Everyday Mom's Meals: June 2019

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Port A Pit At Home

Here in northern Indiana, we can count on many things during the summer months. Lots of beautiful sweet corn to enjoy, the humidity being oppressive some days, and parking lots filled with the smell of port-a-pit chicken cookers.

I honestly don't know if port-a-pit is a thing everywhere, so I guess I should explain a little. They are portable cookers that come to your event, or many times are hired for fundraisers that make some of the best chicken I've ever had in my life. Seriously. It's drool worthy, and something our family has been crazy about for years. 

How much? Well, when Mr. E started working for his current company almost 5 years ago, the first company picnic we went to we found out the meal was provided by the best port-a-pit business around. All of us were giddy! We just about licked our styrofoam plates. 

It's so unique and amazing, it isn't something you can 100% recreate at home. After all, the cooker is key. But many years back I made this marinade, and after grilling some chicken with it, we all proclaimed "Wow, this tastes almost like port-a-pit!" The flavor was just about the closest thing we can get.

I use chicken quarters because that's what port-a-pit we buy is, but I'm sure this would be just as tasty on any other cut. 

If you are planning a big July 4th bash, give your guests something new, besides the standard barbecue! 

You have to educate me too. Do you have port-a-pit in your area? Do you love it as much as we do?

Tangy Grilled Chicken
1 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Juice 2 lemons
4 Chicken Quarters, patted dry
Chicken Grill Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add Worcestershire, onion powder and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat back to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Reserve a small dish of sauce for serving. Allow chicken to come to room temp. Spray with cooking spray. Season liberally with grill seasoning, salt and pepper on both sides. Sear chicken over high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to low. Cook chicken for 45 minutes, turning every 7-10 minutes, basting with sauce with each turn. Cook until internal temp is 165. Serve with extra sauce if desired.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 23, 2019

BBQ Side Dish

You've planned the entire cookout. The meat is marinading, the salads are chilling and the ice cream is churning. You just need one more side dish. What could it be? 

How about something that takes the barbecue flavors we all love this time of year, and gives them to your guests in a whole new way? On. Potatoes. Wait, what?  Mind blown!!!

These happened by accident at our house...which isn't that uncommon. I had a beef roast for the grill, and red potatoes were on sale at the store. Great. I will throw some in the oven and roast them. I had a plan. Then I woke up and decided I wanted something new. The roast was just simply seasoned with steak seasoning, so I knew I could ramp up the taters' flavor.

Oh my gosh, did I hit this one out of the park! We love great barbecue, so I can't believe I never thought about doing this before, but can guarantee we will again! 

They are perfect with whatever you're grilling up this summer! From chicken, to steak to burgers, throw some of these in the oven and you're meal will go to the next level! If you're planning a big July 4th blowout..wow your guests with these!

Barbecue Roasted Potatoes
3 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. vegetable oil
4 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
Black Pepper
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine potatoes and oil. In a small bowl mix brown sugar and all seasonings, except pepper and parsley. Sprinkle over potatoes. Stir and mix well. Transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 until fork tender. Garnish with parsley before serving. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Little Store Help

You will never see me turn down a little help from the store. I know there are plenty of people out there who want to and enjoy making every single thing from scratch; and more power to them! I just don't happen to be one of them!

If I can take something from the freeze section, jazz it up a little and turn it into something I know my boys will love, sign me up every single time!

As I've told you before, Mexican night happens a lot at our house, so I'm always looking for inspiration to keep it new and exciting.

This recipe actually has a funny story behind it that began last year when we were on our annual beach vacation. There is a Dollar General Market (think DG but bigger with a produce and meat section...seriously...so fabulous) right across the street from where we stay. While picking up a few things one day, Alex found some frozen burritos on sale for 2/$1 and wanted a few for lunch.

Something he can throw in the microwave and cook himself? Um....YES please! After all, mommy is on vacay too! Well, he loved them. So much we went back and got more, Mr. E this time too. They became a lunch staple those 2 weeks, and a big joke because mommy loves a deal!

When we got home, I was at Kroger one day...and found the SAME burritos for....wait for it...40 CENTS each! That's right, our amazing deal just got cheaper! And since then, we almost always have them in the freezer.

