Everyday Mom's Meals: June 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Grilling With Red Gold #RGParty #RedGoldRecipes

With summer in full swing, I'm sure your grills are getting lots of use! I know ours is! Nothing smells better on a warm, summer evening than meat on an open flame. I don't care what kind of meat...as long as it's fresh, juicy and tender, it's good to me.

But with the most all American holiday just around the corner, what is more perfect than a grill full of the all American food...burgers??!! And do I have a great one for you today! But alas, I am getting ahead of myself. 

First let me tell you about Red Gold's Summer Grilling Party from June 25- July 23 on it's Facebook page. During the promotion, there is a weekly drawing for 1,000 aprons--that's 4,000 total--in addition to the grand prize of a Big Green Egg Grill and Red Gold Grilling Kit! 

Along with the promotion, Red Gold ®has come up with some brand new tasty recipes just for summer! From the Caribbean Chicken Burger made with their Petite Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice and Cilantro to the Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger filled with Petite Diced Tomatoes with Garlic & Olive Oil, and all sorts of tasty creations in between, there is something for everyone. 

The first recipe I wanted to try, without a doubt, was this burger. The minute I saw it, I knew my spicy loving boys would devour it...and I was right! But before you non-heat lovers out there say "no way", take it from me...the total wimp when it comes to spice...they aren't too hot to handle. I ate them with no problem, and enjoyed every single bite, as much as they did.

Red Gold has you covered this summer between yummy new creations for your grill, to a fantastic contest with some fantastic prizes. Be sure to stay connected with them through Facebook, Twitter  and Pinterest too! 

Spicy Tomato Burgers
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (14.5 oz.) can Red Gold® Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained very well
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

In a large bowl, combine beef, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Form into equal patties (mine made 5) Spray grill with nonstick spray and grill to desired doneness. Right before pulling off grill, add shredded cheese to top and allow to melt. Serve on large buns with lettuce. 

Disclaimer: I received a sample package in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

Love parties with little munchies? How about a dip?  One that is great with chips or some cut up veggies are always great to me. This one is a home made version of creamy onion dip. You can use this mix for a dip, or mix the seasoning in a meatloaf, burger or a even meatballs. It stores well, and what better than saying you made it yourself? Someone loving it even more than the store bought? Yep, this one will be a “go to” with the first bite.
Made it At Home French Onion Dip 
¼ c. dried onion flakes
 tbs.  Low-sodium beef bouillon cubes (pulverized-into granules)
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/8 tsp. celery seed
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
½ c.  mayo
In a large bowl mix onion flakes, beef bouillon granules, onion powder, parsley flakes, celery seed, paprika, and black pepper in a bowl. Then add sour cream and mayo. Mix until thoroughly combined. Chill before serving if desired. Serve with your favorite chips, or veggies.

Meal Plan June 29-July 4

*New Recipes
Links to Recipes on Blog
^ Recipes being re-blogged

Roasted Duck (Thank you Maple Leaf Farms!!)
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts ^
Baked Sweet Potatoes

Pork Chops
Apple Sauce
Fried Cabbage and Noodles

Soft Tacos
Mexican Rice
Black Beans*

Coney Dogs
Mac N Cheese
Corn on the Cob


Happy Independence Day!! 
We're going on a picnic.
Lobster Rolls
Deviled Eggs
Picnic Pasta Salad*
Sliced Cheese/Crackers
Strawberry Trifle*

Friday, June 27, 2014

FOOLPROOF Family Recipes Day 2

That's right, I'm back with yet another tasty, simple recipe from the new Gooseberry Patch cookbook, FOOLPROOF Family Recipes. If you didn't stop by on Wednesday to see the first recipe I featured, Garden Macaroni Salad, click here because you don't want to miss that instant summer classic!

For today's pick, I chose something I knew would be a light summer salad supper the entire family would love. The two things that stood out right away when I saw this recipe were 1. the addition of cashews--something we eat by the pound in this house and 2. the homemade dressing! I think anytime you have the chance to make a salad dressing from scratch, it tastes so much better!! 

