I am in total denial that it’s Labor Day weekend. Where did my summer go?!
The bucket lists we created at the beginning of the summer still have a lot that needs to be checked off, so we’re spending the long weekend concentrating on family time and checking off a few last items. Oh, and there will be plenty of grilling.
If you’re looking for something fun-but-easy to make this weekend, these burgers are a great candidate – especially if you have a whole bunch of basil to use up. The addition of the basil makes these fresh and perfect for the end of summer.
Basil Burgers with Sundried Tomato Mayonnaise (adapted from Taste of Home) Serves 6
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the dried kind – not packed in oil)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
Fresh mozzarella, for serving
Hamburger buns, for serving
Add the dried tomatoes to the water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Drain and add the tomatoes to a food processor, along with the mayonnaise. Process until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the Worcestershire, basil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Break up the ground beef over the spices, and mix until well combined. Divide into 6 equal balls, and form into patties.
Grill over medium-high heat for approximately five minutes per side. Add mozzarella during the last minute and allow to melt.
Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
I never really considered macaroni and cheese a cookout food – until I had kids. Now, macaroni and cheese is an all-the-time food. I’ve been dreaming up an on-the-grill version for a while and I knew Cookout Week was the perfect opportunity.
It was also a great chance to try out Smokin O’s. Smokin O’s is one of our Cookout Week sponsors and they sent us a sampler pack to try out. Smokin O’s are a great way to add smoked flavor on a gas grill – this recipe features an Applewood Smokin O.
And this makes a creamy, delicious, smoky mac and cheese with almost no effort. It’s a perfect cookout dish!
Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s (a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 cups milk
2 cups half and half
16 oz. shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 Applewood Smokin O
Green onions, for topping
Chopped bacon, for topping
Spray a disposable 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray. Pour in the elbow macaroni. Pour the melted butter, milk, and half and half into the pan an stir to combine. Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and paprika.
Place the pan on the grill over indirect heat with the cover closed. Cook for 1 hour 45 minutes to two hours – stirring every 10 minutes for the first 40 minutes.
When cooked, top with green onions and chopped bacon before serving.
Disclosure: I received this product for free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.
We are grill-obsessed in the summer, so when the opportunity came up to work with Smokin-Os, I was beyond excited. I tend to slather my grill creations in sauce – usually one that’s loaded with sugar. Barbecue, teriyaki, and sweet and sour sauces end up in heavy rotation. With Smokin-Os, though, that’s not necessary.
Smokin-Os are a ridiculously easy way to get all the flavor of smoking with minimal effort. They pack a huge flavor punch without adding any calories. You can see how to use them here.
When I started brainstorming what I wanted to try and makeover for #RecipeMakeover week, I kept coming back to Chicken Cordon Bleu. I love it, but it’s usually fried and often comes with a heavy sauce. As soon as I got my hands on the Smokin-Os, I knew they’d be a great way to pack a lot of flavor into my dish, while ditching the frying. I was so excited how these turned out!
Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu with Smokin-Os (a Kate’s Recipe Box original Serves 4
4 thin-cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, and oregano, to taste
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
4 slices deli ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 Original Smokin-Os
Prepare the grill according to the Smokin-Os package directions.
Season chicken breasts to taste with salt, pepper, and oregano. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil.
When the grill is ready, spray with non-stick spray and add chicken breasts. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip, brushing the top with the honey-mustard mixture. Cook another 3-4 minutes, flip and brush again. Add 1 slice of ham, topped with one slice of Swiss cheese to each chicken breast and cook for another minute, until the cheese melts.
The weather is getting better! The snow piles from the nor’easter are nearly gone and we’ve had a few evenings where it’s not frigid by dinner time – so we’re starting to fire up the grill.
Cave Tools recently sent me a pepper grill rack to try out (you can see my review here) and we finally busted it out to make these delicious little peppers. I think most people automatically think jalapenos stuffed with cheese and bacon for something like this, but I wanted to make something that felt light and fresh – and that was more toddler-friendly.
These were perfect! I can’t wait to make them again once we have lots of fresh herbs in the garden.
Grilled Stuffed Mini Peppers (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes 12
Disclosure: I received these products free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
We’re just getting into grilling season here, so when Cave Tools asked if I wanted to review their Jalapeno Grill Rack & Pepper Corer I jumped at the chance. We love making dinner on the grill now that the evenings are warmer (and it’s light out!) and I love products that make grilled dishes easy – this is one of them.
