Thursday, June 26, 2008

Easy Summer Cooking

I love the relaxed schedule of summer, and time spent hanging out at the pool or on the cul de sac chatting with neighbors in the evenings. It's a standard joke that as Rusty pulls onto our street, I sprint for the kitchen and scramble to get dinner on the table. As a result, meals that I can prep ahead of time, and that cook quickly, are a favorite around here. If I can grill instead of heating up the kitchen, better yet.

Since Big Mama seems to face the same dinner issue, she asked for easy summer time recipes, and I immediately thought of my favorite standby. Originally made as kabobs, and great for a summer dinner party on the deck, I simplified it for family nights by simply skewering the peppers and mushrooms and putting everything else directly on the grill in whole pieces. Simple, fast, and delicious!

I 'm also not much for preparing desserts, and in fact only have one real dessert recipe to claim. It seems to be a hit with everyone, however, and has totally redeemed my reputation as a terrible baker. (Of course you don't bake this, but still, after eating this pie people tend to be forgiving of a lot of my faults.) Heath bar pie is my one-hit-wonder dessert.

Tropical Chicken (I just made that up- we actually call it "the chicken I make on kabobs" or something equally unique)

4-6 chicken breasts (I use individually frozen pieces and let them marinade as they thaw)
1 bottle of your favorite zesty Italian dressing
1-2 bermuda onions, in thick slices
1 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced
red and yellow peppers, in large cubes
fresh button mushrooms
skewers soaked in water

Marinate chicken breasts in Italian dressing. In a separate container marinate the onion, pineapple, mushrooms, and peppers in Italian dressing. I usually do this in the morning, and when it is time for dinner I skewer the mushrooms and peppers while the grill heats up.

Grill and serve with rice and a tossed salad or broccoli. So easy but truly delicious.

Heath Bar Pie

1 large graham cracker pie crust
1 gallon Breyers Heath ice cream, softened
Magic shell ice cream topping
Heath bar pieces (available in the baking aisle pre-crushed, or buy several heath toffee bars and crush into chunks)

Pour a thick layer of magic shell in the bottom of the pie crust and place in freezer until hardened, 5-10 minutes. While this is hardening, in a large mixing bowl mix the softened heath ice cream with more pieces of the heath bar, as much or as little as you like. I like to add a lot. When the magic shell is hardened, pour the ice cream into the pie crust, and drizzle more magic shell on top of the pie. Sprinkle on the rest of the crushed heath pieces and put in freezer to set. This part can be a little messy, so you need to work fast and may not be able to use all the ice cream, depending on the depth of your crust.

When frozen solid, slice and enjoy. Happy summer evenings!


Christy said...

thank you so much for visiting me... I would love to keep reading your reads if that is ok... I love making new friends!

Bahama Shores Mama said...

I don't do pineapple....but that health pie??? SOOOOO me!