Recipe of the Month:
Grilled Dessert Pizza

Looking for a new and different idea for this year’s Labor Day celebration? While the grill is still hot, throw on a Grilled Dessert Pizza for a sweet ending to your cookout. Smokey, fruity, flakey, nutty, and chocolaty..a winning combination for any family gathering. For a fun family activity, let the kids help place the fruit toppings in step 4. But you might want to have a little extra on hand, in case they’re tempted to sample while they work!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup drained canned mandarin orange segments
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted, optional

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to medium. Lightly mist a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and dust with flour. Place white chocolate in a bowl and set over a small pan of simmering water (do not let bottom of bowl touch water). Cook, stirring often, until white chocolate has melted.

2. Press and stretch dough to form a 14- to 15-inch round. Place dough on prepared sheet, place on grill, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until crust is puffed and golden. Using tongs, flip dough over and cook for about 3 minutes longer.

3. Sprinkle dough evenly with chocolate chips, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Cover grill and cook 2 minutes, until chocolate chips have melted. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread chocolate evenly over dough. Using tongs or spatula, transfer pizza to a large cutting board.

4. Scatter berries and orange segments over pizza. Sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Dip a fork into bowl with melted white chocolate and drizzle over pizza.

Photo: Kate Sears; Styling: Susan Vajaranant (courtesy Time Inc.)

Keeping it Cool with
Crisp Summer Cocktails

As the temperature gauge continues to creep up, here are a few simple and refreshing ways to cool down.

mimosas-cl-389743-xHoneydew Mimosas

A traditional breakfast fruit, honeydew melon is used as the base for this frosty brunch cocktail.

  • 1/2 medium honeydew melon (about 4 cups cubed)
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle chilled sparkling wine
  • Garnish: Lime wedges

Preparation

Combine the first three ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour mixture into a large pitcher, and add sparkling wine. Pour into glasses and garnish.

•  •  •

mojitos-sl-1194648-xTequila Mojitos

This recipe uses tequila instead of rum for a new take on a classic mojito.

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh mint sprigs
  • 2 cups chilled lemon-lime soft drink
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • Garnish: lime slices and additional fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add mint sprigs, and let stand 2 hours or until mixture is completely cool.

2. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a pitcher, discarding mint. Stir in lemon-lime soft drink, lime juice, and tequila. Serve over ice and garnish.

•  •  •

sangria-su-523029-xQuick & Easy Sangria

All the flavor and refreshment of traditional sangria without the wait.

  • 1 cup vanilla-flavor syrup
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 bottles (750 ml) dry red wine
  • ice cubes

Preparation

1. In a large pitcher (at least 3-qt. size), combine syrup, orange slices, lime slices and orange juice.

2. Add wine to the pitcher, mix, and pour into ice-filled glasses.

•  •  •

pimms-cup-ck-686196-xPimm’s Cup

A light a refreshing drink made with a gin-based liqueur and garnished with cucumber. To infuse more cucumber flavor, muddle cucumber slices in the bottom of each glass.

  • 3/4 cup Pimm’s No. 1
  • 2 cups chilled ginger ale
  • 1 1/3 chilled cups sparkling water
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into spears

Preparation

Pour 3 tablespoons of Pimm’s into each glass. Pour 1/2 cup ginger ale and 1/3 cup sparkling water into each glass; stir to combine. Garnish with lemon and cucumber and serve immediately.

Images courtesy of time, inc.

Summer Recipe:
Cedar-Planked Salmon with Mango Kiwi Salsa

cedar-planked-salmon-ck-xGrilling salmon on a cedar plank is a simple and elegant way to prepare a light yet full-flavored summer dish. The salmon stays incredibly tender and moist, while picking up smoky flavors from the grill and woodsy flavors from the cedar, along with whatever was used to soak the planks. With this recipe, the smoky Cedar Plank-Grilled Salmon stands up nicely to the spicy sweetness of the tropical Mango Kiwi Salsa. Prepare the salsa before the salmon, or even the day before, so the flavors have time to meld.

Ingredients

1 large cedar plank
1 cup finely diced peeled ripe mango
1/2 cup diced peeled kiwifruit
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 for salsa, 1/4 for salmon)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (1/4 for salsa, 1/4 for salmon)
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets

Preparation

1. Soak plank in water for 25 minutes. (For additional flavor, try soaking the plank in wine, cider, or sake.)

2. Combine mango and next 5 ingredients (through chile). Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

4. Sprinkle salmon with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place plank on grill rack (without salmon); grill 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Turn plank over; place fish on charred side. Cover; grill 8 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Place each fillet on a plate; top each with 1/3 cup mango salsa.

Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl (Courtesy Time, Inc.)

Garden to Grill Ideas

Edible gardens are one of the hottest trends in gardening today. What makes a hot trend hotter? Why fire, of course. So as summer heats up, forget the boring salads and heat up the grill for some flavor-boosted ways to make the most of your edible garden. Following are a variety of fruit and vegetable ideas to add to your grilling repertoire for delicious additions to your summer meals.

GRILLED VEGETABLES

Grilled lettuce drizzled with olive oil and lemon and topped with manchego cheese and bacon crumbles. (photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo)

Grilled lettuce drizzled with olive oil and lemon and topped with manchego cheese and bacon crumbles. (photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo)

Lettuce: I know what you’re thinking…grilled lettuce?! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Grilling lettuce creates smokey, charred, caramelized goodness. Recipes abound for this latest craze. For best results, be sure to choose a sturdy lettuce and brush the grill with olive oil.

