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Hard to believe, but it’s almost July 4th.  The fifth will be my mom’s 82nd birthday and my best friend’s (college)as well.  He’ll be 55.

Since the hand surgery and the decline of my joints and discs, I’m not anticipating doing much.  My sister and family started going to the local lake and party hearty with some friends who have access to the club there.  

As usual my husband will be working until around 9:30, as will our son.  So I might just pick up my parents and take them to a local restaurant to celebrate.

Cooking around here has also been rather stream-lined.

I do what I can to prep the veggies and carb side dish and prep the protein as well-then my husband takes over and does the grill.

Since we love the grill and it permits us to eat tasty plates without much clean-up, we‘re happy campers.

Take last night:

Pork chops were rubbed with some steak seasoning and cumin.  I made packets of red potatoes, minced onions, mini-portobellos and tossed it all with some EVOO and the usual sea salt and pepper.

I made extra of everything so Steve had quite a nice lunch for today.

Keeping things stream-lined works on so many levels.

Even dessert can be beautiful, delicious and tasty!

If you‘re having a Independence Day Gathering-go potluck, grill something other than burgers and hotdogs for a change!  Try grilling some fish.  Don’t fear it-take some non-stick foil, place the fish on it and simply dust it with some of your favorite herbs.  Place it on the grill (this way the fish gets the yummy BBQ flavor and none of it goes through the grates!) and use the 10minutes per inch rule.

Marinate some boneless chicken parts in a mixture you’ve never tried.  Make kebobs for your veggies.  Skip the mayo laden potato and/or pasta salad-create a new carb side dish with quinoa, barley or even couscous and toss with a vinaigrette and minced vegetables.

Instead of calorie laden desserts-Serve some berries that have been macerated in either balsamic vinegar or another “sweet” acid (my kids bought me some ginger/berry vinegar that I LOVE on my berries!) and serve over low-fat frozen yogurt, ice cream or sorbet.

Use some paper/plastic plates and plastic ware.  Cover the table(s) with some butcher paper from the craft store and put out crayons or markers for the kids and have them “decorate” the table for you.  

As you know by now, I love to cook, but I also love to be able to enjoy whoever comes over-plus these days, I’m doing my best to keep my pain and fatigue as low as possible.

I do hope some of these easy ideas help out everyone.  Enjoy this last week of June!

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