I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to let summer slip away JUST yet (although here in Texas we can't seem to get rid of it even when we want to). I love summer. Summer means cookouts by the pool, or going to the lake to stand-up paddle board, or maybe getting away on an island for a week or two and basking on the beach. It means skirts, cut-off's, and dresses, sun bleached hair and golden legs. No, I'm not ready to end summer just yet.
If you're like me and you want to ring out every drop of summer sun you can then join me as I list a few ways to really relish in every last moment of it:
Cookout-plan one last big HOORAH in your back yard. Go all out with food and drinks. Target has already started clearancing out there summer dishware. Go stock up for half the price and use it to make your party unforgettable! Awhlie back, we did a blog on some great cookout recipes for the summer. Need inspiration on what to serve? Click on that link to go take a look at some great recipe ideas.
OK, so now you're tired. You just finished up a long weekend of cooking out and partying with friends. How about a way to get that "close to vaca" feel right in your own home. I know, I know, it's not the same as being on a beach with a pina colada in your hand. But hey, it's all we've got to work with and I gurantee that while it may not be the same, you may be surprised just how refreshed you feel. Do these seperately or combine them together for the ultimate experience.
Staycation- Plug in that phone of yours, go to Pandora, and type in Laid Back Beach music. This station has a variety of stuff that will take you from Jamaica to Florida and beyond. Next, make yourself one of these frozen island favorites. Once you've done that, light your favorite Precious Gem luxury soy candle. Everyone knows that candles are a great way to set a mood, and our soy candles are long burning and the scents are amazing. Here's a list of some really great summer scents to set your perfect mood:
(click on each title to see a product description of the soy candle)
Once you've begun to get your perfect tropical aroma flowing throughout your home, prep yourself a nice, relaxing pedicure with this amazing at-home recipe sure to give your feet a deep clean, scrub, and baby's bottom look and feel.
Once you've done all this, simply...relax!
If you have something to cover your eyes, do so to block out the light, lay back, and let the aroma of that soy candle flood over you as you escape--even just for a few minutes. Or, you can curl up with your favorite book (be careful of those freshly painted toesies, though!)
Summer may be long gone, but we know how to take advantage of one last getaway.
A cookout, soy candles, and island drink, music, and a good pedi will do the trick.
It’s summertime, and that means hundreds of wonderful things, but one thing that pops immediately to mind is: SUMMER COOKOUTS! In this blog, we will talk about some fabulous cookout recipes, special drinks to keep you feeling cool and refreshed, and ways to reuse your Precious Gem Candle jar as part of your cookout—so don’t throw them away.
Now, we all know that with summer cookouts it usually means we are poolside a good majority of the time. Being poolside means swimsuits, and swimsuits mean we are bearing a little more skin than normal—at least for us ladies. That makes us more aware of what we are eating because we want to look and feel good. So bringing it full circle, I will do us all a favor and post some great cookout recipes that are tasty yet healthy and will leave us satisfied but not stuffed… you’re welcome!
First recipe on the list: Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers. You can’t have a cookout and not mention skewers! These grilled to perfection seafood kabobs make my mouth water just looking at them. A nice, easy, light recipe is always one to enjoy. Here it is below:
Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers
Servings: 7 Serving Size: 1 skewer • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 180 • Fat: 8.4 g • Protein: 25.3 g • Carb: 0.4 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 292 mg (without salt)
· 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
· 1 clove garlic
· 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
· 3 tbsp olive oil
· 1 1/2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
· kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
· 7 wooden skewers
In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.
Combine raw shrimp with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl. Soak wooden skewers in water at least 20 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step). Thread shrimp onto 7 skewers. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-low heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray lightly with oil. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook until shrimp turns pink on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes; turn and continue cooking until shrimp is opaque and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Serve with your favorite sides and sprinkle lemon juice on top for added zest. Enjoy!
Not a huge seafood fan? Swap the shrimp out for chicken bites, add sun-dried and grilled roma tomatoes and some chunks of mozzarella cheese to the skewer, and you have a whole new dish.
