Ah, the start of summer, that time of year in which you dust off the grill, vacuum out the cobwebs, scare away any critters who have taken up residence over the winter (including one black widow, yikes!), clean the grates, turn on the gas, and realize your starter doesn't work.
So you use a match, and for some reason that grill. Will. Just. Not. Get. Hot. Enough.
So you start over with the Weber and some charcoal, and grill a batch of beautiful skirt steak skewers that were marinating the whole time you were futzing with the equipment.
And they are so perfect and delicious that you don't care about the broken starter that needs to get fixed or your close call with a black widow. Like a Homer Simpson thought bubble, all you can think about is steak so goooooood.
In the mood for some red, white, and blue? How about red, white, and blue nachos, with blue corn tortilla chips!
I've always loved blue corn tortilla chips. I don't know if it's my mind playing tricks on me, but I think they taste better than regular tortilla chips. Maybe because they're less industrial and have more flavor than the corn we get these days?
Whatever, the chips taste great and make a delightfully blue canvas for our white cheese sauce and chicken, and (mostly) red fresh pico de gallo salsa.
Looking for a crowd pleasing-appetizer? Make bacon-wrapped shrimp! Kinda ridiculously good.
I blame the bacon.
Seriously, this one is really easy and crazy good. Bacon and shrimp make a very happy couple. For this recipe we are coating the shrimp with some lime and chili powder, and then wrapping them in slices of bacon, and either oven baking or putting on the grill.
Here are a couple of tips that can help make these even better.
Is it hot where you are? We've had an unseasonably cool several days, but the weather reports assure us that that's about to change.
This sesame noodle salad is a perfect cold noodle salad for a hot day. Make the noodles and the dressing ahead of time and let the noodles soak in all the flavor from the dressing (sesame oil, honey, soy sauce).
Have an abundance of blueberries? When they are in season you really have to enjoy them while you can, right? Here is a lovely blueberry cake that makes the most of fresh blueberries (though you can use frozen if you want).
In fact, it almost seems like there is more blueberry than cake in this cake; that's a problem I can live with!
With tropical fruit like mangoes and kiwi, you've got to eat the fruit just at the right time of ripeness. Under-ripe kiwi is suck-your-face-in-puckery-sour and over-ripe mangoes are blah and mushy.
So what to do with imperfect fruit? Slightly cook them for a warm, tropical fruit salsa, "Floribbean" style. (Yeah, it's a dumb name, but restaurants in Florida use it all the time. It basically means Florida + Caribbean style, if you haven't guessed already. These days, it really just refers to a tropical dish.)