So when I saw this idea from my blogging buddy Cooking with K, I knew Miss Kay was reading my mind! A easy weeknight meal that starts with something my guys already love.

Needless to say, they were a huge hit and I've been told I can make them again....and soon! No problem boys...it's simple, budget friendly and gives me a little help from the store. Three things this everyday mom can't get enough of!

Smothered Burritos
8 frozen beef and bean burritos
1 (15 oz.) can chili NO beans
3 TBS chopped white onion
7 slices American cheese
1/2 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
Pickled Jalapenos
Diced Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Lay burritos in one layer. Top with American cheese, overlapping. Add chili and spread evenly. Sprinkle with onions. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 40-45 minutes until bubbly. Garnish with diced tomatoes and jalapenos. 

Inspired by Cooking with K

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Put Some Greek Into Your Summer

Summer vacation is finally here! And for many of us, that means loading up the SUV, or hopping on a plane, and heading off for some fun in the sun! But what if I told you it is possible to take a little trip abroad...and never leave Indiana? Well, it is...and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is our ticket!

Coming Saturday June 15th, you will be able to board a plane right in the middle of the museum and fly away to Greece! On your trip you can learn about the culture through art, food, music, dance, architecture and so much more! Enjoy some authentic Greek dishes in a traditional taverna, fill bottles with olive oil, cast nets to catch fish for local markets, visit an authentic Athens house, and even learn to speak the language! 

Have little animal lovers in your house? They can help save the sea turtles too, care for some rescued loggerheads, and even get the chance to feed them! (My 2 year old is going to FLIP for this!)

In Take Me There: Greece the museum is giving us the change to visit one of the most culturally rich countries in the world, right from the middle of Indianapolis! And we don't even need to pack a suitcase!

To celebrate the opening of this fantastic exhibit, my friends at TCM asked if I could come up with a Greek inspired dish! Well, of course! We love Greek food, and since backyard barbecue season is officially upon us, it was the perfect opportunity to put a little Greek flare in a cookout classic...pasta salad!

This comes together in about the time the pasta cooks, and can hang out in the fridge until your guests arrive! If you've ever had a gyro, the sauce is similar to tzatziki...which for me, I could drink with a straw!

I am so excited to visit Greece just by going to one of our favorite day trip spots! My boys will love learning about all things Greek, and I love the fact I can come home and sleep in my own bed when the day is done!

Be sure to check out all things Children's Museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And come June 15th, get ready to say OPA! 

Greek Pasta Salad
1 lb. rotini pasta
1 c. halved grape tomatoes
1 c. halved kalamata olives
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. crumbed feta cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 TBS red wine vinegar
3 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook pasta to package directions. While it cooks, combine tomatoes, olives and cucumber in a large bowl. In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic powder, dill weed, oregano, salt and pepper. Add cheese. Stir well. When pasta is cooked, rinse with cold water and drain well. Add to veggies and stir. Pour dressing over. Stir well. Chill until ready to serve, at least an hour. Sprinkle with extra dill weed before serving.

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Tweaked and Tweaked Again

I first debuted this terrific salsa on the blog about 5 or 6 years ago. Since then, it's become a staple in our house and requested by countless family members for parties.

When you make something literally hundreds of times, sometimes a funny thing happens. You end up tweaking it, making it even more your own, and one day you realize you aren't following the original recipe you began with. Sure, the base it still there, and the concept is the same, but it's now one you have memorized and the exact formula that makes it perfect every time.

This comes with a few warnings. One, if it's sitting in your fridge, nobody will be able to stay out of it. Two, if you take it to a party, be sure to take the recipe too. Everyone will want it. Three, make sure you only make it for people you really, really like because they will keep coming around for more!

From Mexican night to snacking around the pool all summer, this will be your go-to. From start to finish, you have about 10 minutes in the whole thing, making it perfect for those impromptu guests too!

Restaurant Style Salsa
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes
2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Rotel)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1/4 tsp. sugar
Juice of a lemon
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until fine. (This might require batches) Check for salt and season again if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl and chill. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Shared at Weekend Potluck