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Summer Nights Savory Bites & Sweet Treats

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Summer Nights is finally here! Enjoy your weekly Saturday night premiere with a few delicious dishes, decadent deserts and refreshing drinks! Fire up the grill with a Summer staple like BBQ ribs with cole slaw, for a meatless dish, veggie burgers, make some dessert with the kids with delicious strawberries, make refreshing lemonade with a twist or pair up savory tacos with sweet root beer.

Sweet and Spicy Summer Chicken with Peach Salsa
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Sweet and Spicy Summer Chicken with Peach Salsa
Course:
Lunch , Dinner
Seasonal Event:
Summer
Yield:
6-8 Servings
Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste

For the Chicken

  • 8-12 chicken thighs, bone in
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Salsa

  • 2 firm peaches, diced
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup mint, rough chopped
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • Drizzle of olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Recipe Courtesy Nealy Fischer -- TheFlexibleChef.com
Serving size: 6-8

  1. In a blender, combine all marinade ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and add marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. The longer, the better!
  4. Preheat oven broiler to HIGH.
  5. Transfer marinated chicken from bag to large baking pan and broil for 15 minutes. Remove, flip chicken over and continue to broil for another 10 minutes. Time will depend on your oven and the size of your chicken so watch carefully and remove when edges are charred and chicken is cooked through.
  6. While chicken cooks, toss together salsa ingredients.
  7. Once chicken is fully cooked, serve with salsa and devour!

Note: This is great on an outdoor grill or smoker!

BBQ Ribs and Coleslaw
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BBQ Ribs and Coleslaw
Course:
Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine:
American
Seasonal Event:
Summer
INGREDIENTS:

BBQ RIBS:

  • 1 rack of baby back ribs

COLESLAW:

  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup Bread-and-Butter Pickle slices, plus 1/4 cup pickle juice

DIRECTIONS:

BBQ Ribs

  1. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder heavily on both sides
  2. Wrap ribs in tin foil
  3. Bake the ribs in the oven at 450 degrees for about an hour
  4. Take out of the oven, and make sure to keep it wrapped in the foil
  5. Do not unwrap foil for at least 20 min to cool off
  6. Heat up the BBQ grill (with your favored preference of Charcoal or Wood)
  7. Mark off the ribs on the grill, then add your own bbq sauce as it is grilling
  8. Precaution: Be careful if your sauce has sugar in it, it will burn quickly
  9. “Slab" on more of your favorite bbq sauce on the ribs while still grilling for more color & flavor

Coleslaw

  1. Mix garlic, mayonnaise, and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Toss onion, jalapeño, cabbage, pickles, and pickle juice in a large bowl to combine; cover and chill.
Matt Iseman’s Summer Ribeye Steak with Spice Rub and Grilled Asparagus
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Summer Ribeye Steak with Spice Rub and Grilled Asparagus
Course:
Dinner
Cuisine:
American , Grilling
INGREDIENTS

Spice Rub Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup ground espresso
  • 2t smoked paprika
  • 2t dark brown sugar
  • 1t dry mustard
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t kosher salt
  • 1t black pepper
  • 1t ground coriander

DIRECTIONS:

For the Steaks

  1. Brush 1½ inch thick ribeye steaks (boneless)on both sides with olive oil.
  2. Rub each side with 1-2t of spice mixture.
  3. Let steaks stand at room temperature for ½ hour.
  4. Preheat bbq grill to high.
  5. Cook directly on grill for 2 minutes, flip and rotate ¼ turn.
  6. Repeat three times until steaks have cooked for 8 minutes (4 per side). The rotation will leave nice grill marks on the steaks.
  7. Move steaks to upper rack of grill, reduce heat to medium and close lid.
  8. 1 ½ inch thick steak usually takes 16-18 minutes of total cooking for medium rare.

