Simple Saturday: Grilled Fries

grilled fries

There’s no wrong way to make fries, right?!

I mean any way you slice it (pun intended), fries take a potato and make it super tasty!

At our house, we don’t mess with making regular fries (we leave that up to Cookout), but we do like whipping up a batch of baked fries.

My husband is the master of cutting the perfect wedges or strips, and he’s even got his seasoning mix down pat. Cayenne and smoked paprika are the secrets.

So, he or I (I can’t quite remember) had the idea of grilling our fries. This way, they get that burger-ish flavor, they have a perfect crunch on the outside and soft, creamy inside.

grilled fries

If you’re still savoring the last of summer using the grill, then throw on some fries next time!

Here’s how you make them:

  1. Slice a few potatoes into strips or wedges and throw them into a large bowl of salted water. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, then pat dry on a towel.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss potato slices with a few tbs. of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and a few pinches of cayenne and smoked paprika.
  3. Grill the fries on a 400 degree grill, turning until they have a little char on each side.

Simple Saturday: Late Summer Salad

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Even though it’s still a blazing 90+ degrees here in North Carolina, summer is coming to an end.

My tomatoes have just now started growing, but hopefully soon it will be time for cooler temps and less AC (hello, better utility bills).

I’m glad that we still have a bit of time to transition into the pumpkin breads and long cardigans. I’m still enjoying corn on the cob, grilled veggies and late summer salads just like this one.

late summer salad

If you’ve been doing some grilling (as I suggest), then maybe you have some leftover veggies like squash, corn and zucchini. And maybe you have some sort of cheese in the fridge like goat cheese or feta. You probably have some mixed greens, spinach or kale hiding back in that crisper drawer, too, right?

If so, you’re in luck because you have the makings of a fabulous late summer salad.

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Dip from the Grill

baba ganoush

We’re party people.

Are you a party person?

Do you enjoy getting together with others and celebrating? This may or may not involve consuming dips and eating sweet cake, as well.

Whether you’re a party of 1, 2 or 20, you’re going to need some good dips to have around.

I feel like some of the best parties start with a good dip and chip or cracker. It’s the perfect summer appetizer.

And you can make this one in advance.

baba ganoush

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Ingredient of the Month: Summer Squash

summer squash

Squish. Squash. That yellow stuff that is grown before pumpkin season.

Whatever you call it, you should be calling it delicious.

I feel like summer squash often gets overlooked. Like its buddy okra, it has the tendency to be overcooked and slimy. Also, because it’s so abundant in the summer, it’s possible to get sick of it.

I attempted to grow squash in my garden this year, and I have had beautiful squash blossoms and flowers and not much else but a bunch of evil ants. That’s how growing just goes sometimes.

squash blossom

But, thankfully I’ve been able to get my fill of summer squash from my local farm stand.

The really good news is that squash is cheap, versatile and good for you! It’s also a Southern staple, so you’ve got to get your fill of it.

Tell me more:

While there are many varieties of summer squash (green zucchini, yellow zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash), we’ll be focusing on the classic yellow squash today. It is full of antioxidants and comes in a variety of shapes (straight neck and crook neck) but is typically about half a foot long with a slimmer neck and fatter bottom. Pick squash that are free of blemishes or cuts and feel firm (not soft at all).

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Sophisticated Trail Mix

sophisticated trail mix

I’m not going to lie — I kind of forgot about trail mix.

But don’t tell my Dad. He’s a big trail mix and GORP fan.

I’m glad that National Trail Mix Day a week ago gave me a chance to remember how easy and tasty trail mix is.

This mix is no stale peanuts and M&Ms. No, no, no. It’s got some nice, sophisticated flavors. Just like I’ve matured, I would like to think that my taste in trail mix has, too.

sophisticated trail mix

This is the type of trail mix that you can snack on while watching Downton Abbey or Mr. Selfridge (my current favorite).

From the crunch of the pepitas and hazelnuts to the tang of the dried cherries and health of the chia seeds, this mix is made for traveling and snacking. Did I mention that there are chocolate chips and cocoa nibs for a double chocolate punch?

sophisticated trail mix

For making your own trail mix (which I highly suggest), it’s as easy as selecting your favorite ingredients and mixing them together, creating something as unique as you would like. Grab some nuts for protein and crunch and some dried fruit for sweetness, letting your taste buds lead the way.

It’s so fun pairing which flavors will go together well (like the chocolate and cherries in this one). You can go tropical, traditional or even chocolate crazy if you want!

sophisticated-trail-mix recipe card

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge or right click to save.

The 1 Secret to Living Healthy

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By that title, you might think that we’re talking about the secret of the universe here.

And, no, I’m not offering the coordinates to the fountain of youth, but I am someone who is passionate about living well and living healthy. And I would say that I’ve learned a few thing over the years in this pursuit.

There is so much advice (books, blog posts, websites, etc.) to tell us what to eat, what not to eat, what to do and not to do.

I’m not here to give you guidance in that way, I’m just hoping to give you some, well, hope that you can make positive change in your life to be more healthy.

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So, what’s the big secret you ask?

Here’s the one secret to living healthy: Do Something.

By that I mean dedicate yourself to taking steps to live healthier. Make it a goal to start living better now.

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Bread & Salad

panzanella

The best things about summer are typically the easiest.

Throwing some burgers on the grill, cracking open your favorite local brew, or eating tomatoes, herbs and other veggies from your backyard garden or farmers market.

This is what good summers are made of.

Simple. Fresh. Fun.

This summer, I finally had the opportunity to make panzanella (which I can’t say without thinking of my good friend Annie, who I call by that nickname).

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The Best Thing I Ate This Month

dr. young's pond berry farm in angier, nc

what:

You-pick blackberries, blueberries (I let them pick those) and raspberries

where:

Dr. Young’s Pond Berry Farm in Angier, NC

why:

Going berry picking was one of the treats of my July 4 weekend. On the holiday (which was unseasonably cool and cloudy), I got up early and drove down to pick some berries. There’s nothing like gathering your own sweet, vibrant berries to eat just as is or to freeze to bake into something delicious later on.

Pasta Hot or Cold

arugula feta pasta

I hope everyone’s OK with another easy weeknight meal recipe.

Even as a food blogger (or especially as), I’m always looking for new ways to liven up my meal plan without buying a lot of extra ingredients or spending a lot of time cooking.

Here’s another win-win!

If you’re a feta-lover, then you might get excited about this Arugula Feta Pasta.

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