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I don’t know about you, but here in Denver, we finally had nice weather for the Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend. I even got sun-burned walking the dog. Hello sunshine, meet winter white skin…ouch!

It could have been the nice weather, three-day weekend, time spent with friends, who knows. But on Monday, I did something very unlike me. I went all ‘no recipe’ on the meal I made.

The dish itself even came to me as a vision while driving to the grocery store. I wanted to make everything on the grill. And I wanted to be the only one ‘manning’ the grill. No help from the boyfriend, as tempting as it was to ask him, not even when timers were going off and I was rushing from the kitchen to the grill outside and back again. I definitely sensed a look of concern on his face, he knows how I get when I cook. I want everything to be perfect and timed at the same time for a nice, hot meal. Alas, I stayed strong on not asking for help when the going got, well, a little frantic.

So what did we have? Well, as per my vision, I made buffalo sliders (approx. 10 minutes on the grill, flipped them a couple times while I figured out the grill’s hot spots and perfectly pink on the inside), corn on the cob (grilled in the husk, 5 min per side for a total of 20 minutes), asparagus (with mixture of olive oil, seasoned pepper and garlic powder, grilled for about 10 minutes with a few tosses), and a beautiful bowl of fresh berries (King Soopers had raspberries 10 for $10 and Sprouts had blackberries for $.77 each — finally prices are reasonable) and watermelon. Oh and to top it all off, we had Black Raspberry Chocolate ice cream for dessert (don’t have a picture of that though, it went fast).

Without a recipe. It just came to me. I tried things I thought would be good. And I cooked them all on the grill… by… my… self! Everything was finished at the same time. Table was set. It couldn’t have worked out better. Well, maybe a few panicked moments I could have done without, but where’s the fun in learning if you don’t have a few small “oh, s?!#t” moments.

If you know me, this is a huge achievement. I struggle with enjoying cooking at times. And this I enjoyed. There wasn’t a prouder person around.

What about you? Have you made a meal recently you’re proud of? It could be a PB&J sandwich for all I care. Gotta celebrate the big and small victories, know what I mean!

Hope you had a safe Memorial Day and took a moment to say thanks to those who’ve sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Catch ya on the flip side.

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Not only do I love my job, but it has some delicious perks. A brainstorm is not always just a brainstorm. Sometimes our brainstorms involve tasting new recipes that will be featured in publications and online during the grilling season (May – September) as part of our advertising campaign.

That’s right, similar to the enthusiasm of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, “it’s grilling season baby!”

I got to be a part of such a brainstorm recently. And although the pictures for the advertising campaign are much better than my iPhone photos below, here are the recipes we tasted in order to develop what each recipe’s name should be. (By the way, each of these beef cuts are lean, according to government guidelines, and pack a lean, mean nutrition punch with protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins and more.)

Keep an eye out for these in some epicurean, health, nutrition, fitness and other magazines this summer.

North Woods Hearty Pot Roast featuring Chuck Shoulder Pot Roast

Tenderloin Roast with Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Balsamic Glaze

Champagne Steak Salad with Blue Cheese featuring Ranch steak


Garden Grill Tri-Tip


Wasabi-Beer Braised Brisket sandwich

Samba Steak Stir-Fry featuring Round Tip steak

Bon appetit – from our kitchen to yours!

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