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Are you dreaming of tall glasses of iced tea, kids zipping around the neighborhood on bikes and scooters, cotton curtains blowing in the warm breeze through an open window? I sure am. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that ground hog in Pennsylvania — he’s a troublemaker — and no kind of friend of mine. lol It was actually much warmer here, today, and sunny. THAT was awesome. We had almost reached a balmy 32 degrees by noon. Freezing is relative, ya know? After a few days with wind chills of 20 to 30 below, freezing feels good. I like freezing. I can live with freezing. As long as I still get to dream about open windows, vegetable gardens, enjoying summer evenings sipping iced tea on the deck, and a fabulous chicken recipe that gets my husband busy grilling. 🙂
We don’t get to enjoy nearly enough grilled food, in the winter. Now, a few snow drifts and dipping temperatures don’t necessarily mean that you won’t ever find a certain member of our family, standing on the deck in a parka and snow boots, cooking supper while clouds of warm, wonderful hickory smoke billow around him. “Are you having fun?” Insert big, cheesy, self-satisfied grin. It’s a manly, braving-the -elements-kind-of-thing to do — grilling in the snow. He likes it. It’s good for him.
Me — not so much. I. want. spring. The end. I would like to officially say, “I’m over it. I’m SO done with winter.” And to prove to you that I’m serious, I’m going to pretend it’s no longer winter, at all. If I ignore it, do you think it will go away? 🙂 I’m going to share some super fun and delicious summer grilling recipes. And, I’m thinking BIG, like neighbors coming over for a barbecue BIG, 8 or 10 or 20 people, barbecue in the backyard, BIG. BIG I tell you. I’m grilling for a BIG crowd. Please pray I don’t have to wear his snow boots and parka….You’re a good friend!
Seriously though, summer and grilling weather will be here in a blink and you are going to love these DELISH recipes. I like to make chicken, when I’m the one standing at the barbecue. It’s so versatile and I love the variety of ways I can prepare it, so that it never seems like, “Oh. Chicken, again.” Plus, if you’re hosting a big backyard party, chicken is a very frugal option to feed a hungry crowd, especially if you take advantage of the great prices at Sam’s Club. I love buying the 10 lb. bags of Tyson flash frozen chicken breasts, there. It will get our family through a couple weeks worth of chicken meals or provide all I need for entertaining a large group of family and friends, so I almost always grab a bag from the Frozen Foods section, when I have the chance to shop at Sam’s. Let’s make my Grilled Chicken Recipe with Pineapple Salsa. Don’t you think the name of it just screams summer, and light, and refreshing? It’s going to be SOOOO good! I had Pineapple Salsa at my sister’s house recently and it started me thinking that pineapple juice would be good in a marinade. So, I tinkered around and I really think you’re going to love it and the way it complements the flavors in the salsa I’m serving, on the side..
This week I not only picked up chicken, at Sam’s Club, but I bought a jumbo box of Lipton Iced Tea Bags, too. Yes, ma’am. I am fully prepared to enjoy 48 GALLONS of freshly brewed iced tea perfection. If that’s not positive, warm-weather thinkin’, I don’t know what is! Iced tea is exactly where you would expect it, at Sam’s — in the aisle with the coffee and creamers. Finding it inspired me to share a second recipe that I’ve been dying to try since I found it in Southern Living magazine, years ago. It’s a fabulously refreshing, fruity twist on my most favorite summer beverage — iced tea. I can’t wait to taste Blueberry Lemon Iced Tea and you won’t believe how gorgeous it is in the glass!
- 4 cups diced fresh pineapple
- 1 cucumber, small diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, minced
- 2 Tablespoons jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 large (or 3 medium) limes, juice
- Salt, to taste
- Combine the pineapple, cucumber, bell pepper, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and garlic in a mixing bowl.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the veggies and mix thoroughly.
- Taste and add salt, if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- 1 (48 oz.) package frozen blueberries
- 1½ cups fresh lemon juice
- 8 cups water, divided in half
- 1 gallon-size Lipton Iced Tea bag
- 2½ cups sugar
- for garnish, fresh lemon, blueberries and mint
- Bring the frozen blueberries and lemon juice to a boil, in a large saucepan, over medium heat.
- Stir occasionally, as it cooks for the next 5 minutes.
- Remove the berries from the heat.
- Stir in the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved.
- Pour the blueberry mixture through a fine, wire-mesh strainer over a large bowl. You can use the back of a spoon to squeeze any remaining juice from the blueberry skins. (You might want to go with a metal serving spoon for this. I stained my wooden spoon pretty substantially. Blueberry is a lovely color, just not the one you expect your wooden spoons to be. :) Compost or throw away the remaining blueberry solids. Rinse out the pan.
- Add 4 cups of cold water to the blueberry mixture to cool it down before pouring it into your pitcher.
- Pour into pitcher.
- Bring the last 4 cups of water to a boil in the same pan you used for the blueberries.
- Add the gallon-sized Lipton tea bag to make your tea concentrate.
- Let the tea steep 3 - 4 minutes, longer if you lie strong tea.
- Remove the tea bags and stir in the tea into blueberry mixture.
- Cover and chill 1 hour.
- Serve over ice.
Okay, I changed my mind. This is TOTALLY worth putting on a parka and snow boots! What are your favorite grill party recipes? Do you have a signature iced tea brew that everyone loves? Help me rev up my summer grilling mojo . 🙂 I’d love for you to share your recipes and ideas and if you need some inspiration, you’ll love all the ideas over at Lipton! Check them out on Facebook, too, and keep up with the latest recipes and new products.