If you like salads with a crunch, this will not disappoint. There is nothing but crunch in this one! And if you haven't had many salads that combine veggies and fruit (which I absolutely adore) this is a great one to start with! The sweetness of the apple and pear and the tartness of the cranberries marry so well together. Plus, you've got the creaminess from the cheese and this amazing dressing. I really can't say enough about how delicious all of these flavors come together. 

This salad would be perfect for a brunch, lunch, light supper, potluck, backyard barbecue...really any time, any where! And if you want a chance to win a copy of FOOLPROOF Family Recipes for yourself, you're in luck because I'm giving one away. Just click here for details!

Orchard Salad
Submitted by Carrie O'Shea Marina Del Rey, CA Found on page 66
1 head Romaine lettuce, torn
1 Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 c. cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. sweetened dried cranberries

Poppy Seed Dressing
2/3 c. oil (I used vegetable)
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 1/2 TBS poppy seed
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt

Toss together all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Serve drizzled over salad. Dressing may keep in fridge for up to 1 week. Serve at room temperature. 


Shared on The Country Cook June 27, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Recipes With Cereal {A Feature}

Sure, cereal is normally thought of as a breakfast food, but in this house it can also be a dessert or late night snack; and apparently we aren't the only ones who think cereal just isn't for mornings anymore because the Post Pebbles team has come up with some fresh recipes, incorporating it into other meals throughout the day...even dinner! 

Just in time for summer, they have come up with fun, simple, delicious recipes using both Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles in all sorts of dishes you're family (especially the kids) will love! 

Take a look at a few recipes they have created: 

Cocoa Pebbles Grilled Bananas
*These work great over a campfire too!

4 large bananas
1/4 cup Cocoa Pebbles Cereal
1/4 cup Peanut Butter Chips
1/3 cup miniature marshmallows

Cut each banana lengthwise about 1/2 inch deep, leaving 1/2 inch uncut at both ends.  Gently pull each banana open, forming a pocket.  Fill each pocket Cocoa Pebbles cereal, peanut butter chips and marshmallows, evenly divided among the four bananas.  
Wrap each banana in foil and grill over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until marshmallows are melted.  

Serves 4. 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Fruity Pebbles Crusted Chicken Tenders with Apricot Barbecue Sauce

Chicken Tenders Ingredients:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup ground Fruity Pebbles Cereal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 - 1/4 to 1 - 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders

Apricot Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
In shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, beat egg and water. In third shallow dish, mix bread crumbs, cereal, cheese and cayenne pepper.  Lightly season both sides of each chicken tender with salt, coat chicken with flour mixture; dip into egg mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown. 
In a small bowl, combine apricot jam and barbecue sauce.  Serve chicken tenders with dipping sauce.

Makes 6 servings. 

Cocoa Pebbles Trail Mix Granola Bars

2/3 cup whole raw almonds
2/3 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup Cocoa Pebbles cereal
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup honey
1 cup low-fat creamy peanut butter
16 small Pretzel twists
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Line an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick foil. Leave extra on the sides to use as handles for removing the bars when they are finished. Set aside.

In a food processor, quickly pulse the almonds and peanuts until they are roughly chopped. In a large bowl, combine the chopped nuts, oats, cereal, sunflower seeds and raisins. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt peanut butter.  Remove from heat and stir in honey until combined.  Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until fully coated.  Scoop the mixture into prepared baking dish and press firmly until the tops are completely even. Press the pretzel twists into the granola bars, four across and four down, making a total of 16, so when the bars are sliced, each one will be topped with a pretzel.  

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil.  Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring each time, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.  Drizzle chocolate over granola bars in the pan.  

Place bars into the refrigerator to set up for at least one hour. Cut into 16 squares. Store bars covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  

Makes 16 bars.  

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 

One looks more delicious than the other. Who knew you could make chicken with cereal??!! I can't wait to try these in my kitchen!! And don't forget, if you do, get the little ones in there with you. They will be amazed at what they can do too!

To stay up on all the fun going on with Post Pebbles, be sure to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Disclaimer: I was given free samples in exchange for this feature. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FOOLPROOF Family Recipes Day 1 {A Review and Giveaway}

It's time for another debut from my good friends over at Gooseberry Patch! Their newest cookbook, FOOLPROOF Family Recipes is stuffed full of easy to make, never fail, yummy to eat dishes you are going to love cooking and your family is going to love eating!

