This may be one of my favorite recipes. We were making it about once a week this summer.

While this dish can be baked in an oven, it just doesn’t taste the same without the smokiness a charcoal Weber grill gives it. 

I also highly recommend making this on a night that you have leftover grilled chicken or steak. It takes about 45 minutes to cook, so using leftovers will save you time and effort.

Tamale Pie on the Grill
Serves 4
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Crust Ingredients
  1. 2 c. masa harina
  2. 1 tsp. garlic salt
  3. 1 tsp. ground cumin
  4. 1 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1 tsp. chili powder
  6. 1 tsp. paprika
  7. 2 tbsp. butter, melted
Pie Ingredients
  1. 1-2 c. cooked steak or chicken, chopped
  2. 1 jar (about 1 1/2 c.) chunky salsa
  3. 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
  4. 1 1/2 c. cheese, shredded (cheddar, pepperjack, etc.)
Topping Ingredients
  1. 1/2 c. cheese, shredded (cheddar, pepperjack, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to about 400 degrees using indirect heat.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the crust ingredients until it forms a dough.
  3. Prepare a cast iron pan by lightly brushing it with oil to prevent the crust from sticking.
  4. Place the dough in the pan and form an evenly pressed crust.
  5. Using the same bowl (so you have less dishes to wash), mix together the pie ingredients and pour into the crust.
  6. Grill the tamale pie over indirect heat for about 35 to 40 minutes. Add topping and grill for an additional five to 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted.
Adapted from Weber's Time to Grill
Adapted from Weber's Time to Grill
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I love everything bagels with cream cheese … except the calories. For that reason, I hardly ever indulge in a bagel. I was pretty excited about this recipe for that reason and it certainly didn’t disappoint. 

Our local market sells ENORMOUS chicken breasts, so I only made two. However, I think this recipe would have a better cream cheese-chicken ratio if you used 3-4 smaller chicken breasts (because you can never have too much cream cheese).

Everything Chicken & Cream Cheese
Serves 2
It's like the bagel you love, but for dinner ...
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large chicken breasts (or 3-4 small ones)
  2. 4 tsp. sesame seeds
  3. 4 tsp. poppy seeds
  4. 4 tsp. onion powder
  5. 2 tsp. garlic salt
  6. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 4 oz. cream cheese, reduced fat
  8. 2 eggs, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a plate, mix together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion powder, garlic salt and garlic powder. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat the two eggs. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a baking dish for the chicken by lightly spraying it with cooking spray. Also, bring a skill to medium-high heat (I prefer to use my cast iron skillet for this).
  5. Trim the chicken, cutting a pocket that is big enough to allow it to be stuffed with a layer of cream cheese. Fill each pocket with cream cheese.
  6. Dip each chicken breast first in the egg and then in the spice mixture.
  7. In the skillet, brown each side of the chicken breast (one to three minutes per side, just to crisp it up).
  8. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish and cook for 30-35 minutes.
Adapted from emily bites
Adapted from emily bites
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This recipe is so easy, it’s not really a recipe. It’s really just three ingredients and a grill. I can’t wait until later this summer when I can buy corn at the Farmer’s Market!  

Grilled Corn
One of our favorite tastes of summer
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Ingredients
  1. Sweet corn
  2. Olive oil or grapeseed oil
  3. Morton's Nature's Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Shuck the corn, being sure to remove all of the silk as well.
  2. Lightly coat the corn cob with oil, using your hand to spread it evenly.
  3. Generously season with seasoning.
  4. Grill off to the side
  5. Keep an eye on the corn, turning it a few times as you turn other items you have on the grill with it.
Notes
  1. Have leftovers? Remove the corn from the cob and refridgerate it to use later on in tacos or a Southwestern salad.
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This might be one of my favorite things to have for dinner. The recipe is pretty easy, as well. I love serving these tacos with chipotle slaw.

Fish Tacos
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  2. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  3. 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  4. 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  5. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  6. Olive oil
  7. 2 fillets of tilapia, mahi mahi, white cod or salmon
  8. corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  2. Brush fish fillets with olive oil and evenly apply rub.
  3. On the grill: Set up grill for high heat. Using a fish basket, grill fillets over the high heat for about two to three minutes per side.
  4. On the stove top: Prepare a cast iron pan over high heat with oil. Cook the fillets for two to three minutes per side.
  5. Shred fillets with a fork and serve
Notes
  1. These are best served with chipotle slaw and shredded cheddar cheese.
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Chipotle Salw
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Ingredients
  1. 4 c. purple cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped
  2. 1/4 c. Miracle Whip
  3. 1 lime, freshly squeezed (or about 2 tablespoons of juice)
  4. 2 tsp. sugar
  5. 1 tbsp. minced chipotle chilies with adobo sauce
  6. 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, evenly coating the cabbage with the other ingredients.
  2. Place bowl in refrigerator and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes, or until your food is ready.
Notes
  1. I never seem to use one can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce in one recipe. The trick to making them easier to use in cooking is to mince an entire can at once (I use my mini food processor), measure out the chiles by tablespoons on wax paper, freeze and then place the pre-measured peppers in a plastic bag. You can quick dethaw one tablespoon each time you need to use one in a recipe.
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Chipotle slaw is a staple. You can serve it with tacos or in a pulled pork sandwich. Sometimes I throw leftovers in wraps or on salads.

If we’re feeling lazy, we buy a bag or two of the pre-packaged, pre-shredded purple cabbage from the salad section at the store.