Next up: Buffalo Turkey Burgers with Bleu Cheese Broccoli Slaw. Now these are a perfect option to regular heavy beef cheeseburgers. I LOVE turkey burgers! If you’re afraid to try them, two words, DON’T BE. They are so good and juicy and leave you feeling lighter because of the all white meat. Leave the slaw off if you’re not that fancy and keep it traditional, or add Frank’s RedHot with all the fixins’ if you’re the adventurous, food connoisseur type. Recipe below.
*To make these burgers gluten free, you can sub the breadcrumbs for gluten-free oats.
Buffalo Turkey Burgers with Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw
Servings: 5 • Size: 1 Burger • Old Points: 8 pts • Points+: 10 pts (8 pts no bun)
Calories: 358 • Fat: 15 g • Protein: 38.3 g • Carb: 22.7 g • Fiber: 5.6 g • Sugar: 5.9
Burger and slaw only - (no bun, no cheddar cheese):
Servings: 5 • Size: 1 burger w/ slaw • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts (no slaw, 5)
Calories: 208 • Fat: 9.5 g • Protein: 24.3 g • Carb: 6.7 g • Fiber: 1.6 g • Sugar: 1.9 g
· 1 1/2 cups broccoli slaw
· 1/4 cup skinny blue cheese dressing
· 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
· 2/3 cup grated carrots (grate in food processor)
· 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
· 1 clove garlic, grated
· 1 tbsp red onion, grated
· 1/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
· salt and fresh pepper
· oil spray
· 5 slices reduced fat cheddar
· 5 whole wheat burger buns (I used Martin's 100 calorie Potato Whole Wheat Buns)
In a medium bowl combine broccoli slaw and skinny blue cheese dressing. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, carrots, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Makes 5 equal patties, 5.5 oz each. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, lightly spray the oil. Add burgers to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook on one side until browned 4-5 minutes, then flip. Cook another 4 minutes or until burgers are cooked all the way through (keep heat medium-low to prevent burning); top with cheese and place on a toasted burger buns topped with broccoli slaw.
If grilling, clean grill well before cooking and spray with oil spray to prevent sticking.
Freezer Tip: To freeze raw, place them on a baking sheet with wax paper in between, when frozen transfer to ziplock bags.
To freeze cooked, you can fully cook them, then freeze in ziplock bags for quick meals; to re-heat you can microwave or thaw first then place on a skillet.
Next up, we can’t have good cookout food without a good cookout beverage. Whether you’re in the mood for something spiked or something you can share with the whole family—or both—here’s a good recipe that can go either way and is super delicious and refreshing!
I found this recipe on butterlustblog.com and it not only is it light and healthy, but you can leave out the vodka and it’s a drink your kids (or your non-drinkers) will enjoy.
Strawberry Fields Smash
Makes: 1 Cocktail
Last, but DEFINITELY not least, let us not forget our best friend—dessert! When we think dessert we don’t normally think healthy, and when we think “healthy” dessert, we normally think—no flavor. But, alas! That is not the case and our taste buds will be delighted when they get their chocolate fix; and you will be delighted to know it’s not going to your thighs. Guiltless Banana Split in a Jar. Ice Cream? Chocolate? Healthy? What? Get the “scoop” below!
Guiltless Banana Split in a Jar
Servings: 2 • Size: 1 6-oz jar • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 169 • Fat: 1.3 g • Carb: 36 g • Fiber: 1.8 g • Protein: 3.5 g • Sugar: 27.5 g
Sodium: 62 mg
Place half of the banana slices in the bottom of each jar. Top each with 1/3 cup of frozen yogurt, then 1 tablespoon each of chocolate syrup. Finish with with the whipped cream and top with a cherry and get your spoons ready to dig in!
Here’s a fun tip: Reuse your Precious Gem Candle jar as your cocktail glass or as your banana split dessert cup. The cool thing about glass is that it doesn’t have to be thrown away, and the elegant curved shape of these soy candle jars makes its uses endless!
All these recipes, minus the cocktail, were found on Skinnytaste’s Pinterest page. They are my “go-to” for recipes. If you don’t follow them, you should. They have the most delicious recipes that are healthy without being so over the top that your family can’t enjoy them. You can also go to their website-skinnytaste.com for more recipes.
Fourth of July is right around the corner, and hopefully this gave you some great ideas on how to get a good, healthy, and delicious cookout going for all those family and friends coming out to enjoy good food and fireworks. Have a wonderful and blessed holiday from the Precious Gem Candles crew!