When will this excessive heat end? I know I shouldn’t keep complaining about it because come January I’ll be wishing for it ~ the stifling feeling long forgotten ~ but for now, maybe just a few degrees cooler, please? I’m taking a break today from all things cooked and bringing you these Caprese Skewers. Not only do they take in the freshness of summer produce, but it doesn’t take you anywhere near that fire-breathing box in your kitchen.
Greektown is a fun, lively neighborhood located in the heart of Detroit. The sound of Greek music playing and the aroma of some of the best traditional Greek cuisine anywhere are all around. It’s what I like to imagine Greece is actually like. There is even a casino and high above is the People Mover, Detroit’s transit system. Baklava from Astoria Bakery is To Die For. Yes, the capital letters are necessary. It’s that good. I’m usually too full for dessert but that doesn’t stop me from getting some to take home, nestled in that little white box tied neatly with string. Flaming cheese served with an enthusiastic opa! and Tzatziki are also staples in Greektown and while Tzatziki is easy to make at home, flaming cheese, because of the potential for your igniting your kitchen or losing your eyebrows, is probably a dish best left to the professionals.
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I get excited when the weather finally turns like it did a few months ago – translation – grilling without boots and a coat — and because not only do I love grilled food, but I also dislike doing dishes so much, that I’ve made it my personal mission to cook as many meals as possible outside on the grill. Do you go to ridiculous lengths to get out of doing dishes, too? Don’t get me wrong ~ I haven’t gone all paper products on you and put the dishwasher out to pasture. But multiple pots and pans ~ ugh ~ I can definitely do without, especially when the sun is out, the temps are up and friends are stopping by! Grilled Flank Steak and Roasted Corn Salsa is made completely without any pots, pans or skillets leaving more time to enjoy a cold Heineken, catch up with friends, share a few laughs and some good food. Isn’t that what this gorgeous summer weather is all about?
“This post was sponsored by Indian River Select® Brand and I have received compensation for this post. All opinions are mine”.
Michigan is a great place to live, work and raise a family. That doesn’t mean though that if given the opportunity to escape the harsh Michigan winters we won’t head south to Florida. My family and I love vacationing there and made the trek many times when our kids were small. . . all 1200+ miles. . .in a mini van. . .with young children. Are you getting the visual? Driving happens to be my husband’s favorite mode of transportation. We’re spurred on though, smiling through comments like “she’s on my side!” by memories of warm, sunny days there. Because we’ve spent so much time in Florida, we’re familiar with where to shop and brands we could only get there, like Indian River Select juices (my personal favorite is the ruby red grapefruit). Guess what? Indian River Select juices are available now in Michigan in local Meijer stores!
I don’t mind taking one for the team sometimes. I’ll gladly do it today for this Honey Garlic Salmon. That garlicky scent will linger on my fingertips long after the salmon is gone. I’ve tried different methods to get rid of the aroma, but even a couple of days after I can still catch a faint whiff. I’m totally okay with it because this salmon is well worth it. Browned butter, sweetened with honey, a bit of tang from fresh-squeezed lemon, some garlic and all of it infused with sage leaves. Pull up a chair for some delicious Honey Garlic Salmon and easy tips for how to make browned butter.
The inspiration for this recipe is partly from many girls’ lunches and dinners at California Pizza Kitchen and one of their classics, the Avocado Club Eggroll. If you’ve never been to Cali Pizza, it’s time. The menu goes way beyond creative pizza and salads. Maybe they should change their name to California Pizza and Lots of Other Good Food Kitchen. But that’s for another post. The tasty filling for these Chicken Avocado Club Wontons is nestled in a mini wonton cup, then baked not fried so they’re a bit healthier, leaving room for wine. . .and dessert.
I love shopping at my local farmer’s market so I try to carve out time every weekend to go and my travel companion is always a large to-go mug of hazelnut flavored coffee. I walk to the far end of the market seeing what catches my eye, then slowly stroll back sipping my coffee and make my purchases. A couple of months ago, I tried my first morel mushroom and now I’m hooked ~ and I do mean hooked on them. Morels have a short season and it’s passed, but there are a lot of other wild mushrooms I’m wild about. This Mushroom Pizza has just a handful of ingredients, but is big on flavor thanks to the wild mushrooms.
I love a good pie and I’m not ashamed to admit “good” pies do not come out of my kitchen. I’ve yet to master a really good crust, even though sweetened and baked is my favorite way to eat fruit. I’ve mastered Apple Crisp though, a great fall dessert. This Triple Berry Crisp is Apple Crisp’s summer rendition featuring fresh summer berries, baked and served in a cast iron skillet and topped with whipped ricotta cheese flavored with vanilla and honey. Oatmeal and fruit. No one will judge you if you eat this dessert for breakfast.
I don’t read much of the newspaper these days, but every Thursday, I make a beeline (I just dated myself again) for the Food Section in our local paper. It has a classier name, but it escapes me right now. There’s usually a recipe or two I cut out and tuck away in my Little Black Book of recipe inspiration. About two years ago the Food Section shared a recipe for Mushroom Risotto. I had eaten risotto in restaurants but never attempted it at home, so I cut it out, made it and fell head over heels in love with my own risotto. I hate to brag, but, but sometimes you just have to blow your own horn. A couple of my favorite risottos are a version of that Mushroom Risotto where I add dried cherries and the other is a Lemon Parmesan that is ah-mazing with pan seared scallops. Today I’m sharing a Tomato Basil Risotto that had me filling my plate more than once. I’m only slightly embarrassed to say I stopped at thirds because my stomach was ready to burst. This Tomato Basil Risotto just may kick the others to the curb. Risotto isn’t hard to make, but it’s like caring for a toddler, and imagine what happens when that toddler is left unattended. . .
I used to take my kids strawberry picking. If they had weighed my youngest when we got there and again when we left, there probably would have been a surcharge she ate so many berries! I haven’t gone picking in a long time, but I happened to score some just-picked strawberries a couple of weeks ago at my local farmer’s market. I made strawberry shortcake but because we we’re in the middle of another 90+ degree spell, I was craving a refreshing, relaxing adult beverage, so I started experimenting. My kids used to have lemonade stands when they were young. How hard can it be? The result is this adults-only Spiked Strawberry Lemonade and wow, is it good.