The one thing I love about summer is all of the grilling we get to do and the eating al fresco (that means outside, right?). Even if you have those indoor grill pans, nothing beats the carcinogens of an actual grill. I mean the grill marks.
Our dinner tonight was grilled chicken pitas. I’m going to give you the recipe for the grilled chicken (super easy) then you just assemble with your favorite toppings. Mine has lettuce, Ranch dressing, and red onion. Yum!
Grilled Italian Chicken Breast Fillets
- 4 chicken breast fillets
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Place chicken in bowl; return to refrigerator. In a separate bowl mix together lemon juice, salt, garlic and red pepper; gradually whisk in olive oil. Stir in dried oregano. Pour marinade over chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, turning chicken occasionally. Preheat grill to medium-hot. Remove chicken from marinade and discard. Grill until tests done.
Grilled Taco Chicken
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- nonstick cooking spray
Preheat grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine taco seasoning mix, chili powder and salt. Spray each breast with cooking spray and sprinkle with spice mixture. Rub evenly to coat well. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, for 15 to 18 minutes or until no pink remains in the chicken and the juices run clear.
KRISTI’S DAD’S BASTING SAUCE
Funny story with this sauce. My college dorm mates and I took turns cooking for each other because we hated eating at the school cafeteria. A friend had a secret sauce that she used to grill burgers with, and they were delicious! Naturally, I asked for the recipe. She said “no, it’s a secret.” We waited for her to go to the bathroom and set up watches, while I rummaged through her desk. Two seconds later I found the sticky note with the info. Devious yes? Delicious? Also yes.
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Bring to a boil slowly. Baste on meat liberally.
I am so punished behind how hot it is outside. We have been having temps in the high 80’s lately and it’s just a little too much for this former Florida girl to handle. I choose to cool off with some refreshing treats, of course.
I whipped up a batch of Cherry Limeade I found from Pioneer Woman. It was good, but add more cherry juice and don’t let your limes just sit in the pitcher of limeade. It makes it very bitter. Can you guess how I discovered this? *pucker*
Bottoms up Cherry Limeade
From Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman
- 3/4 cup lime juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 liters lime-flavored soda water, chilled
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
- 8 maraschino cherries, with stems
- 8 lime slices
In a bowl, combine lime juice and sugar. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir carbonated water into lime juice mixture. For each serving, place 1 tablespoon cherry juice in a glass. Add crushed ice and about 1 cup of lime juice mixture. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a lime slice.
Is there any snack that says summer more than Guacamole? I think not. Fresh and fast, this is an awesome one:
- 3 ripe Avocados, medium sized
- 1 -2 jalapeno, seeded, stemmed and finely chopped
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium tomato, cored, seeded and diced
Cut avocado in quarters, discard pit and peel. Place in mixing bowl and mash minimally with a potato masher. Add remaining ingredients. Mix just until combined. Serve immediately, or store in fridge with pit in bowl to prevent browning.
Another treat that I equate with summer is Cream Cheese Olive Spread. Make ahead and pull out with crackers for a cool creamy treat while you are sitting by the lake watching then sunset with a glass of wine.
Cream Cheese-Olive Spread
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Stir together cream cheese, Spanish olives, and 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise. Shape cream cheese mixture into 2 (6-inch) logs; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 30 minutes, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 days.
Place pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake pecans at 350° for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Let cool 30 minutes or until completely cool.
Roll cream cheese log in chopped chives and toasted pecans just before serving.
We went to Cool Park today in Hickory and had such a blast! We have usually made the first visit here by now, but we took that trip to Disney right after school let out, so we delayed our first visit to almost July…unheard of in the Zick house!
To get here, take StarTown Road all the way to Spings Rd. in Hickory. Take a right on Springs and a left on Kool Park Rd. Take a right at the first red light (by the church) and you’ll see the sign for Cool Park on the right. You can thank me later.
Some stats: It costs $12 for adults, $8 for kids, bring a picnic as there are plenty of picnic tables. No glass bottles, no alcohol. The lifeguards are quite lax and you can do pretty much what you want.
Cool Park is open daily from 10-6 pm. During the week you can go at 3pm and get in for 1/2 price. 3 hours of swimming is usually plenty for us. Going at this time also ensures that all of the daycare kids are gone by that time.