3 Summer Salads to Upgrade your BBQ

Although it's hard to believe, summer will be making a swift exit in the next few weeks to make way for the cool winds of Autumn.  Before we store away our grills, and cover up the patio furniture, there's still ample time to celebrate by planning an end of summer BBQ.

As  you peruse your grocery story for hotdogs and hamburgers, and check out your local farmers market for the most ripest seasonal fruit, remember that no summer soiree is complete without a summer salad! From old time favorites of the potato or pasta variety to salads that add some flare to the freshest fruits and veggies, everyone I know has their favorite they look forward to indulging in this time of year.

If you are feeling adventurous, and want to take a little excursion from your traditional summer salads,  here are three salad upgrades that are sure to win your heart.

Photo by Geo Darwin

Photo by Geo Darwin

Grilled Corn & BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGARETTE

( Recipe c/o Korena in the Kitchen )

Best when made with corn fresh off the cob, this unlikely pairing is the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. Tossed lightly in balsamic vinaigrette gives this salad and extra special punch!

Photo by Food Network

Photo by Food Network

 

 

Cous Cous Salad with Tomato and Mint

(Recipe c/o Food Network )

Pasta move to the side, Cous Cous may just be the new winner. A  simple Mediterranean salad complimented with some mint. 

 

 

 

 

Photo by My Recipes 

Photo by My Recipes 

GEORGIA Shrimp and Radish Salad

( Recipe c/o My Recipes )

For the seafood lovers looking for a bit a flare this is one to try. The radishes pairing perfectly with fresh shrimp creates an amazing texture and flavor to die for!

5 Easy Holiday Side-Dishes

And just like that - we're back....

It's funny how time miraculously moves at light-speed and in the blink of an eye the holiday season is greeting us with a warm embrace. Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday (next to my birthday), is typically a day where I rejoice in the warmth of my kitchen which has been transformed into an oasis of autumn aromas.  This year, as we approach this glorious occasion I have feelings of anxiety and fear. 

For the first ever, Mark and I are the brave souls who volunteered to host the "annual" feast at our home. As we finalize logistics for an intimate, but enjoyable evening with my immediate family, I have searched far and wide for dishes that are trudge the line of innovation, but still appeal to the pickiest of eaters (*cough* my mother).

As you curate your own menus for the BIG day, my pinterest board  for "Holiday Dishes" may get your gears turning and mouths salivating.  If you're looking for some easy items to add a little flare to your table,  look no further as I have hand-picked these special (and might I add quite EASY to make) side-dishes just for you.

5 Easy Holiday Side-Dishes 

1. Brown Sugar Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon (recipe via eRecipe Cards)

2. Slow-Cooker Corn and Jalapeno Casserole (recipe via Real House Moms)

3. Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans (recipe via Southern Bites)

4, Sweet Potatoe Souffle (recipe via Vintage Zest)

5, Sausage and Rice Dressing  (recipe via Kalyn's Kitchen)

 

 

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup and Balsamic Vinegar

Growing up,  the childhood television shows  I loved often displayed brussels sprouts as rancid smelly vegetables that should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, those less than favorable images stayed with me well into adulthood until about five years ago, when on a whim, I decided to give them a chance.

One evening, after a few drinks, and hunger quickly settling in, I felt adventurous enough to give the restaurant's roasted maple brussels sprouts. The misplaced disdain I had for these precious little bites quickly began to fade, and I cursed 1990s media for their adverse marketing of these small pieces of heaven.

 Now a regular and welcomed guests on my dining room table, I have been honored to dress and prepare these little morsels of goodness in a number of ways. My absolute favorite recipe is one that evokes the same feelings I had during my inaugural experience with them at the restaurant. A simple recipe that involves roasting them with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar; I am happy to share with you my recipe for Roasted Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts.

 

Roasted Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Prep : 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, halved

  • 1 Small Red Onion, chopped

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 tbsp pure Maple Syrup

  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Place Brussels sprouts and red onion in a large bowl. Stir well.

  3. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Toss with wooden spoon to coat.

  4. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

  5. Add coated mixture to a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Be sure to cover the bottom evenly.

  6. Roast in oven until brussels sprouts are caramelized, ( approximately 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.)