Simple Recipes

Simple Recipe: Marinades For Memorial Day Grilling!

SSD Grill MarinadesMarinades are a perfect way to take the toughness out of a piece of meat, as well as add flavor and moistness to a dish. Simple Solutions Diva has gathered some great marinades, as well as one, flavorful rub, that will add a kick to your Memorial Day grilling!

(If you need suggestions for types of beef that are tasty alternatives to more expensive cuts, check out this other post: Click Here.)

Simple Meat Marinade #1: (“Mike’s Marinade” – from my local Publix Meat Manager)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cooking sherry
  • 1/3 sugar
  • Fresh Ginger Root (about 1-2 inches), peeled and sliced
  • Meat of Choice (approx. 2-3 lbs.)

Combine all ingredients, except the meat, in a large, gallon-sized plastic bag.  Add meat, seal, place in refrigerator, and let marinate at least 8 hours (even better after 24 hours!).

Remove meat and place on preheated grill – grill to your perfect temperature!


Simple Meat Marinade #2: (Adapted from recipe by Simple Solutions Diva)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (fresh is always best, but I use Spice World’s Minced Garlic in the jar – tastes a little mellower to me)
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Steaks of choice


Add and  mix all ingredients (except steaks) in gallon-sized, ziplock plastic bag.  Add steaks and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. (The longer, the better- even overnight would be terrific!)

Grill steaks to your degree of perfection! Enjoy!


Simple Fish Marinade: (From

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (6 oz.) fillets halibut


Assemble garlic, oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley in a stainless steel or glass bowl.

Place fish in a shallow glass pan or large plastic bag; add mixture to the fish and coat.  Seal or cover and place in refrigerator for one hour, turning occasionally.

Grilling – Preheat the grill on high heat and lightly coat the grill grates with olive oil.

Remove the fish from marinade, allowing them to drain slightly.  Add them to the grill; grill for approximately 5 minutes per side until fish is easily flaked with a fork.


Simple Chicken Marinade: (From Simple Solutions Diva!)

This has been a favorite with my kids for years.  Just enough flavor, but not overpowering.

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Ken’s Steak House Lite Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 tablespoons minced garlic)
  • 6 chicken breasts (I use boneless, but this is just as good with bone-in)


Assemble all ingredients (except chicken) in a large plastic bag or shallow glass dish.  Thoroughly mix together.  Add chicken breasts and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Grill chicken as desired, basting with remaining marinade halfway through.


Asian Flair Pork Tenderloin Dry Rub: (From Simple Solutions Diva)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Pork Tenderloin (approx. 2 lbs.)


Combine all spices in a bowl and mix together.  With a dry hand, rub the spice mixture on both sides of the pork tenderloin.  Lightly spray the pork tenderloin with olive oil spray, and then place on preheated grill (do not spray after pork is on grill – or you will have a flame thrower!).  Grill tenderloin (turning halfway through) until instant meat thermometer inserted into the pork reads the inside temperature is at least 145 degrees.


Simple Recipe: Quick Margherita Pizza

Quick Pizza Margherita (Photo Credit: Randy Mayor; Katie Stoddard on
Photo Credit: Randy Mayor; Katie Stoddard

My absolute favorite pizza is Margherita Pizza – it is just the pure basics: Thin crust, slices of ripe plum tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar.  So when I saw this recipe for Meatless Monday on, I knew I had to share it!  This recipe is so simple, it is perfect to put your kids in charge, with an assist from you!


  • 1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll crust onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 13×11-inch rectangle.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

Remove crust from oven, and brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Rub crust with cut sides of garlic.

Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk.

Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza. Cut pizza into 8 pieces. Enjoy!

(Originated from Cooking Light, December 2002)

Simple Cocktails: Kick-Off Summer with Memorial Day Cocktails!

Everyone loves summer, and with the first official weekend of summer approaching, it is time to break out those blenders and shakers! Simple Solutions Diva has gathered some favorites together for your cocktail menu consideration!