For the Asparagus

  1. Wash and dry asparagus.
  2. Snap at their natural break point.
  3. Rub with olive oil salt & pepper.
  4. Grill until charred – don’t overcook.
  5. Serve with soy/butter.
Summer Salad Burger
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Summer Salad Burger
Course:
Lunch , Dinner
Cuisine:
American
INGREDIENTS

For Charred Pepper and Corn Summer Salad

  • 1-2 large red heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 medium yellow heirloom tomatoes
  • 4-6 ears of corn (partially husked)
  • 2 green peppers
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2-3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 sticks butter

For Roasted Pepper Mayo

  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste

For Burger

  • 80/20 certified Angus beef. 4-6 (8 oz. patties)
  • 4-6 brioche or potato rolls. (Potato rolls are nice and soft)
  • White cheddar cheese. 4-6 slices

DIRECTIONS:

Summer Salad:

  1. Place 4-6 ears of corn in a hotel pan partially husked with butter (room temperature) fresh sprigs of thyme and a little pressed garlic clove. Place in the oven for about 20 min. or (until they have a nice roasted charred appearance) on high heat (450-500)
  2. Take 2 of each, red, green and yellow peppers, and fire roast them until skin is blackened all around.
  3. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic so they sweat. This makes them easy to peel.
  4. While corn and peppers are roasting, take 1 large red heirloom tomato and 2 small to medium yellow heirloom tomatoes core and cut (small-medium diced) place in medium size mixing bowl.
  5. Peel the roasted peppers and de-seed them. Julienne them and then cut them in a small dice.
  6. Add the cut peppers to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes.
  7. Chop 1 med sized bunch of cilantro and add to the bowl.
  8. Add 2-3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar
  9. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil
  10. Take the roasted corn and remove the husk and shave the corn off the cob, and place corn kernels in the mixing bowl.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Refrigerate the salad for up to 1hr.

Roasted Pepper Mayo:

  1. Fire roast 2 large red peppers. Place in a bowl and cover with saran wrap so they sweat, making them easy to peel.
  2. Remove from bowl. Peel and de-seed. Cut peppers in half or larger pieces.
  3. In a blender place the peppers and 3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar and salt to taste.
  4. Blend for about 20-30 seconds.
  5. In a mixing bowl place 2 cups of mayo and fold in the blended roasted peppers.
  6. Place mixture in refrigerator for about an hour or until firm.

Burger:

  1. Cook burgers in a skillet or flat top grill about 3-4 min per side or until medium or desired temperature.
  2. While burger is cooking toast buns if applicable.
  3. Add cheddar cheese before taking off the grill or pan and let melt.
  4. Place bottom bun on plate and place the cooked burger on top.
  5. Scoop (using a slotted spoon) the prepared summer salad on top of the burger.
  6. Spread the prepared roasted pepper mayo on the top bun generously or as desired.
  7. Place the top bun on the burger and serve
Root Beer Floats and Taco Bar
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Root Beer Floats and Taco Bar
Course:
Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine:
Mexican, American
INGREDIENTS:

For Root Beer Floats:

  • Frosted mug
  • A&W Root Beer
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

For Taco Bar:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded and refrigerated (until crisp and dry)
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 pound queso fresco, crumbled, or Monterey Jack, shredded
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • Roasted-Tomato Salsa
  • Salsa Verde
  • Salsa Cruda
  • Cooked Carnitas
  • Cooked Chicken
  • 1 to 2 packages corn tortillas (12 count)

DIRECTIONS:

Root Beer Floats:

  1. Start with a frosted mug
  2. Add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  3. Fill to top with A&W Root Beer

Taco Bar:

  1. Arrange lettuce, radishes, and cilantro on a large platter. Place limes, cheese, sour cream, and salsas in separate serving dishes. Place chicken and pork in separate warm serving bowls. Garnish chicken with cilantro.
  2. Toast each tortilla in a hot skillet or directly over a gas flame until softened, 15 to 20 seconds per side. Stack tortillas in a dish towel, keeping them wrapped.
  3. Arrange all of the ingredients so family members can make their own tacos.
Jackfruit Tacos
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Jackfruit Tacos
Course:
Lunch, Dinner, Main
Cuisine:
Vegetarian, Mexican
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cans jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tb chili powder
  • 1 Tb garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 Tb coconut aminos
  • Juice of small orange
  • Juice of lime

DIRECTIONS:

Tacos:

  1. In a large skillet, add diced onion to olive oil and cook 2-5 minutes or until onion is soft. Rough chop drained jackfruit ants with all seasoning in a mixing bowl then add to skillet. Let cook 5 minutes. Then add orange juice, lime juice, coconut aminos and tomato paste. Gently combine and let cook another 3-5 minutes.
  2. Serve in corn tortillas with avocado, jalapeños, pickled onions and your favorite salsa!

