Summer is the best time of year for a refreshing cocktail.  Whether you are sitting on the deck enjoying the weather, hosting a BBQ, spending a day at the beach….you get the idea 😊…a festive cocktail can really help beat the heat.  I’ve compiled a list of 4 of my favorite cocktails.  They are fun, bright, and full of flavor.  Blue Hawaiian Cocktail This cocktail is essentially a blue version of a Pina Colada and promises a little taste of tropical paradise.  It’s designed to make you feel like summer no matter how bad the weather is outside.  I chose to serve this drink “on the rocks” style by pouring over ice but you can also create a blended version of the cocktail by mixing all the ingredients with ice in a blender.  It’s very easy to make – shake the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, pour over ice, … Continue reading

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There’s no denying it – I love chicken wings!  With so many flavor varieties and dipping sauces, they’re not only a delicious meal but allow you to try something different each time.  Think potluck, football party, backyard BBQ, afternoon snack, etc.  Chicken wings fit the menu for most occasions.  I have 4 baked chicken wing recipes to share with you today.  These are some of my favorite recipes, so I hope you enjoy them.  Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings are super easy to make.  You basically toss the chicken wings and oil and bake until crispy, then toss in a delicious combination of hot sauce and melted butter.  These are probably the most popular wings around due to the mildy sweet and sour taste with a spicy aftermath.  I prefer to dip mine in ranch dressing, but blue cheese dressing is a great alternative.  Because the wings can be spicy it’s … Continue reading

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There is nothing like a juicy burger hot off the grill, chilled cocktail in hand, and warm weather to cure those winter blues.  I want to share some of my favorite chicken/turkey burger recipes with you now that it’s starting to feel like summer!  These are all a nice break from typical hamburgers and healthier for you (well, maybe not once you add all the toppings).  I think they are very flavorful, simple to make, and delicious to eat.  The first recipe I want to share is for Buffalo Chicken Burgers.  These are ¼ pound burgers that taste just like buffalo wings but without the mess.  Who wouldn’t want that?  I like to top my burger with extra buffalo sauce and a little ranch dressing, then add a small amount of each onto my plate for extra dipping sauce.  This burger would also pair well with blue cheese.  The recipe … Continue reading

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Black Bean Burgers are all the rage…in my life 😊 I know, I know…why would you want to eat a bland black bean burger when you could eat a juicy beef burger, you ask? Because they are quick and easy to make, packed with flavor, and a delicious (meatless) option.  I dare you to give them a try!  Plus, these are a great alternative to the frozen kind and will make you never want to eat a frozen burger again.   The recipe can be found here. The recipe involves mixing all the ingredients in a food processor, forming into patties, refrigerating, frying, and enjoying – all in 15 minutes!  Forming the patties can be slightly sticky so I recommend coating your hands with oil and forming the mixture into 4 balls, then flattening into patties.  Allow the patties to cool for at least 1 hour but keep them in the … Continue reading

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Ok jockeys, quit horsing around it’s time for some Kentucky Derby Themed recipes.  I’ve got the Triple Crown of recipes for you now, so bear with me! First up we’re serving Bourbon Meatballs which you’ll find have an exquisite sweet heat to them.  We started with Mom’s Meatloaf, found in our Meat Department.  Place the meatloaf in a bowl and mix together with finely chopped onion then form into 1″ balls (use a small scoop to help make uniform size).  Heat some olive oil in a skillet and brown each of the meatballs, then transfer to a baking sheet and place into your preheated oven (at 350F) until cooked through.   Next up we are going to work on our bourbon sauce. To make the bourbon sauce, you’re going to need apricot preserves, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, hot chili sauce, molasses, water, and bourbon.  Tempting as it may be to drink, you … Continue reading

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How much Mexican food do I plan to eat this Cinco de Mayo, you ask? That’s nacho business! Break out the margaritas!  Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with some delicious food and refreshing cocktails.  I have a handful of recipes that are full of flavor and easy to throw together for a last-minute party.  Here’s what’s on the menu: Chunky Guacamole with Tortilla Chips White Queso Dip with Tortilla Chips Mexican Corn Tostadas Chicken Taquitos Mexican Pasta Salad with Chipotle Lime Dressing Cubano Style Tacos Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars Tequila Sunrise     Not only are these great recipes for Cinco de Mayo, but they are light and refreshing options for any summer dinner.  Plus, you can make them as mild or spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of seasoning you add.  First up is Chunky Guacamole.  This is … Continue reading

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Winter is the best time of year to have chili!  It’s hearty, delicious, keeps you warm on a cold day, and is super easy to make.  One thing I love about chili is the “set it and forget it” mentality.  Once you combine the ingredients and set the timer, the slow cooker does all the work and you have a wonderful meal 4-8 hours later.  I personally like this on busy weekends because we don’t have to worry about dinner, spend time planning and cooking, etc. but still get to enjoy a nice meal.  I have two different chicken chili options to share with you.  I like a bit of heat/spice in my chili and think both recipes have the perfect amount.  You get an amazing combination of chicken, veggies, and spices without it being too overwhelming.  If you are anything like Andrew and love spicy food, you can always … Continue reading

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Well we’re back to that time of year again, Mardi Gras.  Unfortunate timing this year that Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day are backed up so close together, but we couldn’t resist doing some fun New Orleans recipes for you. First up, let’s get our cocktail game started.  We made our very own Hurricanes.  We simplified some of the more detailed recipes usually found.  All you need is mango passion fruit juice, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, white rum and dark rum.  These are strong drinks, fit for anyone ready to party Mardi Gras style! Starting with our appetizers we decided to do scallops with a sweet chili sauce.  A very simple dish, you thaw the scallops and simply dry with paper toweling, sear both sides, then serve with sweet chili sauce. Our main course was Jambalaya, though instead of Andouille Sausage, we used Festival’s Cheddar Chicken Fajita Brats.  It’s … Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I’m feeling the love.  Our house is decorated with everything red and pink, I’ve picked out the perfect Valentine for my sweethearts (yes, I’m including the dog 😊), and we have a wonderful menu planned.  A lot of people like to go out to eat on Valentine’s Day and there is nothing wrong with that, but we usually opt to stay in and prepare a nice meal together.  It takes away from the rushed atmosphere you often feel at a restaurant on a busy day and allows you to really spend time together and do something fun together.  We both love to cook so it’s the perfect option for us!    The menu we prepared has a few new items, but everything is easy to make.  We’ll start with a Caprese Salad appetizer and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make the … Continue reading

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Christmas is my favorite holiday to host.  I think it’s due to my love of Christmas lights and decorations, so our house is always over the top!  Plus, there are so many festive serveware options available that you can change up your table display as often as you like.  (New Christmas plates…hint hint, Andrew 😊) Sometimes I like to go all out with appetizers and the main course but there isn’t anything wrong with keeping it simple if you prefer.  I truly enjoy cooking for others and putting on a big spread but also want to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.  So, I decided to keep my menu simple this year.  I’ll be serving a few appetizers with some of the drinks from my Christmas Cocktails blog post. The first appetizer I’m going to make is Ricotta and Prosciutto Crackers.  This is a light appetizer because it’s not … Continue reading

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