Sunday Cookout

After some light cleaning and a trip to the grocery store yesterday, Dave and I had some friends and family over for a cookout. It was the first day that it was uncomfortably hot (well, not for me!) and the air conditioning went on for my cold-loving husband.

005 It was still a gorgeous day outside, so we alternated going out and coming back in to cool off. The beer helped, too.

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I love this banana bread beer! We’ve only seen it at one store in Green Bay, so I’m not sure if it’s a new beer or not, but it’s so good.

Like me, Aurelia didn’t care that it was hot. My dad and sister took her for a walk, and she had fun playing in the creek to cool off, then had to change into a dry onesie that was laughingly big on her.

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Juice is good for cooling off, too.

Whenever it’s really hot, I like to make my summer garden couscous salad. It is so light and refreshing with the raw, juicy vegetables and parsley to brighten it. I was out of oregano (horror or horrors) and used a mix of basil and thyme instead, which worked just fine.

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For the first time ever, I actually roasted the ears of corn on the grill to add to the chicken salad—I usually just use canned corn, but the smell of grilled corn is much more satisfying.

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Also on the menu: Cornish game hens and chicken drumsticks, which got a lemon thyme marinade made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt, pepper, and thyme.

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Dave also made his famous ribs. Hopefully I can get his recipe for you guys soon. They are just tender, juicy, fall off the bone amazing, grilled or baked–a definite crowd pleaser.

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My brother Tyler and his girlfriend Nicole brought Bloody Mary fixin’s to the party and whipped up a batch for us all.

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I am picky about my Bloody Marys, but these were delicious, very tomatoey with just the right amount of kick.

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My dad is more of a beer-and-whiskey man than a mixed-drink man, but after tasting my sister Emily’s Bloody Mary, he wanted one of his own.

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Complete with an olive, pickle, string cheese, and beef stick, they certainly made great appetizers! While we grilled outside, red wine vinegar was cooling in the freezer for Alton Brown’s Grilled Romaine.

  • 2 hearts of romaine
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (the grated part is very important–if it’s shredded, it won’t stick!)

Place vinegar in shallow pan and place in the freezer. Allow the vinegar to freeze, approximately 2 hours. Once frozen, scrape with a fork to create a shaved ice texture. Return the vinegar to the freezer until ready to use.

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Cut each heart of romaine in half lengthwise so that the root keeps each piece together. Lightly brush the cut side of the romaine pieces with olive oil. Season with the pepper. Place the cheese in a shallow pan large enough to lay the romaine in and press the cheese firmly onto the cut side of the romaine until it adheres.

Cook over the grill, cheese side up, until the bottom leaves start to blacken and the cheese melts. Place the romaine, cheese side up. onto plates and sprinkle with the vinegar ice. Serve immediately.

Recipe from the Food Network

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Grilled Romaine is fun to do, because it’s such a unique side, and it’s surprisingly delicious. In Alton’s original recipe, he suggests cooking the romaine in a pan over the grill, cheese side down, but most of the reviews said the cheese stuck to the pan. I think this tastes just as good directly on the grill. Last time, we grilled the romaine with just the olive oil and pepper, then sprinkled Parmesan and red wine vinegar on afterwards, and it was also very tasty.

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Inside…

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Outside…

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Dinner. All together: couscous salad, ribs, grilled romaine, a chicken drumstick, and a couple sauteed lemon garlic mushrooms. Grill dinners are the best, and family and friends make Sundays even better.

Next weekend, Dave and I are headed up north with a few friends, and I’m very excited. But first, it’s time to get through another work week. The fun weekends we’ve been having certainly bookend them nicely.

Hope you had a great weekend as well!

 

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