Fiesta Food: Spice Up Your Cookout This Fall


Fiesta Food: Spice Up Your Cookout this FallWhen you think of cookout weather and dining, what pops into your head? Burgers, hot dogs, watermelon and potato salad? Fresh berries, ice cream, and Popsicles? I love all of these foods, and they are some of the easiest and simplest treats to make on the fly for your own dinner or to share at a tailgate gathering.

Here are a couple of my favorite food staples that I could eat on repeat, until soup season rolls around.

Green Chili Burgers

  • 2-3 green chilies roasted on grill until skin is charred. Once cooled, remove skin and seeds. Slice chilies into strips.
  • Grill burgers and top with chili lime mayo, green chili strips, fresh avocado, sliced pepper jack cheese and fresh tomato.

Chili Lime Mayo

I make this super flavorful spread regularly and use it for a handful of dishes. It is especially tasty as the dressing for a potato salad, chicken salad, and/or sandwich spread.

  • 1/2- 1 cup mayo
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Dijon or whole grain mustard
  • Juice from 1 lime and 1 lemon (A little zest from each will make the flavor even more fresh).
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pulse in food processor or blender until combined. Don’t forget to serve margaritas or your favorite cold beer!

The Juiciest Fruit Salad

  • 1/2 -1 whole watermelon cut into large bite size cubes
  • 1 pint of sliced strawberries
  • 1 pineapple cut into large, bite-size pieces
  • Half a bag of green or red grapes (no cutting necessary)
  • 1 Pint of blueberries

If you happen to be a mint lover like me, tear up a handful of mint leaves and toss them in this salad to take the flavor to another level of awesome. The bursts of mint paired with the sweet fruit are so refreshing and yummy anytime of year. ( Have you ever tried fresh mint in your gin or vodka tonics?? No? Well, do it and thank me later).

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Not-Your-Average Potato Salad 

I love food packed with flavor and freshness, and potatoes are one ingredient that can be delicious alone or with butter, or blended with endless veggies and dressings. This recipe is simple and filled with some of my favorite flavors.

  • Start with boiling potatoes that are cut into large bite-size cubes.
  • While potatoes are cooking, shred 1-2 carrots.
  • Finely chop 1/2 red pepper
  • Finely chop handful of chives or another onion substitute


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon or whole grain mustard
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine in food processor or blender until smooth. Once potatoes are cooled, add chopped veggies and toss with balsamic dressing.

After you make this dish and share it with family and friends, you may struggle to have another forkful of plain potato salad again!

Don’t soak your salads: a public service announcement: Do you ever feel like you tend to use too much or too little dressing when you try to prepare a large bowl of salad? My recent “ah-ha” moment arrived when I realized that I didn’t need to coat every last piece of my salad before serving it. I just need to make sure I coated about every other piece in the dish, allowing for the actual food to be tasted with a burst of dressing.

What are some of your favorite cookout staples,  or are you already on to cool weather comfort foods? I’ve definitely got fall soups on my mind and can’t wait to share more recipes!

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Hello, I’m Anelia! Friends and family describe me as quirky, fun, optimistic, creative, and full of love. I'm a newlywed, Newmarket, NH, native who recently moved down the road to Lee with my dream man, Joe. We welcomed a beautiful baby boy Charlie just days after relocating and our lives and hearts have never been more full. I'm the oldest of three girls and took on the nurturer, big sister, caretaker role early on. Being a mom is my latest and greatest new adventure. My experience with childcare is lifelong, but even so, I was never fully prepared for the crazy, beautiful, scary, exhausting, and life-changing role of being a parent. You will generally find me cooking and entertaining for my loved ones or outside soaking up mother nature. All of these components combined are my #ultimate #joyrising #blissedout #favoritethings. I hope you enjoy hearing me share how I'm taking on parenting and being my quirky, fun, optimistic, creative, full-of-love self all at the same time!