Better Summer Grilling

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We just can’t imagine summer without grilling. The two words practically go hand-in-hand. Not only does firing up the grill beat the heat of cooking indoors, but it provides some flavors that you just can’t get inside. This week we will provide tips and recipes to set you up for a summer of better grilling.

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Coconut Mint Ice Cream

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If this presentation isn’t beyond fun – we don’t know what is! Little touches (like coconut ice cream bowls!) are the key to a memorable shower. Sprinkle in a few of these spectacular details and you’re sure to leave everyone in awe. Not to mention, the light, refreshing treat that is this coconut milk ice cream!

Coconut Mint Ice Cream

Makes: 8 small servings
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + ice cream machine

Ingredients
3 cups full fat coconut milk (2 cans)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 handfuls 20 or so sprigs of mint + extra for garnish
¼ teaspoon salt
4 small coconuts, halved (optional)
chocolate sauce8
ounces high quality dark chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons agave
pinch of salt

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup of coconut milk with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch until fully
dissolved.

In a small saucepan, heat the remainder of the coconut milk over low heat with the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, salt and sprigs of mint. Bring to a low simmer and stir.

Remove from heat after 5 minutes or so. Cover the pan and let it steep for 30 minutes. Then, place in the refrigerator until chilled, another 30 minutes or so.

Strain out the mint and follow directions according to your ice cream maker.

For the chocolate sauce- simmer water in a small saucepan, then place a glass bowl on top to create a double boiler. Add the chocolate, coconut oil and agave to the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir until fully melted. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

To serve, place several scoops in a halved coconut, top with chocolate sauce and a sprig of mint.

mini chicken tacos

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It’s likely that there will be a theme for the shower and we have to admit, we are big fans of a little fiesta! The flavors are so fun and beg to be served family style! Just like the theme, these mini chicken tacos are sure to be a hit! They’re cute and not to mention, oh so tasty. Can’t find mini tortillas? Try making your own using large tortillas and a biscuit or cookie cutter!

Mini Chicken Tacos with Avocado Crema

Makes: 16-24 mini tacos
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 ½ pounds skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
½ red onion, finely diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
16-24 mini tortillas, flour or corn
4 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled
1 avocado, sliced
sliced lettuce or cabbage
extra limes for garnish

chipotle lime crema
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
¾ cup half and half
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
juice of half a lime
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the skillet and let it get really hot. Once it’s hot, add in the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Cover the skillet and place it in the oven, roasting for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cumin, paprika, chili powders, garlic powder and onion powder. Set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, combine the diced onion, tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and set aside.

Once chicken is cooked, transfer chicken and pan juices to a bowl and add mixed spices. Use forks to shred the chicken and mix in the spices.

To assemble, place chicken in a tortilla and top with salsa, crumbled cheese and a drizzle of crema. Serve with avocado, sliced cabbage (or lettuce) and a squeeze of lime.

homemade baked donuts

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Raise your hand if you’re drooling! *both hands up here* We absolutely love these homemade baked donuts and think they should be at every celebration. Baking instead of frying definitely takes a bit of complication out of the recipe (and makes them a little healthier!) and the glaze provides a great way to add pops of customized color!

Homemade Baked Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

Makes: 8 Donuts
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup milk
¼ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vanilla glaze½
cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk
optional: food coloring and sprinkles

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a donut pan with a nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, milk, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until no clumps of flour remain and everything is well combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Spoon the batter into the donut pan or use a large Ziploc bag to pipe into each cavity, filling ¾ of the way full.

Place the pan in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and whisk to combine. If it’s too thick, add additional milk, about ½ teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Add food coloring as desired.

Once the donuts are completely cool, dip them into the glaze. Return to the wire rack and add sprinkles. Allow the glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

creamy baked eggs and greens

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Who thinks this looks worth waking up for!? *Both hands raised!* This recipe utilizes one of the things we love so much about cast iron – creating perfectly sautéed greens on the stovetop then transferring to the oven for perfectly baked eggs! Want to go from stovetop to oven to table? Grab a lovely dishtowel, a trivet and some pot holders and breakfast is served!

