Friday, July 2, 2010

Contest Winners and No-Oven Menus

The two winners of the Cheesy Contest have been drawn from Hearth Cricket comments made since the contest was announced a couple weeks ago. Dru won a copy of Something Borrowed, Something Bleu and a copy of Ricki Carroll’s Making Butter, Yogurt and Cheese Bulletin. Shel won a copy of Something Borrowed, Something Bleu and a selection of cheeses from Congratulations to you both! Please send your mailing addresses to me at so I can get your loot to you asap!

Today I'm guest posting over at Anastasia Pollack's blog, Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers. Anastasia is the crafts editor at American Woman Magazine and the title character in Lois Winston’s upcoming Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries.

So, no formal recipe this week at Hearth Cricket, but plenty of summer meal ideas. It's been a week since the oven went off, and I haven't used the stove top either. That meant lots of cooking on the grill and a bit in the microwave, combined with salads and leftovers. Breakfasts have often been fresh fruit with homemade yogurt and granola. I also discovered I could boil a cup of water in the microwave, add a room-temperature egg to the hot water, go take a shower, and come back to an evenly cooked soft-boiled egg, perfect over over wilted chard or with toast.

Lunches, when we bothered, consisted of leftovers or salads.

No-Oven Menu Last Week

Grilled New York strip steaks, baked potato salad (bake potatoes by microwaving four or five minutes, then douse in olive oil and a goodly sprinkle of kosher salt and grill on medium indirect heat until crispy chewy on the outside and tender in the middle), and grilled vegetables (zucchini, sweet peppers, vidalia onion slices and mushrooms).

Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Fresh asiago-and-basil bread from the farmer's market, peppered bacon cooked in the microwave and the first Cherokee purple tomato from the garden made these perfect summer fare. K wanted French fries, so I made steak fries on the grill by microwaving two potatoes for three minutes and slicing them into wedges, then tossing them with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little chopped rosemary. Then they cooked for about twenty minutes on a piece of foil laid across a relatively low grill. The lid was closed most of the time, but I moved them around a lot to achieve even browning. The result was very similar to the ones I broast in the oven during the winter.

Grilled pork sirloin strips marinated in peanut sauce and threaded on kabobs -- tossed with broccoli grilled in a foil packet, fresh cilantro, chopped scallions, leftover linguine and more peanut sauce. The linguine was a frozen leftover, otherwise I would have used bean threads or rice sticks softened in boiling water.

Salad of rare, thinly sliced leftovers from Saturday’s New York strip steaks (they were quite large) tossed with blue cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, walnuts and Italian dressing and served over garden greens.

Dinner out after nine holes of evening golf.

Shrimp tacos – grilled the shrimp after rubbing them with a paste of garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, olive oil and lime juice and letting them sit for an hour or so – accompanied by chilled black beans tossed with finely chopped red onion, chopped roasted poblano peppers, lime juice, olive oil, kosher salt and lots of fresh cilantro.

Pork Spring rolls made with Monday’s leftover peanut pork kabobs, grated carrot, sliced scallions and thinly sliced crispy garden lettuce. Dipping sauces will be bottled peanut sauce, a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar, and hot mustard mixed with soy and garlic chili sauces.

Anyone have a favorite outside dish they'd like to share? I’d love to hear about it.

See you Monday!


  1. Congratulations to the winners. Hope you have a happy and safe holiday. Thanks so much for guest blogging yesterday at Thoughts in Progress.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. Thanks Cricket. Sending you my information via email.

  3. I got as far as raising the cover off our grill and checking to make sure it's clean. Yep. Charcoal. Check.

    My favorite outside grilling food is any marinated meat (but especially steak) on a skewer with chunks of onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and any other veggie that promises not to slide into the fire.

  4. Yum! Everything sounds so delish! We like to make BLATs this time of year ~ that's bacon, lettuce, avacado, and tomato, with a pepper-mayo. Is it too late to come over for dinner? I think we can catch a late flight! hah!