From breakfast, to salads, to mains, sides, desserts and appetizers, there is literally something simple to make for every meal of the day! Oh, and did I mention I just happen to have not one, but two recipes included in this collection? Yep, on page 98 you'll find Grandma's Baked Mac n Cheese (Everyone loves this no boil version!) and on page 65 you can see my Quick Tomato and Olive Salad, perfect for a busy summer night!

Now, I have to admit, I wasn't even able to get out of the Cool Refreshing Salads section before I was ready to start cooking and eating. And while there are many recipes I have marked to try, both of the ones I will be sharing with you (be sure to come back on Friday for the next) are indeed salads.

When I first say this, I thought what a great way to combine two of our summer times loves. Pasta salad and garden fresh veggies! I'm telling you what, if you garden and are always looking for ways to use those beautiful fresh vegetables, you're going to love this! It's so fresh, so creamy, so crunch and absolutely delicious...the perfect side dish for any backyard barbecue or picnic!

Summer is in full swing, and I think we've all got refreshing salads on the brain, not to mention easy foolproof recipes...so Gooseberry Patch has us totally covered. Oh, and they just happen to have a copy for one lucky EMM winner too. Just scroll down after the recipe to enter!

Garden Macaroni Salad
Submitted by Ellie Brandel Clackamas, OR Found on page 62
8 oz. elbow macaroni, uncooked
3/4 c. mayo
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried basil
2 tomatoes, diced
1 c. cucumber, died
1 c. celery, sliced
1/4 c. green pepper, diced
1/4 c. radishes, sliced
2 TBS green onions, sliced

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. In a large serving bowl, stir together mayo, salt and basil. Add macaroni and remaining ingredients; stir to coat. Cover and chill until serving time. Makes 8 servings.  *NOTE* The only addition I made was black pepper to taste. 

Shared on The Country Cook June 27, 2014

1. This contest is open to US Residents 18 and older ONLY.

2. The winner will be chosen by Random.org 

3. The winner will be notified by email and Facebook. He/she will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

4. When leaving comments for entries, they MUST BE SEPARATE ones AND include an email address so it's easy for me to find the winner. If entries are together, it will only count as (1) and if no email, entry will not be considered.

5. If any of the extra entries are items you are already doing, please just remind me!

6. Contest Ends: July 10, 2014

(1) Lucky Winner will receive:
(1) copy of

Mandatory Entry:
1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite foolproof family recipe. 

Extra Entry:
1. Become a Gooseberry Patch fan on Facebook. Leave me a comment when you have.

2.  Follow Gooseberry Patch on Twitter. Leave a comment saying you've done so.

3. Follow Gooseberry Patch on Pinterest. Leave me a comment when you have. 


Disclaimer: I was given a free cookbook and one to give away to a fan for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More Veggies Options with Dominex {A Review}

Are you always trying to find more ways to include veggies in your family's diet? More options for veggies in your every day eating? Well, Dominex has heard those cries and now have some great options for snack time, appetizers or side dishes to any meal! 

Dominex Veggie Fries are super crunchy, super filling eggplant fries! They are beyond easy to make and quick...they can be ready in less than 15 minutes! They go so well with many dishes (Take it from me, they are perfect with a big juicy burger straight from the grill!), or work just as well as a light snack or even an appetizer at your next party. 

With a subtle seasoning that gives them terrific flavor, they are not only delicious, but are also low in sodium, have zero cholesterol (your every day fry can't say that) and have zero trans fat. 

These make a great way to get more veggies into your little ones without them even noticing! I guarantee with the crispy coating, and yummy flavor they will never guess they are eating something that is good for them too! Want to take it up a notch? Warm up some marinara sauce on the side for fun dipping! 

Be sure to check out Dominex online to find a retailer near you; and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay up on the latest information and products!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Yes, It Comes Without A Mix

We are huge wild rice fans. I serve it with many different meals, and it's always gobbled up by my husband and son faster than I can make it. And yes, I'm not ashamed to admit I use the boxed version with the seasoning packet every. single. time. Yeah, I know, it's probably loaded with MSG and sodium, but I figure if I can take a little help from the store, spend about $1 per box, and give my boys something they love, it's okay. Well, that all ended with this recipe. 

