Thursday, July 20, 2017

What's in your Picnic Basket?

Here are a few of my "favorite" and easy ideas for planning your picnic this weekend.  

Make ahead slider sandwiches of any combo are easy and popular with almost everyone.  My favorite combos are ham and swiss or roast beef and provolone on small slider buns with honey mustard.  Put your sandwiches together, place on aluminum foil, and head in the oven at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes, cool and transport.  Keep chilled until ready to eat.  I love these and make them year round.

Fruit kabobs you make that morning.  Use any fruit of your choice but I find halved strawberries, grapes, cheddar and mozzarella cheese cubed make delicious skewers.  Keep chilled until you enjoy.

Brownies!  Need I say more?:)



Grill crusty bread ahead of time, bring bruschetta topping either homemade or store bought (keep chilled), and place on the grilled bread for a tasty appetizer. Top with shredded mozzarella if desired.


Don't forget your picnic basket, cutting board, glasses, water, and wine!



I love make ahead dishes.  Cut up grilled chicken from day before and skewer with green grapes, drizzle with a little olive oil if desired and keep chilled until ready to serve.

I make these "caprese" appetizer skewers ahead of time and are so much fun to eat at an outdoor event.  Marinade grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese for a short time in a zip lock bag in fridge, skewer them on wooden skewers, keep chilled and enjoy. Sprinkle with dried basil if desired for extra flavor.



The "bags" toss game is perfect for all ages and easy to transport.

Bring paper bags, roll down the tops for putting your salty snacks in.  No fuss and toss away "bowls".


If you're planning on grilling on a portable grill, don't forget the condiments.

A favorite of mine for outdoor parties or picnics is the "Walking Taco".  Buy small Fritolay Frito bags to present in a basket, put chopped tomatoes, peppers, shredded cheddar, heated and stirred chili, and sour cream out for make your own walking tacos on top of the fritos.  Eat with a fork or spoon and enjoy.

Happy Picnics and enjoy the Weekend!




         photo Lake house lyn signature_zpspevll2ky.png

Monday, July 17, 2017

Grilled Banana Split



My indulgence every Summer (at least once) is a banana split with the works! Here is a recipe that calls for grilling the bananas on the grill for a few minutes and then topping with your delicious toppings.  

You will need 1 banana per person, your favorite vanilla ice cream, maraschino cherries, whipped cream (lots), chopped nuts, chocolate, strawberry, pineapple,caramel or hot fudge sauces, and a teaspoon of melted butter.


Preheat grill to medium heat.  Cut unpeeled bananas lengthwise and brush melted butter over cut sides.  Grill bananas cut side down for about 2 minutes or until lightly browned.  Turn and grill for 2 more minutes or until tender.  Cross bananas crosswise and carefully remove peels.

To serve, place bananas in individual bowls, add vanilla ice cream and your syrups and sauces, whipped cream, chopped nuts and maraschino cherries.

                                  Make it a Happy Tuesday!
               

       




                                                                                

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Only in Summer


                                                        Summer Simplicities                  

Only in Summer can you enjoy bon fire's (even if they get a little out of control).



Only in Summer you can ride the waves of the lake. 

Only in Summer can we enjoy swimming.

Only in Summer can we enjoy a good game of golf.....even when my Dad is winning.

Only in Summer can we enjoy the shore path of Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. 26 mile walk around the lake weaving in and out of the shore line.  You never know who you will meet along the way.

Only in Summer can you enjoy tailgating before baseball games. 



Only in Summer can you enjoy a delicious steak fresh off the grill.


Only in Summer can we enjoy a few moments of listening to the birds sing and letting our mind wander.
Only in Summer are there the most brilliant and gorgeous sunsets over the lake.



Enjoy the little things this Summer! 



Monday, July 10, 2017

Love Pizza? Grill It!


One of my favorite stands at the Farmers Market is WindyAcresFarmStand.
The Caprese pizza made with fresh thinly sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil is on my Top 10!

If you love pizza and your grill, you can have it all!  Check out how to make on your grill and you can have easy, delicious supper in 30 minutes. Or check out a local granite counter top maker for a scrap piece of granite that will fit in your grill (16 x 18 and 1 1/2 inches thick a good size).   Never touch a hot stone or granite!  Remove pizza with spatulas and leave on the grill until grill and stone are cold to touch.
  
