4th of July Grill-Fest

4th of July Grillfest

Fourth of July is tomorrow…and there’s still time to make a quick meal plan for the big day.

Seriously- even if you can only make 1 grocery run, you’ve got this. Especially if you have a grill.

It’s the perfect time of year to utilize your grill for every part of the meal. I mean it! I’m talking to apps to dessert, all with that delicious, smoky flavor attached to them.

So, here’s what I’m thinking for this “July 4 Grill-fest”:

Appetizer

  • Buy some eggplants to throw on the grill and turn into babaganoush (serve with pita or pita chips)
  • Whip up some white bean hummus and grill some fresh pita to go on the side

Main Dish

  • Grill up some classic burgers or dogs (we like smash burgers with chopped onions in them and American cheese on top)

Side Dish

  • Grill up some corn on the cob, the easy way (and please top it with garlic chive butter)
  • Add some bell peppers, hot peppers, squash and zucchini sliced (tossed in olive oil and spices) onto the grill for a bit of a char
  • Grilled fries are also delicious

Dessert

  • Grilled pineapple is my new go-to summer dessert, served with the best vanilla ice cream you can get your hands on

Happy grilling, ya’ll!

Baked Egg Fest!

baked eggs in arugula

I’ve got another slightly unconventional weeknight dinner idea for you…

…baked eggs!

There is so much that you can do with this treatment of our ingredient of the month! You can combine it with any number of vegetables (greens, potatoes, squash) and it cooks super quickly in the oven. It looks totally Instagram-worthy in a cast iron skillet, too.

For this lovely Baked Eggs in Arugula recipe, we’re depending on Yotam Ottolenghi’s genius (author of Plenty) for a baked egg dish that’s packed full of flavor.

baked eggs in arugula

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Mac & Cheese + Tater Tots = Amazing!

mac and cheese tot casserole

I know. I know.

It’s getting a bit warmer (at least where I live), and I’m absolutely soaking up all of the sun. Right now, I’ve got my porch chair pushed out to where my face it out of the sun, but my legs are in the midst of its heat. I know- smart, right?!

Even though it’s a bit unlike February, I have totally been enjoying the warmer temps. I just got my garden seeds in the mail, and we just tilled our new garden spot in the backyard.

But but but…I want you to know that there’s still time to enjoy some amazing casseroles. No matter where you live or what the weather is like, you still have a chance to try out this comforting, simple masterpiece of a Mac & Cheese Tot Casserole!

mac and cheese tot casserole

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Chili in a Skillet

skillet veggie chili

Now that we’re back into winter (with even some snow on the ground), I find myself turning to my cast iron skillet for cooking and flavor.

This heavy kitchen tool can be relied on to cook everything from crisp bacon to steak to pot pie. And it’s nice that it goes from the stovetop to the oven so easily.

In this Skillet Veggie Chili recipe, you make use of your cast iron pal, along with plenty of canned pantry items. Once you’ve got this seasoned, hearty vegetarian chili going, all you need is a bed of Fritos, some sour cream and those pickled red onions that you whipped up so easily.

skillet veggie chili

This filling meal only takes 30-45 minutes to make, and it will be easy on your budget, too!

If you’ve got another snow storm coming your way, I suggest putting this Skillet Veggie Chili on your meal plan and grocery shopping list.

skillet-veggie-chili recipe card

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge and save.

For other comforting cast iron skillet recipes, try:

Weeknight Ottolenghi Wonder

chickpea and greens saute

Have you guys heard of Yotam Ottolenghi?

He’s an Israel-born British chef who is basically the king of vegetable-forward, healthy and super tasty cooking. I was gifted his cookbook, Plenty, and I have loved everything I’ve cooked from it.

For example, this Chickpea & Greens Saute with greek yogurt.

chickpea and greens saute

He takes greens, legumes and other veg and transforms them with fresh acidity, lots of herbs and a healthy drizzle of olive oil into fresh meals that are a revelation. I dream of visiting his restaurants/delis in London someday.

I like that this recipe helps me get out of my comfort zone just a little: Pick up some swiss chard (or whatever other hearty greens you can find), chop up some mint and cilantro, and open a can of chickpeas.

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Easy Enchiladas

black bean enchiladas

No matter the weather, season, season of life or time of day, it’s always time for Mexican food, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s comforting, easy to throw together and bursting with flavor.

As far as enchiladas go, I haven’t been able to find a recipe that suited my need to get dinner in the oven quickly but still have something really tasty (and leftovers)!

black bean enchiladas

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Your Healthy Dinner Idea: Roasted Vegetables

roasted vegetables with cous cous

I’m not sure where you’ve been with your dinners as of late, but I’ve been hungry and ready to find something that is healthy, exciting and ready in under 30 minutes flat (or less).

If you’re in the same boat, I’m glad to tell you that there are tons of options out there for healthy dinner ideas.

And, maybe I’ll even start a little series with some of my ideas. We’ll see!

Today, I’m talking about the wonders of roasted vegetables.

Why roasted vegetables, you ask?

  • You can roast almost any vegetable (onion, pepper, okra, squash, carrot, potato, broccoli, etc.), and it will be delicious.
  • All you need is oil, salt and pepper, and 30 minutes or so in the oven.
  • They are so versatile and good with almost any other side or main.
  • Roasted veggies are tasty and healthy.
  • They can help you get rid of that lingering produce in your fridge.
  • These type of recipes are perfect for the summer months when produce is varied and fresh.

