Thursday, July 30, 2015

Loaded Beergarita Grilled Chicken

Summer is the perfect time for margaritas. Don't they taste amazing on a hot summer day? Plus there are tons of fresh off the vine berries in season right now and they make for a delicious array of margarita flavors.  One type of margarita that doesn't get all the play is a beergarita. If you have not tried one before you must- perfect for warm summer evening on the deck. 

In addition to drinking beergaritas, I love looking with the flavors in the drink. The citrus flavor with the beer makes a fantastic marinade for chicken. The sugar from the mix allows for a delicious char on the chicken and the citrus flavor is really bright and flavorful. I like to load up my chicken with ripe avocado, tomatoes, onions, cotija cheese, and sour cream. The flavors are craveable and absolutely mouth watering. 

Kellen, Ron and I loved this chicken with piled high toppings. It was a perfect meal for a warm summer night, and it went perfectly with a ice cold margarita on the rocks. 

Last night, Kellen and I met friends at an area splash pad and enjoyed that warm weather. It has been really warm this week and we love taking advantage of the fantastic weather. I am really excited to get to Door County this weekend for a little beach sitting and water splashing! Tonight, we are relaxing at home and I am going to make a quick run to the gym. We are also grilling a new pork chop recipe tonight so stay tuned! 


Instructions

1 cup margarita mix (store bought will work too)
1 cup beer (I use Corona)
1/2 Tbl salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbl olive oil
1 1/2-2lb chicken breasts

Garnishes: 
 Sliced Avocado
Crumbled Cotija Cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped Onion
Chopped Tomatoes

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together mix, beer, salt, cumin, garlic and olive oil. Place chicken into a large resealable bag and pout in marinade. Toss to coat. Allow chicken to marinate for at least 8 hours.

Heat grill to medium. Remove chicken from bag and place on the grill. Grill 4-5 minutes per side. The cooking time will depend of the piece of chicken. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees. 

Remove from grill. Slice and top with desired garnishes. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pepperoni Pizza Burger

Like many of us, I am a big fan of a plain jane cheeseburger, but sometimes I like to do a little poking around to find different types of burger recipes. 

When I was in high school I worked at a burger and custard shop and they made very yummy pizza burgers. I remember loving them, but it is not something that I often make at home. I have had Pioneer Woman's recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Burgers bookmarked for forever, and finally decided that I needed to make them for my family. 

The recipe is simple: beef, sausage, cheese, pepperoni and pizza sauce. Easy as pie, right?  The original recipe calls for the burgers to be cooked in a skillet, but I grill my burgers. No skillets for us unless it is raining, and even then we still will just move the grill under the overhang on our deck.  I also toasted the bun on the grill and if you use this method, as noted in the recipe, watch closely to prevent burning. This recipe makes 4 very large burgers and could easily be made into 6 for appetites on the smaller side. 

This burger was so delicious! I loved the addition of the grated Parmesan cheese right on the tomato sauce.... sometimes it is the little things right?  

Tonight Kellen is having a play date with a friend and we are grilling bbq chicken. I am planning on filling up his pool, and the kids can splash around a bit because it is suppose to get pretty hot tomorrow! 

Have a great week everyone! 


Ingredients

 1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage (hot or mild will work)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
8 slices mozzarella cheese
 20-25 pepperoni slices (about 5-6 per burger)
8 Tbl marinara sauce
 Grated Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil
4 Kaiser Buns


Instructions

Combine ground beef, Italian sausage, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl. Gently mix with your hands and form 4 large burgers. Heat grill to medium high and grill 3-5 minutes per side or until thermometer reads 160 degrees F at the thickest part of the burger. Towards, the end of the cook time, place pepperoni evenly on the burger and top with 2 slices of cheese. Allow the cheese to melt over the pepperoni. Remove from grill and cover to keep warm.

Split the bun and lightly brush the inside with a little olive oil. Toast the buns on the grill, but watch carefully because they can burn easily. Spread both halves with marinara sauce and sprinkle the sauce with Parmesan.
Lay the burgers on the bottom buns, then top with the top buns. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 7/27 - 8/2

How does Sunday night come so fast every weekend? I always feel like I just walked out the doors of work just to go back again. 

This weekend was hot and fantastic. On Friday, Ron, Kellen and I headed out for fish for a little after work relaxation. We headed home early because Ron had to work on Saturday, and I was heading to Door County with my friend Emily. 

On Saturday, we headed to Door County for some sun and swimming. Out first stop was The Farm (of course) and we saw lots of our animal friends. We also met my friend Melissa and her family and got to chat a little bit before the kids ran in opposite directions. My mom, sister and nephew also met us and the kids had a blast together. 

"The corn is as high as an elephant's eye!" (well almost)


Feed me! 


