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A food blog to enliven your family meals

Gooey Baked S’mores Bars

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in All, Baked Goods, Desserts | 4 comments

Enjoying s’mores year-round just got a little bit easier with these Gooey Baked S’mores Bars

Gooey Baked S'mores Bars

Anyone else enjoying a wet and cool summer? 

Actually “enjoying” is not the right word. Enduring, perhaps? 

I would have thought that after our *freakishly* cold winter, we would have earned a reprieve from crazy, unseasonal weather. 

Guess not. 

There is widespread flooding throughout Minnesota, which puts a major damper on some of our favorite summer activities: 

Boating and tubing?  Off limits on many lakes because of no-wake zones. 
Hitting the greens? Stretches of local golf courses have been underwater since June. 
Dropping a line in the water? Our nearby fishing dock is closed because the path that leads to it is flooded. Grrrr. 

But the closure that has had the most impact on our lives is a little closer to home: our fire pit. It’s pretty tough to roast s’mores when your fire pit is filled with standing water. So I did what any self-respecting s’mores lover does when faced with such dire circumstances; I baked them. Grab your napkins as these Gooey Baked S’mores Bars are totally worth the stick factor. 

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Fresh Feta Spread

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in All, Appetizers | 10 comments

Summer snacking doesn’t get much simpler than this Fresh Feta Spread. 

Fresh Feta Spread

Summer is all about easy. 

Lazy summer nights and leisurely dinners. Languishing by the pool for just a little longer. Loosy-goosey house rules and deadlines.….you get the idea. 

It may take me a while to lose my routines after school lets out, but once I do, I’m all about embracing laid back summer living. And this Fresh Feta Spread is Exhibit A in my quest to keep life simpler this summer, especially when it comes to eats. 

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Stubb’s Sticky Sweet BBQ Chorizo Pinwheels

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in All, Appetizers, Sponsored | 7 comments

Bring your favorite BBQ flavors indoors with these Sticky Sweet BBQ Chorizo Pinwheels. 

Stubb's Sticky Sweet BBQ Chorizo Roll Ups

I’m not sure how meals are decided at your house, but around here, it goes something like this:

Me: “What do you guys feel like for dinner?”

Bridget: “Cheese pizza!”

Grady: “Burgers! No, wait. Ribs! Definitely Ribs!”

Pat: “I can’t remember what it’s called, but what about that spicy foil pack thing you made on the grill a few weeks ago? Ohhh, but wait…we might be low on propane….”

Wow, what am I supposed to do with THAT? Clearly this is going nowhere fast. Since short-order cooking is not in my repertoire, I often get creative in order to balance all of these requests (and sometimes I just make whatever the heck I want!). Cue these Stubb’s Sticky Sweet BBQ Chorizo Pinwheels. Whether you enjoy them as a warm appetizer when entertaining or gobble up the entire recipe for dinner, these bite-sized Pinwheels bring that barbecued flavor of the grill indoors and are a total crowd-pleaser at my house. 

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Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in All, Sides and Salads | 12 comments

This tangy Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce puts a summery spin on a family favorite. 
Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

My mom was kind enough to host our family and Pat’s family for Father’s Day last month. There were 11 of us total, so not a huge group, but a wide variety of ages, including toddlers. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to serve a diverse group of people, especially when kids and adults are eating together since tastes of those two age groups usually differ vastly. I really loved what my mom came up with to deal with this dilemma, so much that I had to share it with you: the sauce bar. She grilled several pork tenderloins and placed the meat on the buffet with three different sauces, including this tasty Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

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Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in All, Desserts | 5 comments

Homemade ice cream gets boozy in this Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. 

Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream My family doesn’t have a ton of food-related traditions when it comes to holidays, but homemade ice cream on the Fourth of July is one of them. We can thank my mom for that tasty addition to our family tree (and probably our belt sizes, too!). 

My grandpa (my mom’s dad) used to work at a dairy. During the summer, he scored extra bottles of milk and cream that my mom and her siblings used to hand crank into ice creamy goodness. My mom wanted to carry on the ice cream making tradition with me and my brothers, so my dad upgraded her ice cream making equipment to an electric model (yay!) that used a very temperamental ratio of ice to rock salt to get the cream to freeze correctly. I can still remember my mom complaining about that leaky and obnoxiously loud machine, but none of that mattered to me as a kid. Some of my best memories from the Fourth of July are sticking my spoon into the container after it finished churning for that first bite of soft serve ice cream.

Fast forward to today, and both Pat and the kids request homemade ice cream as part of our Independence Day festivities. I am happy to oblige, of course, and love experimenting with new flavors. If I was a betting type, I’d wager that Pat will demand my most recent creation, homemade Bourbon Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream, for every holiday in the foreseeable future. (And if he doesn’t, I will.)

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