About this time of year — right after the 4th of July, in fact — the typical grill faves at our house seem to fade off into the proverbial sunset. They’re not nearly so exciting as they were when we dusted off the patio in May and had the first cheeseburger with grilled sweet potato wedges and Sriracha Mayo dip. Or even when the early sweet corn got overly buttered and salted just a week or two ago and I thanked God my dentist had only two weeks before — and for the third time (sheesh) — fixed the snaggletooth chip in my right front tooth. (Just you wait for the Olathe corn coming up next month! I’m ready.) The sides, particularly, feel a bit lackluster. Another ho-hum pasta salad or middle-of-the-road caprese? More lemony green beans?! “What’s for dinner?” begins again, especially as the sun seems to just hang there up in the sky something like forever and it’s hot as ________. Are we bored that easily? It seems we may be. A bit of an embarrassment, isn’t it?Jump to Recipe Continue reading
On the way home from the store today (where I bought all of the things I could find that didn’t require cooking),Continue reading
INA FRIDAYS –First Friday of every month. Come cook some Ina with us this weekend. Scroll down to join the group. ♥♥♥ Upcoming: Desserts: July 4. Check out Ina Fridays on Pinterest.
As a cook and a lover of my friends and family, one of my frequent questions to pose is:
What’s your favorite meal?
People will often need a moment because we have so very many things we love. I myself can unequivocally answer,
This even though I often live on eggs, don’t particularly want to live without asparagus, and am rarely more pleased than when there’s beef stew for dinner. I like great individual artisan pizza, take-out or delivery pizza, homemade pizza (my son makes the best), and probably only draw the line at frozen pizza — though I’ll eat Lou Malnati’s anytime, good Chicago girl that I am. I love pizza so much that I’m not picky. (Ok, I don’t do Chucky Cheese.) But I’m amazed how many times Americans will answer, “Hamburgers” when it comes to their favorite food. They include fries more than half the time, I’d wager. (Click HERE for a list of Top 50 American Foods.) And while they love a great or famous burger from a bar, I think they’re even happier with a summertime grilled-at-home version or even a drive-in dive sandwich. (If I jump in the car, I can be at Cy’s in two minutes with a green line down at the corner.) Continue reading
This post celebrates 5 complete years of blogging on MORE TIME AT THE TABLE. Thanks for your loving kindnesses. Here’s to the next five years! Book almost here. I’m reading the proof copy now. So exciting!!
(above: iphone photo by sean anthony morgan)
Ok, now on to the pasta dinner on the grill…
For a few years, I’ve loved making summer pastas mostly on the grill. No big heavy sauce on the stove for hours like wintertime, just a few choice lovelies grilled to perfection and stirred into hot pasta (scroll down for pasta info) with some fresh herbs and maybe a little cheese. If you’ve a burner on the side of your grill, you can do the pasta outside as well and save your kitchen and you from the damp heat. If it’s not too warm, you can use your stove, which may be quicker.
My grilled eggplant and sausage pasta made on the grill is one of the favorites on our deck and also on the blog. It might soon be one of your summer go-tos as well.
Summer comes and this tortellini salad comes with it. Just ask my family.
Full of tender cheese-filled tortellini and lots of chunky vegetables, it’s held together with a brisk mustard vinaigrette and lots of thin slices of sopressata or hard salami. If I’m going to a family event or a church picnic, I make a big bowl of this salad and bring it along. In Minnesota, it goes in the cooler and makes its way up north to celebrate Joe’s and Olivia’s birthdays. The original recipe was, I think, from the COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE years ago, but it has changed quite a bit over time.
|I missed Olivia’s birthday this year, but made the salad anyway. See you soon, I hope!|
Here in Colorado, it travels up I-25 to Denver for a family afternoon by the pool after a visit to a museum.
This year, Bill made a big hunk of brisket he smoked overnight. Sean brewed some beer and I made (of course) the tortellini salad. Occasionally it morphs just a bit; originally it didn’t have many vegetables. I had to amend that. The resulting salad is fine for a whole meal, but it’s also a total one-dish side for any barbequed meat. You know how pasta salad can be pale, insipid, and less than interesting? Perhaps only filling? Easily left on the plate at picnics? That is what this pasta salad is not.
|Nope, we don’t want to get out of the pool. Even for lunch.|
|This is either Cosmo or Gizmo tending bar. Whichever one, he got no tortellini salad.|
|Aunt Carolyn relaxing after lunch.|
Sing a new song; make an old tortellini salad,