It’s Spring!  YAY!  The weather is warmer, the sun is shining and the bugs are out:). Yes, I got my first mosquito bite of the year on Saturday night.  Very sad, but it didn’t stop me from grilling out and enjoying the evening.  

I love using the grill! We have a gas grill and a green egg.  They are both fabulous for different reasons.  The gas grill takes about 10 minutes to heat up and I can control the temperature.  And the green egg or charcoal grill is fabulous because you get the wonderful wood-fired taste.  
Because we live in Texas we use our grill almost year round. It makes cooking so much easier and there is very little clean up-my favorite part!  If you don’t have a grill-go get one!  You can get a Weber charcoal grill for about $90.  It will change your life.  But, if you can’t have a grill because you live in an apartment or the tundra then go get yourself a cast iron stove-top grill pan. You can grab a Lodge grill pan for about $50.  You won’t get the wood-grilled taste, but you will have the easy clean up and the beautiful grill marks.
Like I said, the best thing about grilling is it is quick and easy.  We got back in town from spring break and I was exhausted from the all day travel.  The last thing I wanted to do was cook, but my kids did not want another night out at a restaurant. Have I mentioned that my kids do not like to go out to dinner?  It is the strangest thing, but they prefer to eat in. So, I ran by the grocery and bought a few steaks and green beans in the steam bag and grilled dinner.
I know that sounds really boring, but I made it more fancy by making a compound butter to go on top of the steaks and beans.  SUPER easy and makes a world of difference.  Everyone loved it, even the dog, and the clean up was minimal which allowed me to sit down and catch up on some of my shows I missed while out of town.  Double win!
Compound butter sounds very “restauranty”, but all it is is room temperature butter mixed with herbs and rolled into a log shape.  You can add whatever herbs you want.  For this one I used chives, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper. There are no exact measurements and you can’t  mess it up.  It’s butter for goodness sake!  
Make a few of these and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or you can freeze it up to 6 months. Put a pat on steaks, pork cutlets, chicken breasts, veal chops, fish, vegetables, behind your ears…the possibilities are endless and so are the combinations.
Send me a note if you come up with a fabulous combination! 


Compound Butter

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1/2 a lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons fresh herbs, minced (parsley, chives, tarragon)

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Using a spatula makes it much easier to mix thoroughly. 

Place butter mixture onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap.  Roll the mixture to form a log.

Place in the fridge for about 3-4 hours.  

Once chilled, cut off pats of butter and place on top of anything your are cooking or mix in with pasta.

* If you are short on time then place the formed log into the freezer for about 30 minutes and it will be ready to use.
* You can use any combination of flavors you can think of.  Here are a few using 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter:

Lemon/Dill- 1 lemon zested, 1 Tablespoon chopped dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Roquefort/Chive - 1oz. Roquefort cheese, 1 Tablespoon minced chives 1/2 pepper
Jalapeno/Lime- 2 teaspoons finely minced jalapeno (seeds removed), 1 lime zested, 2 teaspoons minced cilantro