Impromptu Grill Party

Hi friends! Happy Sunday! Hope you’re relaxing and having a wonderful morning <3

We’ve been meaning to get a grill for the new casa for a while. The last one we owned was left in Valdosta, in our front yard with a sign that said “Take me!” [it was gone within an hour] because we had no room in the POD and it had lived a long, full life

and had made many burgers and cedar-planked salmon.


Lowe’s is having an AWESOME sale on grills right now -it was a housewarming gift from the fam- so we grabbed one up


[did you know that Lowe’s is pet-friendly? Bella loves it]

and the madre helped us transport it in my stepdad’s truck.

I texted my nana a picture of the Pilot with his new grill and she said “When are you breaking it in?”

“Tonight! Come over!”


And then we had a family grill party at the casa.


My nana, tata, madre, stepdad, little bro and his girlfriend all came over 🙂

I made some of Emily’s black bean burgers (my fave) + potatoes on the stove top (boiled, then cooked in butter until crispy with onions, pepper, garlic and sea salt)

tucson 011

+ salad with beets, goat gouda, oregano, basil and homemade dressing (I just followed the balsamic dressing ingredients on the side of the dressing shaker thing- from Pampered Chef)


steamed veggies

and the Pilot and madre grilled up some beef.


My mom is a grilling wizard- like the Hispanic female version of Bobby Flay. I was stoked that she could teach me some of her tricks last night… and how to turn the grill on 😉


It ended up being quite a feast 😀


[+ half another burger and more salad]

I’m already scheming grill-inspired eats for this week because that means the Pilot will cook dinner 😉 All I have to do is season everything and have it ready to go, and hardly any clean-up. Amazing.

This morning we’re off to the farmer’s market and then running some errands before our friends’ wedding tonight <3 I love weddings so much.

See ya later this afternoon!



Something to talk about: Any unique grill recipes? I know you can do a lot of crazyawesome things with a grill, like pizza. I’m excited to experiment 🙂

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  1. Elizabeth on September 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I love that you can text your nana. I try to text my mom and she refuses to read them because she’s afraid they are “scam” (she means spam) that will give her a virus.

    On… her phone.

    Mazel tov on the grill!

    • Fitnessista on September 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      hahah! omg.
      my nana knows all the abbreviations, too, it’s so cute. she’ll write “c u at good egg? xo”

  2. Kilee on September 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Yum! What a fun night!!! I wish that we had a barbeque. We did when we lived on Maui and it was perfect for hot nights when I didn’t feel like sweating in the kitchen. Kebabs are always one of my faves. Have a fun day!

  3. Allison @ Food for Healing on September 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    you make me want a house so much more to do all of these things!
    i want to try a grilled pizza sometime, i think it would be awesome

  4. Chloe (In Fine Feather) on September 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    It’s so great you guys can now have family & friends over in your new house! And that cedar plank salmon looks AMAZING – what a great idea for a grill item 🙂

  5. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on September 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    that is so frigging adorable that you can text your nana! My mom still barely even answers her cell phone, and I don’t think my 86 year old grandmother would know what to do with a cell phone! :/

  6. kyla on September 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Mmm i’ve made grilled peach gelato before. I bet grilled pineapple sorbet would be most delicious, especially with some coconut thrown in there. I’ve also done grilled sandwiches which turned out great!

  7. jodie on September 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I love grilled fruits and vege’s.

  8. Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] on September 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    grilled pineapple is a summer favorite of mine 🙂

    I like your patio table – pretty!

  9. RunEatRepeat on September 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I love grilling pizza! Also, stuff like blackened tempeh makes me happy.

  10. RachelG on September 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I am in major, butterflies in the stomach love with your salad recipes! I live with my parents and while they are fantastic foodies, it sometimes gets too easy to just fall into the food they buy and the meals they make. This tends to stifle my recipe creativity, so I’ve loved reading your food posts. I will be hitting up Whole Earth (a smaller version of Whole Foods/Paycheck in Princeton, NJ), and can’t wait to make your beats, gouda, etc. salad! 🙂

  11. Natalie S. on September 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Sounds yummy!

  12. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on September 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    That must be such a nice feeling for you to finally have a big house to have the fam over for dinner at 🙂 Looks like you put together a mean meal on the BBQ, Gina!

    I have a quick question, how exactly do you prep your beets? I’m so intimidated by them but love them in salads– especially with goat cheese!

  13. April @ Grits and Granola Bars on September 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    There are few things better than just seasoning something and letting the husband worry about grilling it, huh? Those are my fav nights for sure. 🙂 Less cleanup + grilling is quite healthy = win win in my book!

