As of 6:07 a.m. today, June 21, summer 2018 has begun! Pull out the bathing suits, pack up the cooler, slather on the sunblock and fire up the grill. It is time to dig into it all!

This past weekend I visited my good friends Marj and Sam in their new home. It is always a great time with them, filled with food, laughs and lots of Champagne. You must prepare yourself.

After picking me up from the train, Marj took me to Bareburger, a first time for me. We started with two glasses of rosé, which loosened up our “catch up” muscles. Feeling limber, we went in on crispy Brussels sprouts with lemon, asagio, sea salt and topped with bacon.

Older and wiser, Marj and I shared the Supreme burger with cheese and bacon plus onion rings and fries (on the burger) and special sauce on a brioche bun! Splitting this dish was the only option. The well-seasoned, battered and fried onion rings were a must on the side. I will return for those and a beer soon.

Saturday, Marj and Sam and their two boys had a birthday to attend. In tow, I was excited by all the bouncy houses to entertain the kids, but mostly by the Cowabunga food truck serving burgers, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and really good seasoned fries. Then, that truck pulls out and a Good Humor truck pulls in! Strawberry shortcake ice cream pop went down with a smile on my face.

We returned to their home to prepare for more house guests. Marj made her famous apricot soy wings and delicious pasta salad while Sam manned the grill.

I was put in charge of the corn on the cob. Feeling myself after Marj made a killer watermelon cocktail, I decided to turn up the flavor on grilled corn by making a compound butter to include in each foil-wrapped ear.

I used one and one-half sticks of salted butter I cut into cubes (to come to room temperature faster). To it I added minced washed basil leaves, minced garlic, zest of one lemon and freshly cracked pepper (add kosher salt if you use unsalted butter). I combined it well until all ingredients were incorporated, scraped it into plastic wrap, rolled into a log and refrigerated until needed.

I cut a generous slice of the compound and added to each packet of corn and grilled until perfect. Sweet, herbaceous, tart and buttery!

Thank you Marj and Sam for another restful and fun weekend! Here’s to living your best life! Love you!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!