Pickled Onions:

  1. Slice 1 red onion into thin rings and place into a large glass bowl. Bring 3 Tb sugar, 3 Tb peppercorns, 2 Tb salt to a boil with 2 cups red vinegar.
  2. Once bubbling, remove from heat. Pour over onion slices and let cool. Transfer to a mason jar and store in fridge once cool.
The Perfect Veggie Burger
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The Perfect Veggie Burger
Course:
Lunch, Dinner, Main
Cuisine:
Vegetarian
Yield:
4 Burgers
INGREDIENTS:

Veggie Burger Patties:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices sprouted wheat bread or gluten-free bread, toasted
  • 8 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Toppings:

  • 4 buns (your favorite hamburger buns will work)
  • 1/2 head of lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • Condiments to taste (ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, etc.)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the onion and celery and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion mixture, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Tear the bread into 2-inch pieces, put them in the food processor, and pulse until most of the mixture is in fine crumbs. Transfer to the bowl of onion mixture.
  4. Put the mushrooms and parsley in the food processor (no need to wipe it out) and pulse until finely chopped. Add the mushroom mixture to the onion mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the tapioca starch and tamari. Sprinkle it over the onion mixture. Using your hands, work the onion mixture until it begins to stick together and is almost pasty. Let stand for 10 minutes before forming into 4 patties about 4 inches across.
  6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook the patties until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Heat or lightly toast your burger buns in the oven or toaster (350 degrees for 5 minutes). Drizzle and spread your favorite condiment(s) on one half of your toasted bun and then carefully place your veggie burger patty on top, using a spatula. Layer fresh lettuce leaves, tomato and onion slices and top with your other bun half.

Yield/Servings: 4 burgers

Cedar Plank Grilled Mustard Salmon
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Cedar Plank Grilled Mustard Salmon
Course:
Dinner, Main
Cuisine:
Seafood
INGREDIENTS:
  • One 2lbs half of a salmon side, skin off
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Garnish with chives
  • 3 red onions, peeled, cut into quarters, keeping root intact
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat up the grill on high for direct heat.
  2. Soak your plank for at least 1 hour (or longer, you cannot oversoak it) to avoid it from catching fire. Make sure it is weighed down with a plate and fully submerged and flip it half way. Tip, You can also soak your plank in apple juice, beer, or wine to add more flavor to the fish.
  3. The darker the color of the cedar the better the flavor.
  4. Place the salmon on the soaked plank and season with kosher salt liberally.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, sriracha, mayonnaise, and brown sugar. Spread evenly over the salmon.
  6. In a large deep dish, toss the asparagus and onions in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Brush an area on the grill lightly with oil. Place the onions and asparagus on the oiled grates. Cook for about 3-4 minutes turning halfway until lightly charred and just tender. Remove from heat and keep warm. Place the salmon plank on the grill and cover with lid. Cook the salmon for 10-15 mins, or until 130-135 F degrees on a thermometer. Let rest for about 3-4 minutes. Place the plank on a large tray and serve alongside with the grilled vegetables.
Shrimp Tortellini Summer Pasta Salad
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Shrimp Tortellini Summer Pasta Salad
Course:
Lunch , Dinner
Cuisine:
Seafood, Pasta
Seasonal Event:
Summer
INGREDIENTS:

Pikkio Pakkio Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 2 teaspoons of dry
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup browned pancetta, cut into 1/4″ dice or chopped browned bacon
  • 2 cups canned Italian peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped (retain drained juice; see below)
  • 1 cup canned tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon C&H Golden Brown Sugar

Conzato:

  • 1 pound cooked medium shrimp
  • 1 pound cooked ravioli or tortellini with your favorite filling at room temperature; stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil or parsley.
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all the ingredients for the Pikkio Pakkio sauce to a large salad bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Add the shrimp, tortellini, and remaining Conzato ingredients to the sauce. Mix well to incorporate all of the flavors and you’re ready to serve!
  3. Serve with extra grated cheese on the side in individual portions or my favorite way: family style in a large Italian ceramic bowl.

