Nothing looks, tastes, or smells as much like summer as watermelon does. Maybe sunblock, but you can’t, and really shouldn’t, drink that. That hot pink melon just screams hot, summer days! Get as much as you can because it’s so hydrating; I don’t care who you are, that juice is going to run down your chin and arms!
Watermelon is as much a staple in our house in these warm months as is a good cocktail. I love nothing more than to gather friends on our patio and share a delish homemade cocktail. After our first round of watermelon mojitos, I’ve declared these the official drink of summer 2023!
The first sip garnered oohs, ahhs, and even a “oh that’s the stuff!” The muddling gives you a solid upper arm workout while the jalapeno is hot enough to keep your metabolism on its toes. I’m not trying to pass off a cocktail as being a part of your summer workout plans, but those facts alone make this drink seem like a no brainer, right?
To really make the flavor pop, you’ve gotta muddle. (more…)
Posted on June 3, 2022 by Natalie K
I have this bad habit of casually inviting people to my house for any number of reasons — most recently the big NFL bowl game — and not keeping any sort of track. So when Sunday morning rolled around for a recent football game, and texts and tweets confirming attendance started popping up, I panicked.
Of course I had no idea how many people I’d actually invited. In surveying the food I would serve, I was absolutely certain we’d all starve, everyone would go home hungry, and I’d be remembered for throwing the worst party ever.
I was in no mood to face the grocery store one more time that weekend, especially a couple of hours before kick-off. Certainly I had enough things on hand to whip up something… anything. This Cheesy Black Bean and Sweet Corn Dip was the result. I have made it three more times since then and am of the belief that I could solely eat this, and only this, for the rest of my days and I wouldn’t be mad at it.
I poured through my kitchen staples for something tasty, hearty, crowd-pleasing, and easy. This was so simple it only required that I crack open a can, rip open a bag, stir, bake, and eat. (more…)
Posted on February 24, 2023 by Natalie K
My friend Lacy (and fellow DIR contributor) started posting (bragging) about a large cherry tree in her backyard, and then, of course, came the pictures of the mini cherry pies she’d made with her son.
I more or less publicly begged for her to share. And she did! Then two nights later she invited my family over to climb that cherry tree and pick some of our own. We took her up on the offer and left her backyard two hours later with two gallons of fresh picked cherries. Score!
Too hot to bake, and not really sure what else to do with these little ruby-like gems, thirst became my muse. An ordinary cherry limeade wouldn’t do though. I’m a “foodie” after all. I took this cherry limeade to the next level.
What this fizzy cherry limeade needed was a little heat, something to literally spice up the classic. Jalapenos were the fix. (more…)
Posted on July 15, 2022 by Natalie K
Happy Memorial Day! As we grill our way through this holiday, we (un)officially kick-off summer. The air is filled with charcoal, bug spray, sunblock, and fresh-cut grass and frankly, I’m not mad about a single one of those scents.
Americans are mostly grilling beef today. According to Purdue research, Memorial Day is the largest beef consumption day of the year. Surely none of us are surprised by that. So if you’re going to bite in to a burger this holiday, or any other day this summer, we say be as conscientious about it as possible.
This year, we’re making beef our side item and letting our fresh, healthy sides be the star of the cookout. With these Jalapeño Cheddar Burger Bites, everyone gets the juicy meat they don’t think they can host a barbecue without while filling up on more of the fruit and vegetable side dishes they’re usually too full to enjoy.
We made these bite-sized burger kabobs with organic ground beef by Suzy Sirloin, a reliable source of natural beef products. Recently they made available an organic product, raised right int he US without antibiotics or growth hormones. Suzy Sirloin’s cows are fed only certified organic grass and grains, and they are USDA Organic certified. Best of all, the organic beef is juicy and full of that big flavor you expect from a burger. (more…)
Posted on May 27, 2022 by Natalie K
You might be a great cook but if you serve the same Thanksgiving fare year after year, your guests are bound to start going home hungry.
Whether you’re preparing a meal from start to finish in your own kitchen or toting a side dish and dessert to a nearby gathering, it’s easy to refresh your favorite classic dishes without piling on fat and calories.
It’s tempting to snack on rich cheeses and sodium-packed crackers while you’re waiting for the turkey to finish cooking. This year, skip the mindless snacking by presenting your guests with a cheese ball flavored with herbs and spices so tasty you’ll never know that you’re eating reduced-fat cheese. (more…)
Posted on November 2, 2022 by Maris