Al Fresco Dining in Chef Alli's Kitchen!

I may be a Chef, but that doesn’t mean that I always want to start up my oven or stovetop in order to get a great meal on the table… especially in the summer months! If you’re like me, al fresco (FRESH!) dining is the way to go! Below you’ll find an assortment of ideas for making dinnertime fresh and fast without all the fuss using one of my favorite ingredients- CHEESE!

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Wined Blackberries Over Baked Brie

Wined Blackberries Over Baked Brie1 Brie round, 8 oz., in wooden box
6 oz. fresh blackberries
½ c. red wine (I like to use Flying Monkey from Oz Winery or Sunflower Red from KC Wine Co)
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
Place blackberries into a bowl and sprinkle with sugar; let set for 10 minutes, then add wine to berries. Let berries rest for AT LEAST 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Unwrap Brie and cut top rind off; place trimmed cheese into the lid of the box.
Place box of Brie onto a baking sheet and bake, uncovered, for 11-12 minutes; remove from oven and spoon prepared berries over Brie, drizzling with any remaining wine in the berry bowl.
Serve at once with toasted baguette slices.

Creamy Goat Cheese with Red Pepper Jelly 

Place a softened log (or two!) of your favorite goat cheese onto a serving platter. Warm a jar of Grandma Hoerner’s Red Pepper Jelly a bit, then pour desired amount over goat cheese logs. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Hey Honey! Easy Summer Cheese Platter

Place your favorite assortment of hard cheeses onto a platter or cheese board. (I like to make sure to include a good sharp cheddar from Alma Creamery and a nice, nutty Parmesan or Romano.)
Use a shallow bowl for honey (such as Kansas Wildflower Honey from Wilson, Ks) placing the bowl amidst the cheeses so guests know it is to be used for the cheese. Or, make a honey “smear” by placing a pool of honey right onto the cheese platter or board, allowing guests to dip their cheese pieces into the honey. So dang delicious!

Tomato and Mozzarella Platter with Fresh Herbs 

Assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced (my Grandma would say the skins should be removed as well!)
Fresh mozzarella slices
Fresh mozzarella pearls
Fresh thyme and fresh basil
Good balsamic vinegar
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Arrange tomato slices on a large platter with fresh mozzarella slices and pearls; garnish with fresh herbs. Serve alongside balsamic vinegar and olive oil to allow guests to customize their own tomato salads to taste.

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

**These recipes were featured as part of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen on WIBW 13 News, June 2017. Special thanks to the farmers and ranchers of the Kansas Farm Bureau for making this segment possible! For more information on the events shared in this segment, visit!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. It may also contain “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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