Monday, June 28, 2010


Perfect Summer Guacamole

The hot and humid summer has set in here in alabama, and I love it! Reminds me of Florida and how it is always hot and humid there! We had a little BBQ cookout with great friends and the guacamole went fast! So, here is my recipe for the guacamole. I don't really follow a person's particular recipe, so I will call it mine! After all, there is only so many ways to make guacamole!


3 avocados (ripe) - skins removed
Juice from 1/2 of a lime (FRESH)
Handful of Fresh Cilantro, washed and finely chopped (add more or less to your taste for cilantro)
2-3 heaping spoonfulls of sour cream
1 jalapeno - seeds removed and finely diced
1-2 garlic cloves - minced (add less if you don't like garlic as much as we do!)
Sprinkle of Salt
Sriracha Sauce - just a couple of squeezes (this stuff goes a long way - spice wise, but it adds the heat and it "was" my "secret" ingredient)
If you like tomatoes, chop those and add to the guacamole!

Place ingredients in molcajete, stir together with a spoon or fork. I like mine kind of chunky so don't over mix if you like yours this way, if you like it creamy, continue mixing! Guacamole is as simple as that! Make sure to buy higher quality yellow or blue corn chips. This refreshing appetizer will be a real crowd pleaser!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Broccoli Slaw

This broccoli slaw is delicious and simple. Lately we have been grilling out and often do the traditional sides... rice, pasta, baked beans... You get the point. To mix things up a bit, this slaw though goes well with pork and chicken and pairs nicely with a sandwich for lunch.

Greek Broccoli Slaw:
1 package of organic broccoli slaw (Found typically next to the bagged lettuces)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
about 15 green olives (sliced in half)
1 jar of marinated artichokes (glass jar, NOT a can)
1/2 bottle of Newman's Own Greek style dressing or Family Italian (I use whichever I have in the pantry...)
Feta Cheese, add as much as you would like to your liking!
salt and pepper to taste
couple of dashes of red pepper flakes

Mix all the ingredients together, but add the dressing Last. This will allow you to see how much dressing you are adding because it is not exactly a 1/2 bottle, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the size package of broccoli slaw you buy. I add the dressing until it looks slightly coated, but NOT dripping in the dressing. Place in fridge and chill. Then, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tucher's Brother


And the Big Brother, Coby. He is such a handsome boy!

Living about 8 1/2 hours from my hometown sometimes is hard. Particularly during the summer when it is unbearably hot and all you want is to hang out in a backyard that has a pool! Many summer memories were made in our pool back in Florida! But, for Tucher, this is the time that he really misses his family back home, where his grannie and his brother, Coby, have a pool.
He loves his real brother Coby and really hopes to see him soon, whether in Alabama or Florida! I realize that the pics above are for Christmas, but I loved the pic of Coby and his whole family celebrating together. I wish that I had one of Coby doing his favorite thing... FRISBEE! However, you cannot get a shot of him doing just this because he is fast as lightning!
So, Coby, will you invite Tucher home to come for a swim, and he will invite you up for a snowy winter!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Birthday Dinner

Ryan celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday and we had a great time celebrating with him! I enjoyed planning and cooking up a yummy dinner for him and our friends. With the help of Mandi, everything came together!

Fresh cut sunflowers... they are beautiful and add a lot of happiness to our table!

The theme was skewers! I made rosemary skewers and chicken/beef kabobs. The chicken kabobs were like last recipe that I posted, but the beef was a new recipe and it hit the spot! The rosemary skewers were beautiful and delicious. They add a lot of presentation to food!

We had ALOT of kabobs! This was before they were cooked:

And for the Recipe - Here are some pics of those beautiful Rosemary Skewers!

Rosemary Skewers:
I used about 15 rosemary sprigs. I didn't buy cut rosemary at the store because in those little packets, you usually only get the top part of the rosemary sprig. I instead bought a whole rosemary plant from a local nursery and clipped off my own springs from the plant. And, I will be planting it in our garden for future rosemary! This allows you to have more sturdy "skewers" so you can thread more on!

Ingredients: Adapted from Pioneer Woman
15 rosemary sprigs
Kalamata olives (pitted)
Marinated Artichokes in a glass jar
Mozzarella (I bought the buffalo mozzarella that was already formed into bite-site balls, or you could easily cut a block of mozzarella into bite size cubes)

For the dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
red pepper flakes
roasted garlic (1-2 cloves, diced or mashed - i.e. almost like a paste)

Thread your ingredients on the rosemary sprig "Skewer". I started with an olive, added a piece of salami, then a piece of mozzarella, next the artichoke... you get the picture!

Then, plate your skewers and wisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing over skewers and Viola! I didn't use all of the dressing, but you would if you made more than 15, fyi. I refrigerated mine until the party started, so they can definitely be made ahead of time and ready for your guests when they arrive! This actually gives the rosemary time to "infuse" into the ingredients and make it that much more yummy! I am thinking and getting pretty crazy with other things to add to these.. My first would definitely be roasted red bell pepper or cherry tomatoes. Just a thought!

I leave you with this recipe that will make you salivate! I will put up the beef kabob recipe next time... Oh, and I made Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream as well.... More on that later!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer time = Kabob time

Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

When it is really hot and humid outside, it makes me think of grilling everything! We just recently finished out back porch extension (although, it is still a work in progress) and now we love to sit outside and enjoy our backyard. Of course, Tucher loves it because he gets lots more attention and gets to catch more frisbees! When we get everything situated just like we like it, I will post some pics of the new porch!

