Cilantro Pasta Salad

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We slow smoked a couple of pork roasts and a brisket recently and needed something that would be light and slightly spicy to offset the delicious meat.  Thus was born the awesomeness that is Cilantro Pasta Salad.  We both love the Cilantro Ranch Dressing we get from Fresh and Easy.  It is the slightly spicy love child of ranch and green goddess salad dressings.  The result is the perfect salad dressing.

Toss warm pasta, dressing, sliced bell peppers. shredded cheese, and fresh pick cilantro together.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve with finely sliced green onions.  It is the perfect pasta salad for BBQ dinners, a light lunch, and a quick late night snack for those nights when it is just too hot to sleep.

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Slutty Brownies

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So, surfing out of boredom a couple of weeks ago I found this blog posting for a recipe for a concoction known as slutty brownies.  The name is appropriate given the simple but decadent list of ingredients: chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreo cookies, and brownie batter.  It had been a tough couple of days here and so I decided to be adventurous and try the recipe.

I picked up all the ingredients while we were out shopping yesterday afternoon and promptly made the brownies when my husband opened the first bottle of chocolate wine we had ever tried.  (Yeah I know, the wine sounds AWFUL but it was surprisingly great.  Closer to Bailey’s than wine, but with less of an after bite if you don’t like the taste of whiskey.)  Chocolate wine definitely begs for chocolate dessert to be enjoyed at the same time, thus the brownies went in the oven immediately after dinner.

My husbands reviews “Waste of an excellent brownie mix” and with those simple words he adequately summed up the brownies.  Don’t get me wrong, they are RICH but there is simply too much going on to be enjoyed.   Fresh & Easy makes an excellent brownie mix, Double Fudge Brownies to be precise, and honestly, it is just as good as my brownies from scratch and they come together much faster. 

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I won’t be making Slutty Brownies again.  They were too rich and no individual component stood out on it’s own.  Rather they were a mix of great flavors we love without the taste of the great flavors.  Chocolate chip cookies should not have to compete with Oreos and brownies for attention.

Update: These brownies are MUCH MUCH better the next day.  Neither of us could believe the difference in taste and enjoyment was so dramatically improved just by letting them sit over night.