Quick Tips: 3 Marinades for Perfect Summer Grilling

Summer grilling is so tasty and healthy, here are some of my favorite marinades for three different proteins:

Pork: Maple Bourbon Glaze

1 cup of bourbon (don’t use the really good stuff your husband likes to sip on!)

1 cup of Grade A maple syrup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

dash of chili flake

salt and pepper

1 tbsp unsalted butter


Reduce the mixture down by half, then cool completely before marinating the meat. It’s great on pork chops and tenderloin. Marinate for half an hour before grilling, then brush with extra marinade while the meat is cooking, so it caramelizes and stays moist.

Chicken: Fresh Basil Pesto

4 cup fresh basil (don’t stress too much about the stems, it’s all going to get pulverized in the food processor)

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup shaved parmesan

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

juice from half a lemon

salt to taste


Place the garlic in the food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Add the basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil and puree. If the mixture seems a little stiff or you’re having trouble pureeing it well, add more oil until it’s a smooth paste. Marinate chicken breasts and thighs for about half an hour,. Save some of the pesto for spooning over the cooked meat before serving.

Fish: Lemon Herb Marinade

juice from 1 lemon

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Herbs de Provence (can substitute Italian herb mixture or just mix dried oregano, thyme and rosemary)

1 tsp salt and pepper

4 filets of sea bass or other flaky white fish


Place all the ingredients of the marinade in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the fish and marinate for 5-15 minutes. Any longer and the fish will begin to cook because of the lemon juice! Grill for just a few minutes on each side or until the fish is opaque. Make sure to clean the grill well, otherwise the tender fish will stick to the grill.

Father’s Day Foodie Gift Ideas

One of my greatest pleasures is cooking with my Dad. People often ask me if I learned to cook from my Mom, but the truth is both of my parents are amazing cooks and our family gathers often include us sitting around the kitchen, with a good bottle of wine, cooking and catching up. My Dad loves to smoke brisket and is always manning the smoker when we have important […] Read Full Post

Coconut Shrimp and Pineapple Salsa

This is my way of heading to the tropics without ever leaving home and it’s my favorite summer appetizer (and sometimes I have it for dinner, just for myself). Crispy coconut shrimp, flash fried until it’s brown and caramelized on the outside, tender and fresh inside. I pile them up high around a colorful platter, then serve it with fresh pineapple salsa. Your guests will love it, or if you’re […] Read Full Post

Quick Tip: Summer Bar Essentials

Summer is officially here and I can’t imagine a better reason to mix up a fruit infused cocktail or chill a bottle of wine and invite friends over. I wanted to share some entertaining tips on how I set up my summer bar. The most stressful part of entertaining is the idea of running around catering to your friends and not being able to enjoy the party yourself. I set […] Read Full Post

National Negroni Week: Cocktail Making with Susie Drinks!

In honor of National Negroni Week, I asked Susie O from her popular blog Susie Drinks to join me at the bar for some Campari inspired cocktails. She made this incredible watermelon infused gin for a refreshing summer take on the classic Negroni. It’s slightly bitter, a little sweet and super refreshing on hot summer days. I met Susie several years ago when I was the Entertainment Reporter for the […] Read Full Post

Summer Entertaining: Recipes and Tips

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs 1 full rack prime cut back ribs 1 cup favorite BBQ Sauce 2 tbsp Tabasco Chipotle Sauce 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup beef broth Directions: Place the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, Tabasco and beef broth in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the ribs and set the slow cooker to high. Cook for 3 hours, then open and stir, to make […] Read Full Post

Recipe: Panzanella – Italian Summer Tomato Salad

Tomatoes are at peak freshness during the hot summer months, so make them the star of your next BBQ with this simple Italian salad. Warm angry croutons are perfect for soaking up the salad dressing and the juices from the ripe tomatoes. {ingredients] Panzanella – Italian Ripe Tomato Salad 1 lb ripe tomatoes (cherry, cut in half, or heirloom cubed into inch wide pieces) 1 lb Persian cucumbers, cut into […] Read Full Post

Quick Tip: How to Chop and Store Fresh Herbs

If you watch any of my recipes, you know how much I love to add fresh herbs to any dish, whether it is a salad or a pot roast. Parsley, basil, dill, chives, they liven up any meal and add a bright burst of flavor. And with summer around the corner, I wanted to share my quick tips for washing, chopping and storing fresh herbs. Wash all of your herbs […] Read Full Post

Chicken Teriyaki and Stir Fry Vegetables

One of the healthiest, and easiest dinners you can make is a quick stir fry of chicken and vegetables. Here is how I make it in less than 30 minutes. Chicken Teriyaki and Stir Fry Vegetables 4 Chicken Breasts, marinated overnight in a premade teriyaki, I used this teriyaki 1 cup broccoli florets, trimmed 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces 1 cup zucchini, cut into one […] Read Full Post