Raw Rainbow Corn Salad

{a bowl of summer}

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August 1st.  Wow, is it just me or has this year flown by?  I honestly cannot believe it is already August.  That being said, summer is in its last month & before I know it Bryan, Chase and I will be heading out to the apple orchard for our annual fall trip.  Then we will be bundled up trudging through the snow to go pick out the perfect Christmas tree.  But just not quite yet…. There are far too many summer days to soak up & recipes to create.

Has anyone tried to freeze corn on the cob before?  I see them at the grocery store, but am thinking about trying it out so I have some of this amazing summer sweet corn for the winter.

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This summer corn has appeared in several of my recipes and oftentimes is our side dish.  Not only are they so easy to make, but there are so many ways to cook (or not) them.  I grilled the corn, which I used in the Kale & Corn Salad I posted on Paige’s site.  I also added them to my summer Shrimp & Corn Chowder.  For this recipe, I left the kernels as is, straight up raw off the cob.

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Originally, I made this salad for my sister & her husband’s going away party.  If I do say so myself, it was a pretty decent hit.  I whipped it up for one of my girlfriend’s bachelorette parties…again a successful dish.  It also makes for some great leftovers.  All of the flavors meld together & become bolder as they sit.  Another added bonus, the beautiful colors.  I used literally every color of the rainbow.. ok I didn’t use blue so I made sure to use a blue bowl for serving.  This dish is definitely eye-catching & I loved photographing it!

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If you know how to chop & you love an easy, yet crowd-pleasing dish this is your winner.  No cooking involved.  Simply chop, mix, serve.  I hope you are enjoying these beautiful (cool in MI) summer nights & taking time to cook delicious food, relax with family & truly enjoy life!  I know I am :)

Raw Rainbow Corn salad

Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  15 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 0 minutes   |||   Servings: 8-10   |||   Difficulty: Very Low

Ingredients
8 ears of corn, husked & silk removed
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced and zest
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chipotle seasoning
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 oz queso fresca, crumbled

Directions
1.  Remove the kernels from their cobs by placing a coffee cup upside-down in a large bowl.  Hold the cob vertically, using the base of the coffee mug as its platform.  Use your knife to slice down the cob.  The kernels will fall into the bowl.
2.  Add all other ingredients, except about 1 oz. of the cheese.  Stir together.
3.  Chill in the fridge until ready to serve & top with remaining cheese.

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Grilled Chicken with Chiptole Peach BBQ Sauce

{a spicy peach}

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Who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy peach during the summer?  Seriously, if you don’t like peaches I am curious as to why not?  I get pretty excited the first time I see the stocked peaches at the grocery store.  Chase loves peaches, he would eat 10 in one sitting if we let him.  They are frequent visitors on our dinner plates (and breakfast and snacks for me) during the summer.  A fresh cut up peach stirred into some yogurt with a bit of granola – such a yummy (and healthy!) breakfast.

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What’s in a peach?

For a medium peach, there is about 60 calories.  These delicious gems contain a dose of vitamin c, potassium and vitamin A.  If you need a bit more fiber in your diet, grab a peach!  Nutrients in peaches aid in inflammation and help lower your cholesterol.  Careful however, because they do contain sugar, but it nature’s sugar so no added crap here.  The peach is actually from the rose family, originating from China.  China & Italy are the top peach growers.  Be careful not to eat that pit though!  They are poisonous, but if you dry it out on the counter then put it in the fridge for a bit, plant it and you could maybe have yourself a little peach tree!  You will have to move south to keep it growing and if you are lucky it may sprout.

So there’s a bit of peach info for you, now onto the recipe!

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I love incorporating peaches into different recipes, their unique flavor is subtle, yet noticeable.  In addition, they add the perfect amount of sweetness to a recipe.  Two summers ago, Chase and I grilled some chicken and topped it with a peach salsa of sorts.  We left it raw and it was a refreshing touch to the smokey chicken.

