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Remember to keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold!

If something looks "IFFY" skip it. It is so,not worth it. According to the CDC, an estimated 48 million people suffer from foodborne illness in America each year; that means 1 in 6 ill people, with roughly 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths according to the CDC. Since foodborne bacteria thrives and multiples in warmer temperatures, Fourth of July festivities can be a hotbed for foodborne illness. The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F in which foodborne bacteria can grow rapidly to dangerous levels that can cause illness. Leaving food out in the Danger Zone for too long is one of the most common mistakes that people make. Just a friendly reminder, before we get to the yummy stuff.

Here are a couple of my Favs. Both have had requests to "Please,bring again this year". Pea Pesto with RicottaRecipe and Photograph Courtesy of

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: 20 minutes


1 cup frozen peas, thawed

½ cup basil leaves, plus more for garnish

½ cup mint leaves, plus more for garnish

¼ cup grated Parmesan

1 garlic clove, finely grated

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for garnish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound fresh ricotta

Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Toasted bread, for serving


1. In a food processor, combine the peas, basil and mint leaves, Parmesan and garlic. Purée until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and process until you have a chunky paste, then season with salt and pepper.

2. Spread the ricotta on a plate and dollop the pesto on top. Next, swirl the pesto into the ricotta and garnish with basil, mint, olive oil, pepper and flaky sea salt, then serve with toasted bread. Watch the video from Tasting Tables HERE.

Summer Chipotle Chicken Cobb Salad

Skip the blue cheese in favor of seasonal strawberries, corn and a healthy vinaigrette dressing.

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time


For the Lemon-Champagne Vinaigrette:

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

⅓ cup olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the Chicken:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 chipotle chiles-finely chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)

For the Salad:

3 to 4 cups market greens

4 strips applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

8 to 10 strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 ears corn on the cob, kernels removed in strips

1 to 2 ripe avocados—pitted, peeled and sliced

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Lemon-Champagne vinaigrette


1. Make the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed. The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (makes ⅔ cup).

2. Make the chicken: Combine the oil, chipotles, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a large zip-top bag and add the marinade. Zip the bag and mix the chicken into the marinade to coat. Place in the refrigerator and let it marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

3. Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan to about 400°F. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the chicken against the grain.

4. Make the salad: Arrange the greens on a large platter and top with the bacon, strawberries, corn, avocado and grilled chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinaigrette to serve.

Be a leader, game changer and trend setter at your 4th of July party. Bring one of these fav dishes that I bring to "pot luck" type parties.

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