Large Crowd Summer Menu Cookout


Happy belated 4th of July!

Sometimes it’s hard to put together a menu suitable for a large crowd. You’ll have your gluten free guest, your guest sensitive to spices, another guest who cannot tolerate garlic, and your no onions please guest. Oh and your no beef guest.

So whenever my sister and I put together our menu for the next family function, we have to take all these request into consideration. And, we love it. It gives us an opportunity to get a gathering together fast and be creative.

Remember, more isn’t always necessary because people tend to have a few cocktails beforehand and also nosh on the chips and whatever else precedes the main course.

Here is our typical summer bbq menu:

We usually start with a platter of olives and pickles, chips, celery and ranch dressing. On occasion there will be buffalo chicken wing dip, cheese and crackers, etc.,

Next, here comes the burgers, hot dogs, sausage patties, sausage and peppers, and bbq chicken. Then we have the pasta salad, corn on the cob, and deviled eggs! Yum. I’m getting hungry just writing about it.

Lol well anyway this is just a gist of some menu items you can put together pretty quick for a large crowd.

Here are some pics of our family. I hope you all had a safe and happy 4th.

It was a great 4th of July. We even camped out back in the Yert. The boys slept in their hammocks. I’ll have to try that one night. They said it was wicked comfortable.

Oh geez I almost forgot the most important part of the menu lol, the adult beverage we fell in love with. Saranac’s Moscow Mule ginger beer. If you can get your hands on one, try it. They are so good ice cold. It’s really a great summer drink.

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My front porch


This is minimalism at its best. All this took took was a fresh coat of paint and a garage sale find for $80 bucks.

Sitting on a porch is the best therapy a person can get.

Life can be simple if you truly want it to be. Less is definitely more.

Be brave in everything you do

It only takes one step


It’s really simple. What holds us back from moving forward, taking that chance, or making a life change? Fear right?

Fear holds us back from more than we realize. For some of us fear can play a part in the simplest tasks. For starters, putting our two feet on the floor when we wake up in the morning. There is always something out there we dread that has to be dealt with in our day right?

Try this(myself included), start off with just today by saying no or not doing something with you are uncomfortable with, without feeling bad or guilty.

Little steps are a great way to get going on defeating what’s holding you back.

Consciously make an effort and take note on everything and every little feeling, like the pit in your stomach feeling, when you have to make a choice on what YOU want to do. Just say no. It’s really not that hard. Remember baby steps.

Good luck today.  I’d like to hear what you decided not to do today and how it felt to say no. Even if you say no to one thing, that is a great start.

Be brave and have a great day!

Joe’s Restaurant, Utica, NY


I’d have to say even though Utica, NY has been named the worst of the worst cities in New York, as of the past two years it has made some drastic changes for the better. A new hospital has been approved to be built in the downtown Utica area. The Utica auditorium also has a new renovation underway and some of the major roads have been under construction. It definitely is looking a lot better.

I am not one to talk politics or go to my towns monthly board meetings. That’s just not me. But when I see our surrounding areas doing better I’m relieved for my kids. Changes are great but there is a lot to be said about the existing establishments that have been around for decades.

You walk into certain places like old bakeries, restaurants, and grocery stores that take you back in time and stir up old memories. How do we hold on to that if those types of places are going extinct? Some businesses are passed on from generation to generation but eventually begin to be phased out due to lack of interest or monetary funds to keep a place going.

I’m just happy that there are still places around like Joe’s Restaurant so that new generations realize that life isn’t about glitz and glamour, that simplicity is what creates values and appreciation for the little things such as good food and time spent with family and friends.

The food served here is a totally different subject all in its own. First and only rule at Joe’s is DO NOT ASK FOR BUTTER or you will be thrown out lol. Another key factor you need to know about Joe’s are the hours of operation. Tuesday’s 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Yup that’s right only two days of blessing you with their home cooked meals, patina decor, and an at home type of feel atmosphere. Just expect to wait for a table if you don’t get there before 11:00.  Even though it is small it definitely gives you a welcoming feel.

Joe’s Restaurant in Utica, NY located on Jay Street,  are one of those places that leave memories etched in your mind forever.