You know what I really love about summertime? Yeah, pretty much everything! The sun, warm temps, three-day weekends at Lake Chelan or on a remote golf course and naturally, outdoor cooking. Outdoor grilling, barbecuing, smoking and outdoor entertaining is something I love year-round but there's no time better than summer.

For one thing, so many local, fresh choices avail themselves throughout the summer and there's nothing better than preparing food for family and friends - that's fresh, right out of your garden or local farmer's market. Here's a gallery of ideas you can try - keeping it fresh and delicious this summer (and just in time for Father's Day and 4th of July).

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Grilled or griddled, hamburgers are a go-to-food anytime and when accompanied with some local fresh produce - like this Yakima Valley asparagus, your taste-buds will sing.

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Get adventurous with racks of ribs on the grill. Skewers of fresh veggies and perhaps some succulent prawns are an amazing compliment.

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A Northwest favorite, grilled salmon is always a winner. I do turn my nose up at farm-raised fish - and only go for wild-caught fish. The taste and nutrition demand it. Tried using a cedar plank? I love to cook salmon this way and I'll caution you to be sure you use 'untreated' cedar (don't just yank a plank from you neighbors fence). Pair with a local wine of course.

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My wife is a Grill Master when it comes to Carne Asada. We like to buy ours locally at Fiesta Foods where it's already pre-marinated. So handy and delicious. But doing your own marinade the day before with a little planning, is fun and you can get creative. Compliment with all the freshly grilled veggies, peppers, onion, and have a fajita feast!

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Fresh summer salads are often just what you're in the mood for. Fresh greens, from lettuce, spinach, arugula for a little peppery flavor, tomatoes, perhaps some pine nuts, feta and toss in some of that left over grilled salmon or grilled steak - drizzle with a lite dressing and you're set. Fresh, lite, delicious and nutritious.

I'm hungry now. Let us know about your summer favorites. Tap our station app now.

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