Here’s what you do. Get any and all veggies that you have together and slice into almost even slices (but, this doesn’t really matter too much). Then, toss in a large bowl with a few tbs. of oil (grapeseed or olive) and sprinkle with salt and pepper (and any other spices you really like- cumin and cayenne are some of my faves). Put in a 400 degree oven and roast until cooked through and well, roasted, for 25-40 minutes (depending on the veg).

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Weeknight Winner

stir fry

Today’s recipe is nothing fancy or revolutionary, but it’s something that we eat almost every week at our house. It also features our Ingredient of the Month: Napa cabbage.

I can’t believe it’s taken me all these years to share this recipe, but today is the day.

There are infinite ways to make a good stir fry, so I’m hoping that you’ll take this base recipe and run with it.

stir fry

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Dinner Party Secrets

roast chicken

I know you.

You’re thinking about hosting a dinner party. And don’t think that a dinner party has to be some big, New Year’s, champagne-slinging, expensive, spend-all-night-in-the-kitchen gig.

No, no, no. This dinner party can be as chill and budget-friendly as you would like.

And you know what the key to that is? Here are a few keys from a somewhat seasoned dinner party hostess like me:

  • Buy a loaf of killer artisan bread from your favorite bakery (then just slice and warm in the oven)
  • Set out the butter to soften hours before the party and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt
  • If you drink, have wine or cocktails handy (it will make everyone feel better- the host included)
  • Make the dessert beforehand (hello easy cobbler, crisp, cookies or cake that can sit out for a few hours)
  • Use seasonal ingredients whenever you can (they will taste better and cook faster)
  • Go for a one-pot meal like a roast chicken

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Cinco de Mayo!

pork & black bean stew

These days, I’ve been looking for any excuse to party.

Finish a to-do list? That deserves a high five.

Your garden isn’t dead yet? Take yourself out for an ice cream!

You made it through half of this week, and you’re still killing it? Prep for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Next week is the big day, and it’s giving us all a chance to have fun, try a new dish or drink, and celebrate with each other.

pork & black bean stew

You on board? I knew you would be!

So, I’ve brought along a few other cool blogger friends to today’s recipe party, and we have so much to share with you. Check out all of the recipes (via the links) below to get the party started right now.

34 of the best Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes! Everything from cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, salsa recipes and dinner ideas for Cinco de Mayo. Pin for later!

Margarita Granita by Feast + West
Cinco de Mayo Party Inspiration and Recipes by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Poblano & Mushroom Tosadas by The Mexitalian
Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb Agua Fresca by Will Frolic for Food
Street Corn-style Roasted Potatoes by A Little Gathering
Pork & Black Bean Stew by think fruitful
Tequila Lime Tart by Love & Flour
Crispy Fish Tacos with Cajun Mayo by Winstead Wandering
Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca by A Savory Feast
Shredded Chicken Gorditas by Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Carne Asada Fries by Tornadough Alli
Mexican Carrot Dogs with Chunky Salsa Verde by Strength and Sunshine
Raspberry Lime Rickey Margaritas by Feed Me Phoebe
Slow Cooked Carnitas Style Chicken by Simple and Savory
Chicken Fajita Sandwich by Brunch-n-Bites
Cantaloupe Mint Margaritas by The Speckled Palate
Brussel Sprout, Wild Mushroom, Avocado and Feta Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa by Arthur Street Kitchen
Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream with Roasted Pepitas by Bethany Grow
Roasted Veggie Salsa by Living Well Kitchen
Seared Scallop Tacos with Spring Mango Salsa and Avocado Cream by Domesticate ME!
Blackberry Mint Agua Fresca by the Grant life
Traditional Homemade Flour Tortillas by Sustaining the Powers
Nightshade Free Southwest Salad by I Say Nomato
Southwestern Orzo Salad by Family Food on the Table
Cheesy Southwest Egg Rolls by Pink Cake Plate
Watermelon Mint Margarita by Gold & Bloom
Mix-Your-Own Guac Bar by Hey There Sunshine
Blood Orange Margaritas by Glisten and Grace
Veggie Stuffed Chiles Rellenos with Avocado Cream by Hello Little Home
Slow Cooker Red Chicken Enchiladas by Sustaining the Powers
Margerita Poke Cake by Pink Cake Plate
Mojito Cupcakes by The Rustic Willow
Margarita Shrimp Tacos by Macheesmo
Pineapple Cilantro Salsa by Feast + West
One Pot Taco Soup by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Sizzling Texas Fajitas by Sustaining the Powers
Tequila Lime Cupcakes with Margarita Buttercream by Sugar Dish Me
Slow Cooker Chipotle Turkey Tacos by Two Places at Once
Margarita Bar by Mixplorology

For my Cinco de Mayo contribution, I’m giving you the recipe for the most flavorful, filling and tender Pork & Black Bean Stew. This one comes from the master of Mexican cooking, Rick Bayless, and it’s one of those throw it all in the slow cooker and let the magic happen types of situations.

pork & black bean stew

Who knew that pork shoulder, dried black beans, onion, tomatoes and serranos could be so beautiful together?!

I hope you can enjoy one of these amazing dishes or at least feel inspired to make something on your own.

pork-and-black-bean-stew recipe

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