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This is hands down the most flavorful marinade I have ever had. Chef Michael Symon made this on The Chew one day and all the co-hosts raved about how good it was.  I knew I had to give it a try and I’m so glad I did as it became one of my favorite steak marinades all summer long. Absolutely delicious!

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1/3 cup Olive oil
Steak of your choice, skirt steak, flank steak or hanger steak

Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, rosemary and chili flakes. Add about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Place steak in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over the steak.  Marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Heat grill to medium-high heat, wipe off any bits of the marinade from the steak, drizzle with olive oil and grill steak to your desired doneness.   Serve warm.



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I made these burgers over the 4th of July weekend. Let’s face it no 4th of July is complete without a good burger! I picked this burger to make as I knew it was going to have lots of flavor and I could also caramelize the onions ahead of time as well as mixing up that special sauce leaving me a little more time for other things! Anytime I entertain I do as much in advance as possible and that includes prepping some of the food! We enjoyed these burgers, the caramelized onions and the sauce gave the burger lots of great flavor.  I will say next time I make them I will be adding some pickled jalapeño slices on top of my burger to add a little extra punch of flavor! This burger is one of my top three favorites! I will be making these several more times this summer.

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, and more for brushing the griddle
2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard
2 lbs. ground chuck (60%)
8 hamburger buns
Shredded lettuce
4-8 slices of tomato (I left off)
8 slices of American cheese

Heat oil in pan and add the chopped onions. Cook onions covered over medium heat for 30 minutes or until onions begin to turn golden brown and caramelize. Watch not to burn and stir occasionally. Remove lid add 1/2 cup of water. Allow water to evaporate. Remove onions from heat and set aside. Can be made ahead and kept in fridge.
For the sauce – mix together mayo, ketchup, relish and vinegar, mix well and set aside. This can also be done the day before.
Form the meat into 8 patties about 4 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.  Heat griddle and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Toast buns on the griddle, split side down (or can be done under the broiler watching carefully to not burn.) Remove buns from skillet when lightly browned and set aside. Salt and pepper both sides of your hamburger patties and cook on the griddle 3-5 minutes.
Spread the top of the patties with the mustard and flip. Continue cooking on the second side for an additional 3-5 minutes. Top burger with a slice of cheese to melt. When cooked to your desired doneness remove from pan and place lettuce on the bottom bun, add the burger on top of the lettuce, add the caramelized onions and spread the sauce on the split end of the top bun and top of the burger with the bun!



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This week I have a couple recipes for your Fourth of July barbecue or any of your summer gatherings! The first one is this berry/Lime crostini. So easy and easily can make a couple dozen depending on how thick you slice the bread. The bread can be toasted in your oven or lightly grilled. I used a combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, but these would be great with strawberries too, or any combination your family likes. These take no time to make and should be served immediately.

1 French baguette, sliced on a diagonal 1/4 – 1/2 inch
Whipped cream cheese, about 1 Tablespoon per bread slice
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – or your choice of berries
Honey to drizzle
Zest of 2 limes

Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven on broil, keeping the oven cracked open slightly, DO NOT WALK AWAY…these toast up very quickly! Or place the bread slices on your grill and lightly toast one side. Remove from oven or grill. Top each slice with about 1 Tablespoon of the whipped cream cheese covering the bread slice, top with berries, drizzle lightly with honey and zest lime over the top. Do this for each slice and serve immediately.



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I made this sub sandwich for our daughter Amanda and her better half Steve…and of course for us. This recipe can be done on the stove top or on the grill. When I made them on this particular day I made them on the stove but in the summer I will be grilling them! This is a fast and easy dinner to get on the table and you could even pan fry or roast the pepper and onion in advance. We like our sandwich buns toasted so those are easy and fast to toast under the broiler.  Just don’t walk away from them as they will burn really fast!

1 1/2 – 2 pounds chicken tenders
2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning (found in the spice aisle of your grocery store)
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 to 1 cup of honey barbecue sauce
2 green peppers, sliced into strips
1 sweet onion (Vidalia), sliced into strips
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
6 sub rolls

Combine the Cajun seasoning and the brown sugar. Place the chicken tenders in a Ziploc bag and sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken. Mix the chicken around to coat the tenders with the seasoning. Once coated, add enough BBQ sauce into the bag to coat the chicken evenly. This can marinate overnight or for as little as 30 minutes.

To cook on the stove top:
Add two Tablespoons of oil into two large separate frying pans.
Add the peppers and onion into one of the pans and cook over medium heat.
Add the chicken tenders into the second pan with oil and also cook over medium heat. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally until completely cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Combine both of the cheese together and set aside.  If you want the buns toasted place them split side up under the broiler for just a couple minutes keeping the oven door open and watching closely!
To grill:
Follow the same steps except grill the chicken directly on the grill grates over medium heat. For the vegetables you can use a BBQ vegetable grill pan and roast over the grill until tender. Toast buns split side down until lightly browned and assemble the same way as stove top method.
To assemble:
Place the buns on a plate, divide the cheese between the buns, add the chicken on top of the cheese and finish by adding vegetables to the top.
Serve warm.


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I made this salad with what I had in my fridge and it was delicious! I had three teenagers that all enjoyed it, so that says something! The fried goat cheese is AMAZING! If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it. Our family likes goat cheese and I use it often but this was really a nice change. Crispy and creamy all in one bite! I also marinated the chicken for a couple of hours, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead a little bit for this.


1 cup of blackberries
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of honey
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic

8 ounces of goat cheese, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cups Panko bread crumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
2 cups arugula
2 cups blackberries
1 cup cashew halves
Canola oil, to fry


Mix all of the dressing and marinade ingredients together muddling the blackberries. Marinate the chicken with one cup of the marinade and store in the fridge. Reserve the remaining dressing for later also storing in the fridge.
Pre-heat your grill to medium high heat. Mix the romaine lettuce, arugula, 2 cups of blackberries and cashews in a bowl and set aside. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat with enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Slice your goat cheese into at least 1/4 inch thick rounds, flour all sides of the goat cheese and dredge in the beaten egg.  Lastly coat the round of cheese in Panko Crumbs. Do this for each round setting them on a plate until they are all coated and you are ready to fry.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
Grill the chicken on both sides until cooked through and no longer pink on the inside.  While the chicken is grilling add the goat cheese rounds to your heated canola oil and quickly fry both one side of the cheese until golden brown and turn the cheese to the second side until golden brown. Remove from heat and add to your Romaine mix.
When the chicken is done slice and add to the romaine mix. Drizzle with the remaining balsamic dressing.



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