Slow Down. Cook. Enjoy a meal with those you love.

HOT DATE DINNER

HOT DATE DINNER

Slow Down. Cook. Enjoy a meal with those you love.


Recent Posts

Pepperoni, Mushroom and Pepperoncini Pizza with Oregano

Pepperoni, Mushroom and Pepperoncini Pizza
The raw ingredients for this incredible pizza

THIS just might be THE ONE, MY FAVORITE!!!  Flavors in this pepperoni, mushroom and pepperoncini pizza are on point for that slice you are craving.  Salty, pickley, a little bit spicy with a hint of earthiness from the mushrooms and oregano…try this one friends, everyone will LOVE IT!!  It is that pizza that screams Italian, it screams original and it will have you thinking about it long after you make it.  Another plug for home cooking and the freedom it gives you to control ingredients you are using and feeding to your family.  Pay attention to the sources of ingredients and the ingredient lists on packages.  If you are unsure what some or most of the listed ingredients are then find a better ingredient.   (more…)

Rhubarb-Ginger Simple Syrup for the Perfect Summer Cocktail

Rhubarb-Ginger Simple Syrup
Sweet and tart at the same time with a huge hit of ginger, perfect for that summer time cocktail

I have grown up eating rhubarb, mostly in a dessert of some sort.  My parents have multiple plants and make rhubarb streusel (http://www.hotdatedinner.com/?s=rhubarb) pan after pan.  I think my dad would be happy if this were around all summer long waiting for him on the counter.  I grew up eating rhubarb this way as well as in pies.  My mom also made a fantastic rhubarb sauce that she froze that we regularly  interchanged with applesauce through out the year.  Like many of you, I have rhubarb in my garden and am always looking for new ways in addition to what I grew up with.  When we entertain I always like to start with a cocktail and some sort of snack to get the party started and if possible I will use anything that is in season.  I have made simple syrup multiple times and in multiple variations, but this rhubarb-ginger might just be, not only the prettiest, but the most flavorful.  As luck would have it, it pairs wonderfully with vodka and a splash of soda….imagine that?!? Here is how to make this SIMPLE syrup for your next hot date dinner or gathering.  Cheers friends!! (more…)

Mixed Berry Maple Syrup

Mixed Berry Maple Syrup
Fresh Strawberries, fresh blueberries and locally produced maple syrup….the perfect accompaniment to pancakes over the fire

Mixed berry maple syrup is the PERFECT accompaniment to serve with your favorite pancakes over the campfire or in your kitchen.  Blueberry syrup is something that is requested in our house regularly by my kids, but I thought I would take it up another notch with this time with strawberries and blueberries. (more…)

Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Radish and Mint Salad

Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Radish and Mint Salad with Lime-Honey Vinaigrette
Beautiful, Seasonal Ingredients

This lovely, refreshing, cantaloupe, cucumber and radish salad came together in my head over a couple of days.  I had bought this beautiful melon and was thinking about it every time I walked past it on my counter.  Sure a tossed fruit salad always goes over well, but looking at other ingredients I had, I wanted to create something different.  I was craving something a bit more savory, with some crunch and cucumber and radishes seem to fit the bill perfectly.  Mint is plentiful in my gardens so I try to use it whenever possible and I knew this would work perfectly here as well.  To enhance the sweetness of the cantaloupe and really make the salad pop, I made a quick lime and honey vinaigrette to drizzle over the whole thing.  This is so delicious, so beautiful, and comes together just a few minutes.  It would be the perfect salad to eat any time of day.  Try this one, you won’t be disappointed!!  Follow along to see how it quickly comes together. (more…)

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Grilled Corn and Red Onions

 

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Pizza Perfection, BBQ Chicken Pizza with Grilled Summer Corn and Red Onion

As I think I have mentioned, we LOVE pizza of all kinds and make different types all the time based on who is asking for what.  This BBQ chicken pizza is the perfect balance of sweet, salty and cheesy.  I love to use fresh corn on the cob whenever possible and on this pizza is no exception.  The chicken breasts and red onion are grilled so throw the corn on as well.  The charred, caramelized flavor that the grill provides to the chicken, corn and onion really make this pizza pop.  Try this one next time it is pizza night at your house OR make a little extra chicken next time  you BBQ to use on this one.   (more…)

Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw

Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy seed Slaw
1-1 1/2 bls of beautiful, wild-caught, sockeye salmon
Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw
Cut into portions for easier grilling
Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy seed Slaw
Simple…Beautiful…Delicious

Grilled (wild-caught) salmon, seriously,  I could eat this every day !!   (more…)

Grilled Chicken and Peaches with Corn and Tomato Salad

Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad
Fresh and grilled with a touch of sweet, a touch of sour and a touch of heat…perfection

WE HAVE ARRIVED….it is that time of the summer which is so bittersweet, we are past the halfway point (which in my mind is mid July), but fresh,  sweet corn is appearing everywhere!!  This grilled chicken and peach salad with corn and tomatoes is what summer should taste like.  This salad is so fresh!!  The char from the grill, the sweetness of the peaches, corn and tomatoes, the tang from the lime zest and juice and the heat from the cayenne make this one of the most delicious combinations I have ever tasted.   Not to mention, taking it over the top with the addition of some garden fresh torn mint.  Amazing friends, TRY THIS ONE!! (more…)

Turkey and Black Bean Taco Salad

Turkey and black bean taco salad
Taco salad anyone??

Everyone LOVES a taco salad and this turkey and black bean salad is a quick, easy and healthy version.  Turkey and black beans are great sources of lean protein and the beans also provide a ton of fiber.   Onion and garlic along with some spices provide excellent taco flavor.  Using spices individually vs a spice packet allows you to control the amount of sodium and the specific ingredients added to your food.  Try this combination and you’ll forget about those packets for good.  This turkey and black bean combination can be made 1-3 days in advance and reheated as needed. (more…)

Lemon Gnocchi with Fresh Peas and Carrots

Lemon Gnocchi
Comfort food at it’s finest

If you have never had gnocchi, let me tell you, IT IS TIME!  If you are familiar, you know that this is a comfort food that is “off the charts.”  This particular recipe for potato gnocchi with fresh peas and carrots in a lemon, cream sauce just may be my favorite.  I make my own gnocchi from scratch and freeze it in batches so I can pull it out for a quick meal.  I have included a link for a basic potato gnocchi recipe below, but frozen or dried products would work great here as well.  I could not help myself when I saw a pint of freshly shelled snap peas at the farmers market this past weekend and knew that along with some multi-colored carrots and a lemon cream sauce, EVERY bite of this dish would be savored.  Guess what??  IT WAS!   (more…)

Greek Chicken Salad with Fresh Cucumber and Herbs

Greek Chicken Salad
Perfect for a picnic or to have as a quick meal for your busy week

Are you in need of a picnic idea for this upcoming, beautiful summer weekend?  A BUSY week and no time to cook?  This Greek chicken salad is what you need to make.  It is packed with healthy protein from the chicken breasts and Greek yogurt, jazzed up with the addition of fresh dill, parsley and oregano and did I mention FETA??  Quick, easy and so delicious, you will make this one again and again. (more…)


All Time Favorites

Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw

Grilled (wild-caught) salmon, seriously,  I could eat this every day !!  

Ahi Tuna Salad with Zoodles and a Light Peanut Dressing

Spiralized zucchini anyone?  Topped with Ahi Tuna and avocado, YES PLEASE!!!!  I will admit this is my first time trying this latest phenomenon (zoodles, that is) and, I have to admit, it is really good.  I bought a spiralizer (~$10) for this recipe and used […]

Leek and Potato Soup with Dill and Pancetta

Leek and Potato Soup with Dill and Pancetta

  I can’t encourage you enough to check out your local Farmer’s Market or stand to pick up the season’s best and to use them in all of your recipes.  By doing this, not only are you supporting a local business, but you can ask […]

Thai Vegetable Curry

Thai Vegetable Curry

“I had the best vegetable curry.”  This is something I often hear from my friend, Kristen.  She also has said that she needs to find a recipe to do it at home.  Well, here you go my friend.  Tim and I had this for hot […]