Monday, May 29, 2017

Tastes of Summer

Okay. So it's not technically summer. But it has been so busy these last 2 months and school is officially out around here and we FINALLY finished spreading the mountain of mulch that was delivered in April (!?!) and well, it feels like summer to me!

This recipe comes from one of my very best friends and it always reminds me of the epic summer cookout weekends we use to have at her house before we had kids. It's quick, easy, yummy and laced with nostalgia. :)

Jess's Grilled Chicken - GF, DF
Serves 4
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. olive oil mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 t. oregano
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. pepper
8 chicken cutlets
Cooking spray
Make the marinade by combining the first 6 ingredients in a liquid measuring cup. Place the chicken in a gallon size storage bag and pour the marinade over top. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can and then seal the top. Massage the chicken to evenly distribute the marinade. Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat (or heat up your outdoor grill!). Use tongs to remove the chicken from the bag and shake off the excess marinade. Discard the marinade. Cook cutlets on grill pan in 2 batches (or on outdoor grill) for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

I am the only one in my family who likes this, but I like it so much that I make it every summer and eat the whole bowl myself! It's light and simple and makes a great barbecue side dish.

Serves 8
10 oz. package frozen corn
1 English cucumber
1/2 small red onion
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 T. sugar
2 T. water
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Cook corn according to package instructions. Dice cucumber and red onion. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and chill for several hours.

This is dangerously good. Super quick. Super Delicious. Super easy to drink a whole pitcher yourself. You have been warned. :)

Serves 4
1 navel orange
1 nectarine
750 mL bottle sauvignon blanc
1 can ginger ale
6 oz. package blackberries, washed
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Halve and thinly slice the orange and nectarine and place in a large pitcher. Pour wine over top and chill for 1-6 hours. Right before serving, stir in the ginger ale, blackberries, and mint. Spoon some of the fruit into glasses and top with sangria.

This isn't really a summer recipe, but it's a family favorite that I happened to have on the menu this week. So voila!

My husband is a Cincinnati native and when I used to come home with him to visit his family I was introduced to Skyline Chili. I loved it and I used to crave it back in Baltimore where Skyline doesn't exist - so I found this awesome recipe. And my picky-eater-husband who always ordered hot dogs with cheese, actually likes Skyline Chili now! And even though we can walk to a Skyline from where we live now, I still like to make my own. I prefer macaroni to Skyline's sloppy spaghetti noodles and I like to increase the chili to noodle ratio on my plate. Don't let the long ingredient list intimidate you. This is a super easy recipe - the hardest part is pulling everything out of your pantry! 

Serves 8
1 T. vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. chili powder
1 T. oregano
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. allspice
14 oz can low sodium chicken broth
14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 T. cider vinegar
2 t. brown sugar
1 1/2 lb. 85% lean ground beef
1 lb. macaroni noodles
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Oyster crackers
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Cook onions about 8 minutes until soft and brown around the edges. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and allspice and cook about 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
2. Add beef and break up meat with a potato masher. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 15-20 minutes.
3. Cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Serve chili over noodles and top with cheese and oyster crackers.

This is about as simple as it gets and is so tart and refreshing in the summertime! We like to pair it with Coconut Bliss Naked Coconut "ice cream" for a really delicious dessert duo!

Serves 8
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Juice of 8 limes
Lime zest (optional)
Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lime juice and chill overnight or at least 6 hours. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Return to airtight container and freeze at least 3 hours before serving. Sprinkle with lime zest if desired. 

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