Grilling with a Twist

Grill It, Girl!

By Nichole Cavallaro 

The moment I smell grilling in the air, my cooking instincts kick in and I get excited! It’s time to start thinking every day is a picnic! OK, maybe not every day.

But I do enjoy cooking. And like many New Yorkers, I appreciate the sun when it decides to shine down on us with its warmth, from May to whenever it’s deemed too cold to stand outside.

Grilling outdoors gives me a sense of pride, in a way. I grew up watching the men of the families grill at graduations, birthday parties, college picnics and, of course, at home.

I didn’t start grilling with the thought process of, “If my dad can do it, so can I.” It was more of, “Look at me! I’m cooking amongst flames! I made those black lines on the steak! Look at the size of this spatula!”

I was like a big kid ready to make a really neat creation. Of course, everything’s fun and games until someone gets hurt. It’s good to practice some safe habits before grilling because, let’s face it, grilling isn’t glamorous!

Here are some hot tips:

1. Safety first

Take precautions on what type of grill you have, how it works and how to clean it. Be sure you’re in a safe area for grilling. If it’s a gas grill, turn the tank off and on after each use. Err on the side of caution; if you’re new to grilling, be sure to have someone with you. Familiarize yourself with the buttons, symbols and dials. You’re essentially cooking with fire, so safety first.

2. Know your tools

Use a set of sturdy, basic grilling tools made just for grilling. Don’t just use what you have in the kitchen. Those tools are smaller, and not made for the grill.

3. Mood changer

Make the Monday-back-to-work blues go away by grilling up dinner on Sunday night. It can give you the “Weekend’s not over yet!” vibe.

4. Try new foods — like grilled fruit, or grilled romaine hearts!

I’m definitely giving these a shot. Pineapple, peaches and watermelon are high on my list, too. Get the fruits, find a recipe and go for it. These recipes can be found online. When in doubt, I turn to Pinterest, thanks to the pictures and blogs you’re bound to stumble upon.

5. Get an epic apron

Let me tell you why. My end-of-day shenanigans consist of navigating traffic, child pickup and dinner prep 101, all vying for top billing in my brain. By the time I get home — or if I make an emergency run to the supermarket for dinner prep — it’s more than likely I’m distracted. I don’t cook in heels, but it’s not infrequent that I end up cooking in work clothes. Oil splatter on a work shirt is not flattering. So, in my flip flops and corporate attire, I cover up with a full apron. It’s adorned with flamingos. Nothing says, “Let’s get grilling, ’cause who else will whip up dinner as fast as I can?” like flamingos! SWM 

Nichole is a local lifestyle blogger. Find her work at eneverythingnice.blogspot.com

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