After the farm we headed back to our cottage for lunch and beach time. My parents were there for the weekend and the rest of us made a day trip. Emily, my mom, Kellen, my nephew, Emily's daughter and I headed down the beach to a lake fed creek to play in the sand and water. I think the adult had as much fun as the kids jumping in the lake. My sister and her boyfriend stayed back and worked on clearing some of the grass for our fire pit. A few weeks ago, Ron cleared a big area and they worked on widening it and clearing out the roots. The kids were beat and we packed up for home. The littles passed out right away and we headed up the peninsula to grab some fresh tart cherries. Kellen and I watched a movie and ordered pizza for dinner, and I had just climbed into bed when Ron got home. 

On Sunday, Kellen and I did a little grocery shopping and relaxed at home before heading to Appleton for Thai with my sister in law and brother in law. We have a Thai place that we love and it is so fun to go with them. We always laugh a lot and enjoy letting the kids have some playtime with their grandparents. 

We just did bath and bed for Mr. K and are finishing up a few things (blogging for me and a puzzle for Ron) before we watch Last Ship. 

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! 

Here is what is on tap:

Monday:  Grilled BBQ Chicken, Cheesy Ranch Potatoes, Grilled Zucchini and Ron's Cucumber Salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, Pesto Garlic Monkey Bread and Salad
Wednesday: Potato, Brat, Corn and Cheddar Casserole
Thursday:  Lemon Pepper Herb Grilled Pork Chops, Corn and Grilled Green Beans
Friday: Door County
Saturday: Door County
Sunday:  T-BLAT Wraps and Watermelon

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Simple Mango Lassi #BookClubCookbookCC

I joined a new book club because it is hard for me to say no to anything book related......and it involved cooking. Match made in heaven I think! 

Starting  in July 2015, a group bloggers organized by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla (click the link if you want to join the fun!) draw inspiration from a book and recipes published in The Book Club Cookbook. Each month, a blogger selected a book and The Book Club Cookbook offers several suggested recipes or the blogger can create a recipe inspired by the story.  At the end of the month the host or hostess posts a round-up and gives away a copy of the book. 

Here are a list of my fellow participating bloggers/hosts:

A Day in the Life on the Farm 
Adventures in All Things Food
Cheese Curd In Paradise 
Culinary Adventures with Camilla  
Life on Food
Mostly Food and Crafts
The Pajama Chef
The Spiffy Cookie
Things I Make (for Dinner)     
Tortillas and Honey
ZooeySuff

The book selected for July's host Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. The book is comprised of nine different short stories taking place in India and the United States. Many of the characters experience the pull between two very different cultures. Food is also a very prevalent theme in this book. While reading the novel I noticed that meals or culinary descriptions were often in settings and helped set the scene of that particular part of the story. I really enjoyed this book and like the structure of nine short stories. I felt that it made the various character stand out to me because each situation was very different. 

I decided to make a traditional Indian yogurt drink, a Mango Lassi (it also happens to be one of my sister's favorite things). It is a recipe featured in the cookbook and my version is based on it. This drink has be come increasingly popular in America and differs a bit from it's traditional counterpart.  In India, the drink is rarely sweetened and is salted. However, in the United States the drink is usually sweetened with a bit of honey. I opted to make a simple sweetened mango lassi. 

I opted to use a very simple recipe for a mango lassi: milk, yogurt, mango and honey. So simple and so easy. Traditionally, recipes might require a bit of rose water, but I do not use it in my recipe.  I made think drink for my family for an after dinner treat and they slurped it down like there was no tomorrow! Kellen asked me the following day if we could have mango yogurt for dinner with straws. This recipe is soooo easy and very simple to whip up for a sweet treat for the entire family with very little clean up (always important!). 

Tune in next month to learn about our next book selection and to discover more delicious recipes from our blogging crew! 


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cold whole milk
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups frozen chopped mango
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cardamom 


Instructions

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend till completely smooth. Our into glasses and enjoy. 

Makes about 4 servings



Giveaway
And to kick-off the event, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authorsby Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin.Giveaway runs from July 1st till July 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Camilla received a complimentary copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Peach Margarita

It's Tuesday and I am ready for a cocktail..... I wonder what that means.... 

Loads of peaches from Georgia and Michigan have come to my area and they are so delicious. I love peaches and I love that the flavors work in so many different recipes. I love peaches with cheese or bacon, and I love them in a dessert. One way I had not used my peaches was in a drink.... a margarita to be exact. 

There is no secret about my summer obsession with homemade margaritas. My normal method is booze, fresh grapefruit or fresh orange juice and homemade mix. Recently, I have made margaritas using freshly picked strawberries and it was amazing. I decided that I wanted to make a version using my fresh peaches. I used the same method I usually do, but omitted the citrus juice and added a little homemade peach puree.  The peach puree is really simple, but it is important to make sure your peaches are nice and ripe.  I remove the pit and blend the rest. I do not bother with peeling the peaches because everything is ground up so fine and strained. 