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This time around, I wanted to combine it with the smokey and spiciness of chipotle peppers.  If you aren’t a big spicy food fan, this isn’t quite your recipe, but there’s an easy switch!  Just eliminate the chipotle pepper :)  The peaches are cooked on the stove until melted, their natural sugars completely exposed.  A quick pulse in a food processor and this meal’s star is ready.  Definitely another Dinner in 20!  I hope you enjoy my perfect summer BBQ recipe!

grilled chicken with chipotle peach bbq sauce

Recipe by:  Sara
Prep Time:  2 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 20 minutes   |||   Servings: 4   |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
1 small shallot, minced
2-3 medium sized peaches, diced
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup prepared BBQ sauce [Sweet Baby Rays]
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper & 1 tsp of the adobo sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
salt & pepper

Directions:
1.  Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
2.  In a small pot, add the garlic and shallots.  Cook for about 2 minutes.
3.  Add the peaches, ketchup, BBQ sauce, lemon juice, and chipotle peppers + adobo.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.
4.  Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the peaches have completely softened.
5.  Remove from heat and pour contents into a food processor.  Add the cilantro.
6.  Pulse until completely smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.
7.  Using a brush to paint the BBQ sauce onto the chicken breasts.
8.  Heat a grill over medium-high heat.  Place the chicken on the grill, not directly over the heat.
9.  Cook on each side about 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness.  Paint a bit more BBQ sauce on each time you flip the chicken.
10.  Cut into slices and serve with additional sauce.

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Enjoy!

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Summer Corn & Shrimp Chowder with Bacon

{the summer soup}

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I used to hate soups.  I never was a big fan of them growing up.  Chicken noodle soup was served when you were sick, but soup was never a frequent visitor to the dinner table.  I did LOVE beef stew.  However, stew is not soup is not chowder.  In my old age, I have grown to love soups, stews, chowders, bisques, gazpachos etc etc.  They definitely appear on my dinner menu often, but in the fall & winter more.

However, I don’t discriminate soup in the summer so I add some delicious summer flavors to keep it light.  You’ve probably noticed a decent amount of posts including corn lately.  Well, it is summertime and I really cannot get enough of it.  [I will be posting a Mexican Corn Salad shortly where I use the corn straight up off the cob.]  This recipe uses the corn’s kernels and “pulp” to add creaminess to the broth.

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So what exactly is the difference between a stew, chowder, and soup?  I did some research to answer this question for you…..

  • SOUP:  Liquid is very thin.  Can be cream based or broth based.  It is majority liquid with some, if any, added pieces
  • CHOWDER:  Broth is thickened using an agent such as flour and has more “stuff” in it than liquid.
  • STEW:  Mainly solid pieces of veggies & meat cooked in a small amount of liquid (beer) cooked slow resulting in a gravy base.

Based off of these Sara-determined definitions, this is a soup because I didn’t use any flour as a thickening agent.  I am still going to call it a chowder because I like the word chowder and there is more “stuff” than liquid.

This is the ultimate summer soup.  It has many bold flavors, is light, creamy, salty, sweet, and in my chowder, spicy.  If you aren’t a shrimp fan, substitute crab or lobster – yum!  This dinner sounds a bit fancy, but it is yet another “Dinner in 20″ meal.  It requires one pot too which makes for easy clean up :)

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summer corn & shrimp chowder with bacon
Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 20 minutes   |||   Servings: 4   |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients:
3 slices of thick bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled & deveined, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk [I used fat-free]
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
dash of cayenne pepper
salt & pepper
Optional:  cilantro, cheddar cheese

Directions:
1.  Cut the corn kernels off the cobs over a bowl.  Squeeze any excess “juice” from the cores.
2.  In a dutch oven or large pot, heat over medium and add the bacon.  Cook until crispy.  Remove about 2 Tbsp from the pot & set aside.  If there is a lot of grease, discard all but about 2 tsp.
3.  Add the onion and celery & saute until softened, about 6 minutes.
4.  Add the garlic & thyme and saute an additional minute.
5.  Add the corn and any pulp acquired during cutting and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.
6.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the shrimp.  Cook for 2 minutes.
7.  Stir in the milk.
8.  Season with salt and pepper and cayenne.
9.  Serve with cheddar cheese, cilantro and remaining bacon pieces.

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Enjoy!

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Simple Herb & Garlic Chicken Kabobs

{summertime lovin’}

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If you read my dough bites post from Friday, you are aware that I made some kabobs on the grill.  When I first bought the chicken breasts at Kroger my intention was to roast the chicken slowly in the oven.  However, Chase suggested making kabobs since it was going to be beautiful outside.

