Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Summer Menu Planning

I write a lot about food. I love to eat and I love to cook for my family.

My favorite part of summer is the food. Well, I also love the long days and the glorious sun, but the food...oh...the food. We cook outside and we eat outside. I rarely turn on my stove or oven during the summer, opting instead for the grill and fresh garden vegetables and fruits from my own garden, the CSA or a farm stand.

The food in this picture is a typical summer meal for us. Grilled turkey sausages topped with grilled red peppers and red onions, tossed garden salad, steamed green beans and fresh summer fruit. When food is this fresh we don't get bored with it. Instead we savor it knowing that in a few months the summer harvest will be over and I am headed back into the kitchen.

Summer menu planning is so easy. We'll grill chicken, turkey sausages, turkey burgers and fish all summer long. Add a simple garden or pasta salad and some summer fruit and you have a no-frills, yet delicious meal. Easy to make, very few ingredients and fast. When the weather is gorgeous outside, who wants to be stuck inside spending a lot of time cooking dinner?

Summer menu planning can also be easy on your grocery budget. You can get local, fresh, in-season produce at great prices from farmers markets, roadside stands, u-pick farms and even your traditional grocery store.

My favorite ingredients, though, come from my own garden. You can't get much easier than going to your own back yard for your dinner. Hopefully my garden will flourish in the next several weeks and will be ready to harvest soon.

What's on your dinner table this summer? How do you save money on your grocery budget over the summer?

Are you looking for new grill recipes? Do you have an awesome grill recipe to share? Bring it to Family Balance Sheet every Monday from June 21 - August 30, 2010 and link up to the Summer Grilling Recipe Exchange.

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  1. I enjoy shopping at farmers markets too. I use them for what I can't grow in our garden. To answer your question on the recipe card, my coworker has a blog and she explained exactly how to do this in her post found here: http://www.goodenessgracious.com/2010/05/goode-project-bloggy-recipe-cards.html

    Stop by and tell her Ott, A said Hi, and I'm sure she would be happy to link up to your grilling party in the future.

  2. Like you, my summer goal is to keep the heat out of the kitchen and eat fresh.

  3. New to your blog. Great ideas and tips. I'll be back. My mouth is watering now!

  4. Thanks Ott, A for the info and for stopping by.

    Welcome Nancy and Kasey! Thanks for the comments.

  5. looks like a perfect summer meal...I do need to grill more often.
    all the Best!

  6. hi kristia,

    i love summer for so many reasons, and this is a big one... fresh easy meals, often without turning the stove on at all (bbq doesn't count, it's outside!). i love grilling veggies on the bbq, i finally got one of those griddle things -- love it!

  7. What a beautiful dinner--look at all the colors!
    The Farmer's Market in the next town just opened up last weekend. I haven't been to it yet but hope to go soon. What I'm really waiting for is the farmstand that's just a mile from here to open. We don't have many on Long Island any more (alas!) so I'm lucky to have one so close by. I tried canning tomatoes for the first time last year. It was just a small batch, but now that I know it's easy (and I'm not going to kill the family) I can't wait to get to it again!

  8. keeping heat out of kitchen and serving good food are the goals I keep in mind when feeding my family

  9. I love grilled carrots and have a recipe on my blog for it... I may have to link it up on Monday!

    Sounds fun :o)


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