kebab's your uncle

It’s a rare day in Michigan.  82 degrees, sunny, beautiful.  Not a raindrop, not a snowflake in sight.  Did you hear that? SunshineWarm weather. Keep a snapshot of this day in your mind; it may never happen again.

So I decided to celebrate in proper form.  With food on a stick.

The first thing was dinner.  Josh wanted grilled Polish sausages and potato salad, but that felt just a bit too midwestern for my taste, so while I made him that, I made something more Lauren-friendly for me.  The inspiration from this came from a Tyler Florence show once in which he made a salad with grilled chicken sausage and bread.  I figured it would be a good basis for an antipasto skewer.  I enjoy Mediterranean-inspired meals and this one is easily adaptable and super easy to make, especially because the chicken sausage was precooked.  I enjoy easy, tasty meals that allow me to be outside and lounge and eat with my hands. In fact, I find very few things as relaxing as eating a light, delicious meal with my fingers while sitting in the sunlight.  I don’t know what it is.  Things you eat with your fingers are just inherently more delicious than things you eat off a fork or a spoon or even the fabled spork.  Also, sunny days chasing the clouds away on my way to where the air is sweet make everything taste better.

By the way, you get bonus cookies if you got that reference.

Anyway, for my kebabs, I went with Italian chicken sausage, cremini mushrooms, sliced Italian bread and cherry tomatoes, lined up on skewers, brushed with olive oil and grilled until the sausage was heated through, the bread nice and crusty and the tomatoes soft, hot and juicy.  These I paired up with cooling skewers of marinated mozzarella balls and fresh basil leaves, also sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Oh. My. Goodness.  It was almost as good as being back on the Amalfi coast.


And one of the best things was that all I had to do was slice things up, slide them on bamboo sticks and put them on the grill.  If only all cooking was that easy!

But the kebab craze didn’t stop there.  Oh no, we’re riding this train all the way to treat-town.  You know, Treat Town.  Just two stops past Lame Jokes on the Cheesy Blog Post line.  Yeah, that one.

While I was cutting up sausage for the kebabs, my heavenly Tahitian vanilla marshmallows (you remember them, don’t you?) were sitting there on the counter, calling me, teasing me.  Don’t you want to play, Lauren? they asked in singsong voice, those scrumptious sirens of sugar.  Who were sitting in their bag, on the counter next to…a quart of strawberries that I’d been snacking on.  Hm.  Strawberries.  Marshmallows.  Strawberries.  Marshmallows.  Skewers…Ding. Idea!

Two ideas actually.  The first: s’mores.  Cause I mean, obviously.  S’mores.  With the Tahitian vanilla marshmallows and the strawberries and some good semisweet chocolate.  I mean, doesn’t that just make you happy?

The other idea was using the leftover Italian bread as a base, coating thin slices of it in sugar, grilling it, smothering it with Nutella and topping it with a gooey marshmallow and a strawberry.  Delightful and pretty.

Both turned out pretty well, actually.  I put both the strawberries and the marshmallows on skewers, for two reasons: one, to try and caramelize a bit of the sugars in the strawberries and warm them up a bit (didn’t work so well) and also the create a break between the marshmallows so that they didn’t melt into one another and become horribly difficult to get off the skewer (looked very well).  Josh liked the bread bites with the nutella best.  He thought they were delish.  He also thinks that the chocolate spread tastes like tootsie rolls and now wonders if maybe tootsie rolls are made of nutella (they are not).

I liked the strawberry s’mores best.  I love how gooey the Have It Sweet marshmallows get and that, combined with the chocolate and the sweetness of the strawberries…oh man, it was fantastic.  Messy, but fantastic.  And unlike this perfect sunny day in Michigan, this will happen again.

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