5 Salads To Bring To Your Next Summer Cookout

We’ve all been there. That moment when you realize that you were invited to a summer cookout and then the thought crosses your mind, ‘What on Earth am I going to bring?!’ If you’re like me, you want to bring a dish to pass that everyone is going to talk about. But that’s just me. You may be more concerned with how easy a recipe is to make, or how quickly you can prepare it while rushing out the door. No matter what your thought process, I have the recipe for you. Here are 5 Salads To Bring To Your Next Summer Cookout.

Panzanella Salad (Italian Bread Salad) – Perfect for that summer tomato bounty, looks beautiful and is full of flavor.

Panzanella Salad (Italian Bread Salad)

Summer Watermelon Feta Salad – The perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Summer Watermelon and Feta Salad | foodnfocus.com

BLT Pasta Salad – Because, bacon.

BLT Pasta Salad

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw – Yes, coleslaw is technically a salad.

Crunchy Asian Coleslaw

Classic Broccoli Salad – I love this classic recipe and it holds up really well over a long period of time.

Classic Broccoli Salad

Recipe Roundup: Corned Beef

Its been a while since Ive rounded up a collection of recipes for you so I thought today would be a good day to bring you some last minute corned beef recipes for Sunday. Ive seen a lot of different ways to cook a corned beef and Ive seen a lot of variations of a reuben. Here is a selection of just a few that might spark your interest.

Mini Reubens Food n Focus

Corned Beef & Cabbage Rolls Sweet Peas Kitchen

Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup Skinny Taste

Corned Beef Tacos Tasty Trials

Irish Nachos Idaho Potato Commission

Hot Reuben Dip Brown Eyed Baker

Corned Beef & Cabbage Pizza Cooking Light

Corned Beef Hash A Spicy Perspective

Bacon Chicken California Club Sandwich

I have yet to find someone that doesn’t love bacon. Well, maybe there are some vegetarians that don’t love bacon, but I think they have fake-bacon options too. I really think it’s the bacon that makes the sandwich that I’m going to present you with today.

I’m a huge sandwich fan myself. I can always go basic with a simple peanut butter and jelly all the way up to a more elaborate creation such as this Bacon Chicken California Club Sandwich that you are currently feasting your eyes upon.

Bacon Chicken California Club Sandwich

Today I’m teaming up with Brownberry® Bread to bring you this delicious sandwich AND an opportunity to enter the Brownberry® Bread America’s Better Sandwich Contest! This is your chance to win BIG. $25,000 big. And that’s not the only prize. There are also some smaller prizes available as well in 5 different categories. $5,000 small. Which, I’d take that too.

Bacon Chicken California Club Sandwich

While I’m not eligible to win this big giveaway I did want to tell you about what I would make IF I could enter the giveaway, and hopefully this will inspire you to make your own tasty sandwich to enter into the contest.

I started with the Brownberry® 100% Whole Wheat bread as my base. Topped it off with pepper jack cheese, shaved deli chicken breast, bacon, tomato, red onion and avocado. This is the perfect summer sandwich combination! But don’t take my word for it. Head on out to the grocery store and pick up the ingredients for yourself. You won’t be sorry!

You have until August 23rd to enter the contest for your chance to win the big money prize. You might also want to enter today’s giveaway for your chance to win a $25 Visa gift card and 3 coupons to pick up some delicious Brownberry® Bread to craft your own sandwiches at home. Good luck!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Bacon Chicken California Club Sandwich
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 slices Brownberry 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • 8 thin slices pepper jack cheese
  • 16 ounces shaved deli chicken
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Lay 4 slices of bread out on a flat work surface.
  2. Divide the cheese, chicken, onion, bacon, avocado and tomato between the 4 sandwiches.
  3. Place the second piece of bread onto the top of each sandwich. Serve immediately.
3.3.3077

Bacon Chicken California Club SandwichThis is a sponsored post from Brownberry® Bread. All opinions expressed are my own.

Cheesy Monkey Bread

Although the big football game is over it doesn’t mean you can’t still cook up delicious snacks on the weekends, for family gatherings or just for the heck of it. Let’s be honest, everyone loves a chips and dip or pizza dipper now and again. I come from the dairy state which means that I’m totally obsessed with anything that includes cheese. And the more cheese the better! Which was the inspiration behind my Cheesy Monkey Bread.

