Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July + Grill Fun

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend, filled with lots of free time, fireworks and food! I know we most certainly took advantage of the long weekend. Here are a few highlights from our weekend trip to visit Jesse's family. We got lucky that most of the I-95 travelers did their driving on Friday. Because of this, we got to visit with his parents for most of Saturday, and then spent the evening with a few of his friends. On Sunday, we went over at his sister's house where she and her husband hosted a fun little gathering! And of course, I couldn't wait to see my newest nephew, Sunny!

(thanks to Neil for these first three pictures!)

Look at how much hair this boy has - it's enough to make me jealous!

Jesse's mom made a blueberry pie that we all enjoyed! She used fresh blueberries and made the crust from scratch. What more could you ask for on the 4th of July?!

Since we were only gone for two and-a-half days, Rooney spent the weekend at home (no worries, we stocked him up with extra food, water and litter). He was extra happy to see us when we got back and followed me around for most of the afternoon. While I felt bad leaving him at home for so long, it was nice coming home to an extra loving kitty! :)

watching as I boiled water for deviled eggs

Once we settled in at home, I realized that I hadn't gone grocery shopping in more than a week. For being out of food, I managed to pull together a pretty impressive array of grilled kabobs. We enjoyed grilled shrimp and veggies, BBQ chicken and grilled potato rounds. Grilling potatoes was a new adventure, but they turned out really well!

I actually tried out the grilled veggies shortly after the 4th of July last year (it must be a seasonal thing), so be sure to check out the recipe.

For the shrimp, I cleaned, peeled and deveined them and then refrigerated until I was ready to start grilling. As I was warming up the grill, I strung the shrimp onto the kabobs and then seasoned them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the juice from half a lemon. Shrimp cooks really fast, so I only grilled the kabobs for 2-3 minutes per side.

As for the chicken, I cut one chicken breast into seven equal pieces, strung the kabob, seasoned it with salt, pepper and olive oil, grilled it for about six minutes per side and then brushed it with BBQ sauce. I grilled the chicken for another 2-3 minutes on each side to help the sauce caramelize onto the chicken and then served it with extra BBQ sauce. Maybe it's a Kansas thing, but I love BBQ chicken!

The potato rounds were also easy to throw together, but oh so tasty! This is a very simple recipe, but sometimes that's all you need to get the creativity going. It certainly helped me!

Grilled Potato Rounds

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Grill Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

2 large or 3 medium russet potatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional Additions:
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon thyme or rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 450 degrees).

Scrub potatoes, pat dry, and slice into 1/2 inch disks. In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and seasonings until the potatoes are well coated.

Grill for about eight to ten minutes per side (until grill marks appear), and then flip every two to three minutes until the outside is brown and crispy.

Serve with grilled shrimp, veggies, and/or BBQ chicken.

Today I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam, Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtainand Hearth & Soul Blog Hop at A Moderate Life.

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