Labor Day Grilling It’s time to fire up the grill for your Labor Day celebration!  I plan to spend the day outside enjoying the weather with family and friends.  Whatever you plan to do, I hope you enjoy some delicious food and get good use of your grill before cooler weather hits.  It’s the perfect day for grilling and a picnic. I have a handful of grilling ideas and side dish suggestions for you to try to have the perfect spread.  Let’s start with the meat! Brats – there are so many brat varieties available, you are sure to find something for everyone on your guest list.  My favorite is the Chicken Fajita Brat found at the Chef’s Counter of your local Festival Foods.  Other varieties available include Philly Cheese Chicken, Octoberfest, Jalapeno Cheddar, Wild Rice, and more!  Don’t forget the fresh brat buns from the bakery! Burgers – probably the most popular food to grill.  Plus, burgers … Continue reading

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Orange Chicken is sure to be a hit at your dinner table.  The tender chicken is fried crisp and coated in a thick orange sauce.  There is no lack of flavor in this sweet and tangy dish.  It’s one of my favorite Asian dishes and will make you forget about takeout. The recipe can be found here. Start by cubing the chicken into small pieces.  Then add the chicken to the batter and toss to coat.  Let the chicken sit in the batter for about 10 minutes, then toss again. Heat about 2 cups of peanut oil in a wok or skillet.  I prefer to use a wok because it’s easier to stir and contains a lot of oil splatter, but you will get very similar results with a skillet.  Add the chicken and fry until crispy, making sure the chicken is also cooked through.  Remove the chicken to drain while you make the sauce, keeping the chicken … Continue reading

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We have been obsessed with flatbreads lately, specifically Naan flatbreads.  Naan is a leavened, oven-baked bread that is moist and tender.  And makes amazing flatbreads 🙂 One reason we love to make flatbreads is they are quick and easy, can be customized to any flavor preference, and taste great.  You simply buy a package of Naan bread, choose your toppings, bake, and enjoy.  The possibilities are endless! I have a few of our favorite recipes to share with you. Buffalo Chicken Naan Flatbread If you or your family likes spicy food, you’ll love this pizza.  It has the perfect amount of spice that is cut with celery chunks.  You can obviously make this as light or as spicy as you want by adding more hot sauce.  We usually make our own individual pizzas because Andrew likes his much spicier than I do.  Then the never-ending debate of Blue Cheese vs Ranch dressing starts…. but you can serve with … Continue reading

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What are potstickers?  My answer in one word: delicious. Potstickers are an Asian dumpling typically filled with meat and veggies, pan fried, and steamed to perfection.  They are crispy on the bottom, soft on the top, and worth the effort.  I’d like to share my favorite recipe for Chicken Potstickers with you. The recipe can be found here. Start by gathering all the ingredients you need to make the chicken “filling”.  Combine the chicken, scallions, bell pepper, egg, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a mixing bowl.  If you don’t mind getting your hand dirty, combine the ingredients by hand.  This really helps to blend everything together. It’s easiest to do all your prep work ahead of time.  Place 2 baking sheets on the counter.  Dampen paper towels and cover the bottom of one pan.  Dampen more paper towels to lay on top of the potstickers.  The potstickers will sit between the damp paper towels … Continue reading

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Recently we tried our hand at making pan seared scallops and they were a-m-a-z-i-n-g!  So, we thought why not combine them with one of our favorite foods to make – pasta.  Scallops are tender and have a fairly delicate flavor that goes really well with the rich ingredients in Carbonara sauce, and that is what we ended up with – a delicious Scallops Carbonara! The recipe can be found here. Andrew and I both love to cook, which really helped with this dish.  One of us could work on the pasta while the other focused on the scallops.  I made the pasta.  To start, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until done.  While the pasta is cooking, work on the sauce. Mix together the cream, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, and set aside.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp.  Add the shallots and green onion.  Crush … Continue reading

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I have a new favorite recipe to share with you.  It’s great for summertime because it has fresh veggies and a lighter taste…think pasta primavera.  It’s called Zucchini Parmesan Pasta.  Start by boiling water to cook the pasta noodles.  I went with Rigatoni, but any type of noodle will work.  Cook the pasta according to box instructions or al dente.  Reserve about ¾ cup of the pasta water before draining.  While the pasta is cooking, chop the veggies.  I found using small pieces helped the veggies cook faster and made it easier to turn into a sauce further into the recipe.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Make sure you are using a skillet large enough to hold the noodles when it comes time to mix!  Add the zucchini, squash, garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook the ingredients until the veggies are … Continue reading

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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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