It's GRILLING time! New Recipes on the Blog!

This photo is from our New York trip (blog post to come soon!). We stopped at a playground in Bridgeport, CT right on the water. It was a beautiful day and the perfect place to stop. I put my phone on the steps of the playground and put the timer on. Best family pic ever! Giraffe even made it, MAO! ;)

For some reason, this year I am SO into BBQing. Usually I prep the meats, make the sides (pasta salad, veggies, potato salad, corn on the cob, whatever!) and then give a plate of raw chicken/beef/fish to Jimbo to throw on the grill. Well not this year. He tends to work later and the boys eat before he gets home. So, I tend to cook up some hamburgers/hot dogs/corn on the cob for the boys and prep something for us in the meantime. For example, recently, I blogged about my ahi fish tacos on the grill, and just the other day, I made regular [white] fish tacos too.

I tend to either buy some tilapia or sole at the fish market (in Cape Cod) or a regular grocery store in our hometown. First, I usually make the cream/tartar sauce by mixing mayonnaise/pickle/lemon juice/salt/pepper. I set that aside in the fridge for my base cream sauce. Then, I usually garnish the fish tacos with that sauce, and add some tomatoes, lettuce, and lemons and limes on the side. So basically the tacos consist of the grilled fish, cole slaw, a drizzle of the sauce, and then lettuce/tomatoes. 

To grill or saute the fish, I put some EVOO in a pan, and added salt and pepper and chili powder to both sides of the fish. I cook them slowly for about 8-10 min each side. If they are a decently thick piece of fish, then cook upwards of 15 min each side. Towards the end of cooking, I add a little of the sauce to let the flavors set in. Then it's pretty much "make your own fish taco" and people can add what they want! Super easy.

This pic is from 2 years ago in Cape Cod when I made fish tacos, but it gives you an idea. There's the link to the blog post - it's all the way at the end of that post.

A few weeks ago, I took the boys to Dane St Beach in Beverly. It was the most amazing day - they were all SO happy, healthy, and enjoyable. It was honestly one of my most favorite days with them.

Later that day, I bought some tilapia and threw it on the grill for some fish tacos. I lightly seasoned each side with salt/pepper/lemon juice/cayenne pepper. I sprayed the grill with some EVOO so they wouldn't stick. I grilled them each side for maybe 5-7 minutes. I did the same thing as I mentioned above with making the tartar cream sauce, cole slaw, and slicing up lettuce, tomatoes, and lemons as a garnish. It's a great summer dish because they are really light. And you don't even need any sides - maybe just a glass of wine. :)

I love this shot of the boys. We were coming home from school one afternoon - they were playing outside a bit before we went in the house. As they went inside, they saw a bunny in the yard! Meanwhile, Cal is just trying to open the door to get in...

This isn't a grilling recipe, but I came up with a fantastic simple recipe for a rendition of Italian Wedding Soup - definitely not authentic, it's just a quick simple version of it. The day we got back from NY, it was pretty chilly and rainy, so I made some soup with the minimal ingredients I had in my fridge. I started the soup with dicing up celery, carrots, and onions. I put EVOO in the pan and added the veggies to soften - probably about 20 minutes on medium/low. I realized I only had chicken breasts in my fridge, so I put them in my nutribullet and ground up the chicken to make mini chicken meatballs.

Once the chicken was ground up, I added a bunch of different seasonings to make little chicken meatballs, like salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, and a little red pepper. I rolled all the meatballs and added them to the skillet once  the veggies were about done. I let everything sit in the pan together to simmer while I made some Israeli couscous in another pot. I then poured everything together and added some chicken stock - and I seasoned that just a little with salt/pepper/garlic salt/parsley. Conor absolutely LOVED it! Especially the pasta and carrots. :)

Back to BBQ - I found a pork loin at Trader Joe's and wanted to grill it rather than cooking it in the oven since it's been hot out. I looked for a recipe that included meat temperatures and found one that was pretty basic. I drizzled EVOO on the outside of the pork loin and grilled it for about an hour so the inside temp was 140 degrees F.   I tossed together a couple salads for me and Jimbo, and even included a little angel hair in the salad (Julie and Katie - it reminded me of Uno's "honey mustard chicken salad "with the pasta in it!)

And also a non-grilling-dinner idea but something we did recently and I loved it - we ordered a pizza on Wednesday that has a special "beat the clock Wednesday". Essentially if you call anytime after 4pm, the pizza will cost what time the clock reads.  We probably called the pizza in around around 4:45-4:55, so the pizza was literally $5. What a deal!  I also grabbed some stuff at my house to make a caprese salad for me and Jim (plus Caden LOVES tomatoes) so it was perfect. It was a beautiful day for a pizza "picnic" at the park!

We then walked across the street to Library Field and the boys LOVED running free! Haha it was so funny to watch them all run around.

Last but not least, another dinner idea - my friend Keryn and her fiancee Josh came over. Keryn stopped at a butcher shop in Stoneham and brought marinated shrimp skewers, chicken, and steak. I bought my favorite loaf of bread at Roma's (a local bakery), and put together a kale caprese salad. We paired everything with a cabernet sauvignon rose from our Napa wine club membership at Louis Martini. 

Leaving the bakery!

Don't forget the ahi tuna tacos! I need to remake these - they were delicious.

I mean, come on. Look at Con. He is so sweet with Cal. He plays with him and cares for him so much. He often says "Mom, look at Cal!!" if he is doing something that he shouldn't be doing. Or if he's eating something he shouldn't be eating, etc. He is definitely on the lookout and I appreciate it very much! :)

And Caden and I have been spending SO much time together. He tends to nap during the day at school and Conor doesn't. So Caden and I stay up a little later at night together, special 1 on 1 time. :)

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we were even able to get in some fun cousin time!! Here are their cousins Patrick and Callie - ice cream time!

Lastly, I bought two new things for myself - first, this necklace that says Conor, Cal, Caden and it's rose gold. I absolutely love it and have already had so many compliments!

I also bought a new outdoor umbrella for my deck. I figured if I am going to be out there grilling all the time,  I might as well be in the shade with the boys.

All for now!! If anyone has any other fun grilling recipes, especially grilled veggie ideas to use as sides - let me know!



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