1. Buy premade pizza dough in your local market or head to your favorite pizzeria to inquire about purchasing  pizza dough. 

2. Store bought sauce is easiest but you can find a 5 minute tomato sauce below that is delicious.

3. Organize your toppings ahead of time.  Grated cheese, sliced cheese, sliced tomatoes, chopped or sliced vegetables. My favorites are sliced mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, black olive and fresh basil.  I visit our local Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and I enjoy using the fresh vegetables I find on our pizza creations.  Tomatoes, basil, green and red peppers, mushrooms, spinach and onion are among my favorites and at peak right now.  

4. Use a pastry brush and fill a small mason jar with olive oil for easy access.  Brush the dough using your pastry brush with olive oil to keep the dough from sticking to the grill.

                                          ~Five Minute Tomato Sauce Recipe~

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, 3 medium clove of garlic, finely chopped, 1 28 ounce can crushed red tomatoes.

Combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium - high heat, saute just 45 seconds or so until it is fragrant.  Be careful the garlic doesn't burn.  Stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer for a couple of minutes.  Remove from the heat and taste.  Now is a good time to add more salt if needed.  Brush onto your grilled pizza crust while on the grill and add toppings.  Grill until done to your liking. Transfer from your grill carefully  with spatulas, serve and enjoy!  

                                                     
                                                          


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Campfire Pies - Where Have You Been All My Life?


Photo by AndreasRecipes. com

Photo by AndreasRecipes.com

Photo by AndreasRecipes.com

Photo by Roni Reino

Our neighbors invited my husband and I to a bonfire in their backyard a few days ago.  After sharing stories, laughs, and wine, they brought out their pieiron containing bread and apple pie filling.  After cooking this over the fire for 5-6 minutes, we had a delicious apple dessert.  We have had our lake house for 20 years and enjoy getting quite creative with our s'mores, but this is over the top with possibilities.  I immediately went online to research Pie Irons, and found endless recipes for this new cook "toy".  I will be featuring a few of these in future weeks, but the fruit filled pies gets my vote this week!  These Pie Irons can be found on Amazon.  Of course I have ordered a couple of sets!  And may be getting more.

Here's how simple.  
Can of pie filling of your choice (blueberry or apple are delicious)
White bread
Butter

Butter 2 slices of bread (one side only).  Place a piece of bread butter side down in the pie maker.  Add 3 spoonfuls of pie filling on the bread, top with the other piece of bread, making sure the butter side in against the pie iron.  Close the pie maker and place over the fire.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the bread is browned.  Cool a few minutes and enjoy.

How do you like your Campfire Pies? 





Sunday, July 2, 2017

Firecracker Burger with Kick

        Spicy Crunch Burger (recipe below)    
What's a Burger without Grilled Corn?


Our daughter made this sign years ago when we bought our lake home and it is tradition to place it on the mantle each 4th of July


 To honor the 4th of July, we're making an awesome Spicy Crunch grilled burger recipe sure to please those who love a burger with a spicy bite!  This is a favorite of mine and one of the most delicious burgers I've ever had.  It is a 1/2 lb. fresh 100% certified premium beef burger made up of a special blend of sirloin and chuck.  Smothered in buffalo sauce, and then topped with crushed crispy kettle chips.  My personal favorite crunch chips are capecodchips.  Served on a fluffy sesame seed bun with lettuce, sliced tomato a dill pickles.

 ** To add more richness to your burger patty, mold your meat around a small pat of salted butter and it melts into the meat as it cooks.YUM!

***For more kick, skip the butter and cube pepper jack cheese.  Stick a couple of cubes of pepper jack inside your meat patty and form around around the cubes.  Melts as it cooks...adds a fun twist.

Top your finished burger with buffalo sauce spread over the top of the patty and top with crushed Kettle Potato Chips.


     ~Wishing you a happy and safe 4th of July holiday with family and friends~                                                                         




Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer Wine to pair with Summer Foods


 Rose' your guests will love during the hot weather months this summer that will pair beautifully with grilled chicken, fish or salad. Here are two of our favorites:
 Coopershawkwine offers a Pinot Noir Rose produced and bottled at their California winery that is perfect served chilled with pastas, salads and grilled meats.  
Kimcrawford Hawke's Bay Rose' from New Zealand is a dry Rose' that is nicknamed "Pansy" for it's vibrant character.  








Cheers!🍷





 
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