I’ve never made the classic, sweet monkey bread before and this was my first try at the cheesy bread. I love how quick and easy this appetizer comes together. I used my cast iron skillet for baking the bread. The biggest benefit is that it will stay warm longer and keep your cheese nice and melty. Make sure to put a towel or something around the handle so that nobody burns themselves, and warn your guests that it’s hot!

Cheesy Monkey BreadCheesy Monkey Bread

I used mozzarella and parmesan cheese for my bread. You can also mix in provolone or Romano. Whatever you have in your house will work perfect for this but just make sure that it’s a high quality cheese that will melt well. I placed the dough balls around the outer edge of the pan and left a large enough hole in the middle for the sauce dish. Place an oven safe dish such as a ramekin in the middle of the dough balls when you prepare the pan so that the dough will rise around the dish. All the dough to rise for the full amount of time so that your bites are nice and fluffy! If you want to spice it up a bit, add more red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Cheesy Monkey Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 ounce Parmesan, grated
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt; freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound cold pizza dough, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Marinara sauce for serving
Instructions
  1. Coarsely shred butter on the large holes of box grater. Toss cheeses, butter, garlic, parsley, and red pepper in a medium bowl; season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Transfer one-third of cheese mixture to a small bowl; set aside. Add dough pieces, a few at a time, to remaining cheese mixture in original bowl and toss gently to coat.
  3. Lightly coat a medium skillet with nonstick spray. Arrange dough in skillet in an even layer; pour any leftover cheese mixture in bowl over. Let sit in a warm place until beginning to puff slightly, 30–40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Bake bread until top is lightly browned and cheese is melted, 18–22 minutes. Top bread with reserved cheese mixture. Continue to bake until edges of bread are golden brown and firm and cheese is melted and oozing, 10–15 minutes more. Serve hot with marinara sauce.
3.4.3177

Cheesy Monkey Bread

State Fair Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp plus 2 tblsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tblsp sugar
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

I’m saving the best state fair food for last…;.cream puffs! So happy Friday. I don’t know if this is just a Wisconsin thing or a state fair staple in general but I know that our fair goes through thousands of these things each day. There’s nothing quite like the crispy pastry and gobs of whipped cream dusted with powdered sugar. Although on a hot day, this can be a giant mess.

Cream puffs are super simple to make and can be made fairly quick. I decided to make bite-sized cream puffs but the recipe will craft 12 ‘normal’ sized cream puffs. I also added a dash of vanilla to my cream for a burst of flavor. If you decide to do this, be sure to use clear vanilla extract to avoid tinting your cream.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and then fit a pastry bag with a 1/2″ plain tip. Preheat your oven to 450° and place the racks in the upper and middle thirds of the oven.

In a medium saucepan, bring milk, butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Add in the flour and then reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir with a spoon until the dough turns into a ball, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add 1 egg into the dough and stir vigorously until the egg is mixed in and the dough appears dry again. Repeat with 4 of the remaining eggs. The dough should turn out shiny and thick.

Transfer the dough into the pasty bag and pipe 2 1/2 inch rounds onto the prepared pans. Mix together the remaining egg and 2 teaspoons of water and brush the wash over the tops of each puff.

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and turn the oven off. Set the timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven to 350° and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Continue to bake until the puffs are golden brown. Make sure that the puffs are fully cooked before removing them from the oven otherwise they will cave in once removed from the oven.

Whip together the cream, sugar and vanilla (if desired) in a chilled mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Cut the tops of each puff off with a serrated knife and gently pipe or spoon the cream onto the bottom half. Replace the top half of the puff gently and dust with powdered sugar. Perfection.

State Fair Cream Puffs
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp plus 2 tblsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 tblsp sugar
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)
Instructions
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and then fit a pastry bag with a ½″ plain tip.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450° and place the racks in the upper and middle thirds of the oven.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and ½ cup of water to a boil. Add in the flour and then reduce the heat to low. Continue to stir with a spoon until the dough turns into a ball, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  4. Add 1 egg into the dough and stir vigorously until the egg is mixed in and the dough appears dry again. Repeat with 4 of the remaining eggs. The dough should turn out shiny and thick.
  5. Transfer the dough into the pasty bag and pipe 2½ inch rounds onto the prepared pans. Mix together the remaining egg and 2 teaspoons of water and brush the wash over the tops of each puff.
  6. Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and turn the oven off. Set the timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven to 350° and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Continue to bake until the puffs are golden brown. Make sure that the puffs are fully cooked before removing them from the oven otherwise they will cave in once removed from the oven.
  7. Whip together the cream, sugar and vanilla (if desired) in a chilled mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Cut the tops of each puff off with a serrated knife and gently pipe or spoon the cream onto the bottom half. Replace the top half of the puff gently and dust with powdered sugar.
3.2.2124

