It’s good to be home

I’m back! Sorry to take so long to get back to business, but I needed a vacation from my vacation. We had a wonderful 10 days away and every one of us got a much needed dose of vitamin D as well as long, lazy days with no agenda. Though, come to think of it, maybe that was the problem; because by Easter Sunday, when we returned home, I was cranky with a capital C. Ten days of fun in the sun and togetherness-what could be better than that? How about sending everyone packing back to school or the office on the morning of the eleventh day!

How nice it was on Monday to do errands BY MYSELF! To have a phone conversation BY MYSELF! To take a shower BY MYSELF! Cue the choirs of angels singing! And, the best part was that the weather this week at home was even better than the weather we had in Florida so from 8:30 am on, I could pretend I was at a resort alone….at least until the afternoon school pick ups began.

And, how nice it was to cook again. My feathers were a bit ruffled from the 10 days of hotels, out-to-dinners and family togetherness so my cooking this week has been soothing, easy and all about me. The dinners are simple, pure, after a vacation filled with no-nos. I have grilled every night: chicken, fish and steak and most have been turned into some sort of salad for me using only a light lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

My favorite of these was a dinner of grilled shrimp on top of a salad of all my favorite things. It is a poor man’s version of the grilled salad from The Ivy in Los Angeles- but it is fabulous, and the perfect antidote to vacation feather ruffling.

Caroline’s Grilled Salad– 2 servings with leftovers

For the dressing
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together well.

For the salad
8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice of 3 limes
1/3 c olive oil
3 cloves garlic
¼ c. chopped cilantro
8 spears of asparagas
1 red onion, cut into thick rings
1 small to medium zucchini, ends removed, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 yellow pepper, cored and sliced into 1- 2” strips for grilling
2 ears of corn
½ -1 avacado, cubed
1 c. cherry tomatos, halved

Mix the lime juice, olive oil, garlic and cilantro together. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare a grilled to medium hot. Brush the asparagas, onion, zucchini, yellow pepper and corn with a light coating of olive oil. Grill the vegetables until tender- they will cook quickly- maybe 8-10 minutes total.

When the vegetables are finished, place the shrimp on the grill and grill for 3-4 minutes each side. They will need no more.

Roughly chopped the grilled vegetables and shrimp. Toss all together with desired amount of dressing.



  1. katie
    Posted April 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    OMG! YUM!

  2. Suzanna
    Posted April 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sounds fantastic. As good as a vacation is, there’s nothing like getting back home and having a simple (albiet fabulous) meal in your own kitchen! I do have a question — when I grill shrimp they always seem overcooked and I’m worried about undercooking shellfish. How do you prevent this?

  3. Sara Fusco
    Posted April 12, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply


    I am your sister outlaw: Chris’s sister, Sara, in San Francisco. A proud foodie. Lisa turned me on to Dinner Dilemma a few months back and I love it.
    I missed you while you were gone. And I too just finished spring break with two weeks off and lots of kids/teenagers over.
    Among my favorites is: The banana bread. Now a staple in my house- perfect for after school or bedtime snack and hungry teenagers!
    I love your writing and your recipes. I remember a potato dish you served at Spence’s house in MA before Chris and Lisa married. Could that ever be printed? Simple and delicious. I too roast veggies a lot and find cauliflower with olive oil and salt well received by those who don’t like cauliflower. I look forward to reading about/ cooking more of your dishes.
    Best, Sara

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