The verdict? Soooooo delicious! It was like a glass of summer and the peach flavors were  nice and strong, but worked perfectly with the rest of the drink. This drink is also very easy to make in bulk if you have summer guests at your house for a cookout. 

Tonight, we are relaxing at home and hopefully picking a few things from the garden. I am hoping to get to the gym later, but we will see how the night goes. I am putting together a new recipe tonight using a few of my favorite things: blts fixings, a skillet and pasta! Have a great night! 


Ingredients 
(for 1 drink)

1 1/2 oz silver tequila
2 1/2 Tbl fresh peach puree
Ice
Lime Wedges or Peaches, for garnish


Instructions

Peach puree:
Pit 6 peaches and place in food processor. Puree till smooth. Strain and discard solids. 6 peaches will make 12 oz of puree. 

Fill and 8 oz glass 1/2 - 2/3 full with ice. Add tequila and peach puree.  Top with margarita mix. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge or a Peach wedge. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 7/20 - 7/26

I am running a little late this week aren't I!? 

This weekend was crazy and I am still catching up from everything! On Friday I left work a little early so we could get to Ron' Cousin's wedding rehearsal (Ron was a usher). Poor Kellen was pretty tired and had a pretty short fuse, but it was lovely and the dinner after at the Groom's parent's was delicious. We headed home after dinner and crashed early. 

On Saturday, I headed to the farmer's market before heading home to bring Ron to the ceremony. Kellen and I skipped the ceremony to rest for the reception. Kellen was really excited about his outfit and was excited for cake and dancing. 


We picked up my niece and nephew on the way and caravaned to the reception. The happy couple looked amazing and the meal was lovely. Kellen got his cake and enjoyed dancing with all the kids on the floor.  Ron and I were lucky because his parents took the kids home and the adults got to stick around and party. 

On Sunday, we slept till 9 a.m.! Seriously, this never happens and it was amazing. We grabbed breakfast and picked up Kellen. Kellen crashed when we got home for an early nap before heading to a Green Bay Bullfrogs game for Ron's work picnic.

Kellen tested his hand at the batting game:


Watching them water the field:


Down the big slide:


After the game and picnic we headed home and relaxed for the rest of the evening. 

This week we are much more relaxed and it is nice after a long weekend. Tonight my friend Emily's daughter was over to play and my friend Kayla stopped with the kids for a play-date. This week I have a few blogging projects to work on and I am getting ready for a fun Door County day trip on Saturday. 

Have a great week!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Slow Cooker Rosemary Ranch Roast, Cheesy Zucchini Rice and Salad
Tuesday: Skillet BLT Tortellini and Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Bacon Pesto Gnocchi Skillet and Salad
Thursday: Lemon Pepper Herb Grilled Pork Chops, Street Corn and Grilled Green Beans
Friday: Out for Fish
Saturday: Pizza Night
Sunday: Grilled BBQ Chicken, Cheesy Ranch Potatoes and Grilled Veggies

Pesto Feta Scrambled Eggs

Time for July's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!


The theme for this month is pesto and coconut. What???? Don't worry I said the same thing and wondered how I could make this combo work. Well my friends I made it work, and it is delicious. My initial thought process was dried coconut and I racked my brain, but then I remembered coconut oil. Coconut oil is very popular right now and I use it a lot in my house, but normal it is not my "go-to" for cooking. I use it for oil-pulling (I know this sounds odd, but I swear by it), diaper cream and part of my face wash! I actually do like to cook with it, but Ron is not a fan of the flavor so I use it in other ways. 

Anyways, I decided that I was in the mood for eggs and had fortunately just whipped up a fresh batch of pesto. I also added a bit of feta cheese because, as you know, I am a big fan of this combo. How did it turn out you are wondering? I really liked the flavor combination. If I had not known I used coconut oil I would not have guess it was in there. The coconut flavor was very light and almost a little nutty and that was yummy with the pesto. I am still not sold on dried coconut with pesto, but using the oil for my eggs was delicious. 

Tonight, my friend Emily daughter is coming for a play-date and I am going to bring out the kiddy pool so we can beat the heat (as long as it doesn't storm!).  This week is much calmer than last week and I am honestly looking forward to a few nights at home without the needs to run around! 

 If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information.  I am excited to see what everyone else made, and what next month will bring! 


Ingredients

1 tsp coconut oil
2 eggs
1 Tbl milk
1 Tbl pesto
1 Tbl crumbled feta (+ additional for topping)
1/4 tsp black pepper


Instructions

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. 

Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium low heat and add eggs. Gently stir in feta and pesto. As the sides begin to set pull in the firm sides until eggs are set and cooked but not browned. 

Plate and sprinkle with extra feta cheese and black pepper.