See, I learned you can buy the wild part of wild rice mix by itself. (For those of you who knew that already, and are snickering at me right now, I don't blame you.) I honestly didn't realize you could, until I went looking for it, and sure enough there it was next to all the other bags of bulk rice.  

If you love wild rice too, or rice pilaf, or even mushroom risotto, this is the perfect mix of all three! It's got the creaminess of risotto, with the crunch of the nuts you find in pilaf and the great texture of wild rice. It makes a great side dish to any meal, and would be great to entertain with! So flavorful, and so pretty on the plate, your guests would surely be impressed!

I have never shied away from the fact that I'm willing to take some help from the store now and again. In today's busy world I think we all need to, and I think those who say they never do...well, they have to be lying! Okay, maybe not. I'm sure there are those who never use a boxed mix or a can of soup, and that's great. My hat's off to them. But for this everyday mom, finding out I could make something we love, that normally comes from a box, a little more special and homemade, well, it was quite the treat!

Wild Rice Mushroom Bake From Taste of Home
1 c. uncooked wild rice
2 c. boiling water
1 lb. white button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 TBS butter
3/4 c. uncooked long grain rice
1/2 c. sliced almonds, reserve a few for garnish
3 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 TBS shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put wild rice in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let soak for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute' onions and mushrooms until tender and brown. Season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine wild rice, long grain rice, mushroom mix, broth and cream. Mix well. Pour into prepared casserole dish and cover. Bake for 1 hour. Remove and stir. Bake for 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 additional minutes. (1 hour. 25 minutes total) Stir before serving. Garnish with extra almonds. 

Shared on The Country Cook June 27, 2014

Disclaimer: As a Field Editor of Taste of Home, I share my own thoughts and opinions of this recipe. I am not a paid employee.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Soul Food Saturday

Lately we have been experimenting with mixing our own spices and finding fun new ways of cooking chicken. Our ultimate favorite is still grilling. This recipe takes Chipotle and adds half the spice cabinet to mingle right a long side; Along with big man size pieces to satisfy any carnivore appetite. Add a quick side and you’ve got a meal fit for the spice lovers in your life.
               Chipotle Chicken Grill Seasoning  
1 tbs. chipotle powder
 1 ¼ tsp. granulated garlic
1  tsp. granulated onion
¼ tsp. dried minced onion
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

In a small bowl add all spices and mix together. Add to a shaker container for easy sprinkling over meat.
Chipotle Grilled Chicken 
   4 chicken leg thigh quarters, rinsed, trimmed and patted dry
Chipotle Chicken Grill seasoning
Sprinkle Chicken liberally with seasoning, coating both sides. Allow seasoning to sit on chicken 10 minutes, and then grill as desired.

Meal Plan June 22-27

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog

Sunday From previous menu
Chips n Salsa

Spicy Tomato Burgers*
Eggplant Fries

Beef Roast
Red Potatoes
Green Beans

Alex is having a sleepover at grandparents.
We will have leftovers.

Spicy Chicken Pasta Bake*
Garlic Bread

Egg Rolls
Thai Noodle Salad*
Mandarin Oranges

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our Memorial Day, Your 4th of July

Back at the end of May, it was an absolutely GORGEOUS Memorial Day weekend here in the Fort. In fact, Adam and I both said we couldn't recall the last time we had a holiday weekend where every day was more beautiful than the last. So of course, we had to get out and enjoy every last second of it! I'm talking about a trip to a park and splash pad, a huge picnic supper and even a Tin Caps baseball game to celebrate the holiday.

When it was time for me to plan our picnic menu, I knew I wanted some classics, some favorites, and something new; and this was it!

Now, if you don't think you like ham salad, don't turn your nose up yet. I'm not talking about the kind from the deli counter. See, my husband used to work at a small town grocery store, as a butcher, and had to make batches upon batches of that kind. And while I know many people find it yummy, he knows exactly what goes into it, and refuses to eat it. So, if I was going to make it, it has to be real ham salad, with actual ham in it!