State Fair Cream Puffs | foodnfocus.com

Guinness Chili & Cornbread

Since I hit my 4th birthday over the weekend I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on how far I’ve come as a blogger and looking over some of my first posts. And let’s just be honest…;.they were pretty ugly. Don’t even get me started on that first year.

At the end of my first year I shared with you my recipe for Guinness Chili and even that has evolved over the past 3 years. As I’ve learned how to pair flavors and textures my cooking really has changed over the past four years. A lot of this evolution has been for the better.

Guinness Chili & Cornbread

My husband’s office is hosting a chili cook-off today so we decided to whip up a batch of our newly formulated Guinness Chili to compete. This chili won first place in my own office cook-off years ago so I’m curious to see how people like the new formula.

Guinness Chili & Cornbread

Which brings me to my next commentary: chili pairings. As much as my husband argues with me, I’m all about the noodles, cheese and sour cream in my chili. He claims that really isn’t chili but it is absolutely delicious. He’s more of a cracker + chili kind of guy. Not my thing. One thing that we could both agree on is how delicious cornbread is when it is paired with chili. So we decided to whip up some cornbread mini muffins for the cook-off.

Guinness Chili & Cornbread

What are some of your favorite ingredients for chili? Chime in below!

Guinness Chili
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 package Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit (mesa flour can be discarded)
  • 14.5 ounces beef broth
  • 14.5 ounces Guinness beer
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 16 ounces Bush’s Chili Beans (mild or medium)
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef and onion, leaving the ground beef in larger chunks. Drain.
  2. Return the beef to the pan and add in the beef broth, Guinness and crushed tomatoes. Add in the spice packet, salt and cayenne to your liking from the chili kit. Mix to combine. Simmer for 45-60 minutes until the chili thickens.
  3. Drain and rinse the chili beans. Add them into the chili 15 minutes before serving.
3.4.3177
Sweet & Moist Cornbread
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly, plus 1 additional tablespoon for pan
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
Instructions
  1. Place a 10″ cast iron skillet on middle rack in oven and preheat to 425°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and canola oil.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined.
  5. Using pot holders, carefully remove hot pan from oven. Place 1 tablespoon butter in skillet and swirl to completely melt and coat inside of pan. Pour in cornbread batter and place in oven.
  6. Bake until skewer inserted into middle of cornbread comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out to wire rack and let cool an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Reheat any leftover cornbread before serving again.
  7. For Mini Muffins – Lightly spray 36 mini muffin cups (or use liners) with cooking spray. Preheat the pan for 10 minutes and then place a small dab of butter into each muffin hole. Fill each cup ¾ full and bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes.
3.4.3177

Guinness Chili & Cornbread

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie & Giveaway

You guys. I hate to admit that Im a little off of the healthy eating wagon. It can be so difficult it seems to have a life AND eat right all of the time. Between a tasting for our wedding, out to dinner with some friends on Friday night, family cookout on Saturday and then out and about (eating out) on Sunday afternoon, it can be really difficult to stick with a healthy diet. Excuses, I know. But how do you manage to stay healthy when youre constantly on the go?

So today Im back in detox/healthy mode. To break the sugar cravings Im starting my morning out with a healthy and delicious protein packed smoothie featuring Stonyfield Greek. One little cup of this stuff packs in 12 grams of protein! Pairing that with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds adds another 5 grams of protein. This is enough to keep me full until lunch.

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

If you couldnt tell Ive teamed up with Stonyfield for todays post. Im also teaming up with Hamilton Beach to bring you quite possibly the best appliance ever for making smoothies. Their Single-Serve Blender is perfect for making my morning smoothie and taking with on my drive to work. It has a great travel lid so that you can go straight from blending to on-the-go in one quick snap of the lid.

