Grilled Halloumi & Peach Salad

Grilled Halloumi & Peach Salad

Grilled Halloumi & Peach Salad:  Grilled halloumi and grilled peaches dressed with a light honey lemon dressing and fresh basil

Can I just say that I’m in a great mood? Probably because it’s finally my-kind-of perfect-outside, and I don’t leave point A to arrive at point B half-wet from sweat and frizzy hair from humidity.  The older I get, the more I realize just how much my mood is affected by the temperature outside. I’m not at the point where knee pains are predicting rain but I can tell I’m not that far off from it.

More reason for my jolly demeanor is that it’s still #CookoutWeek (ehm. Reminder. Enter the most awesome giveaway here) and that means that I’ve been more excited than usual about my weekly grub because I’m finally experiencing that flame-broiled goodness that give Burger King such high marks (comparatively).  The Liptauer Burger was top shelf, and today’s dish will rise to join it:  Grilled Halloumi & Peach Salad.

Grilled Halloumi & Peach Salad

The idea for this came out of last month’s cookbook club selection Summer Food. For the most part I was underwhelmed by the book until I remembered that the gist of summer food is simplicity, and that book take that notion and runs with it. One of my clubmates remarked how she and her hubs died over the grilled halloumi with apricots, and so I figured I’d add my own twist on that basic recipe. Continue reading

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Austrian Liptauer Pork Burgers


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Pork Burgers topped with Liptauer, a creamy, salty cheese spread

Folks we’ve come to the end of our trip down memory lane. Welcome to Vienna.

To recap: we ate our oats in Scotland, got a little messy in London, let go with some lesco in Budapest, got a little drunk in Barcelona, stuffed our crepes in Paris, had a fancy picnic in Geneva, ate puffy pancakes in Amsterdam, went nuts in Munich, and ate allthechocolate in Zurich.

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As my quartet arrived in Vienna to finish our last two weeks together, and our last two weeks of summer school, we were tired and stuffed and HOT.  Vienna was experiencing one of the hottest summers on record and staying in digs that did not have any air conditioning led to more than one outburst in the middle of the night lamenting the sweats. Ask Yam, she’ll confirm.

Otherwise, Vienna was a lovely town. We stuffed ourselves every day at the film festival that set up just down the street from our dorms, and um…enjoyed ourselves with local wine every night.

Let’s just say Vienna started my love of karaoke, and I haven’t looked back since.

We spent quite a bit of time in these quaint Austrian wine cellars eating a lot of meat and it’s to them that we return today with my spin on traditional Austro-Hungarian flavors. And, since it’s #CookoutWeek (don’t forget to enter the giveaway!), a burger was the appropriate way to tie it all together.  Introducing my Austrian Liptauer Pork Burger.

For the base, it’s pork. My people love pork. Anytime, anyplace, and I thought that it would compliment nicely the salty, creamy Liptauer cheese spread that would dress it. Continue reading

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It’s #CookoutWeek!

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So we’ve hit our third 90+ degree weekend in a row, and that was enough to make me realize that it was time to fire up the grill. You may recall that last year I failed to do so at all. Not a once. #Summerfail.

Like the first day back at the gym, the first time on the grill is the hardest. It just seems like SO MUCH WORK (though it isn’t at all), it gets easier after that initial go, and I’m hoping that the enthusiasm with which I start my grilling season continues at least until we chill for Labor Day.

Side note: bacon on the grill? Disappointing. I was just being lazy, but I’ll fire up the oven as usual next time. 

With July 4th coming this weekend, and all us perfecting the art of the lazy summer, about fifty bloggers and I teamed up to bring you #CookoutWeek – and entire week filled with delicious summer recipes perfect for your next cookout.  Plus (PLUS!), we’re all throwing a fun giveaway, courtesy of some awesome sponsors.

It’s a breeze to enter, and one lucky winner will get:

So…pretty much everything you need to host an awesome cookout this summer, worth over $300! You know you want it.

One again, thanks to all of the wonderful sponsors listed above, and those at The Pintertest Kitchen who have made #CookoutWeek possible.

