Everyday Mom's Meals: June 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Slow Down Summer

 Is anyone else feeling the breeze coming off the calendar? Seriously-the days are FLYING by and there is not a single thing I can do to slow them down. Believe me I've tried. 

"Okay boys- they say time flies when you're having fun, so today we're not doing a single thing fun. We are cleaning the house, doing laundry and not going anywhere." Guess what. It still went too fast. So, no more of that. We've got to pack as much summer as we can into summer while we can! 

Case in point- July 4th is NEXT week! I can't believe the biggest celebration of summer is literally days away. I think this year's parties are going to be pretty spectacular with more and more people gathering again. America is going to get a birthday party for the ages in 202!

No matter if you're hosting a big Independence Day bash, hitting the road for a picnic or day trip to the beach, chilling by the pool or just cooking out with the family, the food needs to be on point delicious! 

This summer salad recipe needs to be on our menu! Not only does it come together in almost no time, it can be sitting in the fridge waiting on you so you don't miss a minute of the fun! 

I've been making my Grammy's broccoli salad for years, but this time I wanted something a little different. Alex's school actually has a version that he really enjoys, so I took some inspiration from that and threw in some stuff of my own too! 

The crunch from the broccoli tastes so fresh and the sweetness from the grapes screams summer! The creamy, tangy dressing brings everything together in flavor heaven. 

Get out there and enjoy summer while you can! I hope your July 4th is amazing, no matter how you are celebrating, and includes a few terrific summer salads, like this one!

 Broccoli and Grape Salad

2 medium crowns broccoli, chopped

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

1/2 c. sliced almonds

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1 (3 oz.) package pre-cooked bacon, crisped in skillet and chopped

1 c. mayonnaise

1 1/2 TBS sugar

3 TBS apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper 

In a small bowl whisk together mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine broccoli, chopped bacon, cranberries, grapes and almonds. Pour dressing over. Stir well. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. 


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Hot Day Cool Treat

This past week, every morning when I turned on the news, one of the first stories was the extreme heat wave bearing down on the western part of the US. Death Valley was breaking records of 128 degrees. Now, I like it HOT. I enjoy the heat. But even I will admit, that is too much, and of course dangerous. 

After what was sometimes a chilly spring (remember the April snow) you will never hear me complaining about the heat. The humidity, maybe (here in Indiana, we like to say "It's not the heat, it's the humidity!), but summer is my favorite time. See, even though I am a hot person by nature, I say bring on the sun and warmth! I can always find some AC or a pool to jump in! 

There aren't many things that taste as great as a cold sweet treat on a hot summer day. There is a reason the ice cream and shaved Hawaiian ice trucks do so well this time of year! Cooling down with something that tastes great is a summer time must; and this copycat recipe is one people have been enjoying for years at The Happiest Place on Earth!

If you have ever been do Disneyland or Disney World, you know all too well that phenomenon that is Dole Whip.  Heck even those who haven't been to the parks know exactly what it is. A soft serve, pineapple ice cream that screams tropical paradise! You can even pour extra pineapple juice down over the top for a float that deserves a little umbrella and beach chair! 

With the help of your blender, you can whip up a batch of Copycat Dole Whip in no time! Spoon it into bowls, or use a pastry/plastic bag to pipe it with the famous whip everyone knows and loves! 

Watch the kids run inside from the sprinkler or pool to grab a spoon and dig in! Summer times memories are made when hot days meet cool treats!

 Copycat Dole Whip

2 cups frozen pineapple 

3/4 c. vanilla bean ice cream

1/2 c. pineapple juice 

2 TBS sugar

Splash of lemon juice

Pinch of Salt 

Place all ingredients in blender, in order listed. Blend well, stirring a few times to make sure large chunk are incorporated. Place in bowl and freeze 10 minutes. Spoon into serving dishes and serve immediately. Or freeze 20 more minutes to set a little more. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck

Monday, June 14, 2021

A Copycat for Dad

 Father's Day is less than a week away. I hope you have the cards in the mail, the ties boxed and the cookout menu planned. 

Years ago I  heard that Father's Day was when the most collect calls happened in the US. Now, I'm sure that's no longer the case in the age of cell phones, but it has always stuck with me that even on the day that is set aside for them, dad's are still getting stuck with the check! The men in our lives deserve so much better, and if a great meal is part of your plan, I've got a terrific copycat side dish to add to your menu!

If you've ever had Texas Roadhouse's green beans, you know they are something special. But guess what? You can make them so easily at home in a matter of minutes! Plus, they are super budget friendly too!

This recipe takes canned green beans to the next level. Can you use frozen ones instead? I'm sure you could. The cooking time will increase, but if you prefer the flash frozen ones, go for it. The canned variety resembled what I've had in the restaurant so I used those. Plus, I always have a few cans on hand. 

What makes these beans so tasty? Let's start with chicken broth, which adds flavor to whatever you cook in it. There is also just a touch of sugar to add some sweetness. But if we being honest, the biggest flavor boost comes from the bacon of course. That will be the part dad can't get enough of! 

If you're having a big meal for the special dad in your life, this simple copycat recipe would definitely score you some extra points! But they can just be a super simple side dish for dinner tonight too!

Copycat Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

3 (14 oz.) cans green beans, drained

3/4 cup chicken broth

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 small white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. sugar

2 TBS butter

Salt and Pepper

In a large skillet or dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Saute the onion and garlic in bacon drippings for 2 minutes until soft. Add chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add beans, sugar, butter, salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil. Add bacon back in.  Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes until beans are tender. Serve or remove from heat with lid on to stay warm. 

 Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Summer Time Dining

From packing up the picnic basket to dinner time on the deck, summer gives us so many reasons to eat outside. Cookouts, backyard barbecues and let's not forget all the holidays we enjoy this time of year too. We've already had Memorial Day, but Father's Day and July 4th are knocking on the door. Any one of these is reason enough to add another fantastic pasta salad to your recipe box, so keep reading for one that's gonna knock your socks off!

Spinach and artichokes go together like peanut butter and jelly. They were just meant to be mixed. I have no idea who the first person to think "hey if we take some of this green spinach a lot of people think is gross, mix it with this funny looking vegetable and add some cheese, bake it and we've got a great dip" was but he/she deserves a medal. 

The hot appetizer is of course the most well known way to enjoy spinach and artichoke but they are delicious in pasta bakes, salads and now this summer inspired pasta salad. 

I love making a big bowl of cold pasta salad for supper on a hot night. It's still hearty enough to fill us up, but when it's still sweltering at dinner time, a hot meal just doesn't sit well. I add some fresh fruit and crusty bread on the side and dinner is done! 

Spinach and artichoke pasta salad is perfect for your next picnic in the part, bring a dish cookout or July 4th bash! We only have a few months to get outside and dine al fresco, so let's savor it while we can! 

 Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

1 lb. penne pasta

2 (15 oz.) cans whole artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped

3 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

3/4 c. sour cream

1/3 c. mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. dried parsley

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and Pepper 

Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain well. In a medium bowl combine sour cream, mayo, Italian seasoning, dried parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well. When pasta is drained, transfer to a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Add spinach, artichokes and cheese. Stir well to combine. Chill until serving, at least two hours. 

Shared at Weekend Potluck