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!

Summertime Senses

Lately I find myself thinking ‘Oh I SO want to remember this’ several times a day, over and over. Ordinary happenings feel exquisitely extraordinary, full-color and fleeting. I’ve no idea why and am not inclined to analyze, only experience.

Part of experiencing every moment, for me, is taking pictures. Without further ado–because this extraordinary, beautiful life can bring me to some seriously deep sentimentality that I shall spare you from–here are a few pictures:

That Husband o' mine took me on a four wheeler ride to an out of the way field filled with flowers

A field...of the blazing summer made me happy, so I took a picture--okay lots of pictures.

Sunset on the Ohio...this river forever holds a special place in our hearts...

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-merTIME!


I’m guest posting over at the awesome Blue Inkwell blog  again today–c’mon by, would ya?


I’ve read some great books lately, most recently Luanne Rice’s The Silver Boat. Such a good story, not fast paced, not earth shattering…just a really good story. John Sandford’s Buried Prey was a good Sandford novel, especially if you’re a Lucas Davenport fan.


Sunshine and fresh air….nothin’ like it. This wee, quick mobile snapshot is an example of my view several times a day as I kick back in my hammock to read, talk to teenagers who wander by, just breathe and enjoy life. I love watching my hummingbird pair at the feeder…they need names, those two…hmm…

Sunshine and Daisies

A Sunday Salon Post

*sunshine and daisies* *sunshine and daisies*


This is my mantra in these long, dark, cold, snowy days of w-i-n-t-e-r.  Even some of us who are accused of being ridiculously happy and optimistic on a regular basis are getting rather worn down by the daily snowfalls and ice and cold.  Enough about that…  *sunshine and daisies…*

Reading lately has been a jump around endeavor for me, short stories, magazines, internet reading.  (See above paragraph and read between the lines for restlessness)  Jumping around, however, does not imply lack of engagement or enjoyment. I have read some great stuff!

One of the most intriguing and fun things I read this week was Joanne Harris’ TwitterTales—yep, stories done ‘live and free-range’ (her words) and Twitter. While some people might scoff at the cluttering of their beloved Twitter-stream, book junkies like myself (and most of you Sunday Saloners, I’d wager) find such to be completely enchanting.  I read this author’s story Chocolat a few years ago and enjoyed the magic enough to buy a copy to keep—those who know me know I only purchase books I have read from the library or a friend and become smitten with. Thanks to finding Ms. Harris on Twitter, I have sought out a few more of her stories via the library—why I didn’t before I’ve no idea—and am looking forward to reading them.

...they shall return...


As for other short story reads, I put Hemingway’s The First Forty Nine short story collection on my eReader. I’ve been reading one here and there as it strikes me. I know I’ve rambled on about my recent discovery and enthralled-ness(is that a word? let’s make it a word) of Hemingway’s short stories, but it has been so interesting and riveting to explore an author so many love or love to hate for myself for the first time.

I’m looking forward to stopping by more Sunday Salon posts today, Happy Sunday!