    Your dinner looks like it was amazing! Did the Little Fitnessista enjoy it? When I was pregnant with each of my daughters things were very hit and miss. And even if I enjoyed it while eating sometimes they decided they didn’t afterwards and…well, you know what happens next. Haha 🙂


  14. Kristen on September 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Grilled peaches & a little froyo…. yum!

  15. Jackie @ That Deep Breath on September 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Yum!! You’ve totally inspired me to break out the grill this weekend. Everything looks delicious!

  16. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on September 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Wow, that is quite a feast! Whenever I see pictures of salmon on your blog, they always make me smile. Now I just wish I had some in my fridge! 🙂

  17. Lea on September 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I love how you call your grandparents nana and tata! We use those same names too! That food looks delicious!

  18. Amanda on September 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    The other plus is that the grill doesn’t heat up the house : D

  19. Sarah on September 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    You make me long for a backyard and a house! Have you tried grilling romaine lettuce? Just cut a head in half or quarters, depending on how big it is, rub on some olive oil, add some salt and pepper and throw it on the grill. It’s done pretty quickly, you just want some charring on it. Makes for an excellent salad!

  20. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries on September 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I love, love, love grilling! Like you said, you can do SO much on a grill. It makes delicious meals, an easy clean up, and my man does most of it. 😉 Those black bean burgers look delish!

  21. shelly on September 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I love grilling weird stuff! My favorite things I’ve grilled are pizza, bread, halved peaches (good on salad or as dessert), lemons (to squeeze on grilled fish), whole trout, clams, and oysters. Mark bittman has a ton of grilling ideas online as well.

  22. Anita on September 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Wow! That looks delicious! There is a grill in courtyard of the apartment where I live and you’ve inspired me to go give it a try!

  23. Jess @PinkChilli on September 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Look amazing! It’s making me hungry!!!

  24. Ashley on September 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I had no clue that Lowes was pet friendly. Great to know!

  25. Hillary on September 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I just went over to my brother’s house to grill some burgers for lunch, and all it made me want was a grill of my own! Grilled pizzas are my absolute favorite—just grill the dough and then add toppings for a few minutes at the very end. It’s my dad’s specialty!

  26. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on September 4, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hope you had fun at the market and enjoy that wedding tonight. Can’t wait to see pics of you in your new dress!

    Growing up, my parents were GRILL MASTERS! Omg they grilled…everything. From pizza to fish to fruit to veggies. In foil, on skewers, on planks, you name it, they did it.

    Me? I don’t even own a grill! Urban living, no place to put it whatsoever. Another lifetime if we ever move back to the ‘burbs or live somewhere with a balcony that we could put one on..maybe we’ll grill again.

  27. Amy on September 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I love that impromptu family dinner, FUN!

    so cool that it came together so well…………………………family-food-fun:)

  28. Ali @ urbanfruitbat on September 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Once you have pizza on the grill, you will never go back. Even just a thin crust, grilled, brushed with pesto and goat cheese. You will die, I promise. But in the best way possible. I hope your wedding fun is super fun!

    • Fitnessista on September 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      ahhhhh! i cant wait to try it!

  29. Angela @ momethis on September 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Grilling is so fun. We grill burgers, chicken, steaks, vegetables, kabobs, and even strawberry shortcake. Just place a pound cake on the grill and brush with maple syrup.  Grill until cake is toasted and warm.  Serve with strawberry slices and whipped topping. 
    I’ll be making the black bean burgers tomorrow for Labor day. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm

      have you made them before? you’ll love them

  30. Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health on September 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Aw, I call my grandma “nana” too! And I love that you text yours :). I don’t have a grill at my house while I’m in grad school, so grilling doesn’t happen haha. I’ve always wanted to try grilling fruit though- it always looks so good!

  31. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on September 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    All that food looks great!!!! I guess my unique family grill recipe are my dad’s grilled tomatoes. Not really sure if that’s unique though…lol

  32. colleen on September 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Ooooo, my favorite thing on the grill is my special “company chicken;” marinate breasts in olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and mustard, stuff with fontina cheese, chopped apple, and dried cherries. AMAZING!!!!

    • Fitnessista on September 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      WHOA!! amazing

      • Fitnessista on September 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm

        i just read your ingredient list to the pilot and he said it sounds f*king amazing. haha

  33. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on September 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    No joke, I made muffins on the grill this summer!

    They were awesome – I think you can pretty much grill anything if you put your mind to it! 😉

    I love grilling too but I’m usually the grill master!

  34. Stephanie on September 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    My fave salmon on-the-grill recipe: Mix chile powder (be liberal!), a little sea salt, black pepper and LOTS of freshly chopped cilantro together. If you like it sweeter (I don’t), add a bit of sugar. Pat the mixture onto both sides of salmon and grill to perfection. Delish!!!