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Thanksgiving is a few days away, but I’ve decided to start preparing tonight. My family actually never had cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. I’m not entirely certain I’ve ever tried it because I’ve only been served the unappealing canned version. However, when I found Eat Live Run’s recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try to make my own version.

I love the bitter sweetness of a cranberry, so I cut back on the sugar and added my own flair. Add some extra if you like stuff extra sweet. I used Crown Royal Northern Harvest that I thought would mix well, but any smooth whiskey would likely work. 

Whiskey-Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  2. 1/2 c. sugar (add 1/4 c. if you like it sweeter)
  3. 3/4 c. water
  4. 2 tbsp. whiskey
  5. 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  6. 4 quick splashes of bitters
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except the bitters, in a small pot.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil. Regularly stir, using your spoon to mash the cranberries.
  3. Once the mixture has a sauce consistency, remove it from the heat.
  4. Add a few splashes of bitters, to taste.
Adapted from Eat Live Run
Adapted from Eat Live Run
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I started out by just wanting to make butternut squash soup with coconut milk. I saw a few recipes that called for peanut butter and thought it sounded very weird. Peanut butter is for toast, right?

So, I picked out a different recipe. But, when I was eating the soup, I realized it needed something more. I heated up just one bowl and added a tablespoon of peanut butter … and it was amazing. If you’re afraid you will ruin the soup with peanut butter, leave it out and add it to just one bowl later on.

Thai Butternut Soup
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 3 shallots, finely chopped
  3. 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  4. 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
  5. 2 c. water
  6. 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (regular, not lite)
  7. 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  8. 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  9. 1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
  10. 1 tsp. red curry paste
  11. 1 tbsp. lime juice
  12. 4 tbsp. peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the shallots and garlic.
  2. Add the ginger, water and coconut milk. Combine and then add the butternut squash.
  3. Add the garlic salt, chili garlic sauce and red curry paste. Bring the soup mixture to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, mix the soup until well-blended.
  5. Add lime juice and peanut butter, and use the immersion blender to further combine the ingredients.
Notes
  1. If you're not sold on peanut butter in soup, make this recipe without it and add a tablespoon to just one bowl to try it out.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Adapted from Cooking Light
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During the summer, my neighbor told me I could have all of the basil from her garden. She had two enormous bushes in her garden. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it all, so I started looking for recipe ideas. I found this great recipe that uses cherry tomatoes and fresh basil — two of my absolute favorite things. You could probably replace the quinoa with pasta, but quinoa is so good for you!

Baked Tomato Basil Quinoa
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 c. uncooked quinoa
  2. 2 cups chicken broth
  3. 1 tsp garlic powder
  4. 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  5. 1 jar pasta sauce
  6. 1/4 c. tomato paste
  7. 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  8. About 40 basil leaves
  9. 1 cup mozzarella
  10. 1/4 cup fresh parmesan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Rinse quinoa, add it to a pot and bring it to a boil with the quinoa. Keep this at a low boil, stirring regularly, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. In another pot, add pasta sauce and tomato paste. Warm it over low-medium heat. Turn the heat down if it starts to boil a lot.
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. When quinoa is about half done, add them to the sauce and stir well. Add 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese to the sauce mix and combine well. Then add the basil.
  5. When quinoa is nearly done, add garlic powder. When it is completely done, add fresh parmesan and combine well.
  6. Spray a baking dish with oil. Evenly layer the quinoa in the dish. Pour the sauce mixture on top of it and add the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and the fresh parmesan.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is cooked to perfection.
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Even though this soup takes awhile, it’s worth the simmer time. 

Cheesy Potato, Ham and Veggie Soup
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 4 c. red potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  2. 1/3 c. celery, finely chopped
  3. 1/3 c. onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  5. 1 c. baby carrots, finely chopped
  6. 1 16 oz. package ham lunchmeat (the thicker, the better), diced
  7. 4 c. chicken broth
  8. 4 tbsp. butter
  9. 4 tbsp. flour
  10. 2 c. milk
  11. 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Combine potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, carrots, ham and chicken broth in a large pot. Bring it to a boil, stirring regularly.
  2. Cook on low heat for an hour. Continue to stir regularly. When the vegetables are cooked to your taste, continue to the next step.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Slowly add the flour, combining well with the melted butter.
  4. Slowly add the milk, stirring in about a quarter cup at a time. Stir for a few minutes to allow it to thicken.
  5. Slowly add the cheese, stirring it to ensure it melts.
  6. Add the milk-cheese mixture to the large pot and combine well.
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
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The first time I tried a recipe that said “lemon zest,” I spent 15 minutes scouring Meijer for it in the spices section. Turns out lemon zest is just the outside of a lemon and all you need is a microplane to make it happen. Now I use lemon zest all the time.

This is one of our all-time favorites. It’s pretty easy to make and so good. Enjoy!

Lemon Provolone Chicken
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large chicken breasts, sliced horizontally to create four servings
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 c. bread crumbs
  4. 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  5. 1 tsp. dried oregano
  6. 1 tsp. dried basil
  7. 1 lemon, zested
  8. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  9. 4 slices provolone cheese
  10. 1/2 c. mozzarella, shredded
  11. Lemon slices, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, spices and lemon zest.
  3. Dip each chicken breast in egg and then in the bread crumb mixture. Set each piece of chicken in the baking dish.
  4. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of provolone cheese and then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
  6. Serve with lemon slices to be squeezed on top of the chicken.
Adapted from Cooking Classy
Adapted from Cooking Classy
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