There are few things as comforting to the mind, body, and soul as a chicken roasting away in the oven. My boys have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. It was too hot for soup, so I made them our favorite Sunday dinner instead. After eating like birds for two days, I knew they’d be hungry – and, I was right. It was a large roaster, and after all our tummies were full there remained only a small amount of thigh and breast meat. Was happy to see my boys hungry again! Leave it to a stick-to-your-ribs home-cooked meal to bring back their appetite!

Roasting the chicken at a relatively high temperature of 425 helps to ensure that the bird develops a golden brown skin, yet the meat underneath remains perfectly cooked and juicy. I stuff the cavity with citrus, mostly lemons – but I’ve been known to use oranges in a pinch too, and some fresh herb sprigs from my garden. Those fresh flavors really permeate the meat of the chicken, and produces a bird that is unparalleled – at least in my opinion! I’ll usually roast one chicken a week in the summer – just to pull the meat off the bones and keep in the fridge. It’s great for creating so many different quick and easy meals throughout the week, and much more affordable than buying a rotisserie chicken from the store.

Source: adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

Since these margaritas have entered my life, I’ve gone through a considerable amount more of tequila every week. My homegirl Shawnda had mentioned them to me in passing about a month ago, and I couldn’t wait to try them. Literally couldn’t wait either, I hounded her to give up the recipe early. Thankfully, she obliged and gave up the goods. Made a batch of them up that night, and voila! My new favorite summer drink.

I love a small sprinkling of salt on my chunks of cantaloupe anyways, and let me tell you – the salt rim is everything I’d hoped it would be. Even now, at 9 AM on a Monday, it’s making my mouth water. The color is just gorgeous too, a lovely sherbert colored orange. This recipe makes about 4 or 5 drinks, so it’s perfect for poolside or at a backyard BBQ…or, drinking all to yourself on a Friday night. These are so good, they had my homebrewing husband drinking them! And, he doesn’t do tequila. They’re that good, folks. I know it’s only Monday, but I’m already looking forward to next weekend and making up another batch of these perfect summer cocktails.

I know it’s kind of lame to post a veggie platter, but I get so many rave reviews on the dip, I thought it was worth sharing. It’s creamy, cool, herby, and delicious. I always make this for pretty much every cookout we have, and because of it’s portability, it’s great to take to a friend’s house for a potluck as well.

I’m sure lots of you folks are planning to do a little get-together in the backyard for Dad, so trash that overpriced store-bough plastic tray nonsense, and make a gorgeous platter yourself. My standard veggies to use are baby carrots, sliced cucumber, broccoli florets (blanch them for a minute), celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. If you happen to have any leftovers, it makes for an awesome chopped salad!

I hope everyone has a lovely Father’s Day weekend with plenty of quality family time. We’re hoping to get some boat and beach time in. Haven’t made it out to the sandbar (a little strip of land off the coast only accessible by boat. Mostly locals, and a lot less crowded than Assateague Island beach) yet, had had some boat issues, which were taken care of this week. So, we’re hoping to get out there on Sunday and relax. I feel very blessed to have both a great dad, and a great husband in my life. Have a great weekend, everyone!

As a girl who used to turn her nose up at Mexican food, I’m a million miles away from where I started. One of my very favorite things to order at a Mexican restaurant is chile rellenos. A pepper that’s been stuffed with potato and cheese, then fried? Sign me up. Now that summer is upon us, and in another month or so I’ll be picking a basket full of poblano peppers every couple of days, I figured it was only prudent to buckle down and come up with my ideal relleno recipe.

A big misconception is that chile rellenos are super spicy. Not the case, so don’t let the word “chile” scare you off. We don’t mind a little heat, but if you’d like them even milder – just remove all of the seeds from inside the pepper before filling. I fried this batch to keep it authentic, but often I skip the batter entirely and just stick the stuffed peppers under the broiler for a few minutes. Shaves some time and calories, which is always a good thing! When paired with some Spanish rice, these make a delicious and satisfying summer meal. Enjoy!