The Local Ladle

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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Spicy Garlic Hummus Wontons with Tzatziki

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Whenever I make a stop back home,  I can always expect to leave with an assortment of mismatched groceries from my parent’s fridge.  “Maddie do you want hummus… raspberries… wonton wrappers… or zucchini to take with you…?”  My mom yells upstairs.  Of course I agree to taking everything with me. Sunday grocery shopping in the city might just be the WORST.  I’m then left with the misleading challenge of creating meals from my Chopped mystery ingredient basket…

I will say, one of my greatest talents has to be creating dishes from nothing, this recipe being the aftermath of one of those situations. I was left with hummus, wonton wrappers, and craved something fried. Voila! The spicy garlic wontons came to life!

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Grilled Mediterranean Romaine

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This salad is a fun healthy twist on a Cesar salad. Rather than a heavy cream dressing, I have tied in one of my favorite yogurt dressings and substituted a meat protein for chickpeas and pine nuts!

Grilling romaine is actually something I learned from my mom. One of her favorite summer dinners is a large plate of grilled romaine with a light dressing. After picking up romaine at the grocery store today, my plan was to make a fulfilling winter version of her salad!

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3 Easy Zucchini Noodle Mason Jar Lunches

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One of my new year resolutions is to bring lunch from home at least 4 work days a week. As all of us know…. harder said than done, especially working with a restaurant group!

So my plan is to make use of my favorite inventions, my zucchini spiralizer and mason jars! Here are a few recipes below that are some of the most simple and efficient ways to spice up your lunch and by day 4 still not wanting take out!

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Spiral Mediterranean Veggie Salad

Spiral Mediterranean veggie salad

The effort put into this salad doesn’t even come close the beauty and flavor that comes out it.  The earthy and deep raw flavors of the vegetables seamlessly compliment the creamy richness of the chickpea hummus. The addition of cilantro and sumac not only add great color, but celebrate the Mediterranean pops of flavor!

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Summer Herb Potatoes

Summer Herb Potatoes

Simple, yet delicious! After cooking school, I have really come to appreciate each individual ingredient and I really believe that this recipe below highlights the beauty of these potatoes! Instead of coating them in sour cream or yogurt, I decided to keep this recipe light with a burst of fresh herbs.

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Watermelon & Feta Salad

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It’s quickly approaching summer and to me that means watermelon season!  Watermelon is hands down my favorite food.  Usually, when I tell people I get the oddest looks. Yes, out of all the amazing dishes and ingredients I have tried,  a refreshingly juicy bite of watermelon is still top of my list.  If you want to get on my good side it’s simple, just bring me a watermelon!  Read more

Mexican Corn on the Cob

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At culinary school I had I learned more about food than I could have ever imagined, but nothing has tested me more than starting my own food blog. Recipe testing can be one of the most exciting, rewarding, yet frustrating jobs. The most difficult challenge that I face is that the possibilities are endless! For me, it’s either making the most of what is in my pantry or casually strolling around the grocery store until an ingredient inspires a dish. From my experience so far, my favorite and most memorable dishes have simply allowed one ingredient be the star of the show.  Whether it is jazzing up that one ingredient with spices or herbs, my new moto is “The simpler the better!”

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Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers

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Every time I open a restaurant menu and to see jalapeno poppers under the appetizers, it’s like the remainder of the menu is a blur. It’s not even an option, I have to order the addicting spicy bites! This past weekend in Chicago, I fought over the last of Old Crow Smokehouses amazing bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers! They sparked the idea of me making jalapeno poppers of my own. Instead of using a bacon, that it most commonly used, I decided to go with a Mexican chorizo. The deep smoky and spicy flavor of the chorizo could not be a better match with the cream cheese and fresh jalapeno.

Check out my notes at the bottom for some great vegan substitutions! Read more

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