Cool and Fresh: Greek Chicken Salad and Ingredients, Inc. T-Shirt Give-Away

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We have been eating a lot of cold dishes lately since it is beyond hot here in Alabama. I love trying new versions of chicken salad, and this Greek Chicken Salad is so easy and so flavorful. I used rotisserie chicken to make this recipe even easier. Serve on lettuce leaves or in a pita for a really simple main-dish.

T-Shirt Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to win an Ingredients, Inc. T-shirt by leaving a comment below telling me what’s your favorite cold-main dish and/or your favorite grilled cheese sandwich. I will select a random winner on Wednesday August 4th.

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Taste of Summer: Savory Tomato-Basil Pie

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When I worked at Southern Living Magazine, we tested a lot of Tomato Pie recipes. I have been searching for one without mayonnaise that was lighter, healthier and still tasted great. My assistant, Alatia, told me about one that she made recently. This Tomato-Basil Pie is super easy, and it makes great use of summery fresh tomatoes and basil. My kids said it tasted similar to a pizza, and they loved it. This is a great recipe idea for a party appetizer, light main-dish dinner or lunch. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic if you like. It’s a true taste of summer.

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So Easy Blackberry-Blueberry Cobbler

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The other night we had some leftover blueberries and blackberries, and I thought we better do something with them quickly before they go bad. I gave this recipe to my family to prepare while I was working away. I was was so excited when this came out of the oven. We ate half of it (I have to admit), standing up and before it even cooled down. So beware.

Weeknight Summer Dinner in a Pinch: Steak Fajita Salad

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Since summer began, things seem (and are) busier than ever. Trying to work at home with 3 kids is always a challenge. Some days, dinnertime becomes a last minute thought. This recipe for Steak Fajita Salad is one of my “in a pinch” recipes. My kids love these, and they wrap the steak and vegetables in flour tortillas. I serve mine over lettuce (trying to skip the carbs). I dollop mine with nonfat Greek yogurt for some extra protein and a great substitute for sour cream.

Note: for the Fajitas seasoning, I used McCormick.

My Top 13 Dinnertime Quick Tips

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I spent the past few days in Park City, Utah at EVO, a social media conference for women, and it was an amazing thing. I will tell you more about it this week with photos, etc. I realized I’m not alone being a social media junkie, addicted to twitter. Twitter is a wonderful thing (for too many reasons to mention at the moment), but every day I meet new and interesting people and find great blogs and websites. I was fortunate enough to meet Christine from http://quickmealhelp.com on twitter, and she asked me to do a guest post on my tips on how I get dinner on the table when I’m an extremely busy entrepreneur and mom with 3 children. Here are some of my favorite tips I shared with her. Check out her site (above) for 20 minute recipes and wonderful information. Here’s the link to my guest post http://www.quickmealhelp.com/blog/10062113-quick-dinner-ideas-alison-lewis-ingredients-inc http://www.quickmealhelp.com/blog/10062113-quick-dinner-ideas-alison-lewis-ingredients-inc

TOP  DINNERTIME TIPS:

1. I like to purchase chicken cutlets or thinly slices boneless pork loin chops because they cook much quicker.

2. I get my kids involved in making dinner and helping out. (See my Fresh Basil and Red Pepper Tuna Salad)

3. I like to purchase already peeled and deveined shrimp or frozen shrimp that has been peeled and deveined. (See my Shrimp-Dill Salad)

4. I love to cook with shelled edamame beans. (See my Edamame Corn Salad)

5. I use rotisserie chicken a ton when recipes call for chopped, cooked chicken. (See my Tortellini Chicken Salad)

6. I love to grill a lot. It’s quick and easy. If I can’t get outside, I love my grill pan over the stove.

7.  I used ready-made pizza crusts alot and purchase lots of fresh vegetables, good tomato sauce, pesto and fresh herbs for toppings.

8. Panini makers and slow cookers are a life saver.

9. I like to prep while my kids are at school so my nights aren’t so crazy (of course, in summer, that’s not so easy).

10. I use precut carrots and bagged, washed greens.

11. I make very organized grocery lists.

12. When I grill salmon, steak or chicken, I grill extra for a main-dish salad the next night.

13. When I purchase hamburger (beef or turkey meat), I buy extra to also make a meatloaf for another night.

Summer Easy Dinner: Glazed Pork with Peach Salsa

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Try Pork with Peach Salsa for a quick summer weeknight meal. This recipe is so easy using peach preserves and honey as a glaze over the pork. I use boneless pork loin chops because they cook so quickly, perfect for busy people. Feel free to grill the pork outdoors, inside in a grill pan or even nonstick skillet. This Peach Salsa is wonderful and filled with fresh peaches, cilantro, purple onion and lime juice. If you don’t eat pork, feel free to subsitute boneless chicken breasts, or I prefer chicken cutlets because they are thinner and cook even quicker.

Summer Delight: Lemon-Walnut Bread

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I developed this recipe for Lemon-Walnut Bread for National Dairy Month, and it’s wonderful! It’s better than any quick-bread I have ever tasted, and the combination of mascarpone, cream cheese and lemon create wonderful flavor and moist texture. When we tested this recipe, we could not stop eating it-just wait until you try it.

Memorial Day Break: Seashells on the Seashore

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Forgive me. I have been out of touch on vacation and will get back to work as soon as I can with some new recipes and ideas. Things have been so busy, and it’s great to get a breather. I’m so happy that the beaches in Northwest Florida have stayed clear, and they are clearer than ever. My 9-year-old sorted his shells that he found today on a white towel. Honestly, I don’t ever remember the ocean here this clear, and my kids ever finding seashells with such ease.

Weekend Appetizer: Fresh Herb and Tomato Crostini

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Since it’s Memorial Day next week, I thought I would feature a really simple appetizer that looks and tastes like summer. You can’t go wrong using fresh garlic, basil, parsley and tomatoes. These Fresh Herb and Tomato Crostini start off your dinner or party right and are versatile to accompany any menu.

Recipe Testing and Judging: Cheddar Waffles with Applewood Bacon Butter

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Okay, so no recipe today. Sorry! I am on a busy, tight work deadline recipe testing and judging for Cheesechampionsonline.com recipe contest for Safeway Cheese USA. The winner receives a “5-Day/5-Night Culinary Boot Camp” at The Culinary Institute. It’s an awesome project, shopping, recipe testing, evaluating and photographing some incredible entries that are as creative as delicious. I made these Cheddar Waffles with Applewood Bacon Butter this morning. Yesterday it was Apple Pepperjack Cornbread with Spicy Maple Glaze (yum!). Tonight it’s Crispy Fig & Prosciutto Pizza with Feta and Walnuts. I will let you know the winning recipe when I’m done.