Summertime and the Eatin’ is Easy

As much as I enjoy cooking, summertime finds me spending less and less time in the kitchen–mostly because I’m an avid hammock swinger, a skill I strive to perfect more and more every day!

Hammock hobby aside, the heat is sometimes a factor, especially if I’m enjoying my windows wide open instead of  running the a/c.  But, also, summertime is a time for being outside, for lazing about reading and talking, for cloud gazing, for watering flowers and going for ice cream…for generally not thinking deep about much of anything.

Most of the time we tend to eat lighter during the summer months, preferring crisp salads and cool sandwiches. Not always, though, for I have been known to whip up a comforting chicken n dumplins meal any ol’ time it suits me or someone I love! Food equals comfort around these parts. *nods* In decent weather we can often be found out on the back porch, grilling up good food, oftentimes making extra to eat in the day or two to come. For us, grilling is a family affair–we gather and hang out together,soaking up summertime.

Grilling can be as simple as burgers n hotdogs or any meats n veggies even pizza and fruit–the internet and food tv shows are full of tips n tricks for just about anything on the grill. Our latest thing for the grill around here is foil packets of goodness. So easy in both cooking and cleaning up!

Making a foil packet is simple:
*spread a large sheet of foil–heavy duty or regular foil double layered–on the table/countertop
*spray with nonstick spray if the foil is not the new nonstick kind
*place ingredients in the center of the foil
*fold sides to seal–being sure to leave room for steam

**courtesy of Food Network**

What exactly do we put in said foil packets you ask? Here are a few ideas, some we’ve tried n others that look promising:

*Potatoes-our favorite way to do taters on the grill is to cut them into small chunks and toss with garlic powder, ranch powder, a bit of parsley and lots of butter. The grill timing on these varies according to the thickness of the taters. Other tater options are cheesy taters, done with butter, cheese, salt n pepper n a bit o cream drizzled atop or adding bacon to either of the above recipes.

*Salmon-a currently popular recipe for us: put the salmon fillet on the foil and cover with a dijon/yogurt sauce, sprinkle with dill and lemon pepper then grill for about 10-12 minutes. The sauce is literally just dijon mustard and plain yogurt mixed well together. I’m not very adventurous with the salmon, so that’s the only recipe we’ve made thus far.

*Sausage n Peppers-for this one I slice sausages, peppers and onions and toss with add olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for about 12 minutes or so and enjoy.I’ve made sandwiches with these as well as just eating them right out of the foil packet.

*Veggie Toss-I like to take a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and squash, add olive oil or butter plus salt n pepper and grill. I know a lot of folks say grilling asparagus in foil with olive oil, salt n pepper is good. We’re not asparagus fans, but you might be. I see many fans of grilled corn across food tv and food blogs. I’ve never tried it, preferring a quick microwave of my corn, wrapped in a damp paper towel, right in its husk, silks and all, but how could grilled corn be a bad thing?  Just about any vegetables are great done this way, pick your favorites and give ’em a go.

*Apple Dumplings-this is one I have yet to try but want to very soon–take cored apples and stuff with a mixture of butter and brown sugar, maybe some nutmeg and cinnamon too, wrap each apple in pie dough and then foil. Grill for about 30 minutes–turning a few times along the way. I saw a version of this one in Food Network magazine recently and have plans to try it very soon!

The possibilities of grilling food in foil are nearly endless, so many delicious combinations just waiting for that sizzling grill. It’s all about eating good, keeping cool and soaking up summertime!