Side Dishes

Fruit Kabobs

Never to shy away from adventures that would make most people exhausted just thinking about them, Lesley and I took the girls on vacation to Jellystone Park in Cave City, KY, this past month. It was amazing and packed full of fun times and adventures. One of the those times was making fruit kabobs for the grill. Lesley and I are not huge fans of meat, so we needed to get creative if we were going to try kabobs. Grilled watermelon is all over the place this year, and we were excited to try it. We assembled and grilled. It was interesting how the flavors of both the pineapple and watermelon changed on the grill. Most surprising was the watermelon. It definitely did not taste the way watermelon should. I can see why people like it, but you have to be ready for the difference the grill makes! (more…)

Apple Salad

This was my grandmother’s recipe and a dish that I would look forward to her making each time I visited. I’m sure she got tired of my asking, but still she would make it for me on those special occasions. She made this recipe so many times that it was in her head and she would be able to tell by taste when it was perfect–which gave me anxiety in trying to replicate it. It turns out though that it was pretty easy to do, and I got the taste as close to my childhood memories as I could.



Apple Salad

Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip
  • 2 cups Grapes, halved
  • 3 medium apples, cut into small cubes
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whip together the Cool Whip and Miracle Whip.
  2. Mix in grapes, apples, mini marshmallows, and pecans. The amounts of each are dependent on preference. I enjoy a lot of grapes in the salad.
  3. Chill in fridge for an hour before serving.
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Cayenne and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Since Maddie has begun eating food, I’ve noticed a difference between what she will eat and what Riley likes. Riley, not much into the details of things, is very happy with plain butter noodles. Maddie, on the other hand, shoves away plain noodles in disapproval. She requires a dish with much more flavor. How is a mom to keep up? This weekend I experimented with kicking up my traditional scalloped potatoes with some cayenne and garlic, and with a large casserole dish, it was easy to keep one half plain and the other flavorful. Two happy kids. One mealtime victory.




Cayenne and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Cayenne and Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of thinly sliced potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Cut potatoes into thin slices.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan. While whisking, slowly add flour. Continue to whisk and add milk slowly.
  3. Cook sauce on low until smooth and boiling. Continue to whisk occasionally.
  4. Remove the roux from heat and add in 1 cup cheese, cayenne, and garlic.
  5. Grease a 9x9 baking dish and add half of the potatoes.
  6. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the first layer then add a second layer of potatoes and remaining cheese sauce.
  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and sprinkle with paprika for color.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of dish you used. My first try making this I my 9x9 pan was dirty, so I used a 9x13 pan, and it only took 30 minutes to cook. So, if you are pressed for time, try a bigger pan!
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Cayenne and Garlic scalloped potatoes

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

I like salad dressing, but I don’t love it. Usually I have a craving for it, and then it sits in my refrigerator for the next six months before I even think about it again. By that point, I’m already disturbed by the fact that I have had a dairy-based dressing in my refrigerator for that long and it hasn’t gone bad. Homemade dressings are the best option for me. You can control the amount you make, and they taste fresher. This is one of my favorites. The creamy taste is balanced by a subtle taste of vinegar. Perfect.





Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Chill before serving.
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Creamy Italian Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is so easy to make and has become a summer go-to for us. Since it is a cold pasta salad it is easy to bring along to picnics or have at any outdoor summer event. If you enjoy the boxed Suddenly Salads by Kraft, you’ll love this. Same taste without all of the preservatives. (more…)