Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Drinks

I love serving a fruity drink with summer dinners.  Here are two recipes we've enjoyed lately:

Virgin Watermelon Margaritas


  • 4 c. watermelon, chunks, seeds removed
  • 6 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 4 C. ice cubes
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges for garnish


Combine all ingredients except lime wedges, in a blender; puree until smooth. Divide among 4 glasses. Garnish with lime wedges. 

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 5-8 lemons) - I actually just used the lemon juice you can buy in a bottle
1 cup sugar
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds to combine. Add the strawberries and puree or pulse until the strawberries are at the desired chunkiness. I liked the strawberries slightly chunky but my husband preferred it to be more smooth – blend to your own preference!
Pour the lemon/strawberry mixture into a pitcher and add 4 cups of cold water. Mix well and serve chilled.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Platter

A fun and easy way to have vegetables!  The grilling bringing out the natural sweetness and the balsamic vinegar seasoning is the perfect touch.  The recipe is from Taste of Home.
Grilled Vegetable Platter Recipe
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
3 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise
1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium red onion, cut into four wedges
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash salt

In a small bowl, combine the oil, honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oregano, and garlic powder.  Pour 3 tablespoons marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add the vegetables.  Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.  Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Places vegetables on a grilling grid.  Transfer to grill rack.  Grill, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender.

Transfer to a large serving platter.  Combine reserved marinade and remaining vinegar; drizzle over vegetables. Sprinkle with pepper and salt.  Yield: 6 servings.

NOTE:  If you do not have a grilling grid, use a disposable foil pan.  Poke holes in the bottom of the pan with a meat fork to allow liquid to drain.  (This is what I did and it worked great!)

Spicy Chicken with Pepper Peach Relish

We loved the flavors of this grilled chicken entree.  I found the recipe on the Taste of Home website. The salsa that tops the chicken adds such wonderful flavor to the dish.  The photo is by Taste of Home but mine turned out looking just as yummy.
Spicy Chicken Breasts with Pepper Peach Relish Recipe
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)

1/4 cup peach preserves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 medium peaches, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint

Combine the salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg; rub over chicken.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients; set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the peaches, peppers, onion, mint and 2 tablespoons glaze; set aside.

Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.  Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees, basting frequently with reserved glaze.

Serve with relish.  Yield:  4 servings.