Grilling Ideas For Labor Day Weekend

This post was sponsored by McCormick and is the last in a series of three posts featuring McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry's. The opinions expressed are my own.

Do you have any big plans for Labor Day Weekend? I'm actually going on a road trip with my mom, so I won't be celebrating in the normal way -- picnic* hopping, grilling, etc. (I'll likely be eating cheesesteaks.) But if I were staying home, I'd definitely be throwing something on the grill and spending time outside during the unofficial last weekend of summer.

As you know, I've partnered with McCormick to bring you grilling ideas using McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry's products, so I wanted to share a few tips and ideas for the weekend.


How To Make An Heirloom Tomato And Goat Cheese Tart

Heirloom tomato and goat cheese tart

I wait all year for beautiful, ripe summer tomatoes. And when they finally show up, I can't get enough of them. They're great in salads, especially Caprese; they're wonderful paired with feta and watermelon; they make flavorful soups and sauces; and, if you really want to showcase their beauty and range of colors, they make the most stunning tarts.


Lemony Israeli Couscous With Corn, Scallions, And Zucchini

Lemony Israeli couscous with corn, scallions, and zucchini

With most barbecues revolving around meat, I think it's important to have a flavorful, summery vegetarian side dish in your back pocket for any non-meat-eaters you might be hosting. Thinking along those lines, while glancing through my "Pastas and Such" Pinterest board, I saw a light, bright-flavored quinoa dish with corn and scallions. Using that as my inspiration, I came up with an Israeli couscous version and threw in some zucchini too -- just because I had it on hand and some extra vegetables never hurt anyone, right?


Dinner At Piattini Wine Cafe

Piattini Wine Cafe is a restaurant that offers up a concept I love: small plates. The menu is full of cold and hot small plates (or piattini), salads that can be ordered full size or smaller, and larger second courses, just to balance things out. I love small plates because I am indecisive and smaller portions (and prices) enable me to order a variety of different dishes to try. I had been to Piattini a couple of times years ago and remembered enjoying my experiences there. Recently, I was invited in for dinner and brought a friend along to see what Piattini is up to now.


Backyard Barbecue With McCormick Grill Mates

This post was sponsored by McCormick and is the second in a series of three posts featuring McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry's. The opinions expressed are my own.

A couple of weekends ago, we had some friends over for a little backyard barbecue featuring McCormick Grill Mates products and concepts from the McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry's Flavor Forecast: Grilling Edition. I spent days planning and re-planning the menu. I thought about all of McCormick's trends as I planned: Flavors to Watch, Breads on the Grill, 5-Minute Marinating, Smoke & Spice Pairings, Charred Fruit Drinks, DIY Condiments, and Social S'mores. McCormick offers a lot of ideas and recipes for these different trends.


A Tasting At Bee's Knees Supply Company

Charcuterie at Bee's Knees Supply Company

Have you been to Bee's Knees Supply Company yet? You really need to get over there. Seriously. I've been three times now and find tons of stuff I want to try and buy every time. The first two times I headed over just because I was in the area, and most recently I was invited in for a tasting. I had no idea that they make so much great stuff in house and have such amazing charcuterie and sandwiches.


Sausage-And-Quinoa-Stuffed Squash

Sausage-and-quinoa-stuffed squash

So my garden is still alive! And not just alive, it's still growing vegetables -- some we've been able to pick and eat (like zucchini) and some I'm still waiting on (like the peppers and tomatoes). I had two pattypan squashes growing, and after hemming and hawing over when was the right time to pick them, I finally harvested them at 3 to 4 inches wide, the perfect size for stuffing. With a zucchini ready for picking around the same time, I decided to develop a stuffing recipe with enough for both kinds of squash.


McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry’s Flavor Forecast 2013: Grilling Edition

Cheeseburger with cucumber salad

This post was sponsored by McCormick and is the first in a series of three posts featuring McCormick Grill Mates and Lawry's. The opinions expressed are my own.

There's nothing like burgers on the grill on a warm summer evening. I often find myself craving a burger and am so happy we have a grill and can just throw a couple on whenever that craving strikes. They make for such an easy dinner. When Jeff and I make burgers at home, he always seasons them with Lawry's Seasoned Salt and a little garlic powder.


S'mores Sandwich Cookies

S'mores sandwich cookies

August 10 is National S'mores Day! I don't know who comes up with these food holidays, but they sure are fun to celebrate. Most of the time, I don't know about the holidays until the actual day, but this year I'm so prepared for National S'mores Day and have a recipe you can use to celebrate too.

Sure, you could make plain old s'mores with a box of graham crackers, some Hershey's bars, and some toasted marshmallows. They're old school and always a crowd-pleaser. But these days, there are all sorts of ways to deconstruct and reconstruct the three classic elements.


Cucumber Salad With Feta And Toasted Bread Crumbs

Cucumber salad with feta and toasted bread crumbs

You'll want to eat this cool, crisp summer salad with cucumbers, feta, and toasted bread crumbs every night. The crunch of the cucumbers is punctuated by creamy, briny bites of feta, and the lightly salted toasty bread crumbs are like the icing on the cake. It was inspired by a cucumber salad we tried at Ten Tables in Provincetown -- one I couldn't wait to re-create at home.