Mojito Cocktail (Photo Credit:
Mojito Cocktail (Photo Credit:
  • 6 Mint leaves
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar, boiled until thickened. Cool for use)
  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 oz White rum
  • 1.5 oz Club soda
  • Mint Sprig Garnish

In a shaker, lightly muddle the mint. Add the simple syrup, lime juice and rum, and fill with ice. Shake well and pour (unstrained) into a highball glass. Top with the club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

Recipe Credit:


Margaritas By The Pitcher

Margaritas By The Pitcher (Photo Credit:
Margaritas By The Pitcher (Photo Credit:
  • 10 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 14 oz Cointreau (orange flavored liquor)
  • 3.5 oz Agave syrup or simple syrup
  • 22 oz Tequila
  • Lime Wedge Garnish

For this recipe you need a 52-ounce pitcher. First, add the fresh lime juice and then the Cointreau. Have a taste—it should still be a bit tart. You can add a little more Cointreau but not much.

Adjust the sweetness with a little agave syrup (two parts agave nectar, one part water) or simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water) but don’t use more Cointreau, which would change the balance of the drink.

Add the tequila and taste. The mixture should still be intense, because you haven’t added any ice yet.

When a guest wants a drink, pour 3 ounces of the mix into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a stemmed Margarita or cocktail glass with a half-salted rim or a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.

Garnish with a thin wheel of lime. If you have a large shaker or a gallon jar with a screw-top you can shake a whole bunch of drinks at the same time.

Recipe Credit:


Strawberry Sangria

Strawberry Sangria (Adapted from Fraîche restaurant) Photo Credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times
Strawberry Sangria (Adapted from Fraîche restaurant) Photo Credit: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 16 ripe strawberries, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 4 ounces premium vodka
  • 8 ounces California Pinot Noir

Combine the lime juice and sugar in a small heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then immediately reduce the heat to very low and simmer about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Divide the strawberries among 4 old-fashioned glasses. Sprinkle equal amounts of balsamic vinegar over them (it’ll be just a few drops in each, about one-eighth teaspoon). Divide the Grand Marnier among them, and muddle the ingredients in each glass.

Fill each glass about two-thirds full with ice, then pour equal amounts vodka over the ice in each. Add one-half ounce of the simmered lime juice to each glass. Pour equal amounts of the wine into each glass, then stir gently and serve.

Recipe Credit: Recipe Adapted by LA Times from bar chef Albert Trummer at Fraîche.


Simple Recipe: Grilled Asparagus



I LOVE asparagus! And grilling it just makes it that much better to my taste buds.  You can use the oil mixture in this recipe for any vegetables you would like to grill; adjust the timing based on the thickness of the veggie!


16 stalks fresh asparagus (no canned allowed)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon each of the following (omit what you don’t like!):  Black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika (I used smoked paprika), and chipotle powder.

1 small block of Parmigiano-Reggiano (enough to get 20-30 slivers of shaved cheese)

1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar (I used a fig-infused balsamic in mine.)

3 tablespoons of crumbled, cooked prosciutto (optional)


Remove dried ends of asparagus. Wash and dry asparagus and place into a large, gallon-sized, plastic baggie.

In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, kosher salt and the ¼ teaspoons of all the spices. Pour the oil mixture into the plastic bag with the asparagus. Seal bag and coat asparagus with oil mixture. Set aside until ready to grill.

Grilled Asparagus:

Heat grill and use either a veggie grill tray or a large disposable tin foil tray, to prevent the vegetables from falling into the grill. Once heated, add the asparagus to the tray and grill until cooked to your preference.

Remove asparagus to a serving platter. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, cheese shavings, and crumbled prosciutto. Serve immediately.

Serves two adults (my kids won’t touch it, so more for me! Yay!)

