Sunday, May 31, 2009

Savory Summer

Does anyone else associate specific foods with different seasons? I certainly do, and I adore summertime food.

We (okay, the hubby) fired up the grill this weekend. Friday night, he grilled bratwurst in honor of Curly Girl's return home from Germany. Tonight, we enjoyed burgers (Don't freshly grilled burgers always taste the best?) and corn on the cob (yum! yum! yum!). We'll also probably toss London Broil on the grill a lot during the summer. I would love to try a great grilled shrimp recipe. Does anyone have one to contribute?

I have to confess, though, that I have absolutely no idea how to fire up, use, or clean the grill. In the past few years, I have only touched our grill to move it around on the deck. Perhaps, I'll actually learn how to use the appliance this summer. I really need to know how to grill because I am currently at Patrick's mercy of being home and in the mood to grill out. I did purchase the grill a few years ago (with my winnings from an NCAA basketball pool), so I probably should figure out how to use it.

I also absolutely love summertime desserts. Really, I love any desserts- major sweet tooth over here- but I associate several of my favorite recipes with summertime. For a chocolate fix, I concoct Oreo cookie cake and, when I have a hankering for fruit, I whip up a fantastic sugar-free strawberry shortcake (Oooh, I think I'll swing by the farmer's market for some strawberries, so I can whip this up.).

I'm also very certain that I'll make an apple pie or two this summer. My husband, who once claimed he did not like pies, will most certainly request one for his birthday in mid-August. Long, long ago when we were dating, I tried to impress Patrick with my homemade apple pie. Not wanting to hurt my feelings or his chances, he didn't tell me that he had no interest in eating any meal with a crust. (I so don't get this. The crust is my favorite part of pies, chicken pie, and pizza.) Anyway, he bravely ate my homemade apple pie and loved it, perhaps it is the fact that the pie has an oatmeal topping rather than a crust on it.

This afternoon, I whipped up a batch of no-bake granola bars. They're yummy and very easy. Patrick and the kids insist on calling them no-bake cookies, though. I guess that means that Patrick, Curly Girl,and Car Guy can only have them for dessert or snack since they are cookies, and I can eat the treats at breakfast since I think I made granola bars. See, it's all in the semantics. What do you think- cookies or granola bars? I did slice them into bars, so that may not be a fair question.

I do have one issue with summertime cooking, though. No, it's not my lack of fruits and vegetables. I know it's horrible, distasteful, poor parenting, whatever that I don't like green food or most fruit (Strawberries dipped in chocolate are one of my favorite things, though), but I've survived this long without all the vitamins, so I think I can make it a bit longer. Anyway, I really need some ideas for pool food. We hit the pool almost every day during the summer, and I get soooo tired of packing pb&js. If you have any great ideas for snacks and easy meals to take to the pool, I would love to hear them.

Have a great summer! See you at the pool!

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