Creamy Baked Eggs and Greens

Makes: 2-4 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
2/3 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1 garlic clove, halved
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons scallion, sliced
5 ounces fresh spinach
5 ounces fresh kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions
Mix yogurt, garlic and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Melt butter with oil in a large, heavy 10″ cast iron skillet over
medium heat. Add leek and scallion, then reduce heat to low. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spinach, kale and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until kale and spinach are wilted, 4-5 minutes.

Make 4 deep indentations in the center of the greens. Crack 1 egg into each indentation,
carefully keeping the yolks intact. Transfer to the oven and bake until the egg whites are set, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let eggs set for several minutes. Sprinkle with fresh oregano and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately with a dollop of yogurt.

Cast Iron Cooking 101

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In our minds, cast iron can do just about anything — it produces some serious heat, it’s naturally nonstick, it can go straight from the stove top to the oven, and it’s the true master of one-pot meals. Occasionally you’ll hear that cast iron can be a little  finicky, or tricky to clean. But we have to disagree! If you show your pan a little love, give it a good cleaning and seasoning, you’ll have a pan to last you a lifetime. This weekend we’ll call out some of our best cast iron tips and summer recipes! Here’s a sneak peek…

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quinoa stuffed eggplant

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Want to impress the socks right off a special lady in your life? Make this dish! This veggie filled, recipe is light yet filling and we can guarantee that it will be a big hit, especially in the flavor department! We recommend serving with a light, dressed salad of chopped veggies or greens!

Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce

Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
eggplant
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzle
2 medium eggplants

yogurt sauce
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt

quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water or broth
2 teaspoons cilantro, chopped, plus more to garnish
2 teaspoons mint, chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3 green onions, sliced
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, cumin, coriander, chili flakes, paprika, salt, lemon zest and ½ cup of the olive oil.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise then score the flesh of each half by making deep, diagonal cuts into the flesh without piercing the skin. Spoon the garlic and spice mixture over each half, spreading evenly. Place the eggplant, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the eggplants are completely soft.

To make the yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, buttermilk, olive oil, garlic and salt in a small bowl.

Whisk to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning if desired and transfer to refrigerator to keep cold.

In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, two cups liquid (water or broth) and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat but keep covered for another 5 minutes.

When the quinoa is done, remove the lid, add remaining olive oil and fluff with a fork. Add herbs, almonds, green onions, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and taste, adding more seasoning if desired.

To serve, place ½ of an eggplant cut side up on a plate. Spoon the quinoa mixture on top, then spoon over some yogurt sauce, sprinkle with cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil.

blueberry brown butter waffles

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Can you think of any better way to wake mom up than with homemade breakfast in bed? Because we can’t! These yummy waffles provide the wow factor when it comes to presentation AND taste. The best part? They are SO simple to throw together and great for making with kids! We recommend placing on a tray with additional bowls of toppings, her favorite morning cup and some fresh flowers.

Blueberry Brown Butter Waffles

Makes: 8 servings
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups blueberries
2 ½ cups buttermilk
4 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla

for topping
whipped cream
extra berries
syrup
butter
sprinkles

Directions
Preheat oven to 200°F and have a rimmed baking sheet ready. This is where you’ll place
cooked waffles to keep them warm.

Preheat your waffle iron.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly as the butter begins to bubble and foam. After several minutes, small brown flecks will appear at the bottom of the saucepan. Continue whisking until it turns brown and is giving off a nutty aroma. Transfer immediately to a large bowl to cool.

Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Toss in the blueberries and coat well with the flour mixture.

Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla to the bowl of butter. Whisk until combined. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and fold until just combined and no dry lumps remain.

Generously coat your waffle iron with non-stick spray or butter. Then cook waffles according to the machine instructions. Once cooked, transfer to rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

Serve immediately with your favorite toppings: syrup, whipped cream, berries, sprinkles – whatever makes you happy!