The Local Ladle

Bourbon Fruit Pops!

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Summer calls for lots of frozen treats… so why not add a little bourbon!  Recently, my dad actually discovered the most quaint distillery in Dekalb, IL called Whiskey Acre.  It’s owned by a family of IL corn farmers, who decided to tap into distilling!   When you visit Whiskey Acre you must take a tour of the distillery and barrel room ($10), but also take a seat in the adorable barn bar and sip on their  “Bourbon Slush.”

My parents were talking about this bourbon slush so much, it actually inspired me to whip up something of my own!  The Bourbon Fruit Pops below are an easy to grab refreshing fruit treat after a hot summer day with a little boozy twist!

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The Perfect Italian Sub

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve grown up eating Al & Joes Italian Subs in Franklin Park when I visited my Grandma.

It was just the best unwrapping that oily paper and digging in to the delicious layers of Italian meat and cheese!  So recently,  I’ve been determined to replicate those amazing flavors and after a few attempts,  I think I might have just nailed it!

Check it out and let me know! :)

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Grilled Watermelon with Chili & Lime

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Anyone who knows me knows that I have a crazy addiction to watermelon. A watermelon a day keeps the doctor away?  Well… I wish that was true!

So it’s absolutely not weird that I would be the person to put watermelon on the grill!  This recipe below is the perfect dessert or side dish to any grilled meat and BBQ.  It’s refreshing, yet caramelized flavor, pairs perfectly with the fattiness and juiciness of any meat.

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Healthy Spaghetti Squash with Lemon, Thyme, Asparagus, & Ricotta

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So what’s this big trend around Spaghetti Squash?  This gorgeous yellow squash is available year-round in most grocery stores and can be considered both a summer or winter squash.  By adding this vegetable to your table, you will easily get hooked on this delicious treat and the several health benefits it can bring to your body.

That moment you realize you may have waited a little too long shed that winter coat and jump into that new tiny bikini… this summer squash might just be a life saver!   With only 42 calories and 10 carbs in a 1-cup serving of cooked spaghetti squash, this vegetable is a safe addition to any diet!

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Tips to Quick Pickling Just About Everything!

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Being an absolute crazy pickle lover, I will never really understand people who don’t like pickles. Not to mislead you into thinking I do not have pickle hating friends… I do.  Before the burger can even touch the table they are throwing all their pickles my way… I mean c’mon, it cant get much better than that!

This weekend it was my goal to dive into learning how to pickle some of these delicious summer veggies, without necessarly having to learn how to/buy the equipment to can.

Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving an assortment of vegetables from the market or your garden. It also gives you the freedom to get a little creative with the different types and quanities of herbs and spices!  I highly recommend all my pickle lovers to give it a try for themselves!  Read more

4 Healthy Summer Salads Recipes

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Summer means Famers Markets and beautiful fresh produce, so why not celebrate with a few of my favorite healthy salad recipes! Check out these 4 quick and simple recipes below and feel free to get a little creative with your own favorite ingredients! Read more

Spring Salad of Asparagus, Ramp, and Broccolini With Poached Egg and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette

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There’s nothing better than seeing fresh organic spring ingredients at the grocery store,  especially when majority of these vegetables have such a short season. You really know spring has sprung when you see ramps! Ramps are sometimes called wild leeks or spring onions, look like scallions, but they’re smaller and slightly more delicate.

So here’s a quick salad to celebrate these beautiful Spring flavors!

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Roasted Radish & Brussels Sprout Flatbread

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I am about ready for these teaser 70 degree “summer days” to turn into the real deal! Last week I enjoyed this delicious grilled flatbread with a glass of red wine on my rooftop, and this week I am battling through the rain in my winter coat on my way to work…

Here is a recipe for one of my favorite vegetarian flatbreads made on the grill in hopes of warmer weather! Enjoy!

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