A summer spin on the grilled cheese sandwich

This April 17, 2016 photo shows two favorite sandwiches, the BLT and the grilled cheese, coming together as one, in New Milford, Conn. The buttery crunch of the bread, the juicy tomatoes, the melty cheese, the crisp bacon and lettuce, these two sandwiches were meant to find each other and become one. (AP Photo/Katie Workman)

Several weeks ago when we rolled out the grill for the first time of the season, there was much joy. What to grill first? Ribs? Burgers? Pizza? So many choices.

Traditional Romanian food gets boost from EU

In this picture taken on Friday, March. 18, 2016 a platter of Sibiu salami, the local king of the smoked sausages, is presented to the media during a press conference, in Bucharest, Romania. Traditional foods enjoyed by generations of Romanians from Transylvanian cheese, plum jam and succulent salami, a favorite of the son of late Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu, are getting an unexpected boost thanks to the European Union. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) ROMANIA OUT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Traditional foods enjoyed by generations of Romanians — including Transylvanian cheese, plum jam and succulent salami, a favorite of the son of late Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu — are getting an unexpected boost thanks to the European Union.

Irrigation systems

Question: I recently had a new sprinkler irrigation system installed for my home. At the recommendation of the contractor, I had drip irrigation installed in my beds. I am anxious to get the most efficient use from my new system without wasting water. Could you give me some pointers on seasonal programming of my system.

Grilled vegetables put a new spin on shrimp salad

This May 15, 2016 photo shows a shrimp salad. Grilled shrimp and vegetable salad with Asian dressing adds a kiss of summer by tossing the veggies on the barbecue. (AP Photo/Melissa d'Arabian)

The all-grilled salad has become a staple in our house over the years - it’s versatile, easy, has minimal cleanup, and of course, it’s right up our healthy-eating alley.

Eggplant parmigiana from the grill

This April 2016 photo shows grilled eggplant parmigiana in Concord, N.H. This dish, a staple of Italian cuisine, is a wonderful candidate for the grill, cooking up quickly and cleanly. And grilling this dish not only requires less oil than the traditional recipe, it ends up imparting a smokiness it could never claim before. (AP Photo/J.M. Hirsch)

This little gem combines my love of grilling with my endless search for new summer vegetarian entrees. Turns out that eggplant parmigiana, that staple of Italian cuisine, is a wonderful candidate for the grill, cooking up quickly and cleanly. And — bonus! — grilling this dish not only requires less oil than the traditional recipe, it ends up imparting a smokiness it could never claim before.

Portobello burger may have carnivores opt for veg

This Sunday, May 8, 2016 photo shows a grilled portobello burger in Coronado, Calif. For this veggie burger, the secret is in the sauce. Portobellos make for a tastier choice than frozen options. (AP Photo/Melissa Darabien)

May shepherds in the season of the backyard barbecue, and for us that means one thing: burgers. Let me back up and say that just about anything I make on the grill in warmer months, I also make regularly inside on the stovetop. And while I do love a flat-top-smooshed burger with its crusty, dangly edges, the backyard barbecue burger remains in a league of its own.

This pasta salad will turn ramp haters into lovers

This April 11, 2016 photo shows pasta salad with chicken, green olives and ramp vinaigrette in Concord, N.H. Ramps, wild leeks that are unable to be cultivated, are one of the first vegetables to appear in farmers markets and on chefs' menus after a winter of tubers and citrus. (AP Photo/J.M. Hirsch)

On the surface, ramps are a lovely harbinger of spring, wild leeks that are unable to be cultivated, hence part of their mystique (think truffles).

Raising the ceiling can dramatically change a room

This undated photo provided by Brian Patrick Flynn shows the living room designed by Flynn for HGTV's "Urban Oasis 2015" house that had ceilings barely 8 feet high and were raised as shown to create a dramatic open space. (Sarah Dario/Flynnside Out/Scripps Networks Interactive via AP)

Architects tend to look skyward: The ancient Greeks built coffered ceilings in their temples. Romans introduced the barrel vault. Medieval builders constructed Gothic arches and Renaissance domes to inspire the masses.

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