Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This Mama Can Grill!

Grilling, Cooking Out, Barbecue - called different things depending on where you live, but pretty much all mean the same thing!  When most people think of cooking on the grill the first thing that probably comes to mind is a Dad doing the cooking (maybe while wearing a crazy kiss the cook apron!).  This is not always the case in our house.  By default (because I am the one at home) I do most of the cooking.  If I don't, my children will not eat.   Now, my husband will tell you that he is the better cook in the house.  When we were first married this definitely used to be the case.  Not any more!  My husband will also tell you that he loves to cook and finds it very relaxing.  (What he won't tell you is that on weekends, when he does the cooking the kids are not in the kitchen with him.  So who wouldn't be relaxed - no kids and a cocktail in hand!  No brainer!)  I do not find cooking to be relaxing.  I find it to be a necessity.  The kids need to eat and it is my job to provide them with a well balanced meal that they will eat. 

Last year I discovered grilling.  This is almost relaxing!  I love not having the mess in the kitchen, the pots and pans to wash and my kitchen getting hot from the oven.  I was always a little intimidated by the grill - the whole fire safety thing and food safety.  I wasn't quite sure how long to cook things and what to cook.  Well, you can cook just about anything and I do. I have this wonderful cook book (that I got for free from Sam's Club at a membership event) that has a little chart in it with the estimated grilling times and correct temperature for various items.  I also have started using a meat thermometer.  My husband has a fancy electronic one, I use the "old fashioned one".  Gage on a stick and check the temperature number on my chart to make sure it is cooked all the way.  Here are the biggest tips I can give you on grilling: 

1) Spray your non-stick spray BEFORE turning the grill on

2) Do not use a plastic spatula to flip any item on the grill

3) Brush your BBQ Sauce on towards the end of cooking time

I'm not a fan of cooking shrimp or fish on the grill.  My fish always seems to fall a part (yes, I have tried wrapping it in foil) and my shrimp usually are over cooked or under cooked.  I like to cook things on the grill that don't require a lot of attention.  Throw on, set the timer, turn, set timer and remove!  This way the kids and I can enjoy being out on the deck and play safely away from the grill.  I also like to cook vegetables on the grill - peppers, onions, corn, asparagus.  You name it we can grill it!  We have done pizzas on the grill and have done kabobs on the grill - both traditional with veggies and meat and fruit.  Pineapple kabobs taste great drizzled with honey. One of my kids favorite things that I grill are turkey burgers.  Last night I grilled pork chops, tonight I plan on grilling some chicken.  Please post in the comments section below some of your favorite things to grill along with marinades or rubs that you use.

Thanks & have a great day!

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