Grilled Lobster Tails

If there’s one food that my mother and I go crazy for, it’s lobster. Over the summer my mother and I decided to treat ourselves to a lobster dinner. We got the tails on sale at Sunflower Market ($5 for a 4 oz. tail!) and decided to grill them one summer night. Lobster tails are quite simple to grill and you can do it with or without a skewer. You can prepare the tails however you like, but we prepared them the traditional way a Maine lobster is served- with lemon and butter. Pair them with Cajun rice or a light salad like we did and you’re set! We also bought a bottle of Pinor noir for the occasion :) 

Grilled Lobster Tails 

  • 4 lobster tails
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • lemon juice 

Using a pair of shears, cut the front of the lobster tail down the middle until you reach the end of the tail.

Place the tails on the grill on medium heat with the front side facing down. Cook for 8 minutes and then brush the lemon and butter on the front of the lobster. Make sure to keep the grill cover closed. Cook for another 8 minutes on the same side. (If you use a skewer you can flip the tail to the other side. We didn’t flip them and they turned out fine) 

Take off the grill once they’re done and brush another layer of lemon and butter on the tail. Allow the tails to cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Peel back the shell from the front to get the meat out of the tail. 

Remove the meat from the shells and serve with your choice of side. We added a cherry tomato feta salad to go with our tails and it complemented the lobster wonderfully :) 

Chocolate Sprinkled Cake Balls

Oh yes, you read that right. Cake balls. Literally a bite-size piece of cake and frosting. Genius, right? I first saw these new mini dessert sensations at Starbucks and found the recipe online at Allrecipes.com. My mom needed a quick and easy dessert to bring to her tennis dinner so I thought I’d try whipping up a few cake balls. They turned out to be a huge hit and my mom came home empty-handed. 

I used a yellow cake mix and added sprinkles to the batter (homemade funfetti) and used chocolate frosting. You can use any type of cake mix or frosting you like and decorate with nuts, coconut, candy or anything else you can fit on top of a cake ball! Have fun :) 

Chocolate Sprinkled Cake Balls

(adapted from Allrecipes.com) 

  • 1 box of cake mix
  • 1 16-oz. container of frosting
  • 1 lb. of chocolate candy coating
  • Sprinkles! (if you want)

Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box and bake. When the cake is finished baking, crumble (yes, literarlly take your hands and crumble it) while the cake is warm into a bowl. 

Stir in 2/3 of the frosting into the crumbled cake until well blended. 

Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave in 15-second intervals until the chocolate has melted.

Place the chocolate frosted cake mixture into the fridge for at least 30 minutes (this makes it easier when scooping and dipping into the melted chocolate). Using a melon baller, scoop up small balls of chocolate cake and coat the ball in the chocolate coating.

Scatter a few sprinkles on top of the cake ball as soon as you finish dipping. Place on parchment paper to harden. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is one of my favorite recipes to make during the summer. Not only is it really simple to make, but it’s packed with tons of flavor. Stuffed peppers are a light but filling meal and it makes a great dinner party entreé. You can also try stuffing tomatoes if you’re not a fan of peppers. I make my stuffed peppers with lean ground beef and jambalaya rice, but you can also add sausage and other veggies inside. The great thing about this classic dish is that you can make it your own! I’ve even seen peppers stuffed with ground turkey! I only use a 1/2 pound of ground beef but feel free to add the whole pound, just make sure you’re prepared with extra peppers! 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • 6 bell peppers (any color)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup of rice (I recommend using Cajun style, but any other type will be fine)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Chop up half of the onion and the clove of garlic and sauté in a pot with olive oil over medium heat until onion becomes translucent. 

Add ground beef to the pot and brown.

Once the meat is browned, add the rice and 1-1/2 cups of water, cover and cook for 25 minutes. (You won’t need to drain the beef of any excess fat if your ground beef is lean enough) 

Cut the tops off of each bell pepper and set aside. Shell out the rest of the pepper to get rid of the seeds. 

When the rice is done cooking, stuff each bell pepper to the top and cover with the top of the pepper. 

Line a casserole dish with foil and pour the can of diced tomatoes on the bottom. Place each pepper in the dish. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve hot! 

Blueberry Bread Pudding

Every week or so my grandfather and I go out to lunch together. We try a different cuisine each time and no matter how filling the meal is he always seems to make room for dessert. The baklava at the Greek restaurant (the motherland) is divine, the sweet nammoura at the Middle Eastern restaurant is rich, and the tiramisu at his favorite Italian restaurant is heavenly, but nothing comes close to his absolute favorite dessert: bread pudding. He first had it at Nordstrom’s Café with my mom a few weeks ago and ever since he first tried their bread pudding, there was no comparison to any other dessert.

Being trapped inside the house today because of the rain, I decided to attempt to make bread pudding for him. I knew it wouldn’t come close to Nordy’s, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Plus, once my mom had a look at the nutrition facts for the bread pudding, she almost had a heart attack. I knew I would have to go with something that called for less sugar and butter, for my grandfather’s sake. I looked at several recipes online and stumbled across Paula Deen’s “The Best Bread Pudding Recipe”. Despite Paula’s reputation of “more butter, the better”, her recipe called for a lot less than the others I read. I decided to omit the sauce (which adds a lot of sugar and butter on top) from the bread pudding so that it would be perfect for my grandfather, and for his body. Since I didn’t have enough time for the bread to become stale overnight, I let it sit out for a few hours. I also replaced the pecans with blueberries to make it more of a summer dessert. Turns out, according to my grandfather, it may be the best dessert I’ve ever made! Not only is it super sweet and soft, but it’s also really simple to make. Can’t think of a better combination. Thanks, Paula! 

Blueberry Bread Pudding 

(adapted from Paula Deen’s “The Best Bread Pudding”

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups cubed Italian bread or Challah bread (egg bread)- stale overnight
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 1 cup blueberries 

Tear off small chunks of the bread loaf (crouton size) and set in a bowl overnight (I did for a few hours) for the bread to become stale. 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 13 x 9-inch pan.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, beaten eggs, milk and vanilla extract.

Pour over bread and let it sit for 30 minutes.

In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, butter and blueberries. Mixture should be crumbly.

Pour the bread mixture into the pan. 

Scatter the brown sugar mixture on top of the cubed bread in the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. 

Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar on top :) Enjoy!