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Well, it’s officially Summer here in Las Vegas.  While the calendar may not yet say it is, the triple digit temperatures say otherwise!  And for us – that means it’s grilling time!!!

I remember growing up back East my grandfather was King of the Grill.  That man grilled no matter what the weather!!!  My grandparents had a large screened in porch (awning) in their backyard.  During the nicer weather and all throughout the Summer, my grandfather would take his barbecue outside of the awning and grill.  In the not so nice weather and even through the rainy and brutally cold, snowy winter months, he would still grill!  Their awning was large enough to keep the barbecue and grill with plenty of room to spare.  It was kind of comical watching my grandfather bundle up in his winter coat with a piece of raw meat and a pair of tongs to go grill!  But, he did!  And it made for great memories!!

We would grill on occasion at home when I was growing up, but it was not something we did often.  Our awning was tiny and our barbecue/gas hook-up was probably about 30 feet from it.  So we’d have to take the barbecue out the awning door, and drag it across the uneven grass to the gas hook-up.  It was just a pain!!

Conveniently, our grill is pretty much right outside our back door.  My husband and I love to spend time outside and grilling is something we both very much enjoy, and Rob is becoming quite the grilling officianado!!  I like to try different things and found some cool grilling accessories for the barbecue.  Since then, I’ve been able to grill lots of vegetables instead of roasting them in the oven.  I mean, come on, who wants to turn on their oven in triple digit heat?!

Grilled Vegetables

2 red peppers, cut into 1″ pieces
2 yellow peppers, cut into 1″ pieces
2 orange peppers, cut into 1″ pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp. garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt, Pepper, Onion powder, Garlic Powder to taste

1)  In a resealable bag, combine the vegetables, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and oregano.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Coat all vegetables well.
2)  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop before grilling.
3)  Heat grill and put vegetables in grilling basket.  Grill for about 20-25 minutes o until veggies are tender, turning frequently to avoid burning.

You can also add other vegetables including mushrooms, zucchini, or yellow squash.

Another favorite of mine is artichokes – stuffed, marinated, grilled, boiled, roasted – prepared just about anyway – I love artichokes.  They are delicious on the grill!!

Grilled Artichokes

2-4 large artichokes
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pot of boiling water
olive oil, as needed
Salt and lemon pepper seasoning, to taste

1)  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the artichokes.
2)  Cut a little bit of the artichoke stem and using a peeler, peel the outer layer of the stem off.
3)  Cut about 1/4 – 1/3 of the top of the artichoke off and using a kitchen scissor, clip the tips of each leaf off.
4)  Cut the artichokes in half, then quarters, and if they are still too large, into eighths.  Remove the fuzzy choke from the artichoke.
5)  Add the lemon juice to the pot of boiling water.  Place the quartered or eighthed artichokes into the pot.  Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the artichokes are tender.
6)  Remove from water, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and lemon pepper.
7)  Place artichokes on the grill and grill 3-4 minutes on each side.

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