Tuesday, June 18, 2019

25 summer meals!




Hello Summer!!!   I am so excited that this is the last week of school and next week is our official start to summer.  This year I have decided to scale back my meal plan for the summer after listening to a great podcast by the Lazy Genius on her Summer dinner queue.    So here is my 25 summer recipes that I will be putting into rotation for the next 10 weeks along with a few side ideas that I have for you. 

1.  Hot dog wraps (or buns) and a side


2. Burgers and a side

3. BBQ legs (or thighs) and a side


Cook your veggies right on the grill

4. Steak skewers over rice



6. Sloppy Joes with a side


7. Sausages with a side 


8. Roast Chicken in the crock pot with potato salad

9. Chicken and bacon Cesar Salad
Lettuce, chicken, bacon, veggies and croutons. Sometimes we serve these in a wrap. 


10. Pulled pork
Cooked in the crock pot


12. Tenderloin ribs
The recipe I use for these are from Looney Spoons


Alternate pork chunks with pineapple chunks.  Grill and flip often brushing with teriyaki sauce every time and serve over rice. 

14. Campfire supper
Hot dog roast, Spider dogs and this yummy survival bread wrapped around the hot dogs is delicious



15. Tacos (salad and walking tacos)
A mixture of soft shelled, hard shell, salad and walking tacos

Taco salad

Walking Tacos


16. Pork Fajitias

17. Spaghetti and Salad
Sauce cooked in the slower cooker

18. Hodge Podge and sausages



19. Nachos
Going to try on the grill this year

20. Fish taco (fish and chips)

21. Ham and Cheese Slidders


22. Chicken Burgers and a side

23. Pulled BBQ chicken (crock pot)

24. Naan Pizza (grilled pizza)

25. STEAK! 



Delicious Sides


Grilled Pineapple



Cucumber, avocado, tomato and feta side salad. 


 Roasted Beats, sautéed swiss chard, smashed potatoes and roasted beats all make delicious sides.




This is such a tasty treat for summer eating but if you don't have any corn on the cob whip together this street corn salad using frozen corn. 




 A great side.  Cook up those potatoes in the morning when it is cooler then whip this together right before supper time. 




With a heavy duty cast iron pan this can be cooked right on your BBQ 






Broccoli Salad 



Spinach, strawberries, goat cheese and granola salad



For more summer time meal ideas check out my summer eating pinterest board! 


Tips and Trick for summer cooking


Freeze your meat in the marinated.   When I am doing up chicks on a stick I will chunk all the meat up and freeze it right in their marinated.


Use those Crock pots or insta-pots this summer.  No need to heat up your house when you have these kicking around.  You can do everything in the crock pot from roast chicken to baked potatoes




I will be doing the majority of my supper prep work in the mornings while its cooler outside and that way we can sit by the lake a little longer enjoying the hot sunny days.  This summer I am doing everything I can do to plug into my kids and this season. 















Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Guest Room


Welcome to our guest room!  I am so excited to finally share with you this beautiful space.  When we built our addition we knew we would need a guest room for all the wonderful people we love to host, including my parents :)   I love how Micah can visualize a space and make it functional for us as well as the guest that we welcome.    



The paint colour we (or should I say I) choose for the room in called Thunderbird and it is from Benjamin Moore.  Years ago I found this photo on pinterest. and knew I wanted these colours incorporated in my house.  So I knew this colour would match perfectly the Nimbus colour we painted in the addition.  




We purchased this Hemnes Day bed from Ikea.   When folded in it is a twin bed but pulls out to make a double bed.  Also the 3 large storage drawers under the bed are perfect to store games, puzzles and extra bedding.  I also purchased all these spare pillows from Ikea because you can not beat $1.99 pillows.  The cases and the comforter are from a local store called Celebrations.  The two big yellow pillow coverings are also from Ikea (this whole room is pretty much Ikea ;) 

The functional stand up closet is actually a Coat Rack from Ikea but it does the trick in this room.  We have spare towels folded on it, hangers for guest to use and the top acts as a lovely place for some storage space for us.  


Over the bed we added 2 of these wall shelves .  I saw this beautiful piece of art on pinterest and decided to create my own. 



Using picmonkey I created the design to say stay awhile.  I then printed it as an engineer print at staples and cut it to the size I wanted it for this frame that I purchased at the restore.   The frame got a fresh paint job with some of the left over Nimbus paint we had ;) 




I purchased this night stand at a local thrift shop for $8.00!  I came home and gave it a good sanding before painting it with Benjamin Moore Nimbus.   This Nimbus colour is what we painting our new addition and it goes really well with the Benjamin Moore Thunderbird colour that we painted the spare room in. 




I love the look of the old fashion type clock, although when people stay over I always find the batteries taken out!   Also on the night stand I created this print with our wi-fi password and framed it in a simple white frame I purchased at Walmart. 








Now lets talk about that beautiful yellow chair down in the corner!  I have been on the hunt to find a chair just like this and finally found one at...you guessed it.. Ikea!   I waited for a few months for it to go on sale so when it did I purchased it right away to finally finish this room.  




This picture is at night so you can't tell but this room actually has a beautiful view of our lake.  So we put up this folding desk that looks right at the lake.   This is the perfect work space for Micah when he works from home and I tend to head to this room during the kids nap time to read in that beautiful chair or do work myself at that desk.   The shelves over the desk are the same as the ones over the bed.  The decorative boxes are so pretty and so functional for storing stuff in.   The two sided picture frames are excellent for putting my custom scripture art in. 



The last part of this room is the funky mirror that is across from the stand up closet.   Guest love having a place to themselves to do their hair, make up and to make sure they look on point.  


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Baked Doughnuts


These baked doughnuts where a HUGE hit in my house!!!   I made a plain doughnut recipe and a chocolate recipe then topped them with different toppings.  They where very moist and flavourful.   

