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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Oatmeal Raisin chewy, amazing, easy Cookies


My life is all about quick, easy, but getting it done right. These cookies fall into those three categories let me tell you.

The key to these amazing cookies is that you cannot over bake them. I repeat, do not over bake them. You like them soft and chewy right? Then time them and keep checking.

Another thing you must know before you start to make these is, I have to give you heads up, you have to chill the cookie dough mixture for at lease 20 mins. I know time these days is a factor for everyone, especially me! Hey 20 minutes is 20 minutes right?

In addition, if you want to store the dough for a long period of time,  you can freeze the dough but make sure you roll your cookie balls out first and then when your ready to bake them, throw them right in the over frozen.

Ingredients

(You can do this now or when your mix is chilling, pre-heat your oven first at 350 degrees and I get two cookie sheets ready before I even start) You can use parchment paper or just make sure they won’t burn and stick to the pan. My cookie sheets are from Pampered chef and they are non-stick which I love. But if you don’t have non-stick just use parchment paper.

1 cup (2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened to room temp (if you forget to take your butter out, just throw it in the microwave for about 9 to 11 seconds) it works for me.

1 cup of light or brown sugar (packed, aka measured exactly)

1/4 granulated (white) sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon of maple syrup or molasses (seriously don’t stress if you don’t have either of those ingredients, you can also use honey watered down with a little apple cider)

1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking SODA

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup of raisins

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional) those are usually by special request only in my house

Step one

From the above ingredient list take the softened butter and sugars, and mix with a hand mixer. Mix in the two eggs one at a time. Add in the syrup(or substitution)and the vanilla extract.  After combining those, set aside.

Step two

Add the flour, baking SODA, ground cinnamon, and salt together and mix up with a fork. Next, mix in your wet ingredients with those dry ingredients. On a low mix speed, throw in your oats, raisins, and nuts until well blended.

Now I didn’t always believe this was necessary but you do have to chill the cookie mix before you bake them. At least 20 minutes. It makes a difference in the way they come out. I chilled it as one big ball but if you want to roll out each cookie about a teaspoon heap, or just scoop and drop. Two reasons I didn’t chill as individual cookies is one, I didn’t have room in my freezer to put the cookie sheets in there and two I liked to roll them when they are harder so the mixture didn’t stick to my hands.

After chilling, bake at 350 9 to 11 mins. Make sure they stay light in color and put your oven rack in the middle or upper level so the bottoms don’t burn!

Good luck and remember, don’t over bake!!

 

 

 

 

Simple asparagus


This recipe is so simple and taste amazing that even my boyfriend who is an asparagus hater lol asks for this dish from time to time.

All you need is:

  • 1 lb of asparagus
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp of feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remember there is no exact science to some recipes so you can give or take on these ingredients based on your liking.

Lay asparagus in your pan and drizzle olive oil throughout. I live to move the asparagus around to get all the stalks moist. Then top the asparagus with the remaining ingredients.

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Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 20 mins.

Honestly it’s so good I could eat the whole dish myself. If you don’t like feta cheese then just omit and it’ll taste just as good!

Loaded Bake Potato Salad


Another easypeasy recipe that I whipped together. i take ideas here and there from other recipes then tweak them to make them my own. This one is super easy and tasted amazing.

6 to 8 white potatos peeled, quartered and boiled for about 10 just before they get tender

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

1/2 lb of bacon cooked (extra crispy)

1/4 cup of diced scallions

1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste if needed but I didn’t even have to use it because between the bacon and scallions there was so much flavor in there already.

Mix all the above ingredients together and serve

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