Because we have a toddler who insists on trying everything we’re eating, I decided to try the rack out by making stuffed mini peppers (check back for the recipe tomorrow!).
The set comes with a corer tool to make prep easy. I sliced off the top of the peppers and then used the tool to clean them out and was impressed with how quickly and effectively it worked. My husband even commented on how fast it was!
I stuck the peppers in the rack as I filled them. The one thing you do have to be mindful of is that you pick peppers that won’t fall through the holes – or tweak as you go. I added two smaller peppers together in some spots. A little foil would have worked, too.
The rack itself is super sturdy – the legs snap into place so it won’t collapse unless you want it to. This made it easy to transport the rack from the kitchen to the grill.
I loved that the rack kept the peppers away from heat enough that they could cook without burning (brown spots = poison to a toddler) and we didn’t have to deal with any cheese spillage as the mixture got melty. Cleanup was also a breeze – the rack goes right in the dish washer.
I really loved this rack and can’t wait to try out some of the other things they suggest (like chicken legs!) this summer.
If you want your own jalapeno grill rack, they can be purchased from the Cave Tools website – use code ROASTPEPPER15 to take 15% off. They can also be purchased via Amazon. Cave Tools also has a lot of other fun grilling accessories, I recommend checking them out while you’re browsing!
I’ve been sitting on this recipe for weeks because I wanted to save it for #CookoutWeek – I’m so sorry I’ve been holding out on you guys. But, I’ve officially found my favorite way to grill up sausage.
In the past, I’ve always sort of failed at sausages on the grill. It would sound like such a good idea and then they’d end up undercooked on the inside or overcooked on the outside – or both. Braising them on the grill and then just transferring them to direct heat at the end eliminates all of that – and it’s absolutely delicious.
I had picked up these sausages on a whim at the farmer’s market and they were hands down the best impulse purchase I’ve made in a long time. I already can’t wait to make these again!
Grilled Italian Sausages with Sweet and Sour Peppers and Onions
(from Serious Eats)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 sweet Italian sausage links
Rolls, for serving
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the sliced peppers and onions and toss to coat in the oil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes – until softened and browning. Stir in vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Light one side of a grill and allow to preheat for about 10 minutes.
Transfer the peppers and onions to a 10″ disposable aluminum pan. Push the sausages into the pepper mixture.
Place the tray on the heated side of the grill until simmering. Move to the non-heated side and close grill. Cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes, flipping the sausages halfway through.
Use tongs to remove the sausages from the peppers and onto the hot side of the grill. Cook, turning often, until browned – about three more minutes.
Serve sausages in rolls, topped with peppers and onions.
I’m just starting to get back into some solid meal planning. Even though I’ve been feeling better for weeks, I haven’t been mentally ready to prep big meals more than once or twice a week. We’re on about week 3 of a real meal plan again and it feels good. Even if I’m mostly just doing main dishes and praying that the sides figure themselves out.
These delicious potatoes were mostly an after-thought. We were planning to make dinner on the grill and I decided to throw these on too instead of roasting them. The simple seasonings made them a breeze to throw together but they were still really good. And using a foil packet meant no dishes to clean up – always a plus!
Italian-Parmesan Grilled Potatoes (adapted from Kraft) Serves 4
4-5 red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. Italian dressing
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley, for garnish
Preheat the grill to medium heat.
In a medium bowl, toss together the potato chunks, olive oil and water. Transfer to a large sheet of foil and fold into a packet.
Grill the foil packet of potatoes for twenty minutes, turning halfway.
Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and toss with dressing, cheese, salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.
I’m so excited grilling season is back! I’ve been bookmarking grill recipes like crazy, but when one of my blogger friends mentioned they’d tried and liked this, it jumped to the top of the list. This is super easy to put together, which makes it perfect for a weeknight, and Jake downed it so it’s toddler-approved.
I’m pretty sure this blog is going to be all about the grill this summer. Jake LOVES playing outside and will happily hang out in the back yard for hours. I’ve been loving watching him from the window as I prep and then joining him in the backyard to grill. It’s looking like it’ll be a pretty mellow summer – at least until the new little sister gets here!
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts cut into 1½ inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can pineapple chunks
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup Asian toasted sesame dressing
Sesame seeds, optional, for serving
Rice, for serving
4 12″x12″ sheets of foil
Preheat the grill to medium heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce and Asian dressing. Set aside.
Divide the chicken, peppers, onions and pineapple chunks between the foil packets. Fold up the edges of the foil a bit, add the sauce and close up completely.
Grill for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from heat and check chicken for doneness – cook longer if neede.