It is hard to beat fresh, but foods cooked over the fire are great make-ahead meals for the family. Give casserole dishes a break, and spice up your freezer with something new.
Cut potatoes in chunks or slices, and cook in a cast-iron skillet with olive oil, diced onions and seasoned with salt and pepper. A big batch of potatoes can be reheated and used as home fries with eggs at breakfast, or used as a side dish for almost any meal.
Cut fresh peppers in quarters, brush with olive oil and cook directly on the grill. Dice the leftovers, and add to soups, salsas, homemade pizza or use as a relish for hamburgers and hot dogs.
Grill a large batch of 100 per cent beef patties. Blot off extra fat, and let patties cool. Place between round sandwich thins or thin hamburger buns, and freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Store in freezer containers or freezer storage bags. Reheat hamburgers for meals in a steamer or wrap them in a slightly damp tea towel and warm up in the microwave. The grilled flavor makes these freeze-ahead hamburgers better than some you’ll get at a drive-through.
Cut pineapple in big chunks, pierce several pieces with a skewer and drizzle with olive oil. Set on a medium-hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning at least once.
Fruit Kabob Dip
1. Place 8 oz. softened cream cheese in a bowl.
2. Gradually add a few Tablespoons of half-and-half or milk while mixing with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth (about the consistency of yogurt).
3. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Whisk or beat with a mixer and serve with the fruit kabobs for dipping.
Rhonda is a freelance writer and editor, and the mom of three boys. Firing up her grill is her favorite springtime chore. She writes about food, parenthood and other things at www.coffeehousemom.com
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