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Copycat Cafe Rio Salad // Tried and TastyA couple of weeks ago I put together a Mexican fiesta of sorts. I’d been really wanting some Cafe Rio and rather than going out to get it, I decided to make it all from scratch.. because that’s easier than jumping in the car right? We had the works and it was DELICIOUS! If you have never had Cafe Rio’s soup, you HAVE to try my Copycat Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup recipe. It’s AMAZING! So flavorful and so delicious. We also had Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken, Copycat Cafe Rio Guacamole and Pico De Gallo  It was an all out Mexican feast including my Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, Copycat Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice and of course my Copycat Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing! I wish I could have invited you all because it was so tasty I thought for sure I was at the restaurant. Plus I had lots of leftovers (which I never have when I eat there sadly!). With all the key components, it only made sense to have salads at some point too right? 

If you’re a local, I’ll be teaching a class at the Pinners Conference on ‘Copycat Favorites’. If you’re free Friday November 7th @ 1:30 come to my class at the South Towne Expo Center and taste a couple of yummy recipes from your favorite restaurants that you can make right at home! Register here & use the code ‘triedandtasty’ for $5 off! Not only would it be great to grub together, I’d love to meet you! Hope to see you there!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting // Tried and TastyI’m a huge cream cheese frosting fan. Buttercream frosting is good, but there’s just something about a cream cheese frosting that is great. When I was making my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes I decided to add a festive frosting flavor to them. I was originally going to go with plain, but then when I realized I had just a little bit of pumpkin puree leftover I knew I needed to add it to my frosting. The end result? The most amazing frosting with the perfect hint of pumpkin perfect for your fall cakes, cupcakes, and cookies.

One of my absolute favorite recipes for Cream Cheese Frosting I posted several years back. Keeping that recipe in mind, I altered it ever so slightly and ended up with a bowl of the most perfectly fall yummy goodness. I had made the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes for a work potluck, but decided to double the recipe and make a bundt cake as well. I’m a huge bundt cake fan (they always seem to work better for me, and I think they are prettier or course). If you’d like to make a bundt cake as well all you’d need to do is grease & flour your bundt pan, then bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes (until a toothpick inserted comes out clean). Frost with your Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting and voila! You’ve got a beautiful and delicious dessert perfect for your holiday party!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes w/Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting // Tried and TastyHappy Halloween! We are nearing the end of pumpkin season and I couldn’t let this time of year go by without posting this recipe. In fact, I’ve been hanging on to this recipe since last fall! I had made my Zucchini Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting for a friend, and one bite in she fell in love. So much so that she made it right after at least two or three times in a row. After making it a few times, she decided to make a pumpkin version and brought me some to sample. It was out of this world good. I’ve been wanting to make it ever since but never got around to it.

It feels strange posting a recipe with white sugar and white flour (because I hardly ever cook with either anymore), but I had a work potluck yesterday and knew that I wanted to make and share my friends yummy recipe. At the last minute I realized that cupcakes are much easier to feed a crowd (and less messy than cake) so instead of a bundt cake I made cupcakes. The result? Pure deliciousness! Oh, and the frosting is killer!!! I’ll be posting that recipe first thing tomorrow, so come back for that!


October 29, 2014 4 comments

Hearty Turkey Chili // Tried and TastyIf you can’t tell, I’ve got a thing for soups and stews. When the weather starts cooling down, I break out my warm weather soup recipes (and usually my slow cooker too!). On of our favorite recipes is my Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili. It’s divine! We had family over the other night and I thought I’d switch it up a bit and throw in some meat. I also realized that I was out of a few ingredients and needed to improvise. The result? This wonderfully delicious Hearty Turkey Chili!

My slow cooker (or crock pot) has been working in overdrive the past few weeks and I’ve been loving every minute. It’s so nice to have the extra time to worry about everything else there is to worry about, while letting the slow cooker do all of the work. Not to mention making your house smell amazing for hours on end. Although this recipe is stove-top, it can easily be made in to a crock pot meal with the use of dry beans, that are also better for you anyway! I know everyone has a great chili recipe, but this one truly is one that you should make!

Copycat Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup // Tried and TastyTo go along with my Cafe Rio kick this past week and I was eager to try their Tortilla Soup. Because we had the Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken, Copycat Cafe Rio Guacamole and Pico De Gallo already (for a dinner party I threw) it was a cinch to make! Have you ever had Cafe Rio’s Tortilla Soup? It’s AMAZING! So flavorful and so delicious. It was an all out Mexican feast including my Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, Copycat Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice (that we made in to salads) and topped with Copycat Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing! I wish I could have invited you all because it was so tasty I thought for sure I was at the restaurant.

I know I’ve said it before, but there is something about making your restaurant favorites right at home. I love that you can control the ingredients and you know exactly what you’re eating. The beauty of the copycat recipes that I have (they can all be found here) is that they all taste exactly like the original..at least I think so! For the locals, I’ll be teaching a class at the Pinners Conference on ‘Copycat Favorites’. If you’re free Friday November 7th @ 1:30 come to my class and taste all of the yummy recipes from your favorite restaurants that you can make right at home! Register here & use the code ‘triedandtasty’ for $5 off! Not only would it be great to grub together, I’d love to meet you!

Copycat Cafe Rio Guacamole // Tried and TastyI’m a huge guacamole fan. Like major. There’s just something about some fresh homemade guac that I can’t get enough of. I’ve been on a Cafe Rio kick this past week and I figured I go all out. I threw a little dinner party with the whole shebang. We had the Copycat Cafe Rio Chicken & Copycat Cafe Rio Sweet Pork with Copycat Cafe Rio Cilantro Lime Rice – made them in to salads and topped them with Copycat Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing! The cherry on top? Copycat Cafe Rio Guacamole! Since we had the Pico De Gallo already it was a cinch to make!

You don’t need to go crazy in the kitchen like I did to enjoy this tasty dip. I’d recommend this version of guacamole any day. In our house, chips and guacamole are just as popular as chips and salsa. But answer me this, why is it that when you buy avocados either none of them are ripe and ready when you want them, or all of them are ripe and ready at the same time and you can’t use them fast enough? We typically buy ours from Costco and always run in to that problem. It’s comical. When we’ve got too many ready, we make guac!


October 23, 2014 4 comments

Pico de Gallo // Tried and TastyWhen I’m asked what my favorite food is it’s hard for me to narrow down. Mostly because I just love all food and I’m not picky, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. With that said, Mexican food is a pretty strong contender for being a favorite for sure. This past week has been an all out fiesta around our house and I’ve got a couple of recipes I’m excited to share with you soon! Pico De Gallo is one of those under-utilized condiments. Salsa gets all the fame and glory, but what about pico?

I know it’s no longer summer, so this Pico De Gallo recipe may seem like it’s coming out of left field, but trust me, you’ll want this recipe for my next post I’ve got up my sleeve! Whenever I go to Cafe Rio I always order the sweet pork salad with extra Pico De Gallo. Pico De Gallo is a fantastic condiment that can be served with any of your favorite Mexican dishes. Great as a topping on tacos, enchiladas, or salads. Perfect served with chips! Any way you dice it, this flavorful combo will add just what you need to your meal! And with less than five ingredients, you can throw this together in a jiffy anytime.

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