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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bridal shower favors

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grilled stone fruit

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Warm weather calls for fruity desserts – and that’s just what we have here! These fabulous little treats can certainly be made on a grill, but we love using a cast iron grill pan too! Not to mention, it’s a great back up plan for rain! Our favorite part of this recipe? The EASY mascarpone ice cream! Don’t have the time? Whipped cream or whipped mascarpone will do!

Grilled Stone Fruit with Mascarpone Ice Cream

Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes + freezing time for ice cream

Ingredients
mascarpone ice cream
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of flaky sea salt

4 peaches (or other stone fruit), halved and pit removed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon cinnamon
honey
almonds, toasted
sprigs of mint

Directions
To make the ice cream, add the mascarpone and sweetened condensed milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until smooth and combined. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze 4-6 hours or overnight.

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil.

In a large bowl, toss the fruit with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place fruit, cut side down in the pan. Grill for 2-3 minutes, or until light char marks appear, flip and grill another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan.

Serve the fruit warm, with a large scoop of mascarpone ice cream, toasted almonds, a few sprigs of mint and a drizzle of honey!

cucumber grapefruit Paloma

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Light, refreshing, and oh so tasty! Sounds like the perfect recipe for mom doesn’t it? We love this cocktail for it’s general drinkability during the warmer months ahead, but also for its ability to easily turn into a mocktail! Just skip the tequila and add a few more splashes of juice and sparkling water.

The Perfect Paloma

Makes: 2 drinks
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
4 ounces Reposado tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3 cucumber slices
3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
pinch of salt
1 ounce club soda
3 tablespoons simple syrup or agave

Directions
In a shaker, muddle the cucumber slices and lime juice. Add the tequila, grapefruit juice and simple syrup. Add in a small pinch of salt. Shake to combine.

Pour over ice into two glasses rimmed with salt or sugar (optional).

Top with club soda and stir to combine. Garnish with lime, grapefruit slices and/or cucumber slices.

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!

How to Host Mother’s Day Brunch

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There’s nothing we love more than a day that celebrates the special women in our lives – and guess what? It’s coming up! This Mother’s Day we  hope you spoil all of the lovely ladies in your life (or you’re the one getting spoiled!), because they (you!) most certainly deserve it. Stumped on what to do? We highly recommend making one of these fabulous recipes and giving her the most relaxing day possible. Hosting a get together? You won’t want to miss our features this week! Starting with Tips for Hosting…

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ESPRESSO pots de creme

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You don’t necessarily need to love coffee to LOVE this treat, but it certainly doesn’t hurt! Once again, we are pairing the coffee flavors with a rich and creamy dark chocolate and some bright berries. Can you tell we like that combination? Because we can’t get enough of it!

Espresso Pots de Creme

Makes: 6 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes + chilling time

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
7 oz. high quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
6 large egg yolks
¼ cup dark brown sugar
whipped cream
cocoa nibs
fresh berries

Directions
Heat oven to 300°F. Place 6 medium ramekins in a roasting pan and set aside.

Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream, milk, espresso powder and a pinch of salt just to a boil. Stir until espresso powder dissolves, then pour over chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture, whisking constantly while pouring. Pour custard through a fine mesh sieve into a glass container or bowl, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Divide the custard among the ramekins. Pour warm water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan tightly with foil that has been poked several times to create holes.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custards are almost set but not quite in the middle. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap and chilling in the refrigerator.

Once chilled, remove from refrigerator, top with whipped cream, cocoa nibs and fresh berries to serve.