Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Entertaining Your Family: Easy Weeknight Meal, all on the Grill

I just got back from a wonderful, and outrageously spontaneous, trip to Santiago, Chile of all places! My hubby has been in S. America since the first of June, and when his trip got extended for another couple of weeks he called and asked my daughter and I (who is not quite 2 yet so still free to fly) to join him. After a mulling it over for a couple of hours, the thought of 3 more weeks of single mom-hood took over (TOTALLY have new respect for all you single parents out there), and I decided that well, "If Mohammed won't come to the mountain, ...", and 24 hours later we were out the door and on a plane.

Now, I just mentioned I have a toddler. To put this into perspective let me also mention that the trip from Calgary, Alberta Canada to Santiago, Chile South America is not exactly a hop, skip and a jump. To make matters worse, when we landed in Dallas after our first 4 hour leg of the journey I found out our overnight flight to Santiago had been cancelled, and I was stuck at a Dallas hotel with no luggage, minimal diapers, lacking in toys to entertain my child, and of course no hubby.

Needless to say after a very LONG journey we did make it Santiago, and it was fantastic. I was amazed by how wonderful everything was, the food, the wine, the Pisco sours (I may even post a recipe for these one day...we bought some Pisco, we took some pictures of locals making them, and as soon as I perfect this refreshing cocktail at home it will be passed on), and I got a much needed break with hubby around to change a few diapers.

Well, I'm home now (and he's still there), and let me tell you I forgot once I got to my destination in Santiago that I'd have to travel back - for 20 hours - with a toddler - by myself. I'm pooped.

But, we have to eat. And I don't know about you but after traveling for 10 days and eating in restaurants breakfast, lunch and dinner, I just can't do too much more take-out. Sure, the first night we got back I ordered in - couldn't even wrap my head around the idea of turning on the stove and tossing in a frozen pizza, but now I need to cook something.

Of course I had to hit the grocery store, so while I was there I picked up some chicken legs. Nothing fancy, and great on the grill (less dishes - perfect for tired cooking). When I got home I marinated them in red wine vinegar, a couple cloves of garlic, olive oil, and fresh rosemary (I happen to have got the inspiration for this recipe when I was at the grocery store, and picked up the fresh rosemary while I was there - but you can use dried no problem). I'm not going to give you a recipe for this because I just eye-balled it and you should too.

Then, into a plastic bag it all went, back into the fridge, and I forgot about them for 24 hours. When it came time for dinner tonight I fired up the BBQ (yes, I grill - my husband travels lots remember), and first prepared a tinfoil packet of red potatoes by cutting up the potatoes and laying them on a large sheet of the foil. Top with a tablespoon or so of butter, s&p, a small sprig of the rosemary (again whatever you have on hand will do) and about 3 tablespoons of water. Seal it up with another piece of foil and fold over all edges to make a tight pocket. That went on the top rack of the BBQ first where they will bake/steam as the rest of the food cooks. Then, on went my marinated chicken legs, and about 7 or so minutes before everything was done I threw on some seasoned (in olive oil and s&p) asparagus to char a little.

That was dinner. All on the grill for minimal cleanup, all homemade to make me feel human again, and all super easy so I didn't burst into tears out of exhaustion in the middle of it all!

It's good to be home, it's good to cook again, and it will be good to be totally back to normal very soon!

1 comment:

Cate O'Malley said...

Sounds like a great trip, even if it got off to a rough start!