This makes great sandwiches or for more of a delicate offering (maybe for a bridal or baby shower) crackers too. Either way, it's easy to make, delicious, and tastes nothing like that other ham salad so many of us have had. 

If you're planning a picnic for our next big holiday, Independence Day (in case you haven't looked, it's only 2 weeks away!!) be sure to jot this one down as an idea. I love summer time holidays, almost as much as I love summer time picnics and food!

Ham Salad
16 oz. ham, either left over, or chopped into large chunks
3 ribs celery, diced
1/4 c. finely minced white onion
1/3 c. bread and butter relish
1/2 c. mayo
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

In food processor place ham and pulse into fine. Pour out into large bowl. Add celery, relish and onion. Mix well. In a small bowl whisk together mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. Add to ham mixture. Stir well. Chill at least an hour before serving. Serve on buns, bread or crackers.

Shared on The Country Cook June 20, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

For My Vegetarian Friends

A couple weeks back on my Facebook page, I had a fan thank me for posting my Bean and Cheese Burrito recipe because she is a vegetarian, and she has trouble finding recipes that fit her diet, or that can be easily accommodated to. 

Now I will fully admit, we are some meat lovin' people in this house, and while we love our fruits and veggies too, we could never give up our cow, pig and chicken forever. But I respect those out there who choose to, and after hearing how happy she was to find a recipe on my page that fit her lifestyle, I decided to make a conscience effort to develop a new one just for those out there like her. 

Even though this has absolutely no meat in it, I'm telling you what, we didn't miss it at all? It's packed full of flavor and texture and so delicious, I think meat might just ruin it! I love the flavor combo of spinach and mushroom, and they shine in this dish. Add in cheese and pasta, and seriously, what could be better? 

This makes a great weeknight meal when you're busy but still want something hearty and yummy on the table. It's also elegant enough to entertain with. Especially, if you've got vegetarian guests, and don't want to cook two separate meals.

I'm going to try really hard to come up with more recipes for my veggie loving friends. It probably won't be the easiest thing I've ever done, with T-bones calling my name from the freezer, but I will try. I promise.

Baked Penne with Mushrooms and Spinach
1 lb. penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2. cooking water from pasta
8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBS butter
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tsp. dried parsley, extra for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8x11 baking dish with nonstick spray. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute' stirring often until onions are translucent and tender. Add mushrooms. Cook another 5 minutes until mushrooms are browned. Add spinach and reduce heat to low. When pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 c. of it's cooking water. Add to mushroom mixture. Stir well. Drain pasta well. Return to hot pot. Add cream and 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to coat. Add mushroom mixture to pasta and combine. Pour into baking pan. Top with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 additional minutes. Garnish with extra parsley and Parmesan if desired. 

Shared on The Country Cook June 20, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Most Kids, But Not Mine {A post for Earth Fare}

Long time readers of this blog know most of my life is inspired by my son. Everything I do somehow comes back to him; and my time in the kitchen is no exception to that rule. Most of you also know that my kid is not a picky eater, whatsoever. I mean, how many other 9 year old boys do you know that will gobble down sushi, fried calamari and frog legs? But even when a kid isn't picky per say, he/she does have things they like and don't like, just like adults. And I believe if he is a great eater 99% of the time, I can respect the small list of things he truly doesn't have a taste for. For my child it just so happens one of his top ones is something most other kids, even the pickiest of eaters, will gobble down...ranch dressing

Yep, that's right. My kid is the one at school, that while the other munchkins are demanding ranch to dip their veggies and chicken nuggets into, is saying "no thank you." I'm not sure where his aversion came from, but it's not going away any time soon. But guess what! I recently tricked him, and he has no idea! 

See, I was making a new pasta salad recipe and it called for a bottle of ranch dressing. Well, I knew my little man well enough to know if he saw it in the grocery cart, or in the fridge, or even on the counter as I was cooking, his radar would go up, and there would be no fooling him. But, if I bought the ingredients to make it from scratch...he would never know! Yeah, I know. It's a little devious, but a mommy's got to do what she's got to do! 

