Summer. I don’t know about you, but there is something so special and pure about the Summer.
Hell, think of all of the songs created in honor of this warm and wonderful season.
“Ain’t no cure for the Summertime blues.”, “Summer in the City”, “Surf City”, “Endless Summer Nights” “Surfin’ USA”, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and one of my favorites, “Summer Nights”, by Van Halen. If you haven’t heard it..get ready to blast it.
July 4th is Independence Day in the United States.
It celebrates the commemorating of the adoption of Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, stating that the 13 American colonies were no longer part of the British Empire and that the United States of America was born.
It also gives us the right to shoot off fireworks, attend awesome parades, drink beer and participate in some serious grilling.
Let us not, ever, downplay the freedom aspect of the holiday and the respect portion.
Don’t ever let my humor, sarcasm, amazing culinary skills, ninja-esque veggie chopping abilities, outrageously handsome and rugged stature make you think that I am diluting the holiday. Not a chance. I’m just enhancing it with the previously mentioned details…because we live in the most amazing country ever and have freedoms that should never be taken for granted.
Now on to the cooking……
Delicious, Red, Ripe Strawberries.
The Summer season for strawberry picking, strawberry eating and strawberry worship has officially begun and you are right in time to share the love.
So, grab a wicker basket, a napkin and take a walk with me as we pick the ripest, juiciest and most delectable berries you will ever taste and learn a thing or two along our walk.
There’s something about the warm weather that really makes me want to grill.
Is it that I love cooking outside?
Is it because when I’m cooking I feel that I am in my own private world?
Is it because there is that something so enjoyable about drinking a few Summer ales and creating something delicious that comes from your own yard?
I really don’t know the answer, I’ve never really looked into it that hard until now.
What I do know is that I have a full bag of charcoal, a full propane tank, some drinks in the cooler and lots of food ready to hit that sizzling steel grate…so let’s do this.
There’s a game I like to play every spring and summer evening when walking our dog: What’s on my neighbor’s menu.
It’s an adventure in olfactory exploration. One house has the charred and robust smell of slow smoked brisket, and another the garlicy aroma of vegetable kabobs. Perhaps there is the yeasty scent of grilled pizza and then the unmistakable smell of beer can chicken. Potatoes, corn, hot dogs, burgers – you name it. I can sniff it out with my nose.
Springtime is quite literally a magical time: It is a time of rebirth, awakening, and reemergence. We come out of our winter stupor, let go of our soups and our casseroles, and make way for fresh, crisp, vibrant foods that rise like a phoenix during the sunny spring days. It is the time of Farmer’s Markets and vegetable stands on the side of the road. It is the season of grass-fed beef, copper river salmon if you’re in the pacific northwest, or lobster if you’re on the east coast. It is the time to unleash all of the amazing ingredients that hid quietly and unassumingly during the winter months.
I love grilling for so many reasons. The cleanup is easy, the act is social, and there is something beautiful about cooking a meal with the wind blowing through your hair and the sun upon your face. Beyond that, grilling is a method of cooking that releases subtleties in flavor that simply sautéing, baking, or frying just cannot compete with.
If you want to maximize your spring and summer culinary game, just follow these easy steps:
- Talk to the farmer or butcher Some of the best meals start with the following phrase: “What would you recommend today?” Farmers and butchers are more artist than grocer. These are the people that know their produce and meats. They can tell you not only what is best in the bunch, but how best to prepare it.
- Get spicy Or herby. Whatever you choose, choose fresh. Use old coffee cans to grow your own herb garden and simple pick and choose your spices and herbs straight from the plant.
- Let your meat rest This is good advice anytime you are cooking meat, but it is crucial when grilling. The super heat of the grill can char and beautify a piece of meat, but without the proper rest time, your grilled meat will be an utter disappointment.
And if you’re looking for inspiration, I encourage you to walk through your neighborhood and follow your nose: You never know what inspiration you might find.
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and on Instagram #thefooduluv
Oh, to be asparagus: One of the most vilified vegetables of the bunch. Next to broccoli and Brussel sprouts, asparagus continues to be one of the most misunderstood and underutilized greens in the garden……but not for long.
We’re taking it back to the top, gang.
Spring has sprung.
Birds are singing their anthems…
The flowers are sweet and fragrant…
The sun is shining bright early in the morning…
The landscapers are in the backyard at 7 am waving their leaf blowers around like light sabers..
And the pollen count is already high….
But, that also means that farm stand fruits and veggies are on the menu, fresh seafood is at the market and we’re cooking outside more often, so get ready for a marinade that will not only be synonymous with the nice weather but will also be known as your favorite go-to recipe.
Enter: The Only Marinade You Will Ever Need.
It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, a high quality olive oil, a fragrant selection of dry and fresh herbs make this marinade the flavor of warm weather.
The zesty lemon, rich oil and delicious herbs compliment almost anything that you marinate, baste and brush this on.
Check out the recipe below in the Recipe Card section!
Spread the Love!
and on Instagram #thefooduluv
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic-about 2-3 large cloves
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from one lemon
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk together lemon juice, oregano, parsley, dill, garlic, tablespoon salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon zest in a large bowl and add oil in a slow stream, whisking while you pour.
- Perfect for chicken, seafood, meat or your favorite fresh veggies.
I don’t think I know of a single living soul that doesn’t LOVE mozzarella.
Think about it…
Have you ever heard someone say..“Yeah, gimmie a slice and hold the cheese.” ????
NO! You haven’t! I can almost guarantee it.
In fact, I hit the streets to ask what the favorite topping was on pizza, from the every day person, and guess what the answer was?
I also asked people what were your favorite cheese’s and the 1st responses were always..yup, you guessed it.
And finally, I asked..”What is the best cheese to eat when you have tomatoes and basil or want to cut it into sticks and fry it?
The answer. You know it baby…Mozzarella again.
( Thanks Mom and Dad)
I loooovvveee fresh oysters.
The variety, the different flavors, the history.
The only thing I don’t love about them are shucking them.
Oysters are like women.
(Angry women unfriending my Facebook page in 3..2..1)
They are sensual,beautiful, and totally worth the effort.
They are unique, stand out in a crowd and are desired by many.
They also may be difficult and unforgiving at times.
And yup, You may walk away with a few scars at the end of the day..but still it’s worth it.
Shucking an oyster is something that must practiced with care. It’s takes time to be a pro, so don’t rush it….or that beautiful, significant other will be rushing you to the ER, because you rushed that shucking knife into the palm of your hand. Or will she….
Now shuck on!
- 1 (36 ounce) bottle ketchup. The good stuff.
- 3 tablespoons Peter Luger steak sauce ( or other high quality sauce)
- 4 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper ( freshly cracked)
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for, ideally, an hour before serving so that all of the flavors and mix perfectly together.
Oh yeah, St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th, and that can only mean one thing.
Getting drunk at 9 am?? No…….well, maybe..but it’s a “day for wearing of the green” and other kick-ass Irish traditions, like making Irish soda bread, watching the parade on tv, listening to Irish music and ..ok, perhaps getting drunk early in the morning.
Many of you don’t know that St. Patrick was not even born in Ireland, in fact..it is said that he may have been,,,ugh..don’t shoot the messenger, Italian. Yup.
Waiter…extra whiskey in my coffee please.
So before you start drinking green beer and dancing with strangers make sure that you gather up all of your ingredients and ready to have the most delicious corned beef and cabbage that you have ever had.