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Simple Grilling: How to Stay Chill this Season

One of my city living goals— To have private outdoor space, be able to dine al fresco on the reg., and become a grill master.

Well, it is kinda happening. We have a pretty spectacular backyard, we purchased the Green Egg grill, and since we have moved in, I have been eating outside most evenings (dreams do come true).

Grilling, and summer entertaining should be kept relaxed, organized and casual…

And, here are a few helpful tips to ensure it does:


There is definitely a science to killing it at the farmers market. I am upping my FM game now that I have a year round market outside my home every Saturday.

  • Bag It: Remember to bring larger bags, baskets or even a granny cart. Attempting to juggle multiple plastic bags strung around your fingers make shopping stressful. So, grab your favorite bag(s) to pack up purchases carefully and environmentally responsible.
  • Bring cash. It makes the process more enjoyable… Head to the ATM before you go and hold your money in one pocket for easy access. Now, many Farmer’s Markets are providing tokens that you can purchase with a credit card to use while you shop. www.grownyc.com
  • Take a spin: I always take a walk through and assess what I want and who I want it from. If you identify the farmers and products you fancy on the first walk through then you won’t miss or purchase the wrong strawberry, loaf of bread, or peonies.


Before you even think to turn on that grill; get your ingredients “put in place.” whether it is husking corn, marinating some chops, or wedging some peppers, get organized. Please!

  • Have a tray or sturdy vessel to transport your ingredients you prepped to the grill.
  • Jot down a quick list what needs be done before you pick up a knife.
  • Have the proper vessels, mixing bowls, and serving ware to show off your food credo.


My overall life would be much more seamless if I stuck to this philosophy, but at least I live by this when it comes to grilling…

Think opposite of holiday meals. Select one or two proteins or main highlights, a starchy vegetable and some bright vegetables for a basic but delightful summer spread.


When I close my eyes and anticipate cooking in the summer, I think pops of bright color, peppered with char marks and local surprises… Choose from seasonal veggies and fruits, & easy grilling meats and sturdy fish. Everything tastes better on the grill; so load up on colorful produce and eat clean.


Isn’t that the theme of summer? Slaving in the kitchen is not for the balmy or breezing weather. Summer cooking should be done around friends, executed in minimal clothes, with tasty cocktails in hand.

***tip: Ignite the grill, take a deep breath, then start cooking!


Leave the elongated shopping lists & complex braising for the winter. If you purchase quality cuts of meat, fish and veggies there is no need to complicate things. Think salt, pepper, good oils, and quick rubs.


It is a funny thing what you remember. When I was in 4th grade I read in a book, if you come across a wolf or bear, keep still and your eyes at a neutral state; too wide they will think you are scared, too squinted they will think you are mean and, might attack. I also memorized the Walt Wittman poem, “Oh Captain, My Captain” in sixth grade and recite it whenever I have too much to drink. lol.

When I was working on, Worst Cooks in America, and B. Flay was the host, I distinctly remember him pressing this point before an afternoon challenge…

“Give love to everything on the plate. Each ingredient needs to be thought about and cared for.”

Well, it stuck with me. And I am a better cook for it. No matter what you are preparing, give it attention. Even if it is simple, and in this case we are discussing simple grilling tactics, season and prep it. Prime example: Grilled asparagus–dont forget the oil, S & P, lemon, and zest…

Hope this was a tad helpful. Happy Grilling and keep me posted on your summer celebrations 😉





Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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