Now, throw your hat in the ring and enter here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, don’t forget to check back throughout the week with all of the bloggers participating to get see all of our amazing creations. I’d like to introduce you to…

The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Day in the Life on the Farmaddicted 2 recipesAimee Broussard & Co.Amy’s Cooking AdventuresAngels Home Sweet HomesteadBakin’ and EggcerptsBalancing MotherhoodBody RebootedCheese Curd In ParadiseCindy’s Recipes and WritingsCook With 5 KidsCook. Craft. Love.Cookaholic WifeCricket’s ConfectionsCrumb: A Food BlogEat, Drink, Be Healthy!Everyday EileenFairyburgerFood ParsedGet the Good Stuff!Goodie GodmotherHezzi-D’s Books and CooksHome in the Finger LakesJennifer CooksJessie WeaverKate’s Recipe BoxLife on FoodLittle House Big AlaskaLittle Scratch KitchenMaking MiraclesMoore or Less CookingRhubarb and HoneySavvy In The KitchenSeduction in the KitchenSimple Food 365Style IslandThanks for Cookin’!The Food Hunter’s Guide To CuisineThe Hungary Buddha Eats the WorldThe Spiffy CookieThe Weekday GourmetThis is How I CookTramplingroseVintage KittyWest Via Midwest

Looking forward to a week of delicious! I hope you follow along.

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Sunday Somethings

Hello, Sunday.

This week. What happened this week?  Work, things…I don’t know. The past three weekends have been a slurry of activity, all of which included sweating profusely under scorching sun, and I’m excited to sit today and just take a deep, air-conditioned breath.

Ahh.

The picture above comes from yesterday, when a couple of my friends and I volunteered with Chicago Cares. We went to an elementary school and painted this world map in the courtyard of the kindergarten classroom, and if I say so myself, we did a great job.  Plus, lots of fun times.

How was your week?  I hope you, too, get to take a deep ahhh breath today. It’s Sunday and we’ve earned it.

The news.  For better or worse, this is what entertained me.

Brexit. It happened. And it turns out a lot of people didn’t know what they voted for (before we get all judg-y, let’s see what our google searches look like on November 5th).

Related:  The comedians will have their fun.

Despite the darkness in Orlando, lights do continue to shine.

Oh dear, as one who cuts her hair twice year, this is ridiculous.  Mom hair. It’s a thing. Apparently, a bad thing.

Happy tears.  Sunday’s requisite animal video.

#NoWomanEver.  Hilarious, so and so sadly #truestory.

Science, ya’ll.  The Walking Dead? Not quite, but it seems that when we die, not all of us does.

Horror, horror.

This makes me so sad.  From bomb scares to mass shootings. Today’s new unfortunate reality.

Need some inspiration for next weekend’s festivities?  Here are a few ideas.

Now on my wish list?  This scarf.  P&P, obviously.

And finally, I’ll admit that I had the MMMBop single (who’s with me?), so I love this doo-wop version.  More songs should be doo-wopped.

Have a great week!

Written after some sleeping in.

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Swiss Milk Chocolate Brownies

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Swiss Milk Chocolate Brownies

We can’t metaphorically go to Switzerland in our kitchens without talking about chocolate. They make it real, they make it right. The good, milky perfect kind. (gah, so do those Peruvians, not the milky kind, but you know).

Our second stop in Western Switzerland’s charming lake town, Zurich was a more pleasant experience than our less than fun time in eastern Geneva.  The weather was better, the sky brighter, the food better.

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We arrived in town on what just happened to be the eve that Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince was being released worldwide.  Despite the fact that Tomato and I had our copies pre-ordered and shipping from Amazon Stateside, we couldn’t fathom having to wait another month plus to find out about Harry’s adventures as a sixth year.  Whilst chatting up our hostel host, our conversation went something like this:

Me: Do you happen to know of any bookstores in town that sell books in English?

Him:  No, sorry. Most sell books only in German.

Me: Oh. That’s a shame. You know the next Harry Potter book comes out tonight…

Him: Oh! Yes, the bookstore is having a 1 AM release. Let me show you where it is.

So at 12 AM London-time, Tomato and I trekked to the bookstore with all the other eager adults to pick up our copies of The Half Blood Prince. And yes, now we each have two copies.

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Needing to read the book as soon and as fast as possible, we each hunkered down in our rooms, lucky for us that it was Sunday, God’s day, and therefore anything else we had planned to do was closed.  Andouille and I did sneak out for some fondue, but otherwise we just relaxed in our beds and enjoyed the pretty views. Continue reading

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