Showing posts with label barbecue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barbecue. Show all posts

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

Here at the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer.

And I am psyched to break out some new summer recipes with you guys.

This one came from my friend Pauline, who got it from her mother-in-law.  I'm not sure where she got it from, so I apologize in advance for not properly crediting the source.  But I had this at their house last summer, and had to get the recipe.  It is super easy, has simple ingredients, and is really refreshing.

In fact, this salad is so delicious that The Mini actually reversed her ban on tomatoes.  Yup - cut up tomatoes were a food I tried early and often, but to no avail until I gave her a bowl of this salad.  I think it's the garlic and basil, which obviously makes everything delicious. (Although now she will even eat tomatoes plain, go figure.)

I can't complain too much though, because she has actually been a great eater for the most part.  I am just crossing my fingers that toddler-hood doesn't ruin that!  I know most kids get more fickle with age, and I was pretty much the poster child of picky.  Family folklore tells me that when I was a baby, I actually ate (and enjoyed!) a wide variety of foods.  My only memory, however, is subsisting on chicken nuggets, yogurt, and mac & cheese for about the next 12 years of my life.


I cringe just thinking about it.  I really don't know how that happened because my parents both love food.... but let's hope we don't repeat that.  Although I'm sure my mom is somewhere chuckling & saying, "Ohh, just wait.  She's only 1 1/2!"

So until then I guess I'll just be happy that we can all enjoy this summer treat together :)

Corn, Tomato & Basil Salad

  • 12-oz. bag frozen corn (about 3 cups, or the kernels removed from about 6 cobs)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C. fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 T. white vinegar
  • kosher salt & ground pepper, to taste

Season tomatoes with some kosher salt, stir, and set aside in a colander to draw the juices out.  (This is an optional step, it just takes some of the liquid out of your finished salad).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add minced garlic, and saute about 1 minute - do not brown.  Add corn kernels (still frozen is fine) and saute about 4 minutes, until just cooked through.

Remove pan from heat and add half of the sliced basil.  Season mixture with salt & pepper & transfer to a bowl.  Stir to combine.  Allow to cool slightly, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, and remaining basil.  Adjust salt & pepper to taste.  Cover & chill 3-8 hours, or can be served immediately.

Family Recipe - Origin Unknown

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cilantro and Sesame Thai Chicken Marinade

So the Mini is officially on the move (as of the Saturday after the Fourth of July) and let me tell you - she is one curious little monkey.  No walking yet, but she's quite the speedy crawler.  We have finally been forced to adopt a more minimalist decor, and switch out our awesome driftwood coffee table for a soft storage ottoman.  

But I'm not complaining; in fact, I am loving this age.  The Mini has so much personality, and it's fun to see the world through the eyes of a 9-month-old.  

She is also a lot more portable.  In mid-July, we visited my mother & father-in-law's river cottage in Canada and the Mini really impressed us.  She went on her first boat ride, and her first float in the water.  

I won't lie, the 7 some-odd hour ride back home was a little rough, but otherwise it was a great trip.

On the home front, I have actually been cooking more on weeknights, though it is mostly my tried & true recipes that don't require as much concentration (it's a little tougher when you have to keep one eye on the food and the other on a mobile munchkin).  

These days I am also making more food for her, as she is transitioning from baby food to table food.  But since you probably don't need a recipe for steaming broccoli or boiling whole-wheat farfalle, I will instead share with you this chicken marinade.  

I had loads of cilantro left over from the quinoa salad, and our jalapeno plants are doing well, so this seemed like a smart use of ingredients.  I like it because the sesame oil and rice vinegar give it a nice flavor, and it has a little heat to it without being too spicy.

Cilantro and Sesame Thai Chicken Marinade
  • 1/2 C. fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs & seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T. + 1 t. soy sauce
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lbs. thin-sliced or pounded chicken breasts

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse all marinade ingredients until pureed.  
Place chicken in a shallow dish and coat evenly with cilantro puree.  Let sit one hour, then grill or broil chicken until cooked through.

Recipe Adapted from Food and Wine

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken

So... originally this post was supposed to be Homemade Ginger Ale.

And then when that tasted like crap, it was supposed to be something else (which I won't tell you, because there's hope for that yet).

However, I will tell you it involved an ice cream maker - which originally I couldn't use because I forgot to put the canister in the freezer.  So I put it in overnight... and then our power went out early this morning.

But then it came back on, and I (mistakenly) thought the canister was ready so I got the ice cream maker going - and it ended up just doing a really thorough job of mixing everything, because the canister wasn't actually frozen.


So... Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken it is!

This is a great recipe for when it's really hot out and you don't want to turn on your oven.  (Like yesterday here in NJ... it's never good when you look at the weather forecast and see "High 103").

I believe you could also set it on low in the morning and it will be ready for dinner when you get home from work.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Chicken 

  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1 1/4 C. ketchup
  • 1/4 C. brown sugar 
  • 1 T. + 1 t. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 T. + 1 t. soy sauce
  • 2 T. cider vinegar 
  • 2 T. chipotle sauce* (see notes below) 
  • 1 t. molasses 
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 t. garlic powder

Place all sauce ingredients in slow cooker - stir to combine.  Add chicken breasts, nestling into sauce to coat.  Cook on high about 3 hours, or until chicken is cooked all the way through and beginning to fall apart.  Remove from chicken pieces from crockpot and shred with forks.  Replace in sauce, stir to coat, and cook an additional ten minutes.  Serve on potato hamburger buns, or other roll of your choosing.  Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

*Note: "Chipotle Crushed Sauce" is available in the Spanish foods section of many grocery stores, in a small squeezable bottle - the brand I have is Goya.  You also can substitute pureed canned chipotles in adobo sauce instead.  You may also adjust the amount of any of the above to your taste for spiciness; 2 T. of chipotle sauce gives this a little kick and adds smokiness. (If you can't find chipotle at all, you can also use red pepper flakes to taste).

Recipe Adapted from

Monday, June 27, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza Bites

Oh my.

Have you ever had to put on a happy face for hours on end and just feel emotionally drained?

I'm sooo there.

Not that all of it was a show.  There was definitely genuine happiness and enjoyment.

But it all sort of runs together after a while. 

And the worst part is, I'm only just getting warmed up for this marathon.

You know, stretching the quads & hammies.  A few arm circles, a quick jog in place.

And I'm already ready to quit.

I... don't even know what to say to you guys right now.

Except maybe - "Eat these."

It will make us both feel better.

BBQ Chicken Pizza Bites

  • 1 1/2 C. shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1/3 C. your favorite barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's), or more to your taste
  • 1 can Pillsbury pizza dough (in the refrigerated section) or your favorite pizza dough recipe stretched into a rectangle approximately 12x8
  • 1/2 to 2/3 C. mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder & Italian seasoning for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a pie pan and set aside.

Roll out pizza dough on lightly floured surface, and pat to flatten evenly (the long sides should be horizontal).  Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, make 2 slices to create 3 horizontal rows.  Then make 5 slices to create 6 vertical rows (which will make 18 rectangles).* 

Divide chicken and mozzarella evenly between dough rectangles, placing filling in the middle of each & being careful not to overstuff them (otherwise you won't be able to close them).  Once the filling is in, then pull the sides of the dough into the middle, gathering and pinching together to seal it shut into a ball.

Place balls seam side down in greased pan.  When all rolls are in pan, brush tops with about 1 T. of olive oil.  Sprinkle with a little garlic powder & Italian seasoning, if desired.

Cook in pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Serve plain or with dipping sauce (such as ranch dressing).  Makes 18.

*Note: The original recipe calls for 24 squares but I find that when they're that small it's a little tougher to fill - totally up to you though, that way would make more bites.

Recipe Adapted from Our Best Bites

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders

Ok so I just joined a boot camp class, and my first one was last night.

Oh. Sweet. Jesus.

I did a similar thing years ago in college ... key words being 'years ago.'

This is only a 45 minute class but honestly - I don't think I could take much more than that.

Muscles that I didn't even know I had are sore.  And I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring, as I find I usually feel the worst 2 days after.

Just in time to go back.

Ahaha! :)

In the meantime... delicious pulled pork sliders!

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders

  • 1 t. vegetable oil
  • 1 2 to 2 1/2 lb. boneless pork roast
  • 1 C. barbecue sauce
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 C. water
  • 2 T. light brown sugar
  • 1 T. yellow mustard
  • 1/2 C. ketchup
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • package of 12 slider rolls

Combine all ingredients except roast & rolls in pot of a slow cooker.  Whisk or stir until ingredients are evenly distributed.  Score both sides of roast with a few diagonal cuts, and place in slow cooker.  Roll roast to coat with sauce, and cover. 

Cook on low for 7-8 hours (high for 5-6) or until roast shreds easily with a fork.  Shred in pot (or remove to shred, then return to pot) and stir to coat meat with sauce.  Toast slider rolls if desired.  Spoon pork onto buns and serve.  Makes12 over-stuffed sliders.

Recipe Adapted from


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