Rich and Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

Rich and Fudgy Zucchini Brownies - Chew Nibble Nosh

When I was young, my mother had this wonderful little garden on the side of our house.  I used to love watching the garden grow each summer, and daily trips out to pick fresh tomatoes, snap peas and zucchini were a highlight.  I remember spending my summer days outside, playing with friends, and we’d snack on sugar snap peas, fresh from the garden, as we played. The zucchini always fascinated me, though, because there were some years when nothing would grow, and others when we’d end up with zucchini as long as our arms, that seemed to weigh as much as a small child.  My mom would make zucchini bread after zucchini bread after zucchini bread, and we’d laugh at the size of our ginormous zucchini.  They were like veggie snacks for giants.

Chilled Summer Veggie Salad

Chilled Summer Veggie Salad - Chew Nibble Nosh 4

When it comes to summer food, what do you look for?

I look for light, crisp, clean, fresh, and flavorful.  In the sticky summer heat, I don’t want food that will weigh me down.  I crave tastes that will refresh me, enlighten me, and that take advantage of the bounty that summer markets have to offer.

This salad is EXACTLY what I look for.

This quick and easy summer salad is the perfect summer picnic recipe go-to.  You can make it up ahead of time, and the longer it rests, the more the flavors mingle.  It was terrific the night we had it, alongside grilled steak, but even better the next day when I grabbed a bowlful for lunch.

Penne alla Emiliana – Dinner at Indy’s Sangiovese Ristorante

Penne alla Emiliana - Chew Nibble Nosh

I’m tough to please when it comes to Italian food.  My dad’s side of the family is Italian, so I was lucky to grow up in a kitchen where tomatoes, basil, and garlic were a way of life.  I often find that Italian restaurants don’t exactly live up to my expectations.

So, imagine how excited I was when I found, and devoured, one of the best Italian meals I’ve ever had right here in Indy!  I was so eager to try out Sangiovese Ristorante’s new location.  I’d heard that they’d moved from their former location into the beautiful, new Ironworks building on 86th street.

Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce – Red Gold Summer Grilling Giveaway

Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce - Chew Nibble Nosh.

Summertime means grilling time, and my friends at Red Gold Tomatoes have come up with a giveaway that I’m sure will make many grilling aficionados pretty darn excited.  From now until July 22, Red Gold will be giving away a large Big Green Egg each week!  A Big Green Egg!

That’s huge!

I can’t begin to tell you how an Egg will change the way you grill.  We’ve had one for the past couple of years, and trust me when I say that it does some pretty spectacular things for grilled food.  My husband’s eyes light up every time I ask him to grill something, and our eyes light up every time he brings in dinner!

Patriotic Layered Berry Pavlova

Patriotic Layered Berry Pavlova - Chew Nibble Nosh

It’s July!  And almost the 4th, which means it’s time to get your 4th of July plans in order!  This deceptively simple dessert is sure to knock your family’s socks off.  All you need are a few simple ingredients, and a little bit of time.  It’s fresh, light, and really tasty.

Have you ever had a pavlova?  Traditionally, a pavlova is a disk of fresh-baked meringue, topped with whipped cream and fruit.  The meringue is crisp and crunchy on the outside, and chewy-soft on the inside. Paired with fruit and cream, the texture of a pavlova dessert is unlike anything you’ve ever had, and truly special.  They are beautiful desserts, and always elicit oooohs and aaaaahs, but believe me when I say, this recipe is so easy to put together.

BLT Macaroni Salad

BLT Macaroni Salad - Chew Nibble Nosh 6

With the 4th of July right around the corner, I’m pretty sure a lot of you are in BBQ menu planning mode. If you’re thinking of throwing a macaroni salad into the mix, this is your guy.  This salad is delicious, and fresh, and so easy to throw together.  There’s something about a good BLT that just makes people’s hearts sing.  So, turn that sandwich favorite into a scoopable summer salad, and you’ve got a winner!

First, I cooked a pound of macaroni noodles in a big pot of salted water.

BLT Macaroni Salad - Chew Nibble Nosh 1

Copycat P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Copycat P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Chew Nibble Nosh.

I’m not usually a big preparer of “copycat” meals, because in my experience, they’re never quite as good as the original.  That said, I’ve had this one in my files for a while now, and I figured that I should give it a try.  Why this one?  Well, there was nothing scary involved (Why do so many copycat recipes include canned “cream of somethings” soups?), it’s ridiculously simple, and the Number One reason:  I was pretty sure that even if it didn’t taste like the original, it would be tasty enough because I liked everything involved.

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Fresh Strawberry Pretzel Salad - Chew Nibble Nosh.

It’s berry season!  My girls and I hit the strawberry fields last week and came home with tons of the most delicious, ruby-red berries.  I’ve never seen berries so red, and my fridge has never seen so many berries in it at once.  So, when life hands you lots of berries, what do you do?  Well, around these parts, we make “salad”…and jam, but today we’re talking about “salad”.

Shrimp Arrabbiata Pasta

Shrimp Arrabbiata - Chew Nibble Nosh

Gosh, I love shrimp.  You know that scene in Forrest Gump, where Bubba goes on and on, and on, about everything you can do with shrimp?

I never saw anything wrong with Bubba’s passion.  If anything, it made me hungry.

Having lived in the South for a good number of years, I was used to being able to get fresh, wonderful, reasonably priced shrimp at every restaurant, and every market.  Heck, sometimes the shrimp even came to me.  When we lived in New Orleans, the wonderfully sweet man who was the custodian at the school I taught in would go out on his shrimp boat on the weekends and bring his delicious haul back in for me on Monday!  Talk about spoiled!  Being back in the landlocked Midwest has stifled our constant shrimpiness a bit, but I still try to cook it up often.

Chicken-Avocado Salad Sandwiches

Chicken-Avocado Salad Sandwiches - Chew Nibble Nosh.

Today is the last day of school.  HOW?   I know the teachers may not be in agreement with me, but this year simply flew by.  It seems like every year moves faster and faster, and my mommy heart is on the verge of a breakdown.  Make it stop!  At the end of the day, I’ll have a 7th grader and a 4th grader.

I can’t handle it.

~sigh~