There’s nothing better than fresh vegetables. When you don’t have the time or space to grow your own produce, get the freshest possible by visiting a local farmers market. You would be surprised at how many there are around the state of Connecticut.
Typically, you can get your produce at a much lower cost by visiting the farmers market, than if you were to buy it at the local grocery store. The produce is also fresher coming straight from the farm.
Click here for a listing of local farmers markets in Connecticut.
Photo Courtesy of: Connecticut Department of Agriculture
Who doesn’t love a good ear of grilled corn on the cob? It’s a summer time favorite in my household. But, let’s be honest… how many times can you have the same thing over the course of a week?
Click here to find a standard recipe for grilled corn.
To change it up a bit, I soak the corn (husk and all) in water with some sugar. I would say 1/4 cup sugar per 4 cups of water. You want the water to completely cover the corn when soaking. Let it rest for about 30 mins. When you’re ready, take the corn out of the water, place on a preheated grill, over medium heat on the higher rack (if there is one) for approximately 30 mins.
Ready to change up the flavors from just regular butter? Click here to find a list of some other flavors that you can try out.
Photo Courtesy of Six Sisters’ Stuff
There’s nothing better than a good slice of pizza. Well, in the summertime, crank up that grill and make a pizza of your very own, right on your backyard grill. Frankly, it’s fun, easy, and so much better as you control the ingredients you put on it.
You can make big pizzas, smaller individual pizzas, or whatever size you would like. Kids have a great time with this one too as they create their own masterpieces. Try out new ingredients, new flavors, and better yet, go for that whole wheat pizza dough!
This video says it all on just how easy it is to actually make your own grilled pizza. Check it out and give it a try!
During the summer, make sure you have the ultimate outdoor cooking space. Get your grill built into a countertop, maybe add a refridgerator for a supply of beer, and whatever else you may want.
There are plenty of ideas floating around to give you that ultimate dream space right in your own backyard to enjoy the weather, cook out, and still be spending time drinking a cold one with all of your friends.
Click here for a look at some great outdoor kitchens from HGTV.
What’s better than getting out of the kitchen and cooking up an impressive dinner, strictly on the grill? It’s summer time… don’t heat up your house with turning on the stove and oven… rather grab a cocktail, sit out on the deck and enjoy the weather while you can.
From steaks to chicken, pizza, vegetables, potatoes, and even dessert, a grill can do everything you can typically do in a kitchen.
See some of our favorite things to make on the grill here:
Grilled Three Cheese Potatoes
Grilled Chocolate Banana Melt
Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops
Photo Property of: The Kitchn
Who doesn’t love a good Mexican Fiesta? Tacos, Nachos, Burritos…. YUM!
This is a great summer time party theme that you can have loads of fun with. Create your own taco bars are very little maitenance the night of your party, along with your own nacho bar. Crock pots & casseroles are a great way to make the fiesta memorable and delicious, but very little hassle.
Enjoy pre made margaritas, which you can make by the pitcher or in individual servings in mason jars. Another great way to cut back on costs, not play hostess (for too long anyway) and really get to enjoy the night with your ‘ready to party’ friends.
Here’s a few great recipes that are ‘oh-so delicious’ and ready for the ultimate mexican Fiesta… right in your own back yard!
7 Layer Mexican Dip
Layered Mexican Party Salad
Mexican Fiesta Casserole
Mexican Grilled Corn
Photo Courtesy of: ChewOutLoud.com
Looking for a great way to tire out the kids and give them a tasty treat? Have them make their own ice cream!
It’s not only a fun activity, but what kid doesn’t like ice cream? I mean, it’s not exactly just for kids anyways … adults can enjoy this one too! If you’re having some kids over whether for a party or not, this is a great way for them to burn some energy and enjoy making their very own dessert. It’s not that hard and everyone typically has all of these ingredients on hand.
Take a look at this great video that shows you exactly what to do! Tell me… what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Looking to plan the ultimate backyard party for the end of summer? Always having trouble figuring out just ‘what to do’? No worries, we’ve got you covered!
First: Pick a theme. Some may think ‘it’s just a get together, do I really need a theme’? Well, if you’re calling it a party and you want it to be awesome… yes! Pick a theme! Pool party? BBQ? Fiesta? You name it, and then we can start.
Second: Choose your menu. Decide what kind of food you want to serve at this ultimate party you’re going to be throwing. Fiesta? Go Mexican with a create your own taco / nacho bar. BBQ? Think Chicken or pulled pork. Pool party? What would you bring to the beach? Sandwiches or hot dogs and hamburgers.
