  9. Brush taquitos with vegetable oil on all sides.                                            IMG_0213
  10. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes; rotate them every 5 minutes, until golden brown


Serve and Enjoy:)