Monthly Archives: July 2015

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Pico de Gallo


This recipe is excerpted from the beautiful seasonal online magazine recently launched by my friend Molly of I was lucky enough to collaborate with her on some fun entertaining recipes for the summer, and these grilled chicken tacos are my new entertaining go-to. Perfect celebrating with family and friends, and enjoying the warmer, lighter evenings of summer.

Be sure to check out Molly’s My Magazine for more lifestyle & entertaining tips, and lots of delicious summer entertaining recipes.

Makes 4 tacos

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded & minced
  • 1 tomato, seeded & diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Hot sauce, to serve


  1. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Season your chicken breasts on both sides with a pinch of salt, and sear them on the hot grill. Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, until cooked through and slightly charred in places. Let the chicken rest while you make the pico de gallo.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, jalapeno, tomato, onion, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. Slice your chicken breasts into strips, and toss with 1 tablespoon lime juice, and a pinch of black pepper.
  4. To serve, warm your tortillas in the oven, and top each with a few strips of grilled chicken and a spoonful of pico de gallo. Enjoy!

Photo by Jodee Debes.

Spiked Meyer Lemon Lavender Lemonade



This recipe is excerpted from the beautiful seasonal online magazine recently launched by my friend Molly of I was lucky enough to collaborate with her on some fun entertaining recipes for the summer, and this spiked Meyer lemon lavender lemonade is one of my current favorites. Make up a big pitcher for your next gathering, and watch it disappear!

Be sure to check out Molly’s My Magazine for more lifestyle & entertaining tips, and lots of delicious entertaining recipes perfect for summer.

Makes about 6 cups lemonade

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup orange blossom honey (or whatever floral local honey you can find, preferably raw)
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice, about 6 lemons (or regular lemons if you can’t find Meyer lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 sprigs of fresh lavender
  • Vodka and lavender sprigs, to serve


  1. In a medium size pot, bring your water to a boil. Add the honey and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, whisking to incorporate and dissolve the honey.
  2. Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice, lime juice, and lavender sprigs. Set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes or so.
  3. After 15 minutes, remove the lavender sprigs, and divide the lemonade into ice filled glasses. Add 1 shot of vodka per glass (more or less to taste), and stir each glass to combine. Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh lavender, and enjoy!


Photos by Jodee Debes.

Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad with Lemony Tofu Cream

Croatian 3


This easy and quick no-cook recipe is perfect for hot summer days, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, which helps protect your skin from the sun, and peaches supply vitamin C and fiber. Tofu acts as a light and protein packed alternative to dairy in this recipe, and its silky texture will have even skeptics converted. Make this recipe for a simple summer lunch, or serve it alongside grilled fish and a green salad for a well-rounded and healthy summer meal.

For the recipe, visit GeoBlue’s website Travel Well Worldwide. 

Summer Super Food Salad with Rebel Fish Salmon


This swimsuit friendly salad comes packed with the healthiest and tastiest of what your summer farmers market has to offer. Blueberries, tomatoes, avocado, and salmon bolster your skin’s defense against the sun, and arugula helps your liver detox from whatever fun cocktails you imbibed the night before. Cucumbers hydrate and replenish your skin, and spinach keeps your eyes sharp and strong. Adapt this recipe with whatever local produce looks best, its flexible! Rebel Fish Salmon makes this recipe quick and simple, and adds a big boost of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to keep you satiated.

  • Serves 1 {easily doubled}
  • Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup arugula, chopped
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup cooked corn kernels
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1 portion Rebel Fish Salmon (the blackened Cajun flavor is delicious in this recipe!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • Fresh basil, to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Dry the salmon with a paper towel, and sprinkle over the seasoning packet, pressing it into the fish on all sides. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil for an extra crispy skin. Roast the salmon for 12-15 minutes, until you reach your desired doneness. Use 1/2 the fillet for one salad, and set the other 1/2 aside for another meal.
  2. In a bowl, layer the lettuce with all the remaining food ingredients, than drizzle over the vinegar and oil. Toss everything together, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar if needed, and sprinkle over the hemp hearts and basil. Enjoy!

Rebel Fish Lemon Pepper Herb Salmon with Heirloom Tomatoes & Summer Pesto


Below is the first recipe with my new collaboration with Rebel Fish Salmon. This sustainable seafood company makes fresh and healthy meals quick and accessible, with their ready-to-cook salmon with a variety of thoughtful seasoning rubs. Rebel Fish takes the guesswork out of healthy meal planning, and I was able to pull this seasonal recipe together in less than 30 minutes. Feel free to cook up some additional vegetables and toss them with the pesto recipe below. The bright flavors and seasonal produce in this recipe scream summer, and are perfect for an easy weeknight meal, yet feel special enough for weekend entertaining.