Third: Create a fun drink to go with that ultimate theme you have. You’ll cut down on costs for providing beverages and it’ll be a great tie in to get everyone into the spirit. Margaritas would go great with any Fiesta and can be pre made in pitchers. Lemonade spritzers or spiked lemonade would go great with a BBQ and again, can be pre made. Looking at doing a pool party? Create a fun blue cocktail and add some rubber ducks to it or a nice sangria to make people think they’re water front.
Fourth: Think of some great decorations. Decorating has a knack for getting people in the spirit of the party and well, it’s fun! Use items you can find for cheap or even items from around the house. Mason jars and flowers would be a great accessory to any BBQ, Bright colored and mismatched items for a fiesta and pool noodles, beach buckets and swimming tubes for pool parties.
Have fun with whatever it is you’re doing! Make things simple and fun so you too can enjoy your time with your guests. Invite others to bring items and let them either a) know the theme or b) provide them with options for dishes they could make. I always like to take care of the main courses and possibly the appetizers and leave the desserts or sometimes the appetizers up to my guests.
Now go on, you have an ultimate summer party to plan before… you guessed it! Summer’s over. (Alright, i’ll stop talking like that…. Sorry!)
Take a look at some of our great Pool Party Theme ideas, click here.
Image taken from Pinterest.com. No ‘click through’ link provided.
Everyone always asks me how on earth I always make my cupcakes look so good. Well, it’s all in how you decorate them. It’s actually very simple to frost a cupcake like a ‘pro’ and add a few touches to make them look like they came from that bakery down the road (without actually getting them from the bakery down the road). Here are 5 great blog posts from fellow baking bloggers that explain the different tips you can use, along with different ways to use the tips. You’ll never bust out that butter knife and tub of frosting again once you see how fast and easy it is!
1. Niner Bakes
“If you are completely new to decorating cupcakes, I will show you a couple of must have piping tips/nozzles and how their designs look frosted on a cupcake.”
They go over a ton of tips and how you can use them to make different effects. The greatest advice they give is to try it out on a separate board before you actually begin frosting your cupcakes.
2. Sprinkle Bakes
“These techniques are perfect for beginners because they are so forgiving.”
Another great blog post with video to show you how to give those cupcakes some style without a lot of hassle!
3. Life As A Strawberry
“Decorating cupcakes is SO SUPER FUN, and the decoration will determine the level of “oohs” and “aahs” you get when people first see your cupcakes.”
She is so right! People gawk at well decorated cupcakes as much as they gawk at cute little babies. Doing something yourself impresses EVERYONE.
4. Our Best Bites
“I’m going to run through all of our best tips and tricks to get perfect, bakery-style cupcakes.”
Another great overview on tips and tricks to make the most beautiful looking cupcakes, sure to impresses everyone you deliver them to.
5. Glorious Treats
“remember when I first started decorating cupcakes I too was very interested in (and intimidated by) creating a beautiful swirl on cupcakes. After doing it only a few time I found that filling a piping bag and adding a nice swirl of frosting on cupcakes is actually much easier and quicker than spreading frosting!”
I couldn’t have said it better myself! It’s VERY easy and MUCH quicker to pipe your frosting on that using that pesky butter knife and tub of store bought sugar loaded fake frosting.
Photo courtesy of: Glorious Treats
One day after having half a butternut squash in my fridge, I decided to experiment. I’ve roasted butternut squash before and it has a very nice buttery flavor. That being said, I developed this recipe on my own, making it unique to me and well, versatile as I change it up every time. Remember, you can steer off this beaten path at any point and mix it up a bit. Perhaps change the macaroni, or the cheese, or add a little cream to it, whatever you want. Maybe add some cubed up ham or even grilled chicken.
- 1/2 box small shells (or vegetable wacky mac is delicious too)
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chicken broth w/ 1 tbsp. flour mixed in
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
What To Do:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Put butternut squash in baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop in oven & roast 30 mins.
- Boil water and cook macaroni as per the box, draining when done.
- Melt butter in saucepan or deep skillet, Once melted, add in chicken broth, chicken broth and flour mixture and cheeses. Stir until mixture comes to a boil.
- Remove butternut squash from oven and mash using a potato masher.
- Add mashed butternut squash to cheese mixture, stir together, taste and add salt / pepper as needed.
- Add macaroni to mixture and stir together.
- Spray baking dish butternut squash was in with non-stick cooking spray, pour macaroni mixture into pan and place in oven, bake 20 mins. (Top with extra cheese if you would like).