The Easiest, No-Churn Creamy Vanilla and Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

Creamy Vanilla and Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream-1-14 Florida in the summer can be so hot and humid, I heard two ladies at my grocery store saying that they could almost “swim through the air.” Tropical summers are very temperamental. One minute it’s so hot, that when you step out of your air conditioned house, a wall of heat smacks you in the face. It’s bright and sunny and then all of a sudden the light disappears, it becomes dark and a thunderstorm comes out of nowhere. But real Floridians don’t even reach for an umbrella; they know that if they wait for just 15 minutes, the downpour through which you can’t see anything will disappear and the sun will be out again.

What can be better to enjoy during the stifling heat than a cold, creamy treat? Homemade ice cream doesn’t have to involve making a custard or buying an ice cream maker. This is the easiest recipe ever, but have no fear – it taste great and the texture is super creamy and rich…. 

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Grilled Cheeseburgers

Grilled Cheeseburgers-1-16 Homemade Cheeseburgers are epic.

Taking a giant bite of that juicy, grilled burger with melted and drippy cheese and all those crisp toppings is the ultimate Memorable Meat Moment. If you’ve never made grilled cheeseburgers yourself, you will be blown away by how it will absolutely crush all your past wimpy cheeseburger experiences.

You won’t have to hunt for the meat in your bun this time. The burgers are a statement piece in this meal. I love how each bite has that charred grill flavor. The meat is loaded with flavor and is SO JUICY. It may be extremely controversial and in some cases blasphemous to add anything to the hamburger meat, but I don’t mind going against the mainstream to get  a juicy and flavorful burger. The perfect burger with cheese may already deserve a standing ovation, but with the addition of the burger sauce that has just just the right amount of tang and sweetness and all your favorite toppings, it just goes over the top.

We only make burgers a few times a year, but when we do, we aren’t shy about it and go all out. … 

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Hash Brown Breakfast Pizza

Hashbrown Breakfast Pizza-1-15 Sergi and I love relaxing mornings with a big breakfast on the weekends. It’s practically our favorite meal of the week. When we eat a nice, hearty breakfast, we can skip lunch since it fills us up so much. This gives us more time to fully enjoy our weekend and do fun things as a family, or be responsible and cross off some things off our to-do lists.

I combined all of our favorite breakfast foods into one very scrumptious pizza – hash browns, eggs, bacon, avocado and tomatoes. It’s just the right balance of heartiness and the vegetables cut through the richness with their fresh flavor, crunch and creaminess. All of these ingredients are usually my pantry staples, especially when tomatoes and avocados are in season, so I can whip this pizza up any time, even for an easy weeknight dinner. … 

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Grilled Lemon and Garlic Salmon Kebabs

Grilled Lemon Garlic Salmon Kebabs-1-7 When Nathaniel was born in February, my parents, as well as one of my sisters with her husband, made the long drive from NY to FL to celebrate with us and to meet this newest family member. A few weeks later, my other sister and her family also came for a visit. Whenever our New York family comes to Florida, we local siblings get together almost every day of the week too. We love spending time together and make the most of these visits. Of course, since we want to spend more time together doing fun things (like going to the beach, shopping or playing all kinds of games, from basketball and volleyball to Settlers of Katan or Uno), we try to keep the kitchen duties to a minimum.

We still like to have some good food though. We have some favorites that are staples for us when we need to feed a crowd, while at the same time are very simple to put together and are still healthy and tasty. I have give credit for this recipe to my Mom. Just a few days after we were finally home from the hospital and all my siblings came over to our place, Mom took over the menu and  suggested making Salmon Kebabs. She and Dad had already made in NY a few times, so she knew that we would all love it too.

The Salmon Kebabs were the stars of the show. Everyone just raved about them. Ever since then, we have been serving these Kebabs at many, many family get togethers. You’ve probably seen me share these kebabs on my social media several times this year.

Seafood and lemon are always a great match and with the addition of garlic and fresh herbs, the salmon is really flavorful. Cooking the salmon very quickly on high heat gives it that amazing smoky flavor and beautiful char, but keeps the fish very juicy. I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for months, ever since the first time we tried it. I’ve finally taken the time to take pictures of the whole process and am sharing it with all of you. Everyone needs healthy, quick and delicious dinner options that can easily feed two people or a crowd. … 

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Crab Cakes With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Crab Cakes-1-25 I always feel so fancy whenever I eat crab cakes. That’s probably because crab cakes are on the menu at most high end restaurants. Ever since I tried my first crab cake a few years ago, I knew why it was so popular. It tastes so fresh, with juicy morsels of crab and flavored with peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Crab cakes need just a bit of ingredients to bind them together. The whole point of crab cakes is for you to be able to enjoy the crab, not have to hunt through your whole crab cake and only find a few tiny pieces of crab here and there. Crab reminds me so much of the sea. It just has that lovely sweet flavor that brings to mind crashing waves and hot summer breezes. … 

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Fire Roasted Corn Salad

Fire Roasted Corn Salad-1-9 Almost 1 year ago, our family generously gifted us with an awesome grill during our housewarming party (which turned out to have a VERY SPECIAL announcement). During this year, our grill has been dutifully christened and used many, many times. We love it! I will be sharing some of our favorite recipes that we make for just the two of us as well as huge parties.

