Category Archives: Food & Recipes

Simple Dinners: Summer Garden Meals

My summer garden has been very productive this year. I have tomatoes coming out of my ears! I love tomatoes, and so do my kids. So I try to incorporate them in to a lot of my meals. However, during part of the summer my niece and nephew were visiting and they are not huge fans of tomatoes. So I had to try and use them in a way that would make them still want to eat. They love spaghetti, so I thought of making that and using my tomatoes to make sauce. But it is still so hot here and I hate to be int he kitchen using the stove for so long. So instead I found this amazing summer fresh-tomato spaghetti recipe by Martha Stewart that actually impressed everyone in my house.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 1/4 pounds unrefrigerated ripe tomatoes 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

What You Will Do:

  1. Finely chop tomatoes, basil, parsley, and garlic, and mix together with oil (or pulse ingredients, including oil, in a food processor to blend).

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and toss it in a serving bowl with the raw sauce. Transfer to 6 shallow bowls, and drizzle with oil. Serve with cheese.

    This dish gave that perfect little taste of Italy without the heat of the stove in my kitchen. It was great for a quick meal, and it used up a LOT of my tomatoes. My niece and nephew even sat there and ate their entire bowls. We added some bread to the side and the kids used their bread to pick up what was left of their tomatoes. It was a perfect night.

Summer Eats: BBQ Chicken Bacon Pineapple Kabobs

Summer means less work, less school, and less time in the kitchen. We try to stick to food that can be cooked without using the hot oven in the summer. It just adds too much heat to our already hot house. We love to find meals that can be cooked almost entirely outdoors. Our grill gets a LOT of use during the summer months. Which makes the kids happy, since they can play outdoors while Mom and Dad cook. We are happy because it is less cleanup, and our time is spent relaxing and enjoying the beauty of summer outside.

This month I found a fun and simple kabob meal that my family absolutely loves, and I hope yours will too. Kabobs are so simple, fun, and delicious. It breaks up the monotony of burgers, hot dogs, and steak that comes with grilling outdoors. This fun recipe comes from the very fun and delicious blog written by Jessica and Nellie, Butter With a Side of Bread. These ladies know how to create a delicious dish!

I loved this recipe because it allowed me to get the kids involved in prep. They love anything they can poke with a stick. Just be sure to watch them and teach them how to do so without getting hurt. My older kids loved helping. Dad loved it because, well, BACON. I love pineapple so anything that incorporates my favorite summer fruit is always a win.

chicken bacon pineapple kabobs

Head on over to Butter With a Side of Bread for the full recipe and tutorial. You will DEFINITELY want to check out their other ideas for summer meals, and meals all year long. You will also love their desserts. Enjoy!

Summer Sweet Treats: Popsicles

We love summer sweet treats, anything from ice cream to popsicles are total hits in our house. I love creating new and fun sweet treats while the kids are home for summer break. This year I found an idea that totally blew my mind, and surprised my kids. Milk and Cereal Popsicles. Yes, you read that right. It seems a little unconventional, but that is part of its appeal. It’s sweet. It is unexpected, and it has the slightest crunch to it. It’s amazing.

If you want to try something that will totally impress your kids and their friends for that next big summer play date then you have got to try this recipe. It isn’t too hard to make, its cold, its sweet, and it’s something everyone has the ingredients for.

Summer sweet treats

What you will need:

  • 1 med/large banana (or 2 small)
  • 1 Cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup dry cereal

What you will do:

  1. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the banana on medium until mashed and smooth (approximately 1 minute).
  2. Slowly add in yogurt and milk. Continue mixing until blended. Add the cereal and stir by hand to avoid crushing it.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze 8 hours until solid.

You can even mix it up and make it with chocolate milk or strawberry milk. Add any cereal you like, the possibilities are endless!