If there is a drink that is synonymous with our beaches here in the summertime, it’s Orange Crushes. Harborside Bar & Grill in West Ocean City claims they are the “home” of the original. But, with these simple ingredients – it’s hard to imagine someone didn’t think of it first! You’ll find them on the menu in pretty much any place you go to around here. But, if there’s not a big bowl of oranges on the bar counter – beware!

The fresh juice is the key component here. Well, besides the vodka obviously! While I keep a box of OJ in the fridge, this isn’t the place for it. They are traditionally made with an orange press – which does add a certain something, squeezing out more of the essential oils from the peel I suppose. Never the less, a regular old citrus reamer or juicer is just dandy if you don’t have a citrus press on the ready.

Once you make one, you’ll be hooked. They’re deliciously light and refreshing on a hot summer evening!

Ahh, these fajitas. We go way back. I first made them during a power outage during a hurricane,as it was a meal I could completely make on the grill. I remember being so blown away by the flavors. Keep in mind that this was 2007, I was just getting my footing in the kitchen – and was finally opening up to trying new things. Like, chipotle or cilantro for instance. Ahh, the ways of youth.

For years now, this has been my go-to recipe for anything Tex-Mex related that involves chicken. The original recipe from Cook’s Illustrated gave two other variations (God love ’em!) that are both awesome in their own right, lemon-parsley and orange-tarragon. I plan to add those to our menu soon to share with you guys, I’d forgotten how good they both were!

But, the chipotle-lime really lends itself nicely to these fajitas. The sauce that you top the chicken with right before serving is killer. Often, fajitas can be bland – but you won’t have that problem here. Take advantage of bell peppers while they’re still affordable (seriously, $3 for a red bell pepper?) and in-season! Piled high on a warm tortilla, it’s one of my favorite weeknight meals.

I love the kinds of meals that are made with reinvented leftovers. Such was the case with these chicken sandwiches. I had made Huli-Huli chicken on Monday night, then on Tuesday Jon took the day off due to an unexpected issue with the hot water heater. I like doing something special when we’re all home for lunch on the weekends, so I figured I’d whip up something different with the leftover chicken in the fridge. Whenever I’m grilling chicken, I always like to toss an extra couple of pieces on the grill. Leftovers can always easily be turned into another dinner!

I’d seen a similar sandwich at my favorite local BBQ joint before, so I figured I’d go with it. I just shredded the chicken down, then added a little bit of additional bbq sauce for moisture’s sake. Tossed some fresh pineapple slices on the grill pan while I was making up the cole slaw  – looooove grilled pineapple. Then piled everything high on a toasted whole wheat bun. I ran out to the store to look for King’s Hawaiian hamburger buns, but alas, my plans were thwarted. It would have been a nice touch, but eh – they were great without them! A great sandwich to enjoy during these last few days of summer.

Cherries are flooding the supermarkets near me, for under $2 a pound. They’re one of the many things that I look forward to in summertime. Last weekend, we put a homebrewed sweet/sour cherry beer into secondary fermentation – should be ready next week. Made with 3 lbs of sweet roasted Bing cherries, and 3 lbs of sour Morello  cherries. Excited to try it is an understatement. I’ve also been baking up plenty of sweet treats in the kitchen with these little gems – including, but not limited to, this fabulous ice cream and these delectable brownies!

A rich, fudgy brownie studded with juicy roasted cherries? I was sold on these the day last August when Annie posted them – but, cherries were back up to $5/lb at that point, and I resolved to put it off until next summer. Well, here we are my friends. I can safely tell you that these brownies are worth the wait. Hell, they’re so good – it’s worth paying $5 per pound for the cherries! I made them for a girls night last weekend, and they were a hit. I originally planned to serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, but they were so rich and decadent – I didn’t even bother. Make these, now!