I want to be your go-to guy when it comes to mastering your kitchen, and giving your food a heap of personality – but with simplicity, of course. Here are some of my summer grilling tips to help you master the grill.

Don’t be afraid to throw vegetables on the grill and get a nice char on them. It draws out so much flavor.

Also, get to know your grilling vegetables. For example, potatoes are dense and take longer to cook; so, to prevent burning, sear them on the outside and move them to a cooler place on the grill.

And for less mess, wrap some chopped veggies in foil packets with some olive oil, herbs and lemon juice. Incredible! I actually throw in some wine, too. I mean, why not? If you’re grilling, you’re probably drinking, too.

Happy grilling!

Quick 6 Tips to Grilling
1. How do I know if my grill is hot enough? Do the hand test. Place the palm of your hand five to six inches over the heat. If you need to remove your hand after two to three seconds, you’re good to go. A good “rule of palm” is two to three seconds for hot, five seconds is medium, and 10 seconds is low.

2. Gas or charcoal? Gas grilling is definitely healthier for you as the coals emit carbon monoxide. When it comes to taste though, charcoal wins out. You have to make the choice, but neither one is necessarily “better.”

3. When cooking meat, after you take it off the grill, let it rest for a few minutes so the moisture stays inside.
4. Avoid flare-ups. Choose leaner cuts of meat, or trim the fat so your food doesn’t char.

5. Is your meat done? Always use a thermometer when checking your meat. Here is a quick guideline. The minimum internal temperature of ground beef is 160°F, and Chicken must reach 165°F.

6. When you’re done cooking, clean off the grill while it’s still warm. It’s a lot easier.

Stu’s Sticky Ribs

Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you my number one food of all time is ribs. I live for them. I could be on an island for the rest of my life with just ribs and be perfectly happy. Best of all, I love eating ribs with a small bit of chew on them. I get so much satisfaction from cooking and eating these babies.

Serves Four
PREP: 6 minutes
COOK: 60 minutes
CLEAN: 6 minutes

Side suggestions: BBQ Baked beans and Oven-Roasted Fries

Ingredients
24 pork spare ribs
1 1” piece ginger, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spare ribs, garlic and ginger, bring back to a boil, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Take off heat and let sit for five minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a saucepan, combine hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, five spice and brown sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and sauce is smooth.
4. Drain ribs and pat dry with paper towels. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place ribs on sheet and brush liberally with marinade.
5. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes, basting at 15 minutes with more marinade.
6. If you have a grill lit (not necessary), throw ribs on the grill for 3 -5 minutes to caramelize that great sauce.
7. Serve on a platter and spoon extra sauce on top. You can sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have them in the cupboard.

Stuart’s Perfect Marinade
This is the only marinade you’ll need this summer.

Ingredients
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup port wine
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon chili flakes

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients in a Ziploc bag with your meat of choice. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2. Remove meat from marinade, place on the grill and cook to your desired (lack of) tenderness.
3. Pour the marinade from the Ziploc bag into a saucepan and reduce by half over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Brush on meat when resting after grilling.

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Whether you’re going to a pot luck, BBQ, or hosting your own party for Memorial Day, this Buffalo Mac n’ Cheese recipe is sure to be a hit. The best part (other than the taste) is that it’s quick and easy. This is a party favorite, so we can’t promise that there will be any leftovers!

Ingredients (serves 8)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt
1 pound macaroni
3/4 cup Hot Sauce (I use Frank’s)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)
[Note: You could also add 3 cups of shredded chicken mixed with 1/4 cup hot sauce. Mix into the cheese sauce before pouring over macaroni.]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a large casserole dish (9×13 is recommended).
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni until al dente. Drain.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the flour and mustard and whisk until smooth.
Whisk in the half and half, and the hot sauce. Stir until thick, about 2 minutes.
Add the cheeses and whisk in the sour cream. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
Spread macaroni in the baking dish.
Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the top. 
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.
Stir in the panko and the blue cheese if using.
Sprinkle over top of macaroni.
Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Instead of the expected tacos, impress your guests and spice things up this Cinco de Mayo with Chorizo Hot-Dog Hush Puppies and 7-Layer Sliders from Rachael Ray. I mean, 7-Layer Sliders? Sounds sinfully delicious. And if you need help washing it down, impress your guests even more with a CoronRita. Rachael shared her Cinco de Mayo recipes this morning on Good Morning America. After wiping the drool from my face, I had to share with you all.

Click the links below for the full recipes…

Chorizo Hot-Dog Hush Puppies – Recipe

 

7-Layer Sliders – Recipe

I have become obsessed with Chicken Pot Pie since moving to the United States, and it’s the perfect meal for your picky family. 

Tarragon Chicken Pot Pie 

Serves 6

Ingredients
5 Chicken breasts, rib on, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large leeks, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
12 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons tarragon, roughly chopped
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine, such as chardonnay
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups frozen peas
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
2 eggs, beaten in a bowl

Equipment
6 – 8oz Ramekins

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375°F

Pat dry chicken breasts, lay on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  Set aside, let cool, pull chicken from bone and cube into 1 inch pieces.

In a large pot or a dutch oven, over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add leeks and cook for about 8 minutes until well softened. (do not brown).

Add garlic, mushrooms and tarragon, stirring well for about 1 minute. Add flour and stir for another minute. Pour in chicken stock along with the wine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 3 – 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Season to taste.

