Mouth-Watering Marinades

Just because it’s because it’s been raining for the past two months straight doesn’t mean you aren’t going to do some serious grilling this Summer.  If you’re like us, you’ve already started!  Here are two GREAT, EASY marinades (one for steak and one for chicken) that will literally make your mouth water and have your family cheering for more.  Bonus: you can make both of these with stuff that is already in your pantry, saving you the $5 – $10 on bottled marinades, and keeping that single-use plastic out of the environment.  No to go on and on, but another thing I love about these marinades, apart from the facts that they keep your meat juicy and the flavor is outstanding, is that when you make your own, you know exactly what’s going into them: no strange chemicals, no artificial flavors, no sugar, no preservatives, no MSG, no tricks, no worries!

How do I know you are going to love these marinades?  I’ll tell you.  We had them both last night.  When Axel, the world’s biggest steak lover, passes up steak in favor of this marinated grilled chicken, you know you’re on to something.  As for the amazing flank steak, I only wish there was more left over.  Time to whip up some more marinade!

Lindquist Soup: Better than DayQuil

Is anyone else sick?  Seems like this whole state is congested, whether with ear, throat and sinus infections or just plain old, annoying seasonal allergies.

Don’t worry!  Lindquist Soup is here to give your congestion a run for its money.  

We call this Lindquist Soup because I invented it the other night when half the household was sick, and because, like the Lindquists, it’s comprised of a bunch of crazy ingredients that, when thrown together, come together perfectly and pretty much kick butt.  My Eva calls it “zingy!” and I have to agree.  It’s nothing if it’s not zingy.  Enjoy, and may we all feel better and breathe easy soon.


Grilled Romaine

There is nothing easier or more surprisingly satisfying on a hot summer evening than grilled romaine salad.  It’s the perfect base for any protein (think: sliced flank steak, grilled salmon, chicken or pork) and takes minutes to prepare.

The surprise is that when seasoned, grilled and dressed, romaine takes on a nutty, smoky flavor that will leave you wanting more every time.  Seriously, we can’t get enough of it.  We’ve had it for the past two days, and when asked what my family wants to eat this week, I got three replies of “more grilled romaine, please!”  Romaine is one of those magical greens, like kale, that can hold up its crunch even after exposure to heat, dressing, and time.  That makes this a great salad to pack in lunches and/or eat the next day: it will still be nutty and smoky and crunchy, even after being grilled and sitting in the fridge with dressing on it, overnight!


In this recipe, I’ve added another of our summer staples: grilled corn.  You can, and should, add anything you like!  The corn adds sweetness which is addictive.  I also love to slice white radishes into my grilled romaine salad for an extra fresh, sharp crunch.  I will shred beets, carrots, and/or jicama into it from time to time.  But to be honest, the simplest and fastest way to make this salad is just with whatever you can fit onto your grill.  If you have corn on there, great: add it.  If you have chicken on there, great:  add it.  If all you have on there is romaine, well, aren’t you lucky.

Click here for how-to and tips.

How much does my family love grilled romaine, you ask?  Good question.  The answer is that we love it so much that my wonderful, creative, hilarious stepson had these t-shirts made for all of us a few years ago (Calvano is my maiden name).  Clearly, we live to eat… grilled romaine.



It’s Chowda Time!


It’s really, finally spring here in Little Rhody.  Which means it’s mostly rainy and cloudy and brisk, with a few gorgeously bright, warm, sunshiny days sprinkled in to remind us that the page on the calendar is about to turn into Full Blown Summer.  It’s prom season, end of school frenzy, what-are-you-doing-this-summer-time, time to switch out winter clothes and shed our winter coats.  It’s time to stock up on charcoal and propane and fill your pantry with clam stock and all of the ingredients you need to make this chowda!  I find myself unable switch over into Summer Mode without making and indulging in this clam chowder every year, in May.  It’s the ultimate Season-Opener comfort food.

Here’s the thing that is often widely unappreciated: even though the harsh winter has ended and we’re looking at soft, hazy days ahead, we really do need some comfort at this transition.  It’s a big one.  And I’m not ready.  Yet.  I made this chowder last weekend for Mother’s Day, and I’ll make it again on Memorial Day, and then I’ll be ready to tackle the three-month headlong-sprint that is Summer.  We’re talking hearty, quick breakfasts and lunches for hard working, big kids who’ll be on-the-go, working in the heat, on their feet, all day long… we’re talking easy, portable “boat food:” wraps and crackers and cold salads with protein-packed grains, grilled romaine and loads of veggies and high-octane snacks… we’re talking frozen grapes and watermelon, protein shakes, iced coffee and ice cream!  We’re talking extra laundry, yard work, house work, washing cars and prepping boats for the season.  We’re talking holidays and birthdays, end of year parties, pool parties, beach parties, weddings, bonfires and graduations.  Then there’s always work for the adults, sailing and cookouts after work and on weekends, and marathon training for me.  You know what I’m talking about:  it’s a lot.  You’d better sit down and have some hot, creamy chowder before you tackle what’s ahead of you this summer.

I’ll be back soon with more from the Summer Sanity Planning Department…