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Summertime and The Livins Easy...

I have been asking people this week what food makes them think of summer, and I love that I am getting completely different answers from everyone... Summertime food is the best!  I will be highlighting the themes of Barbequing, Fruit, and Refreshing Drinks - while finding a fun twist to put on them, and giving you something new to try this sunshiny season.  None of these recipes are my own, so make sure you check out the websites I stole them from :)  I hope we all find ourselves thinking about and preparing our favorite summer foods in the coming months. 

I know I will be enjoying all kinds of yummy goodness (and you will be hearing all about it!)

What food makes you think of summer? Let me know!

Barbeque

I could not resist this Chicken Parmesan Burger recipe for two reasons.
1. I love the idea of customizing burgers to add ingredients you would normally add on top .
2. I have never worked with ground chicken before and love a new item to try and experiment with.
I'm sure it would work with Turkey and Beef to add these same ingredients.

Chicken Parmesan Burger 

Ingredients
1 lb. ground chicken
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pasta Sauce
Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese (sliced or shredded)
Hamburger Rolls

DIRECTIONS
1. Place the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine. 
2. Add the ground chicken and gently mix until everything is evenly distributed. 
3. Form the mixture into 4 patties and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
4. Preheat your broiler and set a rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
5. Broil the burgers for 5-6 minutes on the first side, then flip and broil for 4-5 minutes on the second side, or until golden and completely cooked through. 
6. Remove the pan from the oven and top each burger with tomato sauce and cheese. 
7. Return to the oven and broil for about 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted. 
(If you want to toast the rolls, you can pop them under the broiler briefly as well before serving.) 



If you wanted to skip the red sauce and cheese and treat this as a regular burger, you could serve with an aioli or other savory sauce and pair with this tomato corn salad recipe as your side dish.

Ingredients

Tomato and Corn Salad
Sliced Tomatos
Corn Cut Off the Cob
Onion Sliced
Lima Bean Fresh Blanched
Mozzarella Cheese Sliced
Vinegrette Dressing

DIRECTIONS
Combine Ingredients
Lightly Toss Through With Vinegrette To Taste
Transfer to a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking.


There is no picture for this tomato and corn salad, because it is a family recipe. 
I can promise you it is delicious and a Wecker family favorite!

Peaches and Watermelon

I love peaches and watermelon was a common answer for a food that put people in a summertime mode.  Both of these fruits are juicy and delicious and wonderful on a hot summer day!  I looked around at alot of recipies, but I thought this was a wonderful twist on chips and salsa.  This Peach and Watermelon Salsa recipe is sure to make our mouths water and refresh us from the inside out!

Ingredients
Peach and Watermelon Salsa
1 cup chopped peeled peaches
1 cup chopped seedless watermelon
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely shopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon Thyme Leaves

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon  GroundCinnamon
6 flour tortillas (6-inch)

DIRECTIONS
1. For the Salsa, mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors.
2. For the Chips, preheat oven to 375°F. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Spray tortillas lightly with no stick cooking spray. Cut each into 8 wedges. Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with cinnamon sugar mixture.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely on wire rack. Serve with Peach Watermelon Salsa.



Everyone Loves Lemonade

How about Lemon Drop Jello Shots?  This is a fun take on the refreshingness of lemonade and an adult summer treat!  I definitely plan on making these for a weekend in the future. 



DIRECTIONS
1. Empty out the citrus of your choice to create the vessel.
2. Juice the citrus first as it makes for easier pulp removal. Save extracted juice for later recipes.
3. Use either a grapefruit knife to hollow out the citrus, or the easier way,  is to turn them inside out like the picture and dig deeply in to the pith until you catch the thin membrane holding the pulp and then peel back.
4. Make sure to completely clean out your citrus or the pulp will show in the wedges.
5. Make the Jell-O according to the instructions on the box and then reduce the cold water portion by ¼ cup and replace with your chilled drink mix. Place emptied citrus into muffin pan holes. Pour mixture into emptied citrus and chill overnight.
6. Use a straight edge knife to cut into wedges. Do not use a serrated knife or it will leave track marks.
7. Make sure to use a sharp knife or you will end up with mangled wedges.

Lemon Drop Jello-O Shots

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