Throw some shrimp on the barbie

It's Memorial Day weekend! A week's worth of heat and humidity signals that summer has arrived in the swamp better known as D.C..  If the weather wasn't a good enough indication, the kettle corn, sweet smelling peonies and quart upon quart of strawberries for sale at the farmer's market today definitely suggests summer is upon us.  With summer comes bbq season, and I'm excited to kick start the grill tomorrow! If you're looking to spice up your bbq this weekend or supplement your traditional burgers and dogs, here are a few of my favorite summer recipes.

image from Martha Stewart

My go-to appetizer is this tomato and goat cheese tart from Martha Stewart.  I substitute caramelized onions for the leeks and use grainy mustard and a little Dijon mustard for kick.  I've also used pizza dough instead of puff-pastry in a pinch and think it might be fun to pre-bake the pizza dough and finish the tart on the grill.

My favorite grilled appetizer is one of the Pioneer Woman's; bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed jalapenos.  Trust me, they are as good as they sound. So simple, so delicious, so bacon-y.

I'm tough on summer sides as I am a card-carrying member of the I hate mayo club. Fortunately, my cousin has perfected an easy pasta salad that's both tasty and sans mayo.  To replicate, combine one box of cooked bow tie pasta, chopped peppers and red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, halved pepperonis, shredded mozzarella cheese and Wishbone Robusto Italian dressing to your preference in a bowl and serve.  Light, spicy and safe to leave in the heat!

Image from Color Me Delicious
Grilled vegetables are my other favorite side dish; asparagus with olive oil and garlic, zucchini sliced the long way sprinkled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or the summer staple: corn on the cob.  If you've never tried it grilled, try it! For something different add butter and Old Bay, or a squeeze of lime, cotija cheese and cilantro, or as I surprisingly enjoyed in east Texas years ago, butter and Parmesan cheese like popcorn!

Image from Baking Bites

Unlike mayo, I love dessert!  For summer baked goods, my favorite are these blueberry crumb bars from Smitten Kitchen.  Many people I know prefer Smitten's blueberry boy bait recipe  but I crumble for crumb bars. These (or any) s'more cookie bars are an incredible way to end the night. 

image from Smitten Kitchen
All of that eating and sunshine basking will probably make you thirsty so you should sip on iced tea made from this Berry Blossom tea or if you imbibe try the Vermontucky Lemonade also from Smitten Kitchen.  It's slightly labor intensive unless you have an electric juicer, but well worth it.  With that, cheers to a wonderful weekend! Be safe!


Angela said...

Ahhhhhh, s'mores cookie bars! They must be mine!

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