Thursday, June 2, 2011

Barbecue and Blue

It's barbecue season. 


I can't get enough time in the yard, smelling the flowers, smelling food sizzling on the grill. One of my favorite springing into summer meals is a grilled steak. I know I probably shouldn't eat too much read meat, but a facialist once told me that red meat is essential to supple skin. 

Granted, I also know I can find anything on the Internet to support a theory, so I went searching and found this article about how to keep skin glowing: 

B vitamins help to release energy from food for skin metabolism and have a role in keeping skin moist and smooth. 

Best sources: Milk, oily fish, poultry, red meat, offal, eggs, bananas, soya beans, wholegrains, wheatgerm, peanut butter, fortified breakfast cereals. [Read more]

Don't you love the Internet?

So I have a steak now and again to make sure my skin is glowing.  

That said, for a balanced diet, I also need my calcium [Say cheese!] and greens [For this meal/recipe: asparagus and mushrooms on arugula, but I've included a Brussel sprouts and blue cheese recipe, too].

Have a great cookout.


2   6 oz. to 8 oz. steaks, cooked to your liking - [I like mine rare but I didn't remember to take a picture of mine; my husband likes his steak charred]

1-2 teaspoons paprika

2-4 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese


2 cups arugula, rinsed
6-8 spears asparagus
6-8 grilled mushrooms
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Baste asparagus and mushrooms with olive oil. Skewer and set on grill for 2 minutes; twist and grill 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and skewers. Slice the mushrooms. Serve the vegetables on top of the arugula. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar to taste.

In addition, if you'd like a side dish that is still "green," why not add Brussel sprouts? I know they're not everyone's favorite, probably because you had them as a kid and they weren't cooked properly. Brussel sprouts need to be tender. Cooking them in salted water makes the flavor stay inside. The smaller the Brussel sprout, the more tender, so choose wisely. I love them!



12-16 Brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons leek tips, sliced
1 shallott, diced
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon white wine
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (* I used Irish Cashel Blue)
1 teaspoon salt


Bring 2 cups of water to boil in saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
Trim off the ends of the Brussel sprouts, and boil the sprouts in boiling water for 4 minutes. Pour off the hot liquid, steam for another 4 minutes. Rinse and cool. Slice brussel sprouts in half. Set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the oil. Add the leeks tips and shallots. Add the white wine. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add the Brussel sprouts. Saute for about 5 minutes until the sprouts are browned and heated through.

Place on serving dish and sprinkle with blue cheese. {The cheese will melt.}

Here is a dessert recipe for your barbecue:

Cleo's Mocha Drops

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And if you need a good book to read while barbecuing, consider any of the new books coming out from my blog pals.

Wendy Watson's A Parfait Murder
Julie Hyzy's Grace Interrupted
Riley Adam's Finger Lickin' Dead

BTW, just in case you want to order the second in A Cheese Shop Mystery series which came out May 3rd, click here: LOST AND FONDUE

If you'd like to read the first chapter, click here: SNEAK PEEK

If you'd like to see the book trailer, click here: BOOK TRAILER

And always smile and...say cheese.

Last and yes, least, but for a bit of fun, a pal and I made a youtube movie for all those who "sell" anything. If you want to see a spoof of how to do what is called THE ELEVATOR PITCH, take a look...and leave a comment. CLICK THIS YOUTUBE LINK


  1. That youtube video is a hoot and a half!

  2. Thanks, Wendy. It had over 1,000 hits yesterday. But back to food. Oh wait ., you're vegetarian. Hope you like the sprouts. ;)

  3. OH, SWOOOON!! This gourmet BBQ looks amazing, Avery. We love, love, love blue cheese and this is perfect timing now that summer has *finally* come to the NYC area. We were beginning to lose hope the sun would ever shine again.

    Fascinating info on what keeps skin healthy, btw. I think I'll pass on the offal, but peanut butter, milk, and whole grains, I can do. :)

    Finally, I have to tell you that Marc and I thought your "Elevator Pitch" YouTube was brilliant fun. What a clever way to bring some good tips to aspiring writers (and vets, too, for that matter). And thanks for the link to my mocha cookies. You're a babe!

    Have a delicious day,
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. Cleo, thanks. Love posting some of our other posts. Hope our readers know we have archives by ingredients and author! And so glad you liked the movie. It was such fun to do.

  5. You have totally made my day, Avery! I eat more red meat than I probably should, but now that I know that it's good for my skin, I can feel a tiny bit less guilty. Thanks for the boost and for the great recipes. I loved your video. So funny! So true!

  6. Julie, thrilled to do so. Yes, almost all things (in moderation) can be good for you. Less guilty is important these days.



  7. Love your elevator pitch! Very cute.

    Yum, I think you may force me to get gas for the grill. I love those Brussels sprouts, too. The idea of creamy blue cheese melting on them is just too enticing!

    ~ Krista

  8. Krista, I used to be a charcoal griller, but I have to admit that a gas grill makes it so much easier to grill (spring, summer, fall...winter). And the grills are so much better because gas cooks the meats (and veggies) evenly. Love it!