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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Chicken Cordon Bye Bye Blue


Okay so I made chicken cordon blue today but had to prepare it ahead of time because of our busy schedule and it came out delish. I had made it before but this time I did it a little different just to give it a little zip.

The problem is that we ate it so fast I forgot to take a “pretty” blog pic to post with the recipe. So the pic I posted was of my sons next to last piece before it disappeared.

My whole philosophy on cooking is that it isn’t an exact science. Yes, to some degree you have to follow the amount of ingredients and preparation but there is room for adding a little pizzazz here and there. One mistake I’ve made in the past is don’t over due it on the salt. Use your other salt free spices and be creative!

Here are the ingredients and the prep which took me about 10 to 15 minutes total.

Chicken Cordon Bye Bye Blue

~ 2 lbs. chicken breast (de-fatted, sliced thin and long)

~ Virginia Baked Ham, 1 slice per piece of chicken

~ Swiss cheese, any kind 1 slice per piece of chicken

1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs

salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder about 4 shakes of each on top of the rolled chicken cordon blue pieces

Cream Sauce

3/4 quarter stick of butter

1/3 cup of flour

1 cup of 2% milk

1/4 parmesan cheese

2 tsp. spicy brown mustard

1/3 cup of Honey Mustard dipping sauce/dressing

salt, pepper, onion powder to taste

Roll pieces of chicken with one slice of ham and one slice of Swiss cheese. Hold each piece with a tooth pick or two if needed. Put a few shakes of salt, pepper, and onion powder on each piece.

Drizzle bread crumbs on top of each piece to coat lightly.

Sauce/Gravy Preparation

Melt butter and then add flour to make a roux. Add milk slowly and stir until you see a smooth consistency.

Add mustard and honey mustard.

Add salt, pepper, onion powder.

Preheat oven to 350

Cover chicken pieces with gravy. Cook 45 minutes on 350. Voila!

Coffee, thinking, and thought for the day


Do what makes YOU happy…….

This might seem like a simple statement that people tend to think is so easy to accomplish but it goes a lot deeper, for me anyway.

Day 3 and I am still in my positive mode. I love it. I look at everything and everyone differently. It doesn’t mean that once in a while I might get off track but at least I am aware of it.

I’m staying focused on what my goals are.

I am taking people for what they are worth and throwing compassion into the mix as well.

I’m not running from finding my solutions to my problems.

I am just taking it day by day and I am not going to feel guilty about being simple or happy.

I finished up my last semester in December and just found out I made the Dean’s list again. I think my GPA is 3.28. Pretty sure that’s it. I have one class to finish up my associates and I am done!!!! I’ll be taking that probably in the next few months or whenever I can find a quick mini session to do it in.

Anyway, the key here is to stay focused and organized. You truly have to break things down to a simpler form and tackle whatever it is step by step and finish what you set out on accomplishing.

For me I just want to accomplish finding true peace and happiness which I think come hand in hand. I think people think you need material resources to find that peace and happiness but that is so not true. Getting rid of the material things around me and eliminating the stuff as well as people who are preventing me to do that is what is making me happy.

The first question you have to ask is; what makes you happy? I had to ask myself this question over and over again until I figured it out. For me it’s simple, the first answer is spending time with my family and doing for them. I can go on and on into the details and everything else that follows but I’m just trying to get my message across for those of you who might need direction.

Don’t feel guilty or bad about what makes you happy. I felt like my whole life I tried to conform to what everyone else thought the definition of happy should be and finally in my 40’sm, I figured it out what it is that I needed to be happy. Better late than never right? lol

This post might seem all over the board but once I figure out the pattern on how I want to get my messages across everything will fall into place a little bit better.

Enjoy the day everyone. I have to get mine started!!

 

 

Best Meatballs Ever


My thing is, I like to take bits and pieces of recipes and give them my own touch. I’ll call this one Gia’s Meatballs. They came out so moist and had such a great flavor to them. Ok listen, here is the deal, I always give or take some of these ingredients. To me cooking is not an exact science and sometimes I don’t always have all of these ingredients in my cupboard. So you can play around with it until you master it yourself.

1 lb ground beef (80% lean meat)

1 chopped green bell pepper

1 chopped Vidalia onion

2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp each of onion and garlic powder

1 1/2 tbsp basil

1 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp oregano

1 cup of bread crumbs

2 eggs

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I usually put some of the meatballs right into my sauce for flavor and then I pan fry the rest but this time I baked them in the oven and they happen to come out a lot juicier and they weren’t fried in grease.

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