Get Your Grill On

Some of summer’s best recipes call for grilling, and this recipe for Grilled Cherry Tomato Skewers on Toast takes advantage of the season’s fresh bounty. Roasting the tomatoes enhances their natural flavor. Let them soak in an olive oil-based marinade before grilling, and season to taste afterward. Be sure to soak the wooden skewers for about 30 minutes beforehand to prevent them from burning. These tomatoes taste great alone or atop a slice of crusty bread smeared with creamy ricotta cheese.

A Crazy-Good Combo

Some food combinations are no-brainers: peanut butter and jelly; bacon, lettuce, and tomato; shrimp and grits. But others take a little more creative thought. This recipe unites an unlikely pair—tangy pimento cheese and savory thyme—but the combo works perfectly. While the homemade pimento cheese bursts with creamy richness, the thyme contributes a slight sweetness to the appetizer. Baked until fluffy and golden, these Pimento Cheese & Thyme Gougères will have you asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”  

Stacked With Flavor

An inventive take on a Caprese salad, Fried Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine Stacks make the perfect appetizer or mid-afternoon treat. The pan-fried mozzarella and peach stacks combine with some fresh basil and a balsamic glaze to produce a fantastic combination of flavors. Pan seared or grilled, the peaches pair perfectly with the mozzarella. Just be sure to use ripe peaches for a nice, soft consistency. To assemble, stack a peach slice, a fried mozzarella slice, and a basil leaf. Repeat once more, and top it off with [... more]

Fairground Food Made Over

The corn dog is a fair food favorite. In a moment of weakness, we devour it and then sit on the Ferris wheel questioning what we’ve just done. What was really in that thing? How many calories did I just consume? Why did I just eat that, again? Don’t be too hard on yourself—we’ve all been there a time or one hundred. I have good news: You can now have your corn dog and eat it too! Try making these Healthy Mini Corn Dog Muffins at home. [... more]

Addictive Summer Appetizer

Take advantage of the seasonal bounty by cooking with ripe fruits and vegetables this spring and summer. This Avocado Bruschetta with Balsamic Reduction pairs farm fresh tomatoes with creamy avocados to make a delicious outdoor party hors d’oeuvre or a healthy afternoon snack. The balsamic reduction mixed with olive oil packs a zesty punch; just salt and pepper to taste. And because the baguette slices serve as tiny platters, you don’t need silverware. In fact, you’ll love this appetizer so much you may forgo the meal.

Dip With a Twist

Canned beans are a staple in most pantries—all you need to access this pre-cooked protein is a handy-dandy can opener. If you’re wondering what to do with those cans of cannellini beans you’ve had sitting around for a while, try this easy recipe for Roasted Fennel and White Bean Dip. The baked fennel has a surprising mild licorice flavor, which pairs perfectly with the white beans. Other intense flavors come from the lemon, garlic, fresh herbs, and grated parmesan that all blend together in the food processor. [... more]

Sweet Potato Surprise

At your next party, wow your guests with an impressive appetizer: Sweet Potato Tart with Garlic Chili Oil. Everyone will be mesmerized by its beauty and amazed by the unique use of this brightly colored potato. Goat cheese and a layer of baked sweet potato slices tops the puff-pastry crust. After the tart comes out of the oven, you brush it with a homemade garlic chili oil and then garnish with parsley. Serve this crowd-pleasing appetizer to your guests while it is still warm.  

No Utensils Needed!

Shh…don’t tell your guests that the focaccia in this Easy Peasy Cheesy Pizza Dip starts with refrigerated pizza dough. Let them think that you spent hours in the kitchen. They’ll also be impressed with the divine white dip. Listen to these ingredients: ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, sour cream, herb soup mix. The delightful part for the hostess? No utensils are needed for these nibbly appetizers! It’s all about presentation and these little darlings deliver every time. I love it when my guests don’t have to worry about [... more]

The Perfect Pair

When you pop the cork and tilt that bottle of pinot noir, spilling its contents into the glass, you inhale the delicious aroma of black cherry, raspberries, and currants. You want the flavors of the wine to be just as delightful, so selecting the right food to serve it with is very important. Creamy mozzarella—with its smooth texture and mild taste—pairs well with this romantic wine. The semi-soft, buttery cheese comes alive when marinated in herbs and spices as it is in this recipe for Marinated Mozzarella. [... more]

Cultural Fusion

Many different cultures and nationalities admire good ol’ Southern cooking, so why not the Greeks? This recipe for Jalapeño and Feta Cornbread, which I found on the blog Souvlaki for the Soul, calls for a combination of milk and Greek yogurt instead of traditional buttermilk. It also incorporates diced jalapeño peppers and feta cheese, which you won’t see until you slice into the loaf. It’s an unexpected surprise! Photo Source: Souvlaki For The Soul

Crispy Goodness

I prefer kettle-cooked potato chips because they are the crunchiest chips known to mankind. So when I saw them listed as a main ingredient in this recipe for Crispy Potato Chip Chicken Strips, I was sold! Even more exciting, you can change the taste simply by choosing a different flavored chip. Just walk the snack aisle for inspiration and pick from the many flavors available: Salt & Vinegar, Jalapeño, Sour Cream and Onion, Cheddar Beer, Maple Bacon, Spicy Thai, Honey Dijon, Sriracha, and many more. Photo Source: [... more]

Remember the Rosemary

Do you remember what you had for dinner on Monday? How about last night? At this particular stage of my life, I am doing well to remember my name! Enter rosemary, my all-time favorite herb. Not only do I love the flavor and aroma of the sassy little shrub, but also I love that, according to research, it improves memory. Hallelujah and amen! Plus, it’s high in iron and calcium. If you’re intrigued by these fun little facts and want to take advantage of the herb’s health [... more]

Comfort Food Comeback

Comfort food has certainly experienced a type of renaissance, celebrated by even the most avant garde chefs and restaurants. So many humble, nostalgic foods have found new life from a bit of inventive cookery. Versions of macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, fried chicken, red-eye gravy, and cornbread can be found anywhere from gas stations to exclusive seven-course tasting menus (all to the amusement of old Southern grandmothers, of course). Among them, blessedly, is this gooey grilled cheese. Beautifully bubbling Brie. Glorious Granny Smith apple. Buttery browned baguette. Creamy caramel drizzle. (Okay, maybe I should [... more]