Chef’s Tips: If possible, let the Conzato rest for an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to further develop.

Roasted Chicken with Summer Fruit Salad
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Roasted Chicken with Summer Fruit Salad
Course:
Lunch, Dinner
Seasonal Event:
Summer
Yield:
4-6 Servings
INGREDIENTS:

For Salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted chicken, spatchcocked and shredded
  • 4 cups mixed greens (mix of arugula, kale, spinach)
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, crumbled 
  • salt and pepper to taste

For Herb Paste:

  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 5 sprigs thyme, picked
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

For Chicken:

  • 1 (3 ½ pound) whole chicken
  • Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

For White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbs white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Mix all together

DIRECTIONS:

For Herb Paste:

  1. Mix the garlic, zest, thyme in a bowl with your fingers. Pour just enough oil in to make a paste, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside for the flavors to combine.

For Chicken:

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bring the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Lay the chicken on a clean, stabilized cutting board, breast side down.
  3. Using very sharp kitchen scissors, cut along the side of the spine, from the tail end to the neck. Repeat on other side.
  4. Using a very sharp knife, score vertically down the breastbone, then flip the bird over, breast side up. Press down firmly with the palm of your hand until you hear a “pop” and the chicken is lying flat. Tuck the wings under the breast.
  5. Use your fingers to carefully loosen the skin away from the meat. Spread the herb paste under the skin, covering the breast and thigh meat.
  6. Season both sides of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Set the chicken, breast side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub to evenly coat the skin. Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the thigh juices run clear when pierced with a knife. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to carving.
Summer Bucatini Pasta, Ricotta, Basil and Zucchini
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Summer Bucatini Pasta, Ricotta, Basil and Zucchini
Course:
Lunch, Dinner, Main
Cuisine:
Vegetarian
Seasonal Event:
Summer
INGREDIENTS:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (for larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise before slicing)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups basil, loose leaves (stems removed)
  • 1 pound bucatini or other dry pasta
  • 8 ounces ricotta (good quality)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not brown the onions.
  2. Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, basil and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the water. Cook pasta according to packaging instructions to bring to Al dente. Keep 1 cup of liquid.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the zucchini skillet and turn heat to medium. Add 1/2 cup cooking water, then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to combine well. Cook for about 1 minute more.
  6. Add the basil paste and half the grated cheese and quickly stir. Spoon pasta into warm bowls and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese.
  7. Serve.
Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache Ice Cream
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Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache Ice Cream
Course:
Dessert
Seasonal Event:
Summer
Yield:
2 1/2 Pints
Ingredients

For Ice Cream

  • 3 cups Ice Cream Base, very cold
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Grandma Malek’s Almond Brittle pieces (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup Salted Ganache (recipe follows), cut into small cubes

For Grandma Malek's Almond Brittle (Makes 3 cups)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into approximately 1-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¼ cups sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For Salted Ganache (Makes 1 cup)

  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup chopped chocolate (chipsize), preferably 80% or darker
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For Ice Cream Base (Makes 3 cups)

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1⅓ cups whole milk
  • 1⅓ cups heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

Ice Cream:

  1. Put the ice cream base and the vanilla into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. Turn on the machine. Churn just until the mixture has the texture of soft-serve (timing ranges, depending on the machine).
  2. Quickly transfer the ice cream to freezer-friendly containers: Spoon in a layer of ice cream, sprinkle on the almond brittle and salted ganache, and use a spoon to press them in gently. Repeat.
  3. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, then cover with a lid. It’s okay if the parchment hangs over the rim. Store it in the coldest part of your freezer (farthest from the door) until firm, at least 6 hours. It will keep for up to 2 months.

