There comes a time during each summer when some people crave something other than grilled meat and farm fresh, healthy vegetables and fruits. You know who you are. Continue Reading


On a hot summer day, nothing is better than a refreshing Summer salad! This salad is easy to fix and full of bold flavors and textures. It features a crisp salad with candied pecans, brie cheese and Granny Smith apples, topped with grilled, blackened chicken and a robust chipotle dressing.

Candied Pecans

This first step is to candy the pecans, and you can do this well ahead of time.


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans

Whisk the egg white for a few seconds, then add the seasoning and whisk to dissolve. Stir in pecans to coat. Spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer and put in a 325 oven for about 25 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and pull the pecans out of the candy mixture before it hardens, setting aside on a bowl or plate. You’ll need some hot water to clean the sugar/egg mixture off the cookie sheet!

Chipotle Dressing

You can also make the dressing ahead of time and refrigerate.


  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 1/2 T chicken broth
  • 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T minced canned chipotle chilies (in adobo sauce)
  • 1 T abodo sauce (from can)
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • Mix together and place in the fridge. Once it cools down, stir again, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Blackened Chicken Breasts

Take a few chicken breasts and generously coat with the following blackening spice.


  • 2 t paprika
  • 4 t dried thyme
  • 2 t onion powder
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 1 t ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t cumin

Turn your grill on high and toss on the breasts, turning and rotating every 4 minutes until they are done and you have a nice char. Slice against the grain and prepare the rest of salad.

Salad Base


  • Romaine lettuce (torn up small)
  • Other mixed lettuce or spinach leaves
  • 1/2 thinly sliced Granny Smith Apple
  • 2-3 ounces Brie cheese, sliced in thin wedges

Arrange the lettuce on the plates. Top with pecans, sliced apple and Brie wedges. Lay sliced blackened chicken over the salad and top with chipotle dressing. Enjoy!!

Try a fruity Sauvignon Blanc such as Dashwood or Brancott Estates with this delightful meal.


This is a recipe for a super simple, delicious and adaptable pizza that is great as an appetizer or an easy vegetarian dinner. It only works when tomatoes and basil are fresh. Continue Reading


This week’s recipe is short and sweet – and could possibly be the best grilled burger you’ve ever eaten.

We’re talking about bacon burgers here. That’s right – bacon in your burger. It’s really simple – just a magic ratio of ground chuck (about 80% lean is perfect) to bacon: 80% beef, 20% bacon.

If you have a meat grinder (they have some great hand cranked ones at Farm King), then roughly chop up the bacon and hand mix it with the ground beef, then run it through the grinder at the most course setting. If you don’t have a grinder, no worries. Just dice bacon into 1/4″ squares and mix in more thoroughly with the beef. Then form your patties (don’t forget to dimple them in the center if you are grilling out doors, so they are the shape of a red blood cell), about a third pound each works well.

Grill to the desired doneness, but not on too aggressive of a flame (the bacon fat might start a little fire), serve with your favorite condiments and then prepare yourself for the best bite of grilled burger you have ever had. You have been warned!

Hamburgers are the perfect meal for wine pairings. According to the sommelier from, choosing a wine to serve with the burger is is not so much about the meat than the toppings or condiments gracing it.

If you’re going to slather on ketchup, look for fruity wines or even sweet wines, since ketchup—not the burger itself—will be the dominant element. Off-dry rosés or even white wines with a touch of sweetness can work. Try Market Alley Wines Sofia Coppola Rose, Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc or Mo-Velt Gruner Veltliner.

If you’re eating the burger on its own, “nothing is better than a rich, sunny, southern red from Italy.” Try our spectaluar Torresella Nero D’Avola from Sicily. Scrumptious.

Having a side of coleslaw? “You’ll find great happiness in a Syrah-based wine from Southern France—a good Côtes du Rhône would be quite lovely.” Market Alley wines has two divine wines, Rhoning Stones Cotes du Rhone and M. Chapoutier 2009 Cotes-Du-Rhone. And hey, just because they are French, doesn’t make them expensive or scary. You might turn into a Jerry Lewis groupie but Market Alley Wines cannot be held responsible for your taste in “comedy.”