Browse Category by Quick and Easy
Healthy side dish, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Picnic Season Is Here! Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed!

picnic dish

Picnic season is here again! Whether you’re gathering around a pool, lake, beach or park, you’re gonna need to contribute some food, so why not take a picnic dish that’s awesomely delicious and one that can stand the heat?


I’ve developed some recipes with specific ingredients that can withstand the heat, and I’m talkin’ Texas heat. These picnic dishes easy-make-ahead dishes that complement any type of picnic–fried chicken, barbecue, shrimp boil–you name it! And some can be served as appetizers or even desserts.

When you subscribe here to SmartyPantsKitchen, I’ll send you four recipes in a snap. It’s as simple as that! You’re welcome to share them with your friends, or keep them as your own little secret (I won’t tell!)

These recipes are not available anywhere else… so whatcha’ waiting for? NEXT WEEKEND is MEMORIAL DAY!

Hope to see you in the kitchen!

Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy, Tapas

Grilled Lamb Loins

lamb loin

Grilled lamb loins are the perfect choice as an appetizer or a tapas dish for your next get-together! Quick and easy to prepare, lamb loins go with just about anything! 

lamb loin

Grilled lamb loins are perfect when entertaining! Big or small, hosting a party can be challenging, particularly when it comes to the menu. As a host, you have to consider not only the personalities of your guests, but also their food personalities, likes and dislikes. When I entertain, I always try to have an assortment of snacks that include a protein, a vegetarian and vegan dish. This is one of my “go-to” protein appetizers that is always a hit!

lamb loin

While lamb is not the most inexpensive protein, it is ideal if you have a small gathering and want to impress! If you’re on a budget, buy lamb loins when they’re on sale or in the manager’s reduced section and freeze them. Every time they’re on sale, buy one package…until you accumulate enough to accommodate your party. Keep in mind that the lamb loin is not an entree here, merely an appetizer or part of a tapas plate.


Lamb is a better quality of protein than beef. It does cost a little more, but if you prepare it properly, a little bit of a great thing goes a long way. Three ounces of lamb loin provides a host of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Lamb is loaded with B Vitamins, as well as those minerals we don’t think of: phosphorous, selenium, copper, zinc and potassium.

Americans don’t consume a lot of lamb, probably because of the cost, or perhaps the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”…. Continue Reading