We love summer for the obvious reason – warm sunny days, sun tans, pool parties and mimosas, everything green and blooming… the list is long! However, more than all of those things, I anxiously await summer to get out on the back deck, wine glass in hand, and grill to my heart’s content! There’s nothing better than the smell of a well-seasoned steak searing over hot coals alongside a myriad of fresh veggies from your local farmer’s market! I could quite possibly grill every night, continuing well into the evening surrounded by family and friends as we sip on delicious wines, enjoy a fabulous meal, and share stories; laughing uncontrollably into the late hours. That marks a perfect day for me!
The other night we decided to do just that; taking advantage of our apartment’s breathtaking entertainment room that looks out over our entire town – including views of downtown Minneapolis! The night, and weather, could not have been more perfect, especially since we had plenty of outstanding wine to enjoy from a new favorite, Cameron Hughes Wine.
I will be honest, I was a little hesitant to serve the bottles at our family dinner, simply because of the price. There’s no way someone can sell quality wine at a such a low cost without it tasting… well, like the box wine. No offense to box wine, because I’ve been known to drink box wine on plenty of occasions. However, on special nights with my family, I prefer to serve the good stuff! That being said, as the night progressed, and each bottle was uncorked, we were blown away by how delicious and enjoyable Cameron Hughes wines were! How can an Old Vine Zinfandel that costs $13 taste closer to a $40 Zin? It doesn’t seem possible, but the reason for that is Cameron Hughes Wine is all about what’s inside the bottle, no fancy label, simple website… just high quality wine at affordable prices.
Summer grilling wouldn’t be complete without some REALLY GOOD and easy recipes to whip up whenever the occasion arises. Apart from grilling steak and chicken, we love to soak a few hand-cut cedar planks overnight and grill huge fillets of steel head trout seasoned with dill, sesame seed oil, garlic, lime and a Japanese spice called Shichimi Togarashi (similar to cayenne pepper.) We serve it alongside Parmesan grilled baby zucchini and a roasted red pepper sauce. It is so incredibly good, fresh, and most important, healthy!
Having all of the essential tools to make sure your season of grilling and outdoor entertaining kicks off without a hitch, is probably the most important thing in preparing for summer… at least in my opinion! Well, other than prepping my gardens, of course! That being said, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite grilling essentials so that you can insure plenty of incredible evenings like that above, all summer long!