Today, I will start by sharing this gorgeous Fire Roasted Corn Salad. This salad isn’t finicky at all; you can serve it both warm, room temperature and even cold. Fresh corn off the cob can’t even begin to compare to canned or frozen corn, so take advantage of the abundant summer corn crop, and make corn as much as possible. As long as you like corn:). Fresh corn is so crisp, crunchy, juicy and sweet. Grilling the corn gives it slight charring and that amazing grilled flavor. I seasoned the salad with more garden flavors – bell pepper, red onion, garlic and fresh herbs. A jalapeño pepper gives it just a little bit of heat and flavor. The whole salad is simply dressed with olive oil and fresh lime juice. I don’t think you will be disappointed with this salad. We certainly love it in our family…. 

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Berry Pink Lemonade

Berry Pink Lemonade-1-15 What could be more perfect for summer than lemonade? In our family, whenever we get together, most of the time you will find us drinking lemonade of some sort, either Mint Lemonade, Orange Lemonade, and now this Berry Pink Lemonade.

I wanted to create a recipe for Pink Lemonade that was as simple as possible. I didn’t want to be making simple syrup, cooking fruit, etc. Even though I do that many times for other recipes, like Apple Pear Kompot, Cranberry Raspberry Mors or Raspberry Peach Iced Tea, this time I wanted something that I could manage with the least amount of dishes, appliances and especially the stove. During the summer, simplicity is crucial, in my opinion.

Using fresh berries was the key and I was so happy with the taste. It honestly turned out so much better than I imagines, and my expectations were certainly high. The color is so vibrant and beautiful and you can comfort yourself that there is no dye in your drink or other weird ingredients. This lemonade was full of “berryness” and just the right amount of tartness from the lemons. A sip of this brought me back to picking berries in the woods, surrounded by the green scent of the forrest, arms and legs scratched from the berry bushes and lips, tongue and fingers stained with berry juice. … 

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Pesto Pasta With Chicken Tenders, Shallots and Cherry Tomatoes

Pesto Pasta With Chicken Tenders, Shallots and Cherry Tomatoes-1-31 Summer is the best time of year for simple meals with the biggest flavor payoff because there is such a wealth of fresh ingredients available. With a 4 month old whose main mission in life is to monopolize as much of my time as he possibly can, it’s a necessity for dinner to come together FAST. I definitely don’t want to compromise on the flavor of the food that we are eating every night, so it’s just as important for the food to taste great.

This is honestly one of the most satisfying meals to make for my family. Not only do I make this often for Sergi and myself, but it’s also great for company. I almost always have pesto in my freezer, so it takes only 15 minutes of prep time to get all the ingredients ready for cooking and the rest of the meal comes together in the time it takes the pasta to cook.

The pungent and aromatic pesto sauce coats the pasta with such a beautiful vibrantly green sauce. The cherry tomatoes not only bring a pop of color to the dish, but they are so juicy and crisp. Shallots, garlic, parmesan cheese and just a hint of spicy red pepper flakes round it all out with such a perfect balance of seasoning. Crispy, breaded chicken tenders accompany this pasta dish perfectly, but you can use chicken breast, turkey breast or even shrimp. … 

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Beef Fajitas

Beef Fajitas-1-27 During one of my weekly meal planning sessions, I suddenly got a craving for Beef Fajitas. I don’t even know why, since I’ve never made them at home before, but it just sounded good. I was fully expecting a plain and simple dinner for just Sergi and I, nothing glamorous. In fact, I forgot to check our pantry and it turned out that we only had one lonely flour tortilla. That would never do, and since going to the grocery store with a baby is a very involved commitment, I decided to just make them from scratch. How hard could it be, right? After looking at tons of different recipes on Pinterest, I found one that caught my attention.

Boy, oh, boy! This simple dinner knocked our socks off. I almost felt reverent eating it. Every component was so fresh, perfectly paired and just screaming with flavor. The homemade tortillas really made it extra special. The juicy strips of steak, grilled peppers and onions that have the perfect amount of sweetness and are nice and crisp, along with so much fresh flavors from the Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and cilantro – all of this wrapped up in that warm tortilla almost brought me to tears.

Of course, I vowed to make this next time we had our family over our house. On Memorial Day, we had a fun family party and I was thrilled to share this with them. I was not disappointed with their reaction and the Beef Fajitas were the star of the show. I was only too happy to make this dish again and document the whole thing for the blog, step by step pictures and all. I hope you enjoy. We will certainly be making this over and over again. … 

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