Strategies for Fun and Accessible Cooking: Dressing Up the Grill with ID Mate

By Janell Groskreutz

I love this delicious and colorful summertime grilling treat.  I particularly like to make it when I am entertaining a group of people larger than the normal 4-6 I host.  If a group larger than that bombards my deck it is fun to have each guest make their own skewer with whatever assortment they have a taste for.

I always incorporate taste and a bit of color (for my sighted guests) on each skewer by alternating the veggies and meat.  Using the grill also alleviates using the oven and heating up the kitchen on those hot Wisconsin summer days.

I start with a trip to the pantry, and I flatter myself by thinking everyone in my family has diligently adhered to my organization of the canned goods, but much to my dismay, they have not.  I then break out my ID Mate to read the labels so I am sure to open a can of Irish potatoes and not a can of cream style corn.  Given the fact that our fridge has practically every salad dressing known to man (and some that are most likely not identifiable anymore), my ID Mate comes in handy when I am searching for the kind of French dressing I intend on using.


Shish kebabs on the grill


Typically used for 6-8 people
*Steak, but any kind of meat works. I have used chicken, elk, moose, venison and shrimp. Cut into ¾ inch cubes

Marinate the meat at least 4 hours in Italian dressing

*2 cans of Irish whole potatoes drained and cut in half

*Mushrooms found fresh in the produce aisle

*16 Cherry tomatoes

*1 Onion-slice into 1-inch square pieces

*Can of chunked, drained pineapple

*3 different colored peppers cleaned and cut into 1-inch squares

*French dressing



To keep things in order when assembling I use bowls for each ingredient.  To keep the peppers separated by color I use my Colorino device to identify the colors of each pepper.  I put cut peppers into individual bowls and set them in alphabetical order, such as green, red, and yellow.

Start each skewer with a large slice of onion on the bottom of the skewer. It will hold the other pieces in place.

Alternate all other ingredients until 1-inch is left at the top of the skewer. Top off with another large piece of onion.

Pour ½ cup of French dressing in a small bowl.  Use a pastry brush to generously slather dressing on entire skewer.  Occasionally, instead of a pastry brush I will put on a latex glove and spread on dressing using my fingers. This way is easier to feel if everything is covered evenly.

However, this is where my kebab assembling talent ends and I hand my culinary creation to my husband to put on the grill.

I do set the timer on my I-phone to be sure the other goodies are ready when the kebabs are done to perfection.


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