  35. Samantha on September 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    For great grilling recipes check out

    John is a great guy and his recipes are awesome! I know you don’t roll with the meat but he’s go great sauces and rubs. His all purpose spice rub is our go to for almost everything and the pomegranate chile lime glaze is excellent on any meat as well as veggies, tempeh, tofu.

  36. Danielle (Shrinking and Studying) on September 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Yum! I love barbeques. Yours sound especially delicious. I’m a meat-eater so my favorite things to grill are usually meat related. However, we also love grilled pineapple, grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini and grilled portabello mushrooms on occasion. Kebobs are also always delicious! 🙂

  37. Leslie Wingate on September 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Sounds fun!
    You must try the Clean Eating “Caramel” Popcorn. I just made it and my whole family is pigging out! 🙂
    1/2 cup honey (I used agave due to my blood sugar.)
    1/4 cup almond butter
    8-10 cups popcorn

    Boil the honey/agave. Remove from heat and add almond butter. Stir until pour-able and toss with the popped popcorn. Delish!

  38. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on September 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I can’t believe you pulled that meal together at the last minute! It looks amazing!

    I’m going to miss having a BBQ when I move back to my apartment tomorrow. There’s nothing better than Greek marinated chicken skewers and grilled veggies. 😀

  39. kaila @ healthy helper! on September 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Cedar plank salmon is incredible! My favorite way of cooking it!!
    And that grill party sounds awesome….such amazing food!!! I’ll take the leftovers!

  40. Mer @mersworld on September 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Hi! I’ve been reading for a while, but finally decided to comment! One of my favorite things to grill is very simple- chunks or rings of fresh pineapple! Very simple, but tastes incredible! You can also grill grapefruit halves- brushed with a bit of orange marmalade for another quick dessert! Enjoy the new grill!

  41. Stephanie @ Love Life Project on September 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I love pet-friendly hardware stores! We joke that Chase’s favourite walk is to the hardware store. He’s allowed to go IN!?!? From the look on his face, you’d think that he’d just won the furry lottery. After the hardware store, we invent imaginary conversations at the dog park, with Chase acting all too cool for school: “Yeah, that bush smells ok. I mean, it’s no hardware store, but I’ve smelled worse.”

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

      haha! love it 🙂

  42. Lindsay Loves Veggies on September 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    You probably don’t watch Entourage, but it’s one of my favorite shows. One of the characters is currently dating Bobby Flay on the the show, and everytime they show him I think of you and your love for him! LoL.

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2011 at 11:55 am

      ahhhh!!! guess i need to watch it 🙂

  43. Lindsay @ biking before bed on September 5, 2011 at 12:07 am

    My favorite grilled food is pineapple fans down. It gets so sweet and caramelized… Almost like candy! I’ve done them in kebobs with shrimp and veggies and they were gobbled up in a flash.

  44. Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) on September 5, 2011 at 12:11 am

    My mom recently showed us an amazing way to do potatoes on the bbq! Cut them up into medalions and then toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, garlic powder (whatever!) and grill RIGHT on the BBQ!

    …it’s lifechanging.


    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2011 at 11:54 am


  45. skinnyrunner on September 5, 2011 at 1:13 am

    haha i love grilling for the same reason too- husband has to cook! and so few dishes.
    for the longest time i was scared to turn on the propane but once i figured it out then i just felt dumb for being scared of it.

  46. Sara K on September 5, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Ahh cedar planked salmon is so so so so good; I don’t know what it is about the wood that gives meats such an awesome char/flavour

  47. Carly on September 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    We just bought the same grill from Lowe’s…and ALSO had a family “break in the grill” party last night! Bloggers think alike 🙂

  48. Pam on September 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    We got a grill the day after we closed on our new house! It’s great to have my husband grill for a weeknight dinner, less work for me!
    Grilled mahi is awesome. Marinate in olive oil, fresh lemon and lime juice, and dried thyme. Marinate for about 20 minutes then grill. Also great on the grill is zucchini, slice length-wise, then marinate in olive or grapeseed oil, dried oregano, and sea salt. Yum 🙂
    We are grilling some grass-fed burgers tonight and zucchini.

  49. Katy @ HaveYouHurd on September 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Pizza is my FAVE thing to do on the grill! It’s so fast and so tasty! My favorite pizza is roasted vegetable and goat cheese. I know you love goat cheese so ba-da-bing! I throw Turkey Pepperonis on there for my hubby (who won’t eat ANYTHING without meat). It’s fab!

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