National Grilling Month is here

July is National Grilling Month, according to Erin Palinski Wade, lifestyle, nutrition and fitness expert, and what better month to celebrate than the one that is popular for barbecues, picnics, swimming and fireworks.

You might throw in hot dogs, hamburgers and cupcakes as requisites for a happy time.

For grilling, there is now a non-stick grilling sheet called Cookina Signature. It is a reusable cooking sheet, versatile in that it can be used for grilling, lining baking sheets and for oven protection as well.

Used over the grill it does not need oil for the roasting process, and the grill doesn’t need to be cleaned with a steel brush later. Additionally, users can still achieve the coveted grill marks on foods. It is reusable, reversible, easy to clean and readily cuts to a needed size.

Likewise, the reusable cooking sheet creates a non-stick, easy-clean and healthy cooking and baking experience. It is ideal for use as an alternative to aluminum foil, parchment and wax paper. It can be used on the cooking sheet to bake recipes without having to use oil or needing to clean the oven afterwards.

The oven protector is toxin-free and helps cooks keep the oven clean with minimal effort. Simply place the oven protector on the bottom of the oven to catch every spill and splatter for an easier cleanup, without any odor.


We are all acquainted with the grilled hot dog and even the fried in boiling oil corn dog but how about a baked corn dog? I came across this recipe some time ago but have never tried to make them. Seems like I never had the required wooden sticks that are needed.

Baked Corn Dogs

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup honey

8 hot dogs

8 wooden skewer sticks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Cookina Club reusable cooking sheet and set aside. Insert sticks through center of hot dogs. In a bowl, mix flour, corn meal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix melted butter, milk and honey until combined. Add wet mixture to dry and mix with a wooden spoon. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut a rectangle of dough to size and place hot dog on the rectangle. Pinch the dough together at top and bottom. Place on lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough starts to brown. Serve with ketchup and mustard immediately.


Watermelon can be thrown on the grill after it has been brushed with a light film of olive oil on each side. Grill on one side for 3 minutes, turn over and grill the same amount of time on the other side. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Squeeze lemon juice over the melon and enjoy. The fruit contains lots of nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, magnesium and phosphorus. This information came from Jackie Lucas of Warner Communications. A cup of watermelon contains more than 20 percent of the daily vitamin needs in fewer than 50 calories.


The cooking sheets come in handy for grilling mozzarella cheese. Coat thick slices of mozzarella in a beaten egg, cover in bread crumbs and grill for a few minutes on each side. When the cheese begins to melt, remove from the heat, plate it and drizzle a little marinara sauce on top.


This is an easy dessert to make as it uses a box of yellow cake mix, prepared in the usual way with peanut butter added to the batter. It is from the Ohio Cookbook.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosted


Box of yellow cake mix, 18.25-ounce size

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in peanut butter. Put batter in 24 cupcake paper lined muffin tin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely and frost with the following:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

3/4 cup Hershey’s chocolate syrup

6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine chocolate syrup and chocolate chips. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and beat in peanut butter, then powdered sugar and milk. Beat until smooth. Use to frost the cupcakes.

There might be some frosting left, depending on how much frosting you like on the cupcakes. This can be stored in a glass or plastic covered container, heated slightly and thinned with milk to make an ice cream topping.


This recipe is from the Taste of Home magazine. It is a meatless grill that will appeal to those who like portobello mushrooms. They are made colorful with a slice of tomato and a basil and almond pesto.

Ricotta Stuffed



3/4 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon pepper

6 large portobello mushrooms

6 slices large tomato

3/4 cup fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoon slivered almonds or pine nuts, toasted

Small garlic clove

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 teaspoons water

In a small bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley and pepper. Remove and discard stems from mushrooms; with a spoon, scrape and remove gills. Fill caps with ricotta mixture. Top with tomato slices.

Grill, covered, over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Remove from grill with a metal spatula. Meanwhile, place basil, almonds and garlic in a small food processor; pulse until chopped. Add the remaining Parmesan cheese; pulse just until blended. While processing, gradually add olive oil and enough water to reach desired consistency. Spoon over stuffed mushrooms before serving.

To toast nuts: Spread evenly into a 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Or spread nuts in a dry nonstick skillet and cook over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. The stuffed portobella are 200 calories per slice, and it makes six servings.


This is a burger that has crumbled bacon added. It uses lean beef so the crumbled bacon adds some extra flavor without a lot of extra calories. The suggestion is from Redbook magazine and a burger without a bun is 170 calories.

Big Flavor Burgers

4 tablespoons precooked, crumbled bacon

1 pound extra-lean ground beef, 4 percent fat or less

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Mix the three ingredients well but lightly. Form into a patty and a deep impression in the middle. Put on the grill and cook until of a desired doneness. Spread hamburger buns with a light film of butter or margarine and put cut side down on grill until it is considerably warm. Put burger on bun bottom and spread with any desired toppings on top. Close and enjoy. Serves four.

Note: Center cut bacon is a lean pork bacon with less fat and more meat in each piece. It is only about 30 calories and 2.5 fat per strip.


Here is a roasted green bean salad. With the non-stick grilling sheets, there will be no problem with falling through to the coals below or sticking to the foil. It is from Taste of Home magazine.

Roasted Green Bean Salad

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dill weed

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss beans with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread on the cooking sheet-lined grill and roast until beans are tender and lightly browned. Stir occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, dill, mustard, sugar, pepper and the remaining oil and salt until blended. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette to coat. Makes six servings. This 108 calories per serving.