Food Network-featured chef, FOXNews blogger and mother of two Susannah Locketti has weekend-grilling tips for moms.
We slave over the stove indoors with the kids hovering at our ankles. Men grill in the great outdoors (next to a big cooler of beer) while playing horseshoes and getting a tan. We need to master this mysterious appliance worshipped by fathers far and wide.
Men don't care about fashion when they grill, and neither should we. Let your hair down, throw on some pajamas, pop open a bottle of beer and have a burping contest with your girlfriends. Then preheat the grill for 15 to 30 minutes with the top closed. (This is key for preventing food from sticking later on.)
Put hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill at the first sight of kids. This way, you won't feel rushed to get everything done at once. After the kids are fed, they will be energized and keep out of your hair so you can take your time with the rest of the menu.
Make sure your menu has items both kids and adults will enjoy. Easy trick: Cut kielbasa into chunks and place in a Ziploc baggie with four cups of fresh pineapple chunks and 1 cup of packed brown sugar. Toss evenly to coat. Next, arrange the pieces on metal skewers or wooden skewers soaked in water overnight. Grill keilbasa-bobs on low and turn over often so the sugar doesn't burn. Serve on or off the skewers.
Prepare ahead of time. Tip: Chicken is a cinch when you marinate it in olive oil, garlic, herbs, lemon juice, zest and salt and pepper. You could also pour a bottle of store-bought barbeque sauce over it, or marinate it in teriyaki sauce with ginger, scallions, garlic and some oil. Don't forget to set aside a few plain pieces in case the kids opt out of the marinade.
Be untraditional. I even make personal pizzas on the grill. Just divide a ball of store-bought dough into four sections and roll out. Place your dough directly on a lightly oiled grill and let your kids and guests choose their toppings.
Be creative. Dessert can even be grilled! Drizzle fresh split peaches or extra pineapple with a little olive oil, and grill. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Practically everything you make in your kitchen can happen on a grill -- and with fewer dirty dishes. Who knows? By next summer, grills could be pink and have built-in bottle warmers!