Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Time Grillin'

Jim and I felt like we should take a night off from setting up things inside the house - so we decided it was time to set up something outside the house! It was time to arrange the top deck area and buy a propane tank for the gas grill. Granted it's no Joe Rock view down in Manhattan Beach, but the past few days have been really nice (made me realize how much I have missed spring!). It was almost 70 today and yesterday, and it should be the same tomorrow. Granted there have been a few days where there were rain showers - but it's nothing compared to snow and cold. I will take it!

So while Jim was busy dusting off the old grill that he's had since about 2006, I was busy trying to find the grilling utensils and other items -- oh and making the burgers, pasta salad and sweet potato fries. Carbs. YUM!

I found them!


My mom gave us this tray back in 2008 and we literally use it every single time we grill. I love this thing. It prevents us from having to walk inside for toppings and utensils and buns and napkins, you name it. This things saves my life. Thanks, Ma!


Burgers made! I never really use the same "recipe" twice. I opt for whatever is in my fridge, or whatever spices are striking my fancy. For these burgs, I used a 85/15 meat, since it was on sale. I usually prefer 90/10 or even higher lean meat if the price is right. Anyway, I tossed in a bit of leftover feta cheese, scallions, chipotle cholula sauce, a dash of seasoned breadcrumbs, garlic salt, onion salt and fresh ground pepper. I made my patties and indented my thumb in the center to make for an evenly cooked burger.


They were actually pretty good! Perfect size for the buns that I picked up.


Jim started cleaning off the grill as I started preheating the oven for the sweet potato fries. I also picked up a propane tank from 7/11 (thanks for the recommendation Aunt Joyce!). And we were good to go...


He was taking a little while to clean out the grill and hook it up - so I decided to take a few interior house pics. Here is the living room. We finally hung some curtains while my mom was here - so it looks and feels a bit homier now. The front door and a small half bath is to your right.


Here's the top of the fireplace - which separates the living room and dining room area. I love how open the house is...I could never live somewhere we each room is completely closed off. Plus, we know that when entertaining, everyone loves to congregate in the kitchen. :)


Here's a shot of the dining area -- which is to the left of the fireplace. The top deck is right outside. It feels real open. The Boston skyline photo (which Katie P and Julie gave me when I moved away from Boston in February 2008) looks totally crooked, but it's just because of where I am standing. It really doesn't look that bad in person.


Ok. The grill is finally ready for some MEAT!


I think Jimbo was pretty tired at this point. I don't think either of us realized what a task it was to clean the grill and get it going. He did a great job and the burgers came out fantastic.


Here we have our little spread - the burgers, the pasta salad, the toppings of American cheese, sliced tomato and avocado, as well as condiments and pickles. I forgot to take a picture of the sweet potato fries. They weren't anything fancy - just a frozen bag from the grocery store. I was having a serious craving and they hit the spot!


The "pasta salad" is actually an orzo salad that goes great with any grilling festivity. It's usually a big hit. It's basically a Greek salad - minus the lettuce and add orzo pasta instead. Seriously, it's just orzo, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, red peppers and black olives tossed with Greek dressing. I skipped the olives this round. I also usually opt for a fresh lemon squeeze on top. It is such a unique salad and people usually love it!



Soon the cherry blossoms will be out and Chrissy and Lindsey will be here visiting! Can't wait til next weekend. Til then, I will be resting with my feet up. Doctors orders! ;)

xo,
Shaz