Almond Brittle:

  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan and stir until all of the sugar looks wet. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the syrup comes to a simmer, about 3 minutes.
  3. Continue to cook, this time covered and without stirring, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 3 more minutes. Add the butter and salt, and stir well. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and continue to cook, gently and constantly stirring, until the mixture registers 290°F on the thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and quickly but thoroughly stir in the almonds, baking soda, and vanilla (watch it all bubble!), doing your best to distribute the nuts throughout the sticky mixture. Immediately (like, super quick!) pour the mixture onto the lined sheet pan and use a butter knife or a metal spatula to spread it out to a relatively even layer that’s just under ¼ inch thick. Let the brittle sit uncovered until it has cooled to room temperature, about 1 hour. Then use your hands to break it into irregular bite-size (about ¼- to ½-inch) pieces.
  5. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer until you’re ready to use them as a mix-in (or to simply eat them) for up to 3 months. There’s no need to defrost the pieces before using them in the ice cream

Salted Ganache:

  1. Combine the cream and sugar in a medium saucepan, stir well, and bring the mixture to a bare simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate and salt, and let it sit, stirring and scraping the pan occasionally, until the chocolate begins to melt, about 2 minutes.
  2. Use a sturdy whisk to vigorously stir until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture becomes smooth and satiny, about 1 minute. Congratulations, you just made ganache!
  3. Transfer the ganache to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for at least 2 hours or up to 1 month. There’s no need to defrost it before using.

Ice Cream Base:

  1. Combine the sugar, dry milk, and xanthan gum in a small bowl and stir well.
  2. Pour the corn syrup into a medium pot and stir in the whole milk. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary, to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
  3. Add the cream and whisk until fully combined. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours, or for even better texture and flavor, 24 hours. Stir the base back together if it separates during the resting time. The base can be further stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Just be sure to fully thaw the frozen base before using it.)
Banana Split Stuffed Strawberries
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Banana Split Stuffed Strawberries
Course:
Dessert
Seasonal Event:
Summer
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 Cups Fresh Strawberries
  • ¾ Cup Milk
  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut in large chunks
  • 5 Tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4-5 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped peanuts (optional)

Toppings:

  • Chopped nuts
  • Hot fudge
  • Sprinkles
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a blender combine the milk, softened cream cheese and bananas. Blend until smooth. Add the instant pudding mix and optional food coloring and blend until combined. Pour mixture into a small bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. While the banana mixture is chilling, prepare the strawberries.
  3. Rinse and dry the strawberries thoroughly. Use a paring knife or small teaspoon to carefully core out the center and the leafy top of the strawberry. Slice the bottom tip of the strawberry to create a flat surface for the berry to stand upright. Repeat with each strawberry. Place the cored strawberries on a parchment lined plate and store in the freezer.
  4. Next, add the semi-sweet chocolate and coconut oil to a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and remove. Stir the coconut oil and chocolate together. If there are still some chunks of chocolate, return to microwave and microwave for another 10 seconds. Remove from the microwave and mix the chocolate again until smooth.
  5. Working quickly, dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate and then in the chopped nuts. Place them back on the parchment lined plate and freeze for 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate is set.
  6. To serve, fill a piping bag with the chilled banana mixture. Carefully fill each strawberry with the banana mixture and return to the fridge to chill for another 10 minutes. Top the strawberries with as many sundae toppings as you wish, and enjoy!
Gourmet Summer Popsicles
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Gourmet Summer Popsicles
Course:
Dessert
Seasonal Event:
Summer
INGREDIENTS:

Roasted Blueberry Creme Fraiche (Makes 8):

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 ounces Crème fraîche
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Honey Lemonade with Edible Flowers:

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey simmer in small saucepan with a 1/2 cup water to melt and reduce honey
  • 1 1/2 cup cold water

S'Mores Popsicles:

  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (I use clear vanilla)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • White Chocolate
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Graham Cracker crumbles

DIRECTIONS:

Roasted Blueberry Creme Fraiche Popsicles:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper and scatter the blueberries on it
  3. Drizzle with honey and bake until juicy and they pop open, about 10-15 minutes
  4. Remove and let cool, set aside
  5. In a blender add the Crème fraîche, milk, cream, vanilla and ¼ cup honey and blend until fully incorporated.
  6. Add a spoonful of blueberries to each popsicle mold
  7. Pour the cream mixture into the molds and give it a little stir
  8. Place in the freezer overnight
  9. To remove the popsicles, run the bottom under lukewarm water for 30 seconds