We love eating kabobs at our house.  The best part is that we put whatever we like on our individual skewers.  I have made many a kabob – beef, shrimp, chicken veggies – with many a marinade – teriyaki, orange ginger, peppered.  This marinade I am sharing today is so very simple with a ton of flavor.  It was perfect for a spring meal and the flavor was not lost during grill time.

I didn’t prepare these kabobs ahead of time, but if you prepare them in the morning before work/school it makes dinner time much faster.  The time consuming part of kabob night definitely is the skewering part.  Have time at night?  Prepare the chicken in the morning and let it sit in the marinade all day.  Longer sit time = bolder flavor.

On the grill

On the grill

We used our propane grill and the kabobs took about 15 minutes to cook through.  We attempted to use this potato express to make baked potatoes to go with the kabobs.  Do NOT buy this dumb product.  It does not work.  After we were all finished with our kabobs, the potatoes were finally ready.  So that definitely was a kitchen failure.  It didn’t matter because the kabobs and asparagus were delicious enough!

The night concluded with dinner on the balcony and homemade ice cream sundaes.  We kicked off the summertime season with kabobs, outside dinner, and ice cream.  What do you cook when the weather is beautiful?

Simple Herb & Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  15 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  15 minutes   |||   Servings: 3-4   |||   Difficult Level:  Low

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat and cut into large chunks
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp fresh herbs [I used a combination of sage, thyme, and rosemary]
1 Tbsp minced garlic
Veggie/Fruit for the skewers [I used cherry tomatoes, pineapple, green pepper, and mushrooms]
salt and pepper

Directions
1.  In a bowl, combine the olive, herbs, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper.
2.  Add the chicken and stir to thoroughly cover with the seasoning.  Let sit for 30 minutes – 8 hours
3.  Chop your vegetables as needed.
4.  Skewer the chicken and veggies onto wooden or metal skewers.
5.  Heat grill to medium heat and place chicken kabobs directly over flame.
6.  Turn often and cook for about 15 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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dough bites: she’s alive! edition

I apologize for the lack in posts this week.  It is the first time since starting Not So Doughie that I went a full week without posting.  I just told Bryan that I feel like I am neglecting my child.  Fear no more!  Not So Doughie is back & will be regularly posting again.  Here are a few dough bites to get us through until the next foodie post.

+  It was 83 degrees today.  A few degrees over my ideal temperature when not on a beach or at the pool.  Everyone seemed to be bustling about eager to breathe the fresh air.  It’s been warm here, but we haven’t seen these temps in awhile.  Bryan and I were at lunch outside today and a man walked out of the restaurant and opened his arms to the sun like he was praising God.  I found it funny.

+  Warm weather = grill’s on.  One of our favorite summertime dinner – chicken kabobs.  I am MADE [LOLing at myself because I was editing this post and saw I wrote I am a delicious and simple marinade.  I am sitting here dying laughing.  Oh the small things…] a delicious & simple marinade for the chicken that I will be sharing soon.  Kid friendly, easy, & quick.

+  My blog got placed on the back burner for a couple reasons.  1)  we were out of town last weekend so I didn’t take time to set up any posts this week. 2)  I got “promoted” at work so have been working later.  3)  I have been going to yoga regularly during the week and so my mornings or evenings are taken up by this.  The whole yoga event turns into a 2 hour ordeal.  4)  I have had recipe block.  5)  I haven’t been “into” elaborate meals lately.  So there you have it.  All my excuses.

+  We are having a pot luck at work tomorrow.  I am smelling my cheesecake bars in the oven now…. okay it’s been 10 minutes and they are now out and in the fridge firming up.  I can’t wait to try them.  I made them up all on my own based off of a little cheesecake bar knowledge.  They are doughie, but as you know doughie items make an appearance once or twice around here.

+  I’m spring cleaning this weekend.  Who’s coming to help?  Or at least refer me to a pretty spring cleaning list so it makes it a bit more manageable…

+  Last, but not least… a few pictures of my fur children:  Tobias “Tobey” Delvin Czuba & Ma’am Ramona Czuba

Ma'am in a box

Ma’am in a box

Toby about to head out to the beach

Toby about to head out to the beach

Toby wishing he was allowed outside

Toby wishing he was allowed outside

Ma'am loves selfies

Ma’am loves selfies

Stay tuned for my chicken kabob recipe & the strawberry vanilla cheesecake bar recipe too.  num num num

xoxo

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