So, for this, my latest post for Earth Fare, I'm happy to share this homemade version of every child's (well, most anyway) favorite condiment. Now, the recipe I'm sharing is the perfect consistency for dip, or if using as a dressing for pasta salad; but if you're looking for something a little thinner to top a salad with, be sure to read the note before. Honestly, I like a thicker ranch for my salad though, so I would probably use it as is. 

If your kid is a ranch fool, you're going to be so happy you logged on today. If yours is like mine, first off, I'm shocked, and secondly, trick him/her...believe me, it works!

Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 c. mayo
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. dried chives
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. *NOTE* For a thinner consistency, simply add milk a teaspoon at at time, and adjust seasonings.

Shared on The Country Cook June 20, 2014

Disclaimer: I was provided with a gift card from Earth Fare in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Menu Plan June 15-20

*New Recipe
Links to Recipes on Blog
^Recipes being re-blogged

We are celebrating Father's Day with my in-laws
I'm taking Deviled Eggs

Roasted Glazed Chicken*
Loaded Baked Potatoes
Tomato Cucumber Balsamic Salad*

Baked Mostaccioli
Cheesy Garlic Bread

Alex is having a sleepover w/ Maa Ma.
We will have leftovers

Bean and Cheese Burritos
Chips n Salsa

Grilled Smoked Sausage
Garden Pea Salad^
Sweet Potato Fries

Soul Food Saturday

With summer comes more time to grill; Along with more outdoor parties with family and friends. Who isn’t always looking for a new way to kick up an old favorite? For me it’s a given. Adding fruit to my Pico de Gallo salsa has become a favorite thing for me to do. Why not go one step further with it, and really wow everyone? A hollowed out pineapple serves as a serving dish for this simple salsa. Whether you scoop it up with chips or top your favorite burger, this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Grab a pineapple its party time!
Pineapple Spiked Pico de Gallo
 1 whole pineapple
1 small onion, diced
2 jalapenos, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
½ c. cilantro, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
Juice from half a lime
Begin by slicing the pineapple in half lengthwise, then cut leaf end off. With a paring knife cut vertical and horizontal cuts into each side of pineapple; Taking care not to go all the way through the back side. Then with a sturdy spoon start along the edges and move to the middle of the pineapple removing the cut pieces. Place them in a medium sized bowl. Add remaining ingredients, and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt if desired. Add finished salsa to hollowed out pineapple halves.
Serve with chips or along side your favorite burger toppings. Enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Summer Series Day 5

Whew, what a fun week it's been here on EMM. Did you catch all the amazing recipes for your slow cooker this summer? There were some great ones, both from me, and my fabulous blogger friends, so if you missed any, be sure to go check them out! 

Personally, I think I've saved the best for last. No summer time picnic or barbecue is complete without a good ole' potato salad. And when my friend told me she had a great recipe for one for the Crock Pot, well, let's just say I thought she was crazy. Why? Because when she told me, I assumed she meant a recipe for a warm potato salad; and then she revealed it was indeed a cold one. No way! Yep, it's true!

I think this is a great recipe because you could easily do the first part, preparing the potatoes the day before, and then finish it off the day of your party. I love recipes that allow me to do some prep work before hand, leading to a more stress free cook!

If you love deviled eggs as much as we do, you have to make this. Seriously, go get the ingredients today if you don't have them. This summer time staple is like if potato salad and deviled eggs got married and had a baby. No joke! All the flavors are there, perfectly blended together. 

Potato salad and cook-outs go together like lemonade and sunshine. And now, you can make this classic a little easier by putting your slow cooker to work. I would have never guessed I could do this, and am so excited to share my discovery with all of you!

Slow Cooker Deviled Egg Potato Salad Inspired By Get Crocked
10 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes and rinsed well
1/2 c. Italian Dressing
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
3 kosher dill spears, diced
2 green onions, finely chopped
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped, reserve a few for garnish
3/4 c. mayo
2 TBS mustard
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place potatoes in Crock Pot. Add Italian dressing and vinegar. Stir. Add enough water to cover potatoes. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Drain well. Set in fridge to cool. When cool, add eggs, pickles and green onions. Toss to combine. In a small bowl combine mayo, mustard, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir. Pour over potato mixture. Stir to coat well. Set in fridge to chill until serving, at least an hour. Garnish with extra egg.

Shared on The Country Cook June 13, 2014