Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summertime Eats!

I really can not believe it's summertime again already! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer. I love having my kiddos home with me and we always make a summer bucket list of things we want to do and try to do a different thing at least 4 out of the 7 days in a week, if not more. We also love taking road trips together. One of my very favorite type of vacation is a road trip. I just love seeing the country; all the different cities and states and scenery and stopping at lots of different restaurants and local eateries, visiting museums and state parks and even playing all the silly car games. I love it all! ABC license plate? You got it! Ahem, back to my point: so summertime gets really hot and humid in my lovely state of Florida. So we try to eat a lot of sandwiches and cold salads and we do a bunch of grilling and eating outside. So we hardly ever eat a big, hot dinner that requires a lot of oven and/or stovetop cooking--it's just too darn hot for that! So I thought I would share some of our favorite Summertime Eats. I'm always on the lookout for new favorites and we like to mix those in to our traditional standards.

Summer Meal #1: Meatball Hoagies with a big garden salad.

This is pretty quick and easy and won't heat up your oven for long--the hoagies only need to bake for 15 minutes or so. I usually make some homemade ranch dressing to go with it--I love Pioneer Woman's version!

Summer Meal #2: Chicken Salad Focaccia Sandwiches with Carrot Sticks, Potato Chips and PW's Ranch Dressing.

Again, the focaccia doesn't take long to bake and you chill the chicken salad, so you've got a nice, cool but filling meal that even the kids love!

Summer Meal #3: Grilled chicken with macaroni salad and corn on the cob. (Recipes Coming Soon!)

I love to make a quick marinade for chicken in the morning, put it and the chicken in a ziploc in the fridge in preparation for the hubs to grill it later that night. My mom's Basic Macaroni Salad is always a popular side dish in the summer and there's just something about pairing it with grilled chicken that brings back all the memories of my childhood during the summer.

We love to wash all our food down with a big glass of ice cold sweet tea or my Homemade Strawberry Lemonade and serve up some delicious Blueberry Cobbler for dessert--made with fresh from the farm blueberries! We go blueberry picking every summer and freeze enough fresh blueberries to last us until the next summer. This delicious bounty leads to muffins, pancakes, cobblers, ice cream...and just blueberries eaten by themselves accompanied by little bluish purple faces and fingers. :)

Here's a recipe that is quick and easy as well as SUPER delicious. I mean, it's got bacon in it, you just can't go wrong. If you love BLTs like I do, you'll go gaga over these roll-ups. They're great to serve for lunch, as a snack, or to bring along with you to those summer BBQs where everyone brings a dish to share:

BLT Roll-Ups

Makes 12-14 Servings

8 oz cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup mayo 
16 slices of bacon, cooked & crumbled 
1 cup of chopped, seeded tomatoes 
4  8" flour tortillas
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce 


Mix cream cheese and mayo in a medium bowl. Add bacon and tomatoes and mix well. Spread evenly onto tortillas and top with lettuce. Roll up tightly, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Take out and cut each wrap into 7 one-inch slices and serve.

Another easy one we love to make for parties:

Ham Roll-Ups

Makes 10-12 Servings

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (2 1/4 oz) can chopped black olives, drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
8-10 slices fully cooked deli ham


Beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in olives and onions and mix well. Spread evenly over ham slices and roll up tightly starting with the short side. Chill for at least an hour or overnight. Cut into 1-2" slices and serve.

Well, I hope that gets you started on some yummy summer food. I've already made a few items on this list and have plans to make the rest of the list and then some. I LOVE summer! Happy dance!!!

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