Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer + Kabobs

Well, I have officially been gone since February! I am not exactly sure where the past 6 months have gone. From February until May, I was consumed with graduate school and graduated in May! I'm still pretty stoked about that. From May until June, I was finishing up the school year. And since then I've been traveling the country! What a summer it's been. We've been to Louisiana, Alabama, Philadelphia, California, Delaware, the Florida Keys, and Ft. Lauderdale! Somewhere in there, I also found out that I am pregnant! I am about 18 weeks along now and we are so excited for our first baby to arrive in December! It's been a crazy summer, but so much fun! It's been great having all this time with my husband. He starts a new job this week and we've been so blessed to have so much time together this summer. I'm going to miss him when he starts. I apologize for being gone, but I'm so excited to share some new recipes with you!

With summer in full force, the heat is also in full force. We have been trying to do whatever we can to keep the air conditioning from overworking itself. One thing that really helps is to use the grill instead of the stove and oven. It keeps the heat outside instead of in the kitchen! Some of the most versatile things that I have really grown to love are kabobs. They are so easy and you can really tailor them to what you like.

For these kabobs, you'll need: 2-3 chicken breasts, red and green bell peppers, zucchini squash. For the marinade, you'll need: honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, 1 lemon, salt and pepper.

1. In a medium bowl, mix 2 tbsp. honey, 2 tbsp. vinegar, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. lemon zest, the juice of the lemon (remember to zest before you cut!), and 1 tsp. salt and pepper. Whisk together well.

2. Chop vegetables and meat making sure that all of your pieces are relatively the same size. This is important so that everything cooks evenly.

I chose to use peppers and zucchini because it's what I had from my garden. Onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, pineapple, and peaches are also very good on kabobs.

3. Mix your vegetables and meat into the marinade. Obviously, the longer that you let it marinade, the more flavor the food will have. I suggest letting it sit in the marinade in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. (If you're using fish as your protein, and citrus in the marinade, you shouldn't marinade for more than 10-15 minutes, or the fish will cook-- also known in Hispanic food as ceviche!)

4. Place your meat and veggies/fruits on the skewers. I have metal skewers that can be washed and reused. If you are using wooden skewers, you'll want to soak them in water for about 20 minutes before using. That will keep them from burning. Either type of skewer is just fine. When adding the meat and produce, place them closely together so that they barely touching each other.

4. Grill on a hot grill, about 400 degrees. Cook on each side for about 5 minutes or until the meat is done.

5. Remove from grill and enjoy! You can enjoy kabobs by themselves, but if you need something else, they are also good served with rice, quinoa, or another grain. When I made these kabobs, we enjoyed them over a salad. It was delicious!

More ideas for kabobs:
chicken + pineapple and broccoli + citrus marinade
steak + tomatoes and mushrooms + Worcestershire sauce marinade
shrimp kabobs + squash and peppers + spicy marinade

Basic tips:
The basic components of a kabob are a meat, vegetables, fruits, and usually a marinade or dry spices. I do not recommend having more than one type of meat on one kabob, because different meats have different cooking time. If you want steak and chicken, just put them on two separate skewers and it will be fine. Also, a part of any marinade should include some form of oil so that the kabob does not stick to the grill. If you're using dry spices, you should spray the grill with some type of non-stick spray.

I hope that you're staying cool this summer and that you enjoy these kabobs! They are so easy, quick, and helps you keep your house cool during these hot days!

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