Summer Eating & Grilling – What’s your favorite?

Well, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so this is a good time for this repeat post.

The following is a favorite YouTuber’s take on backyard barbecue potato salad. There are lots of variations of potato salad; my mother marinated her cooked potatoes in pickle juice (think bread & butter) before finishing hers:

To be honest, I’m not much of a griller these days, but I do like grill-type food in the summer, with lots of fruits and vegetables. These are a couple of things that I fix.

I really love bison/buffalo burgers. Honestly, I usually just season with salt and pepper and pan fry them, and I like them a little pink. Bison is grass fed and pretty lean, so it can be dry if cooked too well done. I don’t eat them on a bun, but as a main protein accompanied by other things like sauteed mushrooms, green veggies or salad, and a baked potato.

My local supermarket has just started carrying bison and put it on sale, so I stocked the freezer with the ground and some steaks. It is much lower in fat and calories than beef, but very delicious.

I do mushrooms two different ways that are fairly similar. Slice 1/2 pound of mushrooms and cook them with scallions in olive oil (I like it better than butter in this case) until mostly cooked through (did you know that you can’t overcook mushrooms; see video below), add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of either dry white or red wine and about a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Cook down to reduce the liquid and alcohol. If I’m adding white wine, I splash in some heavy cream and cook down to a sauce consistency.

Another grill-type food I do is St. Louis style pork ribs. I usually buy mine in a 3-rack Swift Premium package from Costco, cooking one right away, and freezing the other two for later. The 3-rack package is about ten pounds. I remove any silver skin, and cut the ribs into serving size pieces (1 to 3 ribs), rub them all over with lemon juice, then coat them with a dry rub that I make. This is just about the right amount for a rack of St. Louis style ribs:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (not powdered chili)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (not ground oregano)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

You could spice this up a bit, if you wanted to, with a little cayenne or other dried chile.

Put the ribs meat-side down in a large baking pan (I use an old lasagna pan, which holds them snugly) and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in a 300 degree oven for two hours, or until the meat is tender. I have also done this part of the cooking in a crock pot, but I honestly don’t remember how long I cooked them.

Drain the liquid from the pan, but don’t throw it away immediately, as you can mix some of the liquid with thick barbecue sauce to make a thinner glaze. At this point, you can finish the ribs either in a very hot oven/broiler, or on your gas or charcoal grill. Glaze the ribs and grill on one side, then turn and glaze again. Watch that they don’t burn, but turn and glaze until they are finished the way that YOU like them! I don’t usually make my own barbecue sauce, but here is a recipe to try. This is not spicy:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy mustard (like Guldens’ Spicy Brown Mustard)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (NOT powdered chili pepper)


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onion & garlic for 2 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

I love steak, and I like it rare. Any kind will do, but I’m partial to Ribeye. Grilling is great, but I also like a steak cooked in a hot cast iron skillet, and simply seasoned with salt and pepper.

My favorite sides? Simple vegetables and salads – and potatoes. I love fresh sweet corn, any kind of salad, and green vegetables prepared very simply. A good salad to try is a Caprese salad:

  • Sliced tomato fresh from your garden or farmer’s market
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves

Layer ingredients on a plate, and dress very simply with good olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

I know that some of you have really good recipes to share, so let’s hear about them (even if you have shared them before.)

Now is the season for really great produce and what is better, really?

Now, here is that video about mushrooms that I was talking about:

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9 Responses to Summer Eating & Grilling – What’s your favorite?

  1. Menagerie says:

    Okay, you know I love these posts Stella. Almost always we love corn with anything grilled. This is on the to do list.

    If you are looking for something healthy that is absolutely delicious, especially if you want to stay away from red meat, this is it. Easy and tasty. I usually cook it for a crowd, and so I double the recipe but use only one package of spinach. I like it with salsa as well as tzaziki (no idea how to spell that word!) sauce. Almost as good cooked in a pan.

    We will have fresh strawberries Monday I just wash and drain them, cut into chunks and top with sugar. Mash them a little to get the sugar in, and do this half a day or more before serving them. I use a bakery bought angel food cake, and the best of all, fresh whipped cream. Be sure to chill the glass bowl before whipping the cream.

    Serve all this with fresh squeezed lemonade! Summer at its best. Although righ now we are a bit chilly here, but by Monday we’ll be in the 80s again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Menagerie says:

      I started cooking those turkey burgers when our doc told my husband less red meat. To my surprise, they quickly became a favorite of the whole family. I don’t like them on buns, preferring them with a sauce and fresh vegetables. I get quite a few requests for them when family comes over and we are looking for easy things to cook.


    • czarina33 says:

      Pink lemonade from a can for me please. And I love tzaziki sauce.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Menagerie says:

    Also on the list to try. Simply but tasty. I love to add these grilled vegetables to a salad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • czarina33 says:

      Grilled veggies are wonderful. I like to do eggplant, yellow and green squash and peppers, but I have only put olive oil on them. Now I shall try the marinade.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. weather257 says:

    Tennessee Hollerin’ Whiskey Sauce (for those who indulge):
    ▢2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or a bourbon
    ▢1 cup ketchup
    ▢1 tablespoon lemon juice
    ▢2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    ▢2 tablespoons malt vinegar
    ▢4 tablespoons dark or blackstrap molasses
    ▢1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
    Prep. Test the whiskey to make sure it is up to your standards. Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan and set aside the remaining whiskey.
    Heat. Bring a saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons. Don’t let the alcohol flame. Taste the unused whiskey to make sure it hasn’t gone bad.
    Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients. Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3.
    Serve or store. Use it immediately as you would your favorite BBQ sauce or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more. Drink the remaining whiskey.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Menagerie says:

    Here’s another addition to tomorrow’s menu. This is unbelievably good. We like it charred. And we don’t cut the top off. Be sure to oil it well, and then the kosher salt is best. I didn’t think I’d like it at first but I was very wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JTR says:

      We love Okra any way we can get it. I recently tried deep-fried whole okra. Just drop them in the oil and fry until crisp, then salt. It was the bomb!

      I love it in any stew or soup, helps with thickening (Gumbo). And even just boiled and slimy! My Grandparents always had a garden and an abundance of okra. If I fry a pan full of okra breaded with cornmeal, we have been known to compete (fight) over it.

      Liked by 1 person

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