Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Salsa

Two weeks ago my colleagues were in town for a conference in our field and I invited them over for dinner.  Since we had fresh zucchini from our garden, I decided to try a new salsa recipe to go along with the bratwurst. 

The salsa was extremely easy to make and prep the day before; it was great served with tortilla chips, but also as a stand-alone salad. 

Summer Salsa – Adapted from Good Life Eats


  • 1 (10-15oz) can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 1 T red wine
  • Olive oil
  • Parsley


Arrange the corn and zucchini on a large lightly greased cookie sheet.  Spritz lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Roast in an oven heated to 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until zucchini and corn are roasted.  During the last 10 minutes, add the diced cherry tomatoes and roast them as well.  Continue roasting until most all the juices are evaporated.

Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 2 T cider vinegar and 1 T red wine.  Stir well and set aside. 

When the veggies are done, toss them, along with the black beans, into a large bowl.  Drizzle on the wine mixture and stir well.  Garnish with fresh or dried parsley. 

Serve warm or chilled alongside tortilla chips. 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Menu Plan–July 27

Well, hello!  It’s been a few weeks, and July is flying by.  We’ve been working hard in our basement and on a few special projects to prepare for a baby shower I am hosting this weekend for my best friend from high school. 

This last weekend, we started putting up the ceiling!  It was a good arm workout. 

In addition, summer is just beautiful and I’ve been trying to cut back on screen time and enjoy nature live and in color.  Lots of walks, time in the garden and of course, with friends. 

Since I started menu planning by the month (and I’m loving it, by the way), I haven’t even had the weekly deadline of posting a menu online… hence why  you haven’t seen a menu plan here in a few weeks. 

Summer Salsa

We have been enjoying some new summer dishes that have been a smashing hit.  I can’t wait to share them with you. 

Here’s our menu for the week:

Monday – Our 7th Anniversary
Anniversary Dinner!
To do: Make cake


Ratatouille, Brown Rice
To do: Thaw chicken

Smokehouse Maple Fajitas, Green Beans

Roasted Tomato BLTs with Corn on the Cob
To do: Thaw brats

Crockpot Spaghetti, steamed broccoli
Beer Bratwurst with Garlic & Onions

Menu Plan Monday is hosted at Organizing Junkie - stop by for hundreds of menus

Find more great menus at OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Menu Plan–July 13

Here we are, over half-way through summer.  I am finding that pretty hard to believe!  This week, I am really looking forward to the annual conference in my field – and, of course, the All-Star Game!

Here’s our menu for the week:

Leftover Salad
To do: Thaw pork

Crockpot BBQ pulled pork potatoes, green beans
To do: start crockpots in the AM (pork and potatoes), make BBQ sauce, thaw chicken

Balsamic Grilled Chicken & Wild Rice Pepper Salad
To do: Make buns, prep veggies for salsa

To do: thaw brats, put together salad, wash fruit, make dessert

Grilling – Beer Brats, Chips and Summer Veggie Salsa {new}, Fresh Fruit, dessert

To do: thaw meat, wash lettuce, shred cheese

Crockpot Taco Salad {new}, chips and salsa
To do: Thaw bread 

Menu Plan Monday is hosted at Organizing Junkie - stop by for hundreds of menus

Find more great menus at OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4th of July Recipes (16 recipes)

Here are some of our favorite recipes for celebrating our freedom!

Cucumber Pasta Salad – If you are heading to a potluck, bring this salad along.  It’s tangy and feeds a crowd, not to mention, it’s delicious. 

DIY Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns – This recipe is our go-to all summer long.  It’s so simple to make and is ready in just 40-minutes. 


Garlic and Onion Bratwurst – Simply the best brats we’ve ever eaten.  Sure to please.

Beer & Onion Brats

Italian Pulled Turkey Sandwiches – In case of rain, consider this amazing pulled turkey.  Made in the crockpot, this is moist and flavorful.  Top with BBQ sauce if desired, and serve is a delicious bun.  Feeds a crowd. 

Grilled Pizza – Got a grill and perhaps some semi-picky eaters?  Grilled pizza will be a crowd pleaser.  Everyone can choose their own toppings, and the pizza is ready in less than 10 minutes.  Make a double batch of the pizza dough and you’ll easily serve 8 people. 

Fruit Kabobs – an easy and fun way to enjoy fruit.  Kids love these. 

Texas Caviar – A delicious and tangy bean appetizer.  Better yet, it’s packed with protein and very filling.  A family favorite. 

Grilled Corn – Don’t forget to soak the husks, but there is nothing better than grilled corn.  Yum-o. 

Crockpot Baked Beans – Easily my favorite BBQ side dish, these beans are tangy and sweet, and have a smoky flavor.  I love ‘em. 

Roasted Green Bean & Mixed Potato Salad with a Parmesan-Garlic-Dill Sauce – Oh. my. goodness. We love this salad.  It’s a little more fancy in terms of flavor, but the ease of making it wouldn’t suggest such a fabulous warm salad. 

Raspberry Delight – For dessert, whip up some of this creamy raspberry delight.  It’s perfect for a warm day, and can easily be made a day in advance.

Toasted Marshmallow S’more Bars – Like a s’more, in a bar.  Delicious. 

Rhubarb Dessert – This dessert is famous in our home.  Although the photo doesn’t look the best, the sweet and tangy combination of the vanilla pudding with rhubarb compote surrounding a layer of marshmallow-ey goodness is incredible. 

S’more Roll UpsToss the filling of your s’more inside a homemade crescent roll.  Yep. They are sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

Strawberry Kiwi Fruit PizzaA fruit pizza is always fun, and you can showcase the best of the mid-season produce.  I can’t help but imagine a strawberry/cherry and blueberry pizza arranged as an American flag.  Would be perfect for the weekend. 

4th of July Cherry Berry Dessert – Another festive one perfect for the weekend.  Using the red cherries, blue blueberries and white whipped cream, this dessert is a long-standing favorite for the 4th in our house.  Plus, the leftovers are even better. 

Happy 4th!  Frog Prince and I are going to enjoy the weekend, without blogging.  See you next week. 

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