Watermelon Goat Cheese Bites

watermelon goat cheese (2) WM

Ingredients:

seedless watermelon

goat cheese

mint

balsamic vinegar

total time: about 20 minutes

Directions:

1. Cube the watermelon.  Place on a place.

2. Place a bit of goat cheese on each watermelon cube.

3. Place a mint leaf (or you can chop them up) on every other watermelon cube.

4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each watermelon cube.

serve cold.

watermelon goat cheese (1) WM

Peach Portobello Blue Cheese Turkey Burger

peach portabella turkey burger (7) WM

If you are looking for a burger that you can barely fit into your mouth and  has so many amazing flavors look no further.  This is probably this best burger that I have ever had in my life.  Seriously.  The best part is you can swap out the meat patty for a veggie patty and make it vegetarian friendly!

This has a turkey burger, grilled portobello mushroom, grilled peach, and crumbled blue cheese.  Oh yeah, and I almost forgot there’s guacamole too.  What doesn’t this burger have?  Serve with some tatter tots and you have yourself one amazing summer meal!

peach portabella turkey burger (6) WM

Ingredients:

bun – one per person

turkey, beef, or veggie patty – one per person

peach, sliced (one per 2 people)

portobello mushroom – one per person

blue cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons olive oil

fresh thyme, crush in finger tips

fresh rosemary, crush in finger tips

garlic, crushed

1-2 ripe avocados

1 tomato, cut into small chunks

1/2 red onion, cut into small chunks

cilantro, chopped finely

salt

pepper

onion powder

garlic powder

Directions:

1. Begin by turning the oven on to 425 degrees, then slice the peach into thick pieces, crumble the blue cheese, wash and dry the portobello mushrooms – set aside.

 2. Mix the olive oil, crushed thyme and rosemary, crushed garlic, and dash of salt and pepper – stir to combine and spoon half over each portobello.

3. In a small bowl place the turkey meat and pour the remaining olive oil mixture and mix well.  Add additional salt & pepper as well as some onion and garlic powder.  After mixing form the turkey patties.

4. For the guacamole: Open the avocados, mash the flesh in a small bowl add the chopped tomato, onion and cilantro, squeeze the lime, and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion power – stir to combine.

5. Start the BBQ and put the tatter tots on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

6. Place the peaches and portobello mushrooms on the center of the BBQ for a few minutes until they have grill marks, then move to the sides; cook for about 5 minutes before putting the turkey patties on the grill.  Place on the center of the grill for a few minutes until they have grill marks and then move to the sides.  Cook the burgers until they are cooked through and the peaches/portobello mushrooms until they are soft.

7. Toast the buns if you’d like.

8. To assemble: On the bottom bun spoon out a heaping spoonful of the guacamole.  Place the turkey burger on top and then sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese on the burger.  Add the grilled portobello mushroom, the grilled peach, and then the top of the bun and press as flat as you can!  Serve with the baked tatter tots and any extra grilled peaches.  Yummy!!

peach portabella turkey burger (2) WM

Garden Raviolis

garden raviolis (1) WM

Someday I am going to make raviolis from scratch, but until then I’ll buy them pre-made.  This is a great recipe because it takes pre-made fresh raviolis, doesn’t dump a bunch of sauce on them and instead uses oh so fresh summer veggies.  What more could you ask for.  Really.

prep time: approximately 7 minutes

cooking time: approximately 35 minutes

Ingredients:

1 bag pre-made fresh cheese raviolis (the size depends on how many people are eating)

1/2 container cherry tomatoes

2 shallots, cut into wedges

4 garlic gloves, peeled

1/2 zucchini, sliced into bite sized pieces

olive oil

salt

pepper

fresh basil

grated cheese (if desired, it was kind of overkill considering the cheese raviolis, I’ll skip next time)

Directions:

1. Place all vegetables onto an oiled baking sheet in a pre-heated 425 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, boil water for the raviolis and cook.

3. After the raviolis are cooked and the veggies are done combine in a pot with the fresh basil leaves and gently stir together.  Add more olive oil if the ravioli are sticking to one another.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

garden raviolis (2) WM

Grilled Chicken with Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze

Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (4) WM

This recipe takes 2 prep days, but is well worth it!

chicken & corn:

a combination of chicken, however much you like – the brine, rub and glaze makes a lot!

corn on the cob, husks removed

for the brine:

2 quarts water

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon pickling spice

1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

for the smoked paprika rub:

3 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

for the spicy apple glaze:

3 cups apple cider

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup applesauce

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4cup light brown sugar

1/4cup thinly sliced fresh ginger

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 vanilla bean, split

6 cardamom pods

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons allspice

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon salt Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (2) WMDirections:

1. On the first night: Prepare the brine by combine all of the ingredients in a pot and bringing the water to a boil.  Once the water has cooled add a few trays of ice cubes, then add the chicken pieces.  Cover tightly and refrigerate over night.

2. On the second night: Remove the chicken from the brine and toss out the brine.  Paper towel dry the chicken and place on one layer on a plate – place the plate of chicken, uncovered, in the refrigerator being sure that the raw chicken isn’t touching anything else.  Refrigerate over night.

3.  On the third day, an hour before grilling mix all of the rub ingredients together and rub onto the chicken.

4. Bring a large pot of water to boil and once the water is boiling place the corn in the water and let boil for 35-45 minutes.

5. While the rub is sitting on the chicken and the grill is starting prepare the spicy apple glaze.  Combine all of the ingredients in a 6-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar.  Once the mixture has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium and cool until it is reduced to about 1 cup and has a glaze consistency, which will be about 35 minutes.  After the sauce is a glaze consistency remove the pan from the heat and strain the through a fine-mesh colander into a bowl.  Discard the solids.  Set the glaze aside.

6. Once the grill is ready, place the chicken on the grill and sear on each side for about 2 minutes.  Then, brush some of the spicy apple glaze on the side facing up on all of the chicken pieces; flip over and glaze the other side.  Continue doing this for several times until several layers of glaze are on both sides of the chicken.  You want the glaze to get nice and crispy.  Move the pieces of the chicken to the outer perimeter of the grill, place the corn in the middle and lightly brush a thin layer of glaze on the entire ear of corn.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes each side.

Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (3) WM

7. Remove the corn and chicken once the chicken is cooked through.  Serve with a side salad or the vinegar based cole slaw with cranberries (or another one of my salads!)

Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (1) WM

I kind of have a thing for desserts.

I don’t have a sweet tooth, really.  I once had a bar of chocolate that I bought in England last me about 6 months after I got home.  Ice-cream regularly gets all icy gross.  When I do want sweets, I’m usually good with a few spoonfuls of ice-cream, a cookie or two.  That kind of a thing.  BUT.  I do love making desserts.  It’s my favorite kind of cooking.  People love me for it too.

We are doing our own dessert table.  I was thinking of oodles of fantabulous desserts, but then reality hit, and I’ll be doing something less over the top.  Bummer.

Before I reined myself in, these were some of the desserts I was thinking of making.  I’m still going to find a time and a place to make them, just not for a busy as heck day like my very own wedding.

almond joy cupcake

rocky road cupcake

lemon raspberry cupcake

chocolate crackles cookies

cappuccino w/ espresso and white chocolate cookies

mini cherry pies

cheesecake pops

ok.  I’ll stop now.