Summer-to-fall kitchen transition: Don’t put away that grill yet!
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” — Albert Camus My husband Matthew shared this quote with me the other day and it perfectly captures the season that we are in right now, as summer gives way to fall and all the good things that come with it. While I love the sunny weather and beautiful fresh produce of summer, there is something magical about this transitional time of year when we can enjoy warm days and cool nights, while our plates are filled with end-of-summer tomatoes along with the first taste of crisp apples. With shorter days and longer nights ahead, my Transitions lenses are still working hard, because I’m taking advantage of every moment of warm sunshine before winter sets in. One of the ways that I like to extend the season is by keeping the grill going throughout the fall — but I don’t just mean with burgers and hot dogs. What people sometimes forget is that you can use the grill just like an oven, adding smoky flavor to your favorite cool-weather casseroles, root vegetables, and even bread. With that in mind, I often choose to take recipes that call for roasted vegetables, like my Thai-inspired Butternut Squash with Coconut Sauce, and cook those ingredients on the grill instead of in the oven. You can do this with just about any seasonal vegetable, from potatoes and pumpkin to broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and they don’t need much besides a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt to bring out their natural goodness. Because not as many people take advantage of grilling during the fall, I find that it can be a peaceful time of day to be outside, watching the squirrels gathering up their supply of acorns while I’ve got dinner going over the charcoal. And, luckily, because Transitions lenses continually adapt to changing light, I can still see what I’m cooking as the sun sets a little earlier each day — so I don’t burn dinner! As many of you know, I like to switch up my eyewear on a daily basis, using each pair of glasses as a way to see the world differently. You can extend this same idea to what you cook on the grill for your family and friends this fall — don’t be afraid to think outside the box! I’ve got a fun recipe for the fall grill just for you, a perfect twist on one of everybody’s favorite comfort foods: Grilled Mac ’n Cheese. Yes, you really can bake a casserole on the grill, and this recipe combines a smoked cheddar cheese with puréed butternut squash and a slather of oh-so-good Tennessee barbecue sauce to make something that will seriously knock the socks off of your dinner guests. Summer may be ending, but a beautiful new season is just beginning; get outside and feast your eyes on all the fall colors — and flavors. *Disclosure: Post sponsored by Transitions Lenses. Opinions are my own.