Find out Why Cooking Personality & International Brand Ambassador David Olson is excited to bring his Uber-Popular Food Blog to Television!
David Olson’s blog,, features cooking tips and recipes under the juicy title Black Book of Recipes. David will bring some of these mouthwatering delicacies to life in making your audience’s Independence Day and summer entertaining season as memorable as ever!
David is a nationally recognized award-winning recipe developer, grill master and media personality. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, FOX, The Weather Channel, and on Tailgate Radio. David is also a volunteer little league coach and loves travelling the world—his favorite souvenirs are authentic cooking ideas and recipes.

THE FINEST FROM FARM-TO-TABLE:  What’s in your garden?
TOP GRILLING TRENDS: What’s “HOT” on the grill this season?

web_burpee_logoMy favorite secrets is simple going from farm to table. Growing your own vegetables and herbs is a great way to ensure you have flavorful, bright and nutritious veggies on the table. Burpee’s 2015 collection features quick harvesting vegetables perfect for growing in any space, big or small. These on-trend vegetables will have you pickling, grilling and snacking, straight from the vine.

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Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Margarita
Enjoy a taste of Mexico with fresh cucumbers and peppers straight from your patio.

Ingredients: 4 pickling cucumbers, sliced into ¼ inch rounds; 1-2 medium-heat or sweet peppers, quartered; 2 limes; 4 oz. tequila; 2 oz. fresh lime juice; 2 oz. Agave or Simple Syrup; Salt (optional)
Directions: Muddle limes, cucumbers, peppers and salt. Combine ¼ cup of cucumber mixture with remaining ingredients in cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 60 seconds. Chill for 2-3 hours (optional).  Strain liquid into an ice-filled glass rimmed with salt. Use additional peppers or cucumbers as garnish.
Garden Fresh Drinkables
Adding vegetables and herbs make beverages more beautiful and add delicious and delicate flavor.
Directions: Infuse a pitcher of water with the following flavor combos: Cucumber and Mint; Watermelon and Basil; Strawberry and Basil; or kick up your lemonade with a sprig of Thyme or Lavender.

Dill Pickle Spears
burpee1These are a snap to make. You can double the recipe if you have plenty of cucumbers.
Ingredients: 12 pickling cucumbers; 1 large clove garlic; 6 sprigs fresh leaf dill; 4 cups water; 1/4 cup white vinegar; 1/8 cup kosher salt; 1 tsp. whole pickling spices
Directions: Clean the pickling cucumbers and cut into quarters lengthwise. Place in a glass jar; add the garlic and fresh leaf dill. Make brine by bringing to a boil the water, white vinegar, kosher salt, and pickling spices. Pour brine over cucumbers, filling jar 1 inch above the top of the spears. Cover and refrigerate. Ready to eat after 1 week, and will continue to pickle slightly as they sit.

Tomato Tart
burpee2These quick, easy and eye catching tarts showcase a number of garden vegetables and will leave your guests asking for seconds!

Ingredients:  1-2 cups of Cherry Punch (or similar) tomatoes, 1 cup of arugula; 2 ½ cups of flour; 1 cup of butter; 5 tbsp. of ice water; 2 cups of goat cheese; 1 cup of chives; 1 whole lemon for the zest; 1 tsp. of salt; 4 tbsp. of cream; ¼ of shallot brunoise; 3 tsp. of chopped garlic; 2 tbsp. of picked thyme; ¼ cup of honey; ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley; 1 ½ cups of red wine vinaigrette; 2 ½ cups of grape seed oil

Directions: To make the brisses place the flour and butter in a robocoup until chopped together, add in the water until the dough comes together. Knead once to bring together and then place in the fridge to rest for an hour. For the goat cream place goat cheese, chives, lemon zest, salt and cream in the globe mixer with a paddle and mix evenly. Lastly for the honey-thyme vinegar mix together shallot brunoise, chopped garlic, thyme, honey, chopped parsley, red wine vinaigrette and grape seed oil until there is no separation of ingredients. Then after your brisses have set spread the goat cheese and add honey thyme vinegar. Top with sliced or cubed tomatoes and greens.

Patio Baby Baba Ganoush
burpee3Roasted garden fresh eggplants give soft and smoky flavor to this dish.

Ingredients:  2 large or 6-8 baby eggplants; 5 garlic cloves smashed; ½ lemon, juiced; 1 ½ tbsp. tahini sauce; 1 tbsp. olive oil; 1 tsp. salt; ½ tsp. of sumac (optional as a garnish); ½ jalapeno chopped and seeded (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut slits throughout the eggplant. Grill for approximately 15-20 minutes or until eggplants blacken and blister. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15-20 minutes. Let cool, peel and discard skin. Place eggplant flesh and ingredients into food processor or mash with a fork into a paste. Drizzle with olive oil and top with sumac or parsley for color. Serve with pita bread, crackers or other garden fresh vegetables.

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Pfooterlogoeanuts and peanut butter! There's nothing better than a bowl of peanuts to snack on while your guests are talking and having a beer. Peanuts are a crunchy, salty snack with lots of protein so everyone will feel satisfied while they're waiting on the main event to come off the grill. These new Planters flavors are amazing too if you're looking for something a little different. Peanut butter is a great ingredient to add flavor and nutritional benefit to your dipping and grilling sauces. We have a Southwestern Peanut-Cilantro Dipping Sauce here for our beautiful veggies and Beef Kabobs with Peanut Sauce. You can find these recipes and more at

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Southwestern Peanut-Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Peanut-Cilantro-Dipping-Sauce1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons mild salsa verde
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the peanut butter, salsa verde, water, sour cream and sugar in a blender. Process until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and stir in cilantro. Serve with fresh veggies, chips or as a dip for grilled chicken, pork or shrimp.

To store, cover tightly and refrigerate up to three days.

Beef Kabobs with Peanut Sauce

Beef-Kabobs-with-Peanut-Sauce_lowres-300x2001 pound beef fillet cut into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 small onion, grated
1 cup coconut milk
8 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

Mix curry powder, sesame oil, lime juice, 1 tbsp of the light brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of the chili powder, and 1tbsp of the soy sauce in a bowl. Add in the beef cubes and toss to evenly coat beef. Cover and leave in fridge to marinate from 30 minutes to overnight. Just before you are ready to cook the beef, mix the remaining 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp brown sugar, onion, coconut milk and peanut butter in saucepan. Stir the sauce frequently over medium heat until simmering. Cover and remove from heat, but keep warm. Thread beef cubes on skewers that have soaked in water. Broil or grill kabobs. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.