Plain Vanilla Doughnut

2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease (really good) your doughnut pan.  In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Beat until combined.  Pour your batter (it can be thick) into a pipping bag or a large ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.  Pipe into the doughnut pan 2/3 full and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the top of the doughnuts spring back when lightly touched.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan then invert onto a cooking rack.  Cool completely before decorating. 


* If you don't have any buttermilk in your fridge you can make it by adding 1Tbsp of vinegar to your 3/4 cup of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes. 

Chocolate Doughnut

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
3/4 cup butter milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla 

Same directions as above :) 

Toppings.  

Crunchy Coconut 
Toast coconut in a pan until slightly brown.  Create a simple glaze of icing sugar and milk until a runny consistency.  Dip your chocolate doughnuts into the glaze and then into your toasted coconut. 

Vanilla sprinkles
Melt down some white chocolate or I like to use Make your own Almond Bark vanilla.  Dip doughnut in melted chocolate then top with sprinkles.  

Chocolate sprinkles
Melt down some chocolate or Make your own almond bark Chocolate.  Dip doughnut in melted chocolate then top with sprinkles. 






Tuesday, April 16, 2019

No bake birds nest


Who doesn't like an easy no bake cookie?  Haystacks, macaroons, or frog cookies (are just a few names for this recipe) are a very quick and easy cookie to put together and I especially love to make them at least one time during the spring season because they make the cutest nest for the delicious mini egg.   Another bonus to this recipe is they are peanut-free so that means you can send them to school in your kids lunch box. 

Recipe 

1 1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp coco powder 
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut 

1.  In a large pot over low heat combine sugar, coco powder, milk, butter and salt.  Bring to a low boil.  Once boiling allow to low boil for 3 minutes.  Stirring often. 
2. Remove from heat and add vanilla, oats and coconut until incorporated.
3.  Drop by the tablespoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.   To make the nest press into the middle of the cookie with a spoon but be careful not to break the shape (you might need to shape with your hand a little).  Place some colourful mini eggs into the centre of each nest and allow to cool and harden. 

These are best consumed the same day but will last stored in an air tight container. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Bunny Cookies



These cute little bunny cookies are the perfect spring time cookie for Easter!   My kids loved getting these in their lunch boxes this week.  

Our very favourite sugar cookie recipe can be found over here!  These cookies are so quick and simple to mix up but they do require about 15 minutes in the fridge before you roll them out.  To dye them colours you simply add the colour you want just as the dough is coming together.   I personally like to use gel food colouring.  The colours turn out bright and vibrant and you don't have to use a lot to get the colour you want. You can make 2 different batches to make a lot of cookies or you can do what I did and separate the dough to get 2 colours from one batch.  




This is my all time favourite hack for rolling out cookie dough!!!  Lay out parchment paper then place down two paint sticks on either side of your dough.  Start rolling out your dough until your rolling pin sits evenly on both sticks.  This ensures that all your cookies are the same thickness, which in turns means they will have the perfect bake :)  If you want a thicker sugar cookie just double up the paint sticks and place 2 (one on top of the other) on either side. 





Cool your cookies on a wire rack.  Once they are cooled you can pipe a little "cotton" tail on these bunny cookies.  I used this delicious Vanilla butter cream icing from Sally's Baking Addiction and a  Wilton #1A tip.   On some of them I even added coconut to make them look more "fluffy".  



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Homemade Hamburger Buns




I'm not sure if there is anything as delicious as fresh homemade bread straight out of the oven slathered in butter and dripping with Crosby's Molasses (ok maybe I had you until the molasses part, but trust me it is soooo delicious!)  I think with all our bread making we are beginning to get spoiled around here so let me tell you how happy I was to get this recipe from another mama friend of mine! 

These buns can be whipped up very quickly (40 minutes) and are the perfect match for burgers, sandwiches, and of course a favourite here pulled pork. 



The original recipe is from taste of home but here is my version of the recipe. 

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water (don't get too hot; it will burn the yeast)
Sprinkle of sugar 
1/3 Vegetable oil
1/4 cup Sugar 
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 - 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

Melted butter
Course Salt 

1.  In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast, warm water and a sprinkle of sugar.  Let stand for 10 minutes or until it begins to froth.  Add oil, sugar, egg and salt. Mix with the dough hook.  Then add flour 1/2 cup at a time.  The dough will look every soft and sticky.  Keep adding flour until the dough begins to form and pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. 

2.  Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.  3-5 minutes.  Do NOT let rise.  Divid into 12 pieces and shape each into a ball. 
      *we have a kitchen scale so I weighed the dough, then divid it by 12, so all the balls areapproximately the same size.  But if you don't have a scale just eye ball it. 

3. Place the balls on a lined cookie sheet.  Cover and let rest 20 minutes.  

4.  Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes (it only takes 8 minutes in my oven) or until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter and a sprinkle of salt. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool. 



Friday, February 22, 2019

S'more Party


S'mores are the ultimate summer time treat for us!  Our family loves all different kinds of s'mores.  With two of our birthdays in the summer a s'more party is right up our ally. 

First off for any of your kids who go to a party in the summer this S'more Fun basket is the best gift ever.  A personal cooking fork (for roasting marshmallows), Graham crackers, marshmallows and of course different flavoured chocolate bars.  I even looked up some different combinations and added a little menu card in the gift bucket. 


Now for the party!!!  Set up your serving station with different chocolate bars, graham crackers and marshmallows.  We have found that chocolate covered cookies also make perfect s'mores.  



Due to living in an area where we usually have fire bands, these propane fire pits are the best life saver for a s'more party during a band.  


My favourite s'more combination besides the original is one made with a peanut butter cup!  How about you? 


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