There is nothing I love more than picking bite sized, sun-ripened cherry tomatoes right off the vine. And it’s even better when the skin splits open the moment you pick them – you just know it will be bursting with juicy sweetness. Glorious! Plus, it’s the perfect reason to pop them straight into your mouth. I’m so guilty of this, that I had eaten myself into tomato oblivion! With tomato harvest in full swing, I recently invited a group of friends over to not only help consume the hundreds of cherry tomatoes, but to have a little DIY tomato jarring party so that they can enjoy the bounty for weeks to come. Tomato confit is a fantastic way to preserve tomatoes. Roasting them in the oven sweetens them even more and then adding Olivari Olive Oil just adds the perfect amount of richness to allow you to basically add it to anything.
Yes, I know, that title is a MOUTHFUL!! And I didn’t even mention that all that cereal milk and apple brandy goodness is sandwiched between two chewy ginger molasses cookies! I’ve been dying to make a cereal milk ice cream for years. In fact, it’s a recipe idea I’ve had scribbled down in a notebook, long before HonestlyYUM even existed. You see, I used to love cereal milk as a kid . . . like, love. I mean, that was the best part of the whole cereal experience, am I right? Slurping down all that sweet milk at the end of the bowl. Sadly, those days are long gone. I’ve traded my morning sugar rush for a seemingly more age-appropriate caffeine high. But hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t treat myself at the end of the day. When sifting through old memories of my favorite childhood cereals, Apple Jacks didn’t immediately come to mind. I was more of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch kinda kid. But then it hit me: Apple Jacks + Applejack. After all, I am the booze guy! You see, Laird’s Applejack is an apple brandy, and one of the United States’ oldest spirits. Apple Jacks cereal is a multi-grain cereal with apple-cinnamon flavor, and an intense sugar coating. If you ask me, it’s a match made in heaven – at least, in ice cream sandwich form, that is.
The end of summer is always bummer and not because I’m in school anymore. The days start to get noticeably shorter and you begin to think of all the beach trips you should’ve planned or outdoor dinners you should’ve taken advantage of. That’s why my September is going to be dedicated to BBQ-ing and enjoying warm summer nights as much as I can.
When it comes to BBQ, I think it’s best to keep it simple. Use fresh and wholesome ingredients and let the magic of the grill do the work for you. And that’s exactly what I’ve done here with these grilled pineapple nachos. I throw all the ingredients on the grill and even melt the nachos on a pizza stone (which is a great alternative use of a pizza stone if you have one laying around). Think of these as a Hawaiian pizza in nacho form. Of course, these grilled pineapple nachos wouldn’t be complete without great tortilla chips and that’s where Food Should Taste Good chips come in.
Food Should Taste Good believes, like I do, that food tastes better using simple and wholesome ingredients. We celebrated our favorite summer dishes with some friends at Mohawk Bend and a fun BBQ menu inspired by Food Should Taste Good chips, like super-moist and flavor-packed BBQ chicken crusted in their Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips and mac n’ cheese baked with a crust of their Multigrain Tortilla Chips. Oh and let’s not forget the genius move of stuffing sliders with Guacamole Chips Tortilla Chips. I’m stealing that one. All this paired with the excellent beer menu at Mohawk Bend and that’s what I call a great summer dinner!
I can’t believe it’s taken me over two years to post a caipirinha on the site. In fact, I haven’t posted a single cachaça cocktail . . . not even during the World Cup last summer!! I know, it makes no sense. Perhaps, subconsciously, I’m still recovering from the hundreds upon thousands of caipirinhas I made during my first stint behind the bar. It was a tapas-style restaurant in Berkeley’s “gourmet ghetto”. The neighborhood was, and still is, a bustling food scene – Chez Panisse, Cheeseboard, and the original Peet’s Coffee are all within a one-block radius of each other. Like many restaurants back then, we took pride in our mojitos. However, the most popular cocktail on the menu was undoubtedly our caipirinhas. Cachaça was hard to find back then, and I think it intrigued people. With several Brazilian dishes on our menu, it was the perfect fit. Not to mention, a good way for us bartenders to get a serious arm workout. I forget how I stumbled upon the kiwi and caipirinha combo, but I’ve been making it for years. Something about that tart kiwi flavor goes perfect with cachaça. For this recipe I used both green and gold kiwis, the later being sweeter and more aromatic. Thanks for letting me reminisce a bit. I promise there will be more cachaça cocktails to come!!
The whole savory/salty and sweet fruit thing was never my thing. I was one of those people who hated when people put salt on apples to prevent browning or when the fruit on my plate touched anything savory. I can’t remember when or how, but I somewhere along the way I started eating mangos with chile and salt– and I liked it! Mango and salt was my gateway drug to so many amazing fruit/savory combos. Before I knew it I was eating salt and chile on watermelon, al pastor tacos with pineapples, citrus and avocados, figs on pizzas, etc. Melons are no exception and they are just incredible right now– so sweet, juicy and fragrant! I’ve turned up the flavor on the classic combination of watermelon and feta with some finely minced olives and summer fresh mint and basil. I’m pretty hooked on this combo right now and I hope you enjoy it too!
It’s time to man up! That’s right, for the next few days it’s just me, Grizzly, and Fiona. Audrey is away at a conference, and us goofballs are left here to hold down the fort. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since she left, and there’s already been a trip to the biergarten, late night salsa dancing, and pizza parties for breakfast! Hey, we’re doing our best, okay?! One thing’s for sure, our dessert game isn’t quite the same. However, I’m still trying hard to maintain my sweet tooth. I like to think of this as a hybrid dessert/drink, AKA my wheelhouse. It’s simple, seasonal, and delicious – perfect for your next dinner party . . . or even just chilling at home with the dog and baby!!