Savory Summer Dinner
One of my greatest joys is being surrounded by family, friends and good food. My friends and I are always on the hunt for new and innovative recipes to share for our family meals and entertaining, and we have great fun on this quest.
In fact, two of the recipes for my favorite summer cookout made their way to my kitchen from the files of good cooks I know. This ever-popular meal includes Grilled Sirloin Steak, Tomato Basil Linguine, Swiss Cashew Tossed Salad and Walnut Apple Dessert.
My husband, Rob, daughter, Kahley, and son, Alec, give this combination their hearty stamp of approval. It's also a meal I can count on when company's coming.
A flavorful marinade makes the Grilled Sirloin Steak memorable. Rob raves about the appetizing aroma while it is cooking. One bite of the tender, tasty meat is the true test!
The zesty marinade is one that my friend, Miriam Reyes, and I concocted. We've found that if you mix and refrigerate the ingredients a day ahead, the flavors become even more pronounced.
My best friend from college, Karen Inger, served Tomato Basil Linguine during a "girls' weekend" she hosted at her lake cottage. She's a fantastic cook, and I can always count on her to come up with something new and exciting.
Like Karen, I have found that whenever I serve this fresh-tasting dish, recipe requests are sure to follow.
I love the distinctive flavor of Brie cheese—it really adds character to this special pasta. Camembert, another soft cheese, is a delicious alternative.
Swiss Cashew Tossed Salad has the perfect blend of crunch and sweetness. The Swiss cheese and nuts in this recipe accent the crisp lettuce. Speckled with poppy seeds, the attractive dressing is both sweet and tangy.
It's a side dish that fits nicely with many different menus. When I serve it to guests—which I often do—they comment about the interesting mix of salad ingredients and the dressing's attractive appearance and pleasing flavor.
I credit my neighbor, Linda Sargent, for the Walnut Apple Dessert. She's been making it for 33 years, and the recipe was passed down from her mom.
Always a crowd-pleaser, this timeless treat tastes something like apple pie but is conveniently made in a 13 x 9 baking dish. It is loaded with fruit, which makes the cake very moist.
My mom wasn't interested in cooking, but that didn't stop me! I can remember her admonishing me when I was 10 for making my cookies too big. She didn't realize that I was making eclairs—not cookies—at the time!
While my earliest memories of cooking involve helping my great-grandmother in her kitchen, my love of cooking came from my wonderful grandmother, DeLilah Gorby, who was forever inviting family and friends over for delicious dinners after church.
I met Rob at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Immediately attracted to him, I knew he'd be the man I would marry. I borrowed a roommate's binoculars and tried to time my arrival at the cafeteria to coincide with his.
From December to May, I did this—but to no avail. Since I had to run down four flights of stairs (there wasn't any elevator) to get there, I arrived red-faced and out of breath each day—not exactly the best way to impress a guy!
Finally, the following April Fools' Day, I boldly told him that I'd like to get to know him. The direct approach worked! We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this April by returning to the same cafeteria.
There, we were greeted by a newspaper reporter, steak dinner and a cake with binoculars frosted on top!
Nowadays, we're busy with family activities. And I've found another creative outlet besides cooking. I make glass bead jewelry and call my business "Midlife Outbursts." Rob designs mosaic mirrors under the same name, and we are having the time of our lives.
Kahley drew my logo—a smiley frizzy-haired woman with bracelets on both wrists. I'm delighted that my glass bead art is now featured in nine galleries in Michigan and Florida.
I hope that I've whetted your appetite to try our favorite steak dinner. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to share some of the recipes I like best with other Taste of Home cooks!