Corn: Grilling corn can be done multiple ways. You can wrap it in foil. You can leave it in its husks. However, how about laying it on the grill bare? Doing this will ensure that your corn will have tiny and delicious charred bits. Once you finish grilling the corn, bust out the butter and lather it on as you please.

Asparagus: Fun fact: grilled asparagus cures sadness. Okay, that may not be completely true, but grilled asparagus makes a truly delicious addition to any meal. To protect your sanity, however, use a mesh tray or grill basket for this task. If you want to up your asparagus game even more, make your own garlic and rosemary aioli sauce for basting or dressing your freshly grilled asparagus. You’re welcome.

Grilled bell peppers, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with goat cheese and basil. (photo by Beth Dreiling)

Grilled bell peppers, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with goat cheese and basil. (photo by Beth Dreiling)

Bell Pepper: No matter what color, they all taste better on the grill. The cool thing about bell peppers is that they are extremely versatile. Whether part of a shish kabob,  stuffed with just about anything, or simply tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette, roasting a bell pepper over a fire brings out a sweetness that enhances any dish.

Jalapeno Peppers: The bell pepper’s zesty cousin, these little fellows kick everything up a notch. If properly de-seeded and de-veined, roasting jalapenos will mellow their intensity. Stuff them with a variety of cheeses or other ingredients and either wrap them in foil or use a special roasting rack. For extra fun, wrap them in bacon, ’cause bacon makes everything better!

Grilled eggplant and tomato salad drizzled with lemony vinaigrette and topped with fresh mint. (photo by Iain Bagwell)

Grilled eggplant and tomato salad drizzled with lemony vinaigrette and topped with fresh mint. (photo by Iain Bagwell)

Eggplant: If you like eggplant parmesan, you’ll fall in love with grilled eggplant. The awesome thing about eggplant is that it will really soak up the flavor of bastes or marinades. So go to your local gourmet oil and vinegar store, do a little online shopping, or use herbs from your garden to make your own infused oils and vinegars and experiment with different flavor combinations. The same is true for a variety of squashes.

Tomatoes: You may argue about whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, but you won’t argue about how good it tastes grilled. For best results, choose firmer tomatoes, cut thick slices, and brush the grill with olive oil. For added flavor, top with your favorite fresh herb.

grilled fruit

Grilled watermelon with blue cheese, basil and prosciutto. (photo: Jennifer Davick)

Grilled watermelon with blue cheese, basil and prosciutto. (photo by Jennifer Davick)

Watermelon: Grilling watermelon? This must be a typo. Before you judge, try it yourself and see why this summer will be the summer of grilled watermelon. You can grill with or without the rind on it. When grilled, the fruit sugars caramelize to create a unique flavor. Feel free to add balsamic vinegar or arugula for an extra flare. Just make sure to keep a close eye on it, for the water can spew and potentially burn you when exposed to so much heat.

Apples: Now for an actual fact: apple pie is an American classic. What happens to the apples during the making of apple pie? That’s right, they are cooked. Now use that logic, and apply it to the grill. The grill will both sweeten and soften your apples for a most excellent treat. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg for that apple pie flavor.

Peaches: Surely you will be enjoying ice cream this summer. Now that you’ve discovered the beauty of grilled fruit, throw some peaches on the grill, then add them to your summer ice cream. Sweet and delicious ice cream plus sweet and delicious peaches, what can go wrong?

Jerk chicken with grilled pineapple salsa. (photo: Hector Sanchez)

Jerk chicken with grilled pineapple salsa. (photo by Hector Sanchez)

Pineapple: Unless you live in Hawaii, it’s unlikely you’ll have any pineapples in your edible garden, but they’re so amazing on the grill, it’s worth a trip to the grocery. Whether served as a side dish or as a hamburger topping, once you try it grilled, you’ll never want pineapple any other way.

Bananas: Again, not your typical grow-at-home fruit, but makes an incredible dessert. Place it directly on the grill with the skin on. Once the skin is brown and the banana is soft, slice it open, sprinkle with cinnamon, and top with condensed milk. Voila!

Images Courtesy Time Inc.

Warm Apple Pie Cocktail

ApplePieCocktailLooking for ways to continue to enjoy the outdoors during the frigid winter months? Time to light the fire pit and snuggle up with a spicy, sweet, and savory beverage that will warm you from the inside out. This delicious beverage is like a slice of apple pie in a glass, but with a kick!

Yield: serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 qts. fresh unfiltered apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks (2 1/2 in. long)
12 whole cloves
6 whole allspice
1 1/2 cups spiced rum
Sweetened whipped cream

 

PREPARATION

Combine apple juice and whole spices in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes. To serve, reheat juice, then strain into heatproof mugs, dividing evenly. Add 1/4 cup rum to each and top with whipped cream.

 

recipe courtesy of Sunset Magazine. Photo: Thomas J. Story; Styling: Dan Becker

Recipe of the Month:
Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bread

berry-bread-ck-222580-xThis month’s recipe is a healthy and delicious quick bread that will help you get a headstart on your New Year’s resolutions. Perfect for baking in either a traditional or brick oven, this dish works well as either a breakfast item or an after-dinner treat both before and after the holidays. Wrapped in cellophane with a twine bow, it also makes an excellent homemade gift for the neighbors.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup no-sugar-added canned mashed sweet potato
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup chopped cranberries
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

.  .  .

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine sweet potato, egg substitute, orange juice, and margarine in a bowl; add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moist. Fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle almonds over batter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Image and recipe courtesy of cooking light. photo by howard l. puckett.