More Summer Salad: Cucumber, Zucchini, and Tomato Salad

Been pretty hot lately so this Cucumber Zucchini Tomato Salad is a great cooler for those days you want to beat the heat.  Yeah that’s right, it’s another freaking salad.  It’s been heat wave, cool down, heat wave here in Chicago this summer which has made it interesting cooking-wise.  One week I want nothing to do with cooking outdoors, then it cools down and I get all excited to be back out on the porch in front of the grill.  You probably don’t need to read the weather reports to figure out what it’s been like here, just take note of what I’m making! (more…)


Green Bean Salad – Delicious Easy Salad for a 4th of July Picnic!

This green bean salad is one of my favorite summer salads.  My grandfather always had a garden and he’d always have baskets of green beans he couldn’t give away (or eat) fast enough.  My grandmother would make this salad all summer long and I’d eat it all summer long.  Never got tired of green bean salad either!  This is one of those things which definitely says “home” to me as I can probably walk into any of my relative’s back yards during the summer and find this particular salad (or something very close) on their table.  (more…)

Garlic Herb Stuffed Leg of Lamb with an Orange Mint Sauce

So remember a few posts back how I said I always make a leg of lamb for Easter? (No? Well go back a few and get caught up!)  Since we were traveling I didn’t get to cook Easter dinner.  However, upon returning to Chicago I noticed ham and lamb were both on sale.  Imagine that.  It was kind of like buying wrapping paper on December 26.  Very nice.  They didn’t have any full lamb legs but there were plenty of 3-4 lb shanks and shoulders to be bought.  Prices being what they were I picked up a nice little piece of lamb (and some ham) which I intended to make for Sunday dinner.  And since this past Sunday was Orthodox Easter it turns out I did make lamb on Easter! (more…)

Meat on a Stick: Lamb Kebabs with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Lamb kebabs with green lentils and grilled green onions

It’s almost Opening Day here in Wrigleyville and the temperature has cooled off a bit from last week but that’s ok, it’s still grilling spring training weather.  By the time summer does roll around I’ll be in mid-season form.  These lamb kebabs are one of the first things I ever grilled for Cheryl, showing her I wasn’t just an inside cook, I’ve got an outside game too!  Kebabs, skewers, whatever you call them, these are perfect for summertime cookouts.  You can either snack on them as an appetizer or put them out as a main course.  This is also a great spring training exercise to reacquaint yourself with how your grill cooks and getting your timing down.  (more…)