Today started as many do in our house with my husband asking shortly after breakfast, “what’s for dinner?”. When I said Margarita Chicken Fajitas his response was “on the grill”? (this is a guy who loves his grill). Of course, wherever the chicken is cooked, it’s a pretty safe bet he’ll slather it in (a) buffalo sauce or (b) barbecue sauce. I have witnessed him blanket a beautiful herb-roasted chicken, baked to such a perfect golden brown it could almost be considered art in buffalo sauce.
I’m an accidental gardener ~ if I plant it and grows, it’s an accident. My oldest daughter has a green thumb that I’m pretty sure she got it from my husband. Every year we plant tomatoes, a variety of peppers and some other veggies that my husband meticulously cares for. They yield more tomatoes than two people could ever go through. I’m in charge of flowers and herbs. Every year flowers die off and need to be replaced and the herbs do okay, but the basil usually flourishes into a big, beautiful plant with the most amazing aroma and taste. There’s plenty for daily use in sauces, pizzas and caprese salads and a surplus that practically begs to be turned into Basil Spinach Pesto. If you aren’t growing basil you can still buy it practically everywhere and this recipe is spoon-licking good.
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As a child I logged a lot of miles on a bike I named Purple Haze. It was the 70’s; what can I say? Hopping on that white banana seat, hands tightly gripping the curled handlebars, streamers flying was pure, unadulterated summer fun. I could ride all over my neighborhood until the streetlights came on including a stop for my favorite treat – a chocolate cone dipped in crushed peanuts. That may have been the start of my lifelong love of ice cream. I’m all grown up now (most days) and though I didn’t drink coffee then, I can’t imagine starting my day without it now. I’m also a fan of Starbucks® Chai Latte so when I was asked to create a summer beverage to relax with at home, it was an easy ride to a Chai Tea Latte Milkshake ~ Tazo® Chai Tea Latte and coffee flavored ice cream.
How is it that we’re already into June? Temperatures here have thrown me off ~ upper 60’s during the day, some nights dipping into the 40’s. Finally this weekend we’re supposed to see temps in the 80’s and possibly 90’s, so this Strawberry Peach Sangria will definitely be on the menu. You’ve probably figured out by now that I like a nice glass of wine. No worries, nothing has changed. But there’s something special about sangria that makes it seem celebratory even though it’s as simple to make as Kool-Aid. Outdoor entertaining under a blue sky begs for summer beverages like Strawberry Peach Sangria and it’s not a coincidence that it contains my two favorite summer fruits.
There are a few summer menu must-haves at our house, Potato Salad being one and Tuna Macaroni Salad being the other. I don’t know why, but I only make them from Memorial to Labor Day. Tuna Macaroni Salad is as simple as summertime is supposed to be (like when you were a kid) and the flavor just may take you back to that time. This was one of my first newly married recipes and like Potato Salad I can practically make it with my eyes closed. Make it a couple of times and it’ll be the same for you. I’m still holding out hope my family will learn to love peas like I do and when that happens, I’ll be adding them by the fistful, but until then. . .
We’re a pizza-loving household and even though we don’t always agree on toppings, we always enjoy it homemade, hot out of the oven. I thought by now we had grilled everything from hot dogs to jalapenos; steak to potatoes, until I realized we had never grilled pizza ~ probably because I didn’t know how and it seemed intimidating. So when we finally had a sunny, warm day in the middle of the wettest spring I can remember, I decided to roll up my sleeves, fire up the grill and learn how to How to Grill Pizza.
When spring hits we switch menus at our house ~ no more meatloaf, gravies and thick soups for a while ~ now we’re all about grilling and our favorite summer side, this Potato Salad Recipe. It isn’t Memorial Weekend without it and it shows up many times throughout the summer. I’ve made it so many times I could almost do it with my eyes closed (if only it didn’t require the use of a sharp knife). I’m kind of a potato salad snob and I’ve turned my family into PS snobs, too. It’s not a proud moment that I admit this, but it’s true. This is a classic, old fashioned version ~ nothing fancy ~ but if your grandma made potato said, chances are it tasted a lot like this one and like grandma’s, it’s the first thing to disappear at any gathering.