Add in cream, peas and chicken, bring to a simmer for 2 minutes, cover and set aside.

Turn up oven to 400°F. Roll out pastry on a floured surface. Using the ramekin as a guide, cut out circles and place pastry circles on a baking sheet. Repeat until you have 6.

Brush pastry with egg wash. Bake in oven for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Scoop chicken mixture into ramekins and top with baked puff pastry. ENJOY!

If you’re a busy person then you know there’s nothing better than a good slow-cooker recipe. Today we’re gifting you with this delicious pulled pork recipe you can put together and forget about. You’re welcome.

Ingredients

1 (3 lb.) boneless pork shoulder, skin and excess fat removed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
2 cups bottled or homemade barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Directions

Trim pork of any excess fat. Scatter onion over bottom of slow cooker and place pork on top. Add broth, cover and cook on low until very tender, about 8 hours. Remove meat and let cool.
When cool enough to handle, pull meat into thin shreds, removing all fat and gristle. Skim excess fat from liquid in slow cooker.
Return pulled pork to slow cooker and stir in barbecue sauce, mustard, honey and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour longer on low. If desired, serve with hamburger buns and sides of pinto beans, corn, tomatoes and coleslaw.

Originally posted at myrecipes.

If there’s one food flavor that has the ability to make me feel cozy and comfy, it’s pumpkin. Pumpkin, combined with the warmth of pumpkin pie spice flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, helps me embrace sweater weather with open arms. Although we all have well-loved favorites like pumpkin-spiced lattes and pumpkin pie it’s easy to expand our pumpkin recipe repertoire and explore new ways to use this delicious fall vegetable. (Or is it a fruit? Doesn’t matter. It’s awesome.)

Real foodies like you and me know that pumpkin packs a lot more than just great flavor. Pumpkin is a true super food and is a great addition to a healthy diet. Pumpkin is filled with vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoids, tryptophan, potassium, and more. The only problem with pumpkin doesn’t lie with pumpkin exactly, but instead with the ingredients often mixed with pumpkin to create some of our favorite fall foods.

That’s why I wanted to gather a list of the best real food pumpkin recipes the internet has to offer. I asked my real food blogger friends to share their real food pumpkin recipes in this yummy roundup. You’ll find everything from breakfast to dessert here and it’s all real food. That means it’s either paleo-, primal- or traditional foods/Weston A. Price-friendly. The vegetarian and vegan recipes are noted, as well.

Enjoy this delicious roundup of the best real food pumpkin recipes! Don’t miss the great pumpkin tutorials at the end with instructions on making your own fresh, pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and more!

Real Food Pumpkin Breakfast Recipes

Chocolate Stuffed Pumpkin Pancakes (primal, traditional)

Grain-Free Pumpkin Muffins (primal, traditional, paleo)

Grain-Free Pumpkin Muffins with Coconut Flour (paleo, primal, traditional)

Grain-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Spread

Pumpkin Pie Refrigerator Oatmeal (traditional, vegan option)

Low Carb Pumpkin Bagels (paleo, primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Pumpkin Pancakes with Ginger Honey Butter (traditional,vegetarian)

Pumpkin Biscuits (paleo option, primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Real Food Pumpkin Dinner Recipes

Pumpkin Seafood Chowder (primal, traditional)

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Chili (traditional)

Pumpkin Curry with Coconut Rice (traditional)

Pumpkin Risotto (traditional)

Real Food Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars (primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Raw Pumpkin Dessert Recipes (raw, paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (traditional, vegetarian)

Grain-Free Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Glaze (paleo option, primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Pumpkin Pudding (paleo, primal, traditional)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (traditional)

Pumpkin Fudge (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Banana Pumpkin Ice Cream  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Paleo Pumpkin Pie  (paleo, primal, traditional)

Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding  (traditional, primal, vegetarian)

Pumpkin Pie Snowball Cookies (paleo, primal, traditional)

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake  (primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Baked Pumpkin Donuts (traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Brownies and Almond Milk Gingerbread Latte  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Pie Pudding Shooters  (paleo, primal, traditional)

Real Food Pumpkin Drink Recipes

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Spiced Pumpkin Chai Tea  (primal, traditional, vegan option)

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie  (primal, traditional)

Holiday Pumpkin Smoothie  (primal, traditional)

Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie  (primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie with Surprise Ingredient  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan option)

Pumpkin Pie Water Kefir (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Smoothie  (primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Real Food Pumpkin Snack Recipes

Cajun BBQ Pumpkin Seeds   (paleo, primal, traditional)

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Crackers  (paleo, primal (use gluten-free option), traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Pie Leather  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Dessert Nachos  (paleo, primal, traditional)

Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Cream Cookies (primal, traditional, vegetarian)

Coconut Love Pumpkin Pie Bars  (paleo, primal, traditional, vegan)

Pumpkin Bread  (traditional, vegan)

Real Food Pumpkin Tutorials

How to Roast, Puree and Freeze Pumpkin

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Immune Boosting Pumpkin Spice Mix with Star Anise

Check out the rest of our #MakeStuff posts curated by our guest editor Sarah Michelle Gellar throughout October. Also, be sure to check out Foodstirs, Sarah’s subscription box focused on healthy and creative baking kits!

This post was originally featured on Allison Goines’ blog Our Small Hours.  Photo via.

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