  • Serves 2
  • Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 packages Rebel Fish Salmon (the Lemon Pepper Herb flavor works great here)
  • 2 medium size ripe Heirloom tomatoes, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 small handful fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts (optional- but delicious!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pat each salmon fillet dry with a paper towel, than season on all sides with the spice packet, pressing the spices into the fish. Roast in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until you reach your desired doneness.
  2. While the salmon is cooking, make the pesto. Combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, hemp hearts, and lemon juice in a high-speed blender, and blitz to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, divide the salmon and tomatoes between two plates, and drizzle with the pesto. Serve with additional pesto on the side. Enjoy!

DIY Bloody Mary Bar


For summertime brunch entertaining, there’s nothing better than setting up a DIY Bloody Mary Bar, and letting your guests customize their own cocktails. All you have to do is set out all the ingredients and supplies, than sit back and enjoy the party with your guests. You can get as creative and out of the box with this as you like, or keep it simple and classic if that’s more your style. The sky is the limit here, so feel free to get creative with spices, toppings, and mix-ins. This is sure to be the hit of the party!

To set up your bar, assemble plenty of tall glasses, stirrers, and skewers for your guests to assemble their Bloody Mary creations. Keep a stash of lots of ice near by as well, and cocktail napkins to keep everything tidy. Once you have your tools, just gather all the base ingredients for your bar, then add as many additional mix-ins and toppings as you like.

By Elizabeth Palmer Starnes

Base Ingredients

{These are your foundation ingredients, so include each one}

  • Spicy Bloody Mary Mix (recipe below)
  • Mild Bloody Mary Mix (recipe below)
  • Chilled vodka (infuse your own for extra flavor- ideas below)
  • Horseradish (fresh or a good jarred variety)
  • Celery Salt
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Black Pepper
  • Tabasco Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • Lemons & Limes

Toppings & Mix-Ins

{Add as many of these as you like! The more the merrier}

  • Celery Stalks
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Pickle Spears
  • Pickled green beans, carrots, asparagus, pearl onions, etc. (really anything pickled goes here!)
  • Olives (regular or stuffed)
  • Chilled Beef Broth (for the old-school “Bloody Bull” cocktail}
  • Pickled Jalapeños
  • Caper Berries
  • Fresh Basil, Parsley, or Thyme Sprigs
  • Pickle Juice
  • Cubed Cheese

Outrageous Extras

{Take your Bloody Mary to the next level with these fun & filling picks}

  • Grilled or boiled shrimp
  • Bacon
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Oysters (cooked or raw)
  • Mini Burger Sliders (not for the faint of heart!)

For a homemade Bloody mary Mix recipe, and ideas for infusing your own vodka and making flavored ice cubes for your cocktails, visit Robyn Moreno’s site.

{Photo Credit:}


Rack of Lamb with Celeriac Root Puree


Lamb is a classic Australian ingredient used frequently in its cuisine. Usually pasture raised and grass-fed. Australian lamb offers more health benefits than most other varieties. Packed with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and lower in unhealthy saturated fats that other red meats, lamb is an ideal choice for a healthy protein. Celeriac root offers a lighter alternative to starchy potatoes, and serves as the perfect foundation for a delicious and satisfying meal.

To view the recipe, visit GeoBlue’s website Healthy Travel Blog, or their site Travel Well Worldwide.

Raw & Vegan Pad Thai

Pad Thai 2In the heat of the summer, nobody wants to heat up the kitchen. This quick & easy raw vegan pad Thai will keep you cool and healthy all summer long. Packed with healthy and hydrating vegetables, and dressed in a creamy and decadent tasting dressing, this recipe will have you glowing and full of energy, and let you skip the greasy takeout when a craving strikes.

For the recipe, visit Robyn Moreno’s site. 

Balsamic Peach Portobello Burgers with Arugula Pesto & Mozzarella


With the 4th of July this weekend, now is the perfect time to try out some new grilling recipes. Bikini friendly burgers are hard to come by, but these fit the bill. These easy and healthy balsamic peach Portobello burgers are a welcomed departure from the greasy, heavy fare that usually dominates this holiday weekend. Packed with flavor and super satisfying, these burgers will quickly become a summer favorite.

To view the recipe, visit Robyn Moreno’s site.