One of our favorite meals to grill are these chicken kabobs. They are delicious and very healthy.

Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs:
1 1/2 lb chicken breast
3 Tbs olive oil or canola oil
1/4 cup honey mustard
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb button mushrooms
1 eggplant, cut into bite size chunks
2 bell peppers (I like yellow, orange, or red- a mixture makes it more colorful)
1 vidalia onion, cut into large pieces
2 zucchini, cut into bite size chunks

If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes. Preheat the grill. In a bowl, combine the oil, lemon, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss in the chicken to the marinade. This can be done ahead of time. Begin to thread the meat and veggies. I like to start and end with a piece of onion, it just seems to hold everything nicely. I alternate all the ingredients on the skewers. Baste the whole kabob with the honey mustard. Place the kabobs on the grill, it took about 10 minutes with the grill on a medium heat. We turned them occasionally to get those nice sear marks!

I served these with wild rice pilaf and a side of honey mustard for dipping. As you can see, you can get really crazy with the different varieties you can make with these and each time, I mix it up. These can be great to get rid of extra veggies you have in the fridge. We have even made just veggies kabobs to go with a grilled pork tenderloin. In that case, I marinated the veggies in Newman's Own Organic Family Style Italian Dressing beforehand and then grilled. Veggies kabobs are a great side dish! And EASY!

And, to finish off this post, had to post this beautiful picture of Jaxon! This is my mom's Aussie, and you know that my family LOVES aussies. I took this picture last time he came to visit, and tucher and I have to say that we miss you jaxon! Hope that you come visit soon! He is such a handsome dog, and very sweet! Oh, and what you don't see in this picture is Tucher right beside him being selfish by having ALL 3 tennis balls in his control, so Jaxon had nothing else to do but look so adorable!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vacation and new recipes!

Where have we been?!!!? Answer: Paradise! It has been a while since blogging but it is with good reason... For memorial day we headed down to Long Boat Key in Florida with my family. It was a great time, went off-shore fishing (first time for Ryan) and caught lots of baracuda, kingfish, spanish makarel, cobia and shark hits. Then did some surf fishing and I caught TWO pompanos! It was such a great time and of course I loved being with my family and especially JOHN PIERCE! He is the most precious 2 year old and he loves his aunt and uncle!

Me reeling in a HUGE Kingfish!

Ryan getting one of his MANY fish!

John Pierce and me on the beach at night

Our FUTURE home in the upper left of the picture! The houses here are INSANE! Oh, and me and my bro are fishing in the water, where I caught the pompano
He is such a handsome boy!

It was a great weekend! We got back to Bham and then left for Destin with Mandi and Jared. It was a great time! We saw our friends Destin and Chris and went to celebrate Billy Bowlegs! Great times and lots of sun!

Ryan and I enjoying the vacation!
At Billy Bowlegs with Destin and Julie
Me and Mandi!!!
Jared and Mandi and KJ's

So, as you can see, we have been having a great time. Needless to say this week was devoted to getting everything at home back in order! I have cooked a lot this week (in hopes to DETOX!)
This recipe that I made is delicious. We grilled some chicken and made delicious grilled chicken sandwiches with a goat cheese pesto spread. And the salad that you see... yes, that is the best homemade ranch I have had in a LONG time! I think that I dipped about everything I could in this ranch! Probably not good for the whole ''detox'' thing if you will, but it made me eat my veggies to say the least! Make it soon!

Homemade Ranch - Recipe from Our Best Bites
*note that all spices/herbs listed below are dried. If substituting fresh, use the rules 1 part dry = 3 parts fresh.

1 cup mayo

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 t white vinegar

1 t parsley

1/8 t dill

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t onion powder

1 1/2 t dried chives

1/8 t black pepper (or more to taste)

1/4 t seasoned salt (i.e. Lawry's)

1/8 t dry mustard (a must)

Directions: Combine mayo and buttermilk, whisk together until it's lump-free. Add in vinegar and all spices. Then keep stirring until it is all smooth and well blended. I made this before hand so that it could blend all the flavors together. Then refrigerate if there is any left after you do your "taste" test! Serve over salad and top the salad with all of your favorites!

For the Grilled Chicken Sandwiches:

Marinate 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts in Newman's Family Style Italian Dressing. I did this about 4 hours. Then, get your grill hot and throw the chicken on. I immediately turned down the heat once I put the chicken breasts on, but this allows for great grill marks! Flip chicken every 5 minutes, pour remaining marinade on breasts when you do your first flip. Cook until done (mine were VERY thick chicken breasts and it took 20 minutes).

Goat Cheese Pesto - (found at, originally adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

4 oz Goat Cheese (I used Belle Chevre - our absolute favorite)

2 oz softened cream cheese (I used the lower fat cream cheese for this)

1/2 cup pesto

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions: Combine Goat Cheese, Cream Cheese, and Pesto into food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I actually didn't add any at all, but it is up to you)!

To assemble sandwiches, I put mine on a regular bun because we had 2 leftover. It would be amazing on ciabatta buns though if you want to make it more gourmet! I toasted the buns, added the goat cheese spread (add ALOT or you will have to get up from the table to add more, it is that good), put the chicken breast on it and VOILA! Of course, you could add lettuce, tomato, and I think that the best thing would be roasted red bell peppers... I am going to try that NEXT time which will be SOON!

Thanks for sticking thru this LONG POST! I enjoy blogging and keeping you all connected with delicious recipes!