Margarita Chicken Fajitas

Margarita Chicken Fajitas: tequila-jalapeno-citrus marinade. Grill or sauté indoors with peppers and onions for flavor packed sizzling fajitas.

Dinner | June 22, 2017 | By

 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.

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Basil Spinach Pesto

Basil Spinach Pesto ~ a simple no-cook sauce delicious on pasta, pizza or as an appetizer, made completely in a food processor or blender.

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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Chai Tea Latte Milkshake

This Chai Tea Latte Milkshake shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CraftYourCool  #CollectiveBias

Chai Tea Latte Milkshake: 3 ingredients: Tazo® Chai Tea Latte Concentrate, ice cream & milk. Optional: top with whipped cream for a delicious summer treat.

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 MilkshakeTazo® Chai Tea Latte and coffee flavored ice cream.

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Strawberry Peach Sangria

Strawberry Peach Sangria with Rosé : ideal summer beverage. Pairs with barbecue, spicy dishes, chicken, pork, seafood, charcuterie or grilled pizza.

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.

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Grilled Pork Ribs and Beerbecue Sauce

Grilled Pork Ribs and Beerbecue Sauce: dry rubbed, slow grilled & slathered with homemade beerbecue sauce. Ideal for Father's Day or anytime.

Dinner | June 6, 2017 | By

Spare ribs are serious barbecue food, cave-man-style good and just what Dad wants for Father’s Day. That’s not to say dogs and burgers or even chicken aren’t good ~ they are ~ but there’s something about leaning over a plate of grilled ribs, throwing caution, along with table manners to the wind and gnawing on bone after tasty bone. That brings me to these Grilled Pork Ribs and Beerbecue Sauce (because what goes better with ribs than a smoky beer barbecue sauce?). Tender, with just the right amount of give when your teeth hit them and so delicious you’ll want to make them for Father’s Day and not stop until summer ends.

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Tuna Macaroni Salad

Tuna Macaroni Salad: classic with real mayonnaise, chopped celery, onions and packed with tuna. Perfect for picnics + BBQ's from Memorial to Labor Day.

Side Dish | June 2, 2017 | By

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. . .

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How to Grill Pizza

Learn How to Grill Pizza at home ~ thin, lightly crispy-charred tastes like wood-fired from your favorite restaurant, topped with all your favorites.

Dinner | May 31, 2017 | By

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.

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Layered Taco Dip

Layered Taco Dip: WARNING: it's too good to stop eating. Refried beans, spicy Greek yogurt, avocado, cheese, peppers. Just add tortilla chips.

Do you have a signature dish you’re always asked to bring to parties? My sister-in-law has had a few over the years: a Harvey Wallbanger Cake (definitely dating myself), a creamy chocolate layered dessert called Chocolate Olsen, then came her Dill Dip with fresh cut vegetables and her ridiculously delicious Cheesy Potatoes that she gave me the recipe for but mine never turns out as tasty as hers – it’s probably the love she adds to every dish. I don’t really have a signature dish, but anytime my youngest daughter comes over she: (a) is hungry and (b) asks “do you have stuff to make The Dip?”. I know exactly which dip she’s craving. It’s this Layered Taco Dip that made so many times I’ve lost count. The dip we devour it like wild dogs. 

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Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

Dinner | May 22, 2017 | By

This Grilled Marinated Flank Steak shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KickinItWithKikkoman #CollectiveBias

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak: marinated steak grills in under 10 minutes for tender, juicy flavor + tips re: how to slice to guarantee tenderness!

What’s your favorite way to entertain? I love potluck style where everyone brings a dish to share because even though I’m a food blogger and cook a lot, it’s fun to sample other people’s recipes and let’s face it — when we’re asked to bring a dish, we bring our A Game. As the hostess, I supply the main dish and this Grilled Marinated Flank Steak makes an appearance a lot because it’s always tender, juicy and practically bursts with flavor. My guests are assigned appetizers or dessert but I’ve gotta say, I have the easy part. I marinate the flank steak and chop some seasonal vegetables the night before. When it’s time for dinner, grilling magic happens in less than 10 minutes. Seriously. Grilling. Magic. Today I’m not only bringing my A Game, but I’m bringing all the flavor.

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Potato Salad Recipe

Creamy, classic old fashioned (hard boiled egg) Potato Salad Recipe like the kind from your childhood that disappears first at picnics and gatherings.

Side Dish | May 19, 2017 | By

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.

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