drumsticksWhen summer roles around, I am in need of a much needed break from my daily routine. With that said, I do love routine; I meal plan, time manage my days, and don’t really like when a wrench is thrown into my day.

Summer is an opportunity for me to relax a little. Dinners are way more causal and the occasional “do-it yourself” sandwich bar may show up on the kitchen counter leaving everyone to fend for themselves.

The barbecue becomes my favorite household appliance and eating al fresco is a nightly affair. During the summer months, I do everything on the barbecue; roasted salsa, pizza, potatoes, fish, stone fruit, and the usual suspects of chicken, beef, sausage, and fish.

BBQ drumsticks are an easy meal. Paired with roasted “garlic bread” broccoli (the first time I made this, the kids named it), and some sliced melon, no one leaves the table hungry. Plus, clean-up is a breeze!

Hint: make extras, leftovers are a must!

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grilledpineapple.jpgLots of people think of pineapple as a summertime treat, however, fresh, sweet pineapple is available all year round with lots of healthy benefits.  Pineapples are good sources of vitamin C, B6, thiamine, manganese and fiber. They have zero fat and cholesterol as well.

I love using pineapples in meat marinades, they are an excellent tenderizer as they contain the enzyme bromelain that digests protein. This same enzyme is also found in kiwi and papaya and causes gelatin to break down. The canning process destroys this enzyme, which is why only canned pineapple is used in congealed desserts.

When bromelain is used as a natural supplement it is said to aid with digestion and ease inflammation.  With all the tenderizing effects of pineapple, don't soak seafood in it very long, the texture will turn mushy.

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apple-peanut-butter-tartMany projects I work on have a moratorium on sharing. Sometimes by me, other times by the publisher or editor who usually lets me know when I can start blabbing about it. Sometimes the lead times are long (a year or two in advance!), other times I just have to wait a month or two until whatever I photographed has hit the streets.

Of course, most of the time it’s ok to share a little bit via Instagram and Facebook, but I usually err on the side of caution and keep my mouth shut.

Which is painful when there are great recipes I want to talk about. Like this one. Oh my goodness, this one.

I am a peanut butter freak, and combined with an apple or banana it’s my standard sweet snack. I knew I’d love this recipe from Jenny Flake’s The Picky Palate Cookbook when we were reviewing the recipe list, and when Adam and his team began to assemble it I knew that the shape would photograph beautifully, and I knew that the shape would also fit in my stomach perfectly.

I think I ate the whole damn thing.

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Berries-225x300I went to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday and I believe I snapped. I bought so many berries, the berry guy can send his daughter to college on his profits.

I bought so many berries I got a flat tire on the way home. I bought so many berries I really have no option but to make several desserts and possibly some jam.

Luckily this recipe uses a lot of berries and is quite delicious. I made it on Saturday, then blueberry muffins on Sunday and I have a waiting list of berry recipes for this week. (I’ll keep you posted.)

My apron looks like a Jackson Pollock paining, his blue/red period.

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cornfritters.jpgIf there’s one thing I learned about food while living in North Carolina, it’s that anything can be battered and fried: steak, okra, pickles. Heck, even butter, as Paula Deen, proved, can be battered and fried.

It’s not just Southerners though. Americans love battering and frying all types of foods. New Englanders have fried clams. Midwesternerns have fried pork. Southwesterners have fried chiles. Texans have fried Coca-Cola. Seriously.

Yet, of all these devilishly fried, crispy treats, corn fritters may just be the best. Tender sweet corn is encased in a pillow of sweet batter and fried until doubled in size and tantalizingly golden and crunchy.

With sweet corn season upon us, there is no better time to make Crispy Corn Fritters with Chipotle Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce. They’re impossibly simple to make and impossible to resist.

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