Sweet and Tangy Apple and Peach Chutney

Apple and Peach Chutney | jessicagavin.com

Are you looking for a simple, yet flavorful way to make your dishes even more delectable? I have found that sauces and condiments to serve on the side do the trick. Chutneys are chunky sweet and sour condiments used to brighten and add more flavor to almost any dish. Similar to a relish, chutneys can contain cooked fruits, vegetables and added spices which this sweet and tangy apple and peach chutney recipe features both…. 

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Grilled Pork Chops with Honey Mustard Glaze

grilled pork chops with honey mustard glaze | jessicagavin.com

When you’re in the mood for a healthy and lean protein, chicken can get repetitive and a little, well, blah. That’s why I like to switch it up and grill pork chops, a tender yet hearty cut which infuses flavors quite easily and cooks within minutes! A savory dry rub added to season the meat just before cooking adds a quick hint of flavor and a super simple honey mustard glaze generously added at the end of cooking locks in the juices and makes the pork even more tastier. Grilled pork chops with honey mustard glaze will certainly be your new favorite recipe. So easy you can throw into your weekly dinner rotation!… 

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New York Strip Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Pouring Chimichurri Sauce over Steak | jessicagavin.com

In my opinion, nothing is better on the grill than a thick slice of juicy New York strip steak. The strip cut of meat has nice marbling with some chew from a tighter texture when compared to the tenderloin cut.  The strip also has a slight edge of fat on the sides which adds even more flavor to the meat. The New York strip cut has a pleasantly strong beefy flavor and pairs extremely well with freshly ground herbs, savory garlic, spices and some dried chili’s for a kick.

This New York strip steak with chimichurri sauce recipe gives you instant gratification, the sauce is blended and done within seconds and the steak is hot off the grill within minutes! The sheer size of this cut is intimidating, but so simple to prepare with just a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper before grilling. I made two strip steaks for my husband and I but we only really needed one to share, I should have invited Fred Flintstone over!

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Skillet Cornbread with Blueberries

Skillet Cornbread with Blueberries | jessicagavin.com The best way to combine two of the tastiest summer ingredients, corn and blueberries, is into a baked treat! I am a sucker for freshly baked cornbread, so I decided to add some super ripe and sweet blueberries into the batter. To take it to the next level, I baked the cornbread in a steaming hot cast iron skillet with sizzling hot butter on the bottom to prevent sticking.

There is something so comforting and rustic about baking bread in a skillet versus glass pan or metal muffin tin. Don’t forget about those crunchy golden brown edges you get from preheating the cast iron pan in the oven before you add in the batter, yum! This cast iron skillet cornbread with blueberries recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with family and friends!… 

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Memphis-Style Barbecue Pork Ribs

mopping rack of spareribs | jessicagavin.com Every time I get a rib craving, I hear the Chili’s Restaurant theme song play in my head “I got my baby back, baby back ribs…”, haha. It took me a while to figure out what were my favorite type of ribs, the mammoth style beef ribs or succulent baby back spareribs (pork ribs). I was surprised to discover that St. Louis style pork spareribs are my ribs of choice after becoming addicted to them at our local Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Q restaurant.  I think what sold me was just the right meat to bone ratio and that awesome dry spice rub that adds extra flavor and punch with each bite!

I have a culinary confession to make, I’ve never cooked ribs before! I have been hesitant to make ribs at home for fear of over cooking them and also the intimidating uncertainty of which method to use. It’s easy to second guess yourself with so many cooking methods from boiling, smoking, roasting, barbequing and a combination of multiple methods. I’ve been building up my barbeque confidence this summer, so I choose to give St. Louis style pork spareribs a try. I decided to use the low and slow barbeque method then finishing the roasting in the oven. The result is the most flavorful and meaty home cooked Memphis-style barbecue pork ribs – you’ll never have to go out for over priced barbecued ribs again!… 

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All-American Potato Salad

all-american potato salad recipe | jessicagavin.com

When you think about summertime side dishes, potato salad is one essential item that almost always makes it on the table. There are so many recipes and types of varieties of this simple yet comforting dish. For me, I really like the classic All-American potato salad especially when I’m having barbecued food. The creaminess of the potatoes combined with your favorite seasonings is always a hit with a swarm of hungry summer guests…. 

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Summer Succotash Salad

summer succotash salad with dressing | jessicagavin.com

It’s officially summer and with the warm weather brings more time outdoors, especially picnics and barbecues. Strolling the aisles of grocery stores and farmer’s markets, the produce sections are showing much more vibrant colors as the summer fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready to eat. Whenever I see sweet white corn appear that’s when I know it’s time to fire up the grill! To take advantage of the beautiful produce now available, I wanted to create a more hearty yet healthy salad that would be perfect to serve on those warmer days with those savory barbecue feasts. My summer succotash salad features all of these yummy vegetables in one bowl!… 

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Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip | jessicagavin.com

It’s barbecue season and instead of grilling the usual chicken, ribs or sausages, why not try one of the more under appreciated yet delicious cuts of meats, tri-tip! When Jason and I attended college at CalPoly, San Luis Obispo, we quickly learned that one of the culinary delights on the Central Coast of California was the famous beef tri-tip cut. Downtown San Luis Obispo has numerous restaurants that offer the seasoned hunks of meat on their menus, often thinly sliced and served on a soft french roll and drenched in BBQ sauce.

I particularly enjoyed to get my tri-tip sandwiches from Firestone Grill or during thursday night’s farmer’s market from restaurants grilling on their huge BBQ pits in the heart of downtown SLO. Since graduating and migrating South over 7 years ago, we haven’t had much opportunity to get some authentic Santa Maria style tri-tip in quite a while, with many BBQ restaurants falling short of the ones we had in San Luis Obispo, I decided to make some right at home…. 

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Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce | jessicagavin.com What barbecue sauce do you use? At our house the refrigerator is typically stocked with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce. I typically like a thicker, sweet and tangy sauce, however I’ve been building up my hot spice tolerance (I hope that doesn’t make me go into labor!). Jason recently made some nice upgrades to our Weber barbecue grill just in time for the summer, so I’ve been grilling as much as a can.

I’ve always wanted to experiment with my own homemade barbecue sauce and I didn’t realize how easy it was! It’s really fun to play around with the balance of sweetness, acidity, thickness and spice levels. I created this sweet and spicy barbecue sauce so we can pour, slather and dip it on all of our grilled meats, drool…. 

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Luscious Raspberry Lemon Bars

amazing raspberry lemon bar recipe | jessicagavin.com

When given the choice of a decadent chocolate dessert versus a light refreshing lemon indulgence, I’m much more of a chocolate lover. I actually used to hate lemon flavored desserts! That’s until I finally made a tray of fresh raspberry lemon bars at home. My first encounter with lemon bars was when I was working at a European bakery in high school, getting the chance to be exposed to lots of different citrus infused treats.

Lemon bars were a staple at Boniere Bakery in Alameda, CA. Baked fresh each week, I used to be in charge of cutting the crisp and gooey bars into perfect squares then dusting them with generous mountains of powdered sugar. I would sneak bites of the browned corners that I cut off, licking off the sticky evidence from my fingers. I think that’s when I started to appreciate the citrus pucker effect of the lemon juice balanced with the sweetness of the sugar in those gooey lemon bars…. 

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