Everyday Mom's Meals: May 2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Summer Time App Or Light Supper

 Summer is quickly approaching and I am 100% here for it. Anyone that knows me knows not only is summer my favorite season, but I like it HOT! The hotter the better. Some who know me very well find this odd because I am what my grandma called a "hotbox". Yes, I'm the girl running around in flip flops in winter and running the AC year round. So why would someone who is always on the verge of spontaneous combustion like the heat and humidity of the next few months? 

Easy. As my husband says "You don't have to shovel sunshine!" I can always find relief inside with some chilly AC, or even better in the cool waters of a pool! If I had it my way every day of summer would be sunny and 85+. 

One thing I do find myself saying a lot during the dog days of summer is "It's too hot to cook." Now, 9 times out of 10, I end up cooking anyway, or I've already looked at the forecast when meal planning (yes, that is how OCD I am....I check the weather before I plan meals for the upcoming week.) and planned on a light meal in anticipation.

Some of the things we love on those nights when the thermometer still reads 90 at supper time are pasta salads, tuna salad sandwiches,  and big salads topped with grilled chicken or shrimp

I also love taking dishes we usually eat as an appetizer and making them into a main dish. This Bang Bang Shrimp is a perfect example. The amount this recipe makes is great for a cookout app, but if I take the same amount, add a pasta salad and fresh summer time fruit (hello, watermelon) on the side, it's a light meal perfect for a scorcher of an evening.

Now, this quick version of the favorite appetizer does take a little help from the store with some frozen popcorn shrimp, so you will have to turn the oven on. But it's not for long, and if you happen to have an air fryer, you could always cook the shrimp in that instead! 

I can't wait for those nights when it comes time for supper and I'm hot from being outside in the sun all day. Or better yet, tired from a fun day at the pool. Summer is my time and I am ready to welcome it, and all of its tasty foods with open, tanned arms! 


Bang Bang Shrimp

1 (18-20 oz.) box frozen popcorn shrimp

1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce

2 TBS mayonnaise

1 1/2 TBS honey

1 TBS sriracha

Boston lettuce, for serving

Chopped green onions, for garnish

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Cook shrimp according to package directions. I add a few extra minutes to make sure the shrimp are nice and crispy. In a medium bowl whisk together chili sauce, mayo, honey and sriracha. When the shrimp are cooked, transfer to a large bowl. Pour dressing over and gently mix until well coated. Serve on lettuce leaves, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Memorial Day Planning

I can't believe we are already going into the second week of May. Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day have come and gone. Before I know it, the end of the school year and Memorial Day will be here! When will you start planning your holiday weekend cookout? Maybe seeing a tasty new potato salad recipe will inspire you to begin earlier than later! 

I bet like me, you have more potato salad recipes than you ever thought one person would need. But every time we see a new one that looks unique or just delicious, we have to try it. Let's face it, a great potato salad is one of summer's staples. It shows up at every graduation party, picnic table, Memorial Day barbecue, July 4th pool party...the list goes on and on. It's no wonder we never feel like yet another one is too many. 

One of the reasons I fell in love with this recipe is the use of red potatoes. No peeling required! What a time saver. Plus, this is best when it chills out in the fridge for several hours, or best overnight...gotta love anything you can make ahead and have waiting on you when it's party time! 

The dressing on this is simple, but filled with flavor! It's the perfect mix of sweet and tangy, made from things most of us have on hand, so it is a great one to whip up last minute! Heck, I would make this for burger night on the deck any night of the week! 

Summer and potato salad go together like sun and sand! With cookout season upon us, bowls and bowls of it will be enjoyed over the next few months. Why not add another yet to the ones you love so much?


 Red Potato Salad

5 lbs. red potatoes, halved

5 hard boiled eggs, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

2 TBS dried parsley

3 TBS sugar

2 tsp mustard

1 tsp cider vinegar

Salt and Pepper

In a medium bowl combine mayo, mustard, relish, parsley, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk well. Set aside in fridge until ready to make salad. Place halved potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Drain well and allow to cool. Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. In a large bowl combine potatoes, onion, celery and eggs. Mix gently. Add dressing. Stir gently to combine. Chill at least 6 hours before serving or overnight. Stir again before serving and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Happy May!

 The calendar says May, but I'm not sure if Mother Nature has gotten the memo yet. Sure, some days it's sunny and sitting on the edge of warm, but I think it's been one of the chilliest, cloudy, wet springs we've had in a while; and the WIND! Oy vey! 

I made the comment the other day waking up every morning to more clouds and gloom can really start to mess with your mood. My complaint must have been heard because the next day I woke up to sunshine, thank goodness. Mama needs her Vitamin D! 

All I can say is I hope with the arrival of this new month, the weather starts to get her act together and over the next 4 weeks we can truly start to believe summer is coming. 

But until then, it's still spring, and to me the official flavor of springtime is lemon. It is so bright, so refreshing- it is exactly what we need to wake up our taste buds!

One of my favorite chicken dishes to order out is Chicken Piccata, so it was about time I made it at home. With its simple sauce made of butter, lemon and another favorite of mine, capers, every bite is a burst of flavor in your mouth. 

Let's talk about the chicken you're going to use. Look for "thin cut" chicken breasts to make this extra easy on yourself. You will need 8 pieces total, depending on the size. You want a decent portion of chicken for each plate of pasta, sometimes that's one large one, or a couple smaller ones. (This recipe makes 4 plates!) I wasn't lucky enough to find the thin ones, so I bought a pack of 4 large breasts, split them open like a book, sliced into 2 pieces, laid them between layers of plastic wrap, and pounded them thin with a meat tenderizer. 

While not hard, it is a little time consuming, so if you can find the thin cut ones, half the work is already done for you! Lucky! 

If you've never used capers, I always tell people they are like a tiny olive. It's the only way I can think to describe them to someone who has never tasted them. They are briny, salty and delicious! They pair perfectly with the lemon too! 

If you are looking for a spring inspired meal or maybe you want to treat mom to something special next weekend, Chicken Piccata would be perfect! Make it now before the summer weather is finally here, and we are all grilling out as much as we can!


 Chicken Piccata 

4 boneless chicken breasts,  split and pounded thin OR 8 thin cut 

4 TBS olive oil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon, then sliced

1/2 cup + 1 1/2 TBS flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

4 TBS butter

1 (3 oz.) jar capers, drained

1 TBS dried parsley

cooked linguine pasta

salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Combine 1/2 cup flour, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge each piece of chicken and shake off excess. Heat 2 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté chicken in batches until brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. Add extra oil as needed. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm. In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add remaining flour, whisking constantly until smooth. Cook 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup broth, whisking constantly. Add lemon juice and remaining broth. Continue to cook on medium or medium low, whisking until slightly thickened. Add capers and chicken back to sauce. Spoon sauce over chicken, add lemon slices and simmer 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Drain pasta. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, garnished with parsley.

 Shared at Weekend Potluck