Lucky you for stopping by today because Im giving away a shiny new Single-Serve Blender and some Stonyfield yogurt coupons to one lucky reader! Dont you just love Monday giveaways? So go ahead and bookmark this recipe to try when you win the big prize! Happy Monday!

Stonyfield & Hamilton Beach Giveaway

4.8 from 4 reviews
Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Print
Author: April | Food n Focus
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 12 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 12 cup sliced fresh banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 5.3 ounce container Stonyfield Greek (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into the base of a blender or Hamilton Beach Single-Serve blender. Pulse until well blended and serve.
3.2.2925

Strawberry Banana Protein SmoothieThis is a sponsored post from Stonyfield. All opinions expressed are my own.

Garlic & Rosemary Pork Chops With Arugula Salad

It’s supposed to be nearly 50 degrees this weekend and I could not be more excited to pull out my grill again! Mother nature keeps teasing me with nice days followed by snow storms so I have to grill when I can. I just miss those nice summer nights of grilling up something delicious for dinner with a fresh side salad.

Today I am super excited to team up with Greensbury Market, an online store where you can buy all sorts of delicious, organic meats. They recently sent me some delicious pork chops to try and let me tell you, I can always tell the difference between organic and non-organic meats. These pork chops were delicious and perfect for grilling!

Garlic & Rosemary Pork Chops With Arugula Salad

I decided to marinate the pork chops in a blend of garlic and fresh rosemary. These flavors bring me back to my trip to Italy and go very well with pork. I paired the grilled chops with an arugula side salad, lightly dressed with lemon and Dijon. This meal will bring you right into summer!

You can head on over to the Greensbury Market blog, Field Notes, to get the recipe. And if you’re interested in ordering any of their delicious meats, they are offering my readers a 15% discount with the code FOODNFOCUS. Enjoy!

Garlic & Rosemary Pork Chops With Arugula Salad

Get the recipe for Garlic & Rosemary Pork Chops with Arugula Salad!

Easy Meals with Campbells Skillet Sauces

Do you remember last week when I talked about how much I love easy meals? Well, Im at it again. I think my new life calling is to discover as many quick and easy meals as I possibly can. Lucky for me I discovered the all new Campbells Skillet Sauces. In 15 minutes I can have dinner on the table and the best part is that they are crafted for two people. I also like that there are 5 different flavors: Marsala, Scampi, Fire Roasted Tomato, Thai Green Curry, and Toasted Sesame.

Campbell

Many of you also know that Im a huge fan of my slow cooker for easy meals. Campbells also makes a delicious line of Slow Cooker Sensations that makes dinner a no-brainer. Combining a protein along with vegetables and one of their Slow Cooker Sensations sauce packets in the slow cooker will ensure that youll end your day with a hearty feast.

Im excited to share with you today the Shrimp Scampi that I prepared using the Campbells Skillet Sauces. The flavor was robust and I had dinner on the table for my fiance in 15 minutes. Pretty impressive! It took the stress out of having to prepare a wholesome meal at the end of a busy day.

Shrimp Scampi | foodnfocus.com

How do you make sure that you have a wholesome meal at the end of your busy day?

Easy Meals with Campbells Skillet Sauces

Print
Cook time
Total time
Author: April | Food n Focus
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 12 pound peeled & deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 packet Campbells Scampi Skillet Sauce
  • 12 pound linguine, cooked
Instructions
  1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the shrimp and cook until slightly pink.
  2. Add in the Scampi Skillet Sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Divide the pasta and shrimp among two plates and serve.
3.2.2124

Shrimp Scampi | foodnfocus.com

This post brought to you by Campbells Dinner Sauces. Weekend-worthy dinners with only weekday-level effort needed! Learn more at http://www.campbellsauces.com/.

Recipe Roundup: Thanksgiving

Since Im out of town all week I unfortunately wont have time to cook any Thanksgiving treats for you. I figured today I would bring you some delicious recipes that I found around the internet that can help in your final days of planning. If you have a recipe that you absolutely love, leave it in the comments below!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Table for Two

7 Fresh Recipes for Cranberry Sauce The Kitchn

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sugared Pumpkin Seeds Food n Focus

50 Stuffing Recipes Food Network

No Knead Dinner Rolls The Pioneer Woman

Lightened Gouda Mashed Potatoes with Apples & Bacon Food n Focus

Turkey 101 Epicurious