Rule #119: Don’t mess with my Baked Alaska.
Appetizers & Cocktail Hour
I’ve been all about an easy snack during these hot summer days! This goat cheese number has been my jayum, y’all. Just microwave a little jelly or preserves (I like strawberry) in a bowl for about 20 seconds, then pour over some fresh goat cheese. Serve with crackers or veggies! So easy and yummy. I feel so fancy and fun with my glass from The Brook Home & Gift and my cocktail napkins from Fireflies & Honeysuckle!
Charcuterie Boards are an absolute favorite of mine! The biggest reason being, you can keep most of the ingredients on hand because they have a super long shelf life. I buy the Boar’s Head Charcuterie Trio from H-E-B for the meat portion of the board. It lasts forever, and it’s delicious! I also like to have Marcona Almonds on hand, plus some assortment of olives and pickles.
I occasionally throw some fruit on there, too, like grapes or apples. Another great Charcuterie staple to have on hand are hard cheeses like Irish Cheddar, Drunken Goat Cheese, or Gruyere.
Smoked Gouda is also a great Charcuterie Board addition! I had the deli cut some up for us and served them rolled up.
My sister-in-law’s Black Bean Salsa is the stuff of dreams! It’s perfect for a hot summer day with some Tostitos Scoops or bell peppers. I’m hoping to post this one ASAP.
I’ve been trying to mix up our cocktail hour goodies, so I tried an easy Paloma the other day. It was super light and refreshing! I used this recipe, but subbed agave syrup for the simple syrup.
I’ve posted a million or so times about The Corleone Family cookbook and the many amazing recipes inside. This Sicilian Crumbed Fish is SO slap-your-Mama good and oh-so-easy to make. It’s become a go-to in our house.
This Buttermilk Chicken may not look all that phenomenal, but I assure you, it tastes like it! I made it on our actual anniversary which fell on a Tuesday. This was super easy to whip together, and it was extremely full of good ole Creole flavor. I’m going to make a couple more tweaks before posting it, but this is a definite keeper! Here’s a similar version until then.
Jon Boy has been enjoying our outdoor kitchen so much that he’s branching out of his Cooking Comfort Zone (that’s a big deal for ole Jon Boy). We tried grilled salmon with wooden planks from Wildwood Grilling. I’ll be posting the entire recipe for this salmon later on. Jon Boy and I both agreed – BEST SALMON we’ve ever had!
We tried a Cedar Plank and a Wild Cherry. We both agreed the Wild Cherry was our fave!
Another Jon Boy speciality: his steaks! Ohhhh myyyy gahhhhh. He uses a Weber Thermometer to get the perfect temperature in the center. All we use for seasoning is good ole Kosher salt and pepper, too! The big key with steaks is to take them out of the fridge an hour before grilling to allow them to get to room temperature. Liberally season them while they’re sitting out, then grill as usual. We love our steaks with a simple salad and Twice Baked Potatoes.
Another Jon Boy Grilling Delight is our Citrus & Balsamic Marinated Pork Tenderloin. It’s a deliciously flavorful and yet light cut of meat that’s perfect for hot summer nights. I like to drizzle Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze over top to really send it over the edge. We served ours with Mexican Street Corn and a Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.
Mexican Street Corn is a go-to summer side dish for us. It’s simple to make, can be made ahead of time, and the ingredients have a long shelf life. Perfect for this time of year!
Another goodie from The Corleone Family Cookbook: Spaghetti with Olive Oil and Garlic. It’s a simple, traditional Italian pasta that’s not too heavy. We’ve been using Banza Pasta in place of traditional pasta because it’s a bit less in carbs and higher in protein.
Fun Story! So, we had some friends in town a couple of weeks ago. I occasionally ask on Instagram what folks would like to see on the blog. One of our friends who was visiting always asks for Baked Alaska. To be fair, he had no idea what it was. He literally searched for “most difficult recipe” and requested that I make that. Challenge accepted, bro! I knew when they were in town, I’d have to do it. It was a labor of love, but so dang worth it.
I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe, and it was perfect. It was a lot of work, but definitely doable.
Jon decided to add his own… eh hem… flair to the dish. He grabbed on of my gingerbread cutouts and made himself a little friend in my dessert!
Weekly Meal Plan (Times Two!)
I recently asked folks on Instagram what they’d like to see more of on the blog, and a few of them requested more Weekly Meal Plans. Ask and you shall receive! Here are a couple of weeks’ worth of meal plans for y’all:
Monday: Roasted Salmon (leftovers from the above picture), Roasted Red Potatoes, Frozen Green Beans
Tuesday: Red Beans & Rice (thawed from frozen)
Friday: To-Go Mexican Food (thank you, Door Dash!)
Tuesday: Taco Salad
Wednesay: Egg Roll in a Bowl
Thursday – Sunday: Out of town!