Honey Lemonade with Edible Flowers:

  1. Squeeze lemons to make 1 cup lemon juice
  2. In a small saucepan add 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup water and simmer until honey is reduced and melted
  3. In a container with a spout, add the lemon juice, honey water and 1 1/2 cup cold water
  4. Pour into popsicles molds and add edible flowers
  5. Place sticks in and freeze overnight

S'Mores Popsicles:

  1. In a small saucepan, add the cornstarch and 1/2 cup whole milk and simmer until corn starch is melted. Stir while it’s simmering.
  2. Add in the other half of the whole milk, 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, sugar, cocoa powder and salt and bring to a soft boil while whisking until everything is combined and sugar is melted. About 1 minute.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to large measuring cup with spout.
  4. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Pour into popsicles molds and add in the sticks.
  6. Freeze overnight.
  7. Remove from molds by running warm water on the bottom.
  8. Dip in melted white chocolate and then add mini marshmallows and graham crackers.
Summer Strawberry Spritzer
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Summer Strawberry Spritzer
Course:
Drinks, Cocktails
INGREDIENTS:

For Spritzer:

  • 1.5 oz Kettle One vodka
  • 1 oz strawberry puree (recipe below)
  • Topped with: 1.5 oz sparkling wine

For Strawberry Puree:

  • 1 pint farmers market strawberries
  • 1 oz simple syrup (recipe below)

For Simple Syrup:

  • 4 oz water
  • 4 oz sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Strawberry Puree:

  1. Cut stems off, cut into chunks and puree in blender with simple syrup.

Simple Syrup:

  1. Heat water and sugar in sauce pot until melted. Cool and store in refrigerator.
Honey Lemonade Twist
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Honey Lemonade Twist
Course:
Drinks, Cocktails, Mocktails
Seasonal Event:
Summer
INGREDIENTS:

Lemonade:

  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) honey syrup
  • 3 Meyer lemons
  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) white rum
  • Ice cubes
  • Club Soda
  • Special equipment: cocktail shaker, 2 highball glasses

Honey Syrup (Makes 1/2 Cup):

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water

DIRECTIONS:

Lemonade:

  1. Squeeze enough Meyer lemon juice to yield 4 tablespoons (2 ounces, about 2 lemons). Cut 2 wheels from the remaining Meyer lemon; set side.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the honey syrup and Meyer lemon juice. Add the rum, then fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 30 seconds. Fill two highball glasses with ice cubes. Strain the cocktail into the glasses and top with club soda. Garnish each with a citrus wheel, and a straw if desired.

Honey Syrup:

  1. In a small sauce pan on medium heat, whisk together the honey and water until dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Honey syrup will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 3 weeks.

Get Gail Simmons' Meyer Lemon Tart recipe here >>

Refreshing Summertime Cocktails
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Refreshing Summertime Cocktails
Course:
Drinks, Cocktails, Mocktails
INGREDIENTS:

For Creamy Frozen Nectarine Blitz:

  • 1 Nectarine, pitted
  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 2 oz. Vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 oz. Triple sec
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple syrup

For Cherry Bombs:

  • 1 cup grenadine
  • 1 liter clear citrus soda, or seltzer
  • 18 maraschino cherries

For Pineapple Slurpee:

  • 2 c fresh pineapple
  • 10 ice cubes
  • 4 Tbls agave nectar - might want to add more, depends on your sweetness needs and ripeness of fruit

DIRECTIONS:

Creamy Frozen Nectarine Blitz (Recipe courtesy of ACocktailLife.com):

1. Place the fruit, vodka, ice cream, triple sec, lemon juice and simple syrup in a blender and puree until smooth.

2. Add a couple of ice cubes and continue pureeing until the ice has been broken up.

3. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with fresh mint.

Cherry Bombs (Recipe courtesy of MarthaStewart.com):

1. Place 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

2. Add grenadine; stir to combine.

3. Pour mixture into two ice-cube trays.

4. Freeze until solid, 2 hours or overnight.

5. Fill six glasses with grenadine ice cubes.

6. Top with soda. Garnish with cherries, and serve.

Pineapple Slurpee (Recipe courtesy of PureMamas.com):

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth like a Slurpee.

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