To find a veggie grill tray, Click Here: Vegetable Grill Tray

Simple Recipe: Easy Brie/Apple/Caramelized Onion Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls Stuffed with Brie/Apple/Caramelized Onions


I am always looking for simple recipes for foods I know I love.  In my book, there is nothing better than apples and brie together. So when I found this recipe on the website, Kasey’s Kitchen, I knew I had to include it!  I know it will make’s  Simple Holiday Survival Video Series in November 2013!  It also would be a great little appetizer for kids to make and serve for a Mother’s Day Brunch (with help from an adult, of course!)!


  • 1 Green Apple (I love Granny Smith), thinly sliced
  • 1 small brie round, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 roll of crescent rolls
  • 1/2 sweet vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • brown sugar
  • cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onions in cooking spray until translucent.  Add a sprinkle of brown sugar and set aside.

Roll out crescent dough, separate into pieces (it is usually perforated for you).

Lay 2 slices of apple, 1 slice/wedge of brie and small spoonful of onion mixture onto dough and roll it up.

Place onto lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve on their own, or try it with a dab of cranberry relish! Enjoy!


Simple Recipe: Easy Chicken Pad Thai

Easy Chicken Pad Thai


I LOVE Thai food, especially Pad Thai, but I never try to make it at home.  Well, now I have a recipe that is easy and I’m going to try out!  It is from Kasey’s Kitchen website (a very cute website worth checking out!).  Hope you enjoy it, too!


  • 2 Chicken Breasts, ground or chopped
  • 1 Package Rice Noodles or Thai Noodles (Kasey used Nasoya’s Pasta Zero noodles)
  • 1 Egg, scrambled
  • 1 Tbs. Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • water
  • honey
  • Dash of sweet chili sauce (optional)
  • frozen edamame
  • green onions, chopped


Cook the chicken through in a little wok oil or coconut oil.  Cook your noodles according to their package directions and set aside.  You want them to dry out a little bit before adding them into your dish.

Add in your scrambled egg and let it cook with the chicken.

Add peanut butter, soy sauce and a drizzle of honey for the chicken and eggs. Mix thoroughly and then add a bit of water to thin out the sauce. At this point, throw in the edamame and let simmer.

Add in noodles and a little sweet chili sauce if you would like.


Pile high in a large dish, top with sliced green onions

(Thanks, Kasey, for letting me repost this here on Simple Solutions Diva! Photo Courtesy of Kasey’s Kitchen.)

Simple Recipe: Creamy White Chicken Chili


I wish I could say I developed this recipe, but credit goes to a group of women in my neighborhood who have an annual Soup Cook Off Competition. This recipe was a winner one year – It is yummy, slightly creamy, and just plain simple to make! Hope you enjoy!

Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola il
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
  • 2 can (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream



In a large saucepan, saute the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Add sour cream and cream in last five minutes of cooking.  Serve with shredded cheese and hot sauce (both optional).  Enjoy!

Simple Cocktails: Roy’s Hawaiian Martini (Large Batch)

Everyone loves a good cocktail recipe, and this one is a doozie! It is a favorite in our household for parties, and it is large batch version of Roy’s Hawaiian Martini Recipe!  I got this recipe from a few years ago, and I LOVE IT!

Here is the recipe!

WARNING: Remind guests that the pineapple is also marinated in the alcohol!  You don’t want them giving it to the kids!

My birthday drink of choice several years ago!
Roy’s Hawaiian Martini: Simple Solutions Diva’s birthday drink of choice several years ago!

Roy’s Hawaiian Martini

Yield: approximately 12 (4-ounce) servings

  • 1-1/2 (750 mL) bottles Skyy Vodka (or 4-1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 (750 mL) bottle Malibu Rum (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 bottle Stolichnaya Vanil (3/4 cup)
  • 1 pineapple cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Layer the pineapple wedges into the jar. Pour in the remaining ingredients and allow the pineapples to marinate for at least two days. To serve, ladle approximately 4 ounces of the liquor into a stainless steel shaker half filled with ice. Shake 30 times, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of marinated pineapple and enjoy!


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