Tag Archives: Summertime

Spicy Cantaloupe Margarita

Hey guys! I’d say it has heated up a bit and we’re ready to venture into the cocktails that cool us down poolside!  So yeah, it’s Cocktails with Carly time!

I thought this up while (sweating) in the backyard and dreaming of an ice cold agua fresca from one of those delicious Mexican markets.  You know, where you get a couple pounds of carne asada to grill up later and a couple pound burrito for the now.  So remembering that I had a perfectly ripe cantaloupe on my counter I knew I could make this happen!

Now the only main difference to my homemade agua fresca is that well…. I made it into a margarita! 😉  That’s what happens when you find the tequila next to the blender…..

The Starting Lineup

Cantaloupe Puree

  • 1 cantaloupe, rind removed and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt

Garnish

  • Silver tequila
  • Jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • Limes, quartered
  • Unsweetened coconut

CanteloupeJalapeno1

Time for some easy, yet impressive cocktail hosting friends!  Simply add the ingredients of the cantaloupe puree (cantaloupe, water, sugar, honey, lime and salt) to your blender and blend till smooth, 1-2 minutes.

Now next is not completely necessary, but I like to do this for a ‘smoother’ drink…

Place a fine mesh sieve overtop a large bowl and pour in about 1/3 of the cantaloupe puree.  Using a rubber spatula, press the juices through the strainer leaving a bit of the pulp (scoop out into the trash).  Repeat with the remaining; pour the bowlful back into the blender or a pretty pitcher.  This should make a blender/pitcher full of juice.

Let’s serve them up, it was quick to make right??  Take your drinking glass and coat the rim with fresh lime juice and roll into the shredded coconut.  Fill with ice, 1-2 shots of silver tequila and top with the pureed cantaloupe.  Stir in a few of the fresh jalapeno slices (muddle in there if you’d like) and a lime wedge garnish!  Bottoms up!

CanteloupeJalapeno

 

Buffalo Chicken Kabobs w/ Grilled New Potatoes (& easy blue cheese dressing)

I’m pretty sure I’ve never (ever) met a person that doesn’t like buffalo wing sauce.  Now some may like it on crispy drumette wings, some that prefer it on the battered boneless variety, but everyone just loves that sauce!  Unfortunately, most of us cannot eat that way everyday, so how about combine those great flavors into a healthier grilled recipe!

My lighter, summertime go-to is a full meal that is chocked full of protein, vegetables and even a light(er) Bleu cheese dressing!  So you will feel full without the guilt!  

*If you prefer ranch over Bleu cheese than go right ahead.

*Use whatever vegetables you prefer on your kabobs.

*Can be made outdoors on the grill or even on a stovetop grill-pan.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, combine 1 cup of regular milk with 1 tbsp of either white vinegar or lemon juice, stir.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Done!

The Starting Lineup
Chicken

  • 2lbs chicken (breasts, tenders or thighs), cut into 2″ cubes
  • 2 Bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 oz Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Salt & Pepper

Potatoes

  • 2 1/2lbs New/Red Potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Celery Salt

Bleu Cheese Dressing

  • 8oz reduced fat Blue cheese crumbles
  • 8oz light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • Salt & pepper

Garnish (optional)

  • Celery, VERY thinly sliced
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Jalapeños, sliced 

SAUCES:  

Buffalo Wing Sauce:  In a small pan or in the microwave melt the butter.  Whisk in the bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and set aside.

Easy Bleu Cheese Dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the Bleu cheese crumbles, sour cream and buttermilk.  Salt & pepper to taste, cover and transfer to the refrigerator till needed.

Start by rinsing and cutting the vegetables and the chicken into kabob-sized pieces. 

Skewer and salt & pepper to taste.  *If using bamboo sticks, make sure to soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes prior.   If using metal skewers, make sure to lightly coat in oil so the meat doesn’t stick.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water and the potatoes to a boil.  Cover and simmer till just fork tender (about 20 minutes).  Transfer the par-cooked potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and the celery salt to taste (about 1 tsp).

With either the outdoor grill or your grill pan indoors, heat to medium-high heat and make sure to oil the grill grates or pan.  Once ready to go, start your kabobs and cook through (15-20 minutes).  Transfer the kabobs to a tray and brush on the buffalo wing sauce.  *You can start to brush the sauce on during the last few minutes of grilling, just add a little at a time and finish once done to avoid flare ups.Next, add the potatoes to the grill/pan and turn often for 10 minutes, until crisped up.


SERVE:  On a large serving platter, lay out the grilled potatoes and drizzle on the Bleu cheese dressing you made earlier and sprinkle on the celery, green onions, jalapeños.  Top with the buffalo chicken kabobs (you can remove from the skewers if preferred) and serve with the remaining buffalo wing sauce for dipping. 

Grilled Lemon-Dill Chicken w/ Greek Chopped Salad

I’ve loved the bright fresh flavors of Greek food far before the recipes infiltrated Pinterest or The Pita Jungle restaurant took off.  Crunchy vegetables, saltiness from the kalamata olives and feta and the brightness of lemon juice are my guilty pleasure.  Well wait, maybe guilty isn’t the correct word, because you never feel too heavy after eating this cool and fresh meal!  Besides the health benefits  of this recipe, I love how fast it all comes together! So it’s great for a weekday dinner or a quick meal to enjoy grilling and eating by the pool on a hot day…

The Starting Lineup

Chicken

  • 4-6 thin cut chicken breasts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dill, fresh (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons, plus zest
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste  *I used lemon-pepper, because I had it on hand

Salad

  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 2 cucumbers, seeds removed and sliced
  • 4 to 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped (or cherry tomatoes halved)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Kosher salt & pepper, to taste   

Beginning with the chicken, we’ll get the marinade ready.  In a small bowl simply combine the garlic/garlic powder, dill, lemon juice and zest, evoo and salt & pepper, whisk together.  In a large ziplock bag add in the chicken breasts and pour in the marinade.  Seal, place on a dish (to avoid spillage) and let marinate in the refridgerator for 1 hour.  *Do not let marinate too long, as the acid from the lemon juice can change the texture of the chicken. 

   On to the salad!  Prep your veggies by rinsing, chopping and dicing *For the cucumber, slice in half length-wise and take a spoon to gently scoop out the seeds/center.  This will also help to eliminate the salad from getting too soggy.  Also, drain the can of garbanzo beans and rinse/pat dry. 

   In a large bowl, combine the garbanzo beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and kalamata olives.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, evoo, oregano, salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and sprinkle on the feta cheese.  Give a gentle toss, cover and refridgerate while you cook the chicken. 

 Now here you can either start up your outdoor grill or use a grill pan indoors.  *Heck, I dont care if you decide to bake the chicken.  Do what makes you happy.  Remove the chicken from the refridgerator and place on your heated grill/medium-high heat grill pan.  Grill the chicken for about 3-4 minutes on each side and let rest for 5 minutes. 

   On a large family-style serving dish, pour on your Greek salad and layer the grilled, sliced chicken over top.  Enjoy!! 

 

%d bloggers like this: