Frozen Treats: Fresh Strawberry Granita

Beat the heat with our week-long series on frozen treats! Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

I remember it like it was yesterday… my first taste of strawberry granita. The fresh strawberry flavor combined with the sweetness of the sugar had me hooked at first bite.

It was in a little township outside of Pittsburgh, PA, of all places. We were vacationing with my sister-in-law and the temperatures had shot up well past 100 degrees. We had reached the end of a fun-filled day when my sister-in-law introduced us to a little place called Rita’s Ice.

The lines were long but she assured us it was well worth the wait. I devoured a strawberry granita ice treat topped with vanilla custard. I loved it so much I went back the next day and the next and the next. When we returned home from our trip one of the first things I did was look to see if there was a Rita’s near us. Nothing. I was so disappointed…

Desperate for my new found favorite treat, I even went so far as to see what starting a Rita’s franchise in our town would entail. My husband talked me down and promised that it probably wasn’t necessary to go to those kind of measures. I guess he was right.

It never crossed my mind to try to re-create the strawberry granita we tasted at Rita’s in Pittsburgh – until now. Little did I know that such deliciousness could be made in my own kitchen with just a few simple ingredients and my freezer. I can have my strawberry granita in Kansas and I’m a happy girl!

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Picnic Food Safety Tips (Recipe: Garden Vegetable Pasta Salad)

It’s the time of year when families are grabbing their blankets, packing their coolers and heading to their favorite picnic spot. Nothing says summer like an afternoon of picnic fun with family and friends.

Don’t let your plans for the perfect picnic get overshadowed by unsafe food handling and storage. Armed with a few picnic food safety tips, you can keep the good times going while keeping food borne bacteria and illnesses at bay. [Read more…]

Grilling Salmon {Recipe: Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon}

Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

It’s been a full week of grilling here on Simple Bites and what a delicious week it has been! There is nothing better than heading outside to cook dinner when the weather turns warm.

Our family loves traditional grilled fare like hamburgers and hotdogs, but what we really enjoy cooking on our grill during the summer is seafood. There is something about the lightly enhanced smokey flavor of grilled seafood that makes it seem like the ideal summer meal.

We love all kinds of seafood on the grill – shrimp, tilapia, tuna steaks – but the one fish that we can’t get enough of is grilled salmon. Salmon has the perfect amount of natural fat to leave it flaky and moist when prepared on the grill.

Salmon is also an extremely versatile fish making it a great addition to your weekly menu. The ingredients can easily be changed to suit the flavors you are craving the most. [Read more…]

Demystifying Rubs and Sauces {Recipe: Lemon Pepper Grilling Rub}

Written by Kristen of Dine and Dish.

Warm weather is finally here, which means it is time to get up close and personal with your grill. When it comes to grilling do you like plain chicken, fish and beef, or do you prefer to get a little spicy with your meat? If plain is your norm, allow me to introduce you to the difference a dry rub, wet rub or sauce can bring to your grilled food.

Dry rubs, wet rubs and sauces are similar in nature but have three distinctive purposes. You may be wondering what the difference is between the three and how they are best used when grilling.
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Perfecting Pasta (Recipe: Homemade Linguine with Whiskey Cream Sauce)

Written by Kristen Doyle

I recently marked a culinary goal of making homemade pasta noodles off of my list. I’ve heard raves about how delicious fresh, homemade pasta could be but I honestly didn’t believe it until I tried it for myself. Sure, it is more work than opening up a box of store bought pasta noodles and throwing a handful into some boiling water, but I’m here to tell you that the difference in flavor is well worth the extra effort.

I have the KitchenAid pasta attachment, which made my foray into pasta making a breeze. The good news is you don’t need a pasta attachment to make homemade pasta. Flat noodles such as lasagna or linguine can easily be made with a rolling pin and a little bit of patience. [Read more…]