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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!
We got in late last night and poor dh had to go to work first thing. But, even with an empty fridge-I made him his favorite: Tropical waffles with spiced fresh apple compote, peanut butter and syrup. Fresh coffee and voila! Breakfast was served.
Dinner was going to be BBQ’d beef ribs, kale salad and some baked spuds on the grill-but we were told that “our presence was required” at the family enclave.
After eating out all Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday-honestly, hubby and I were looking forward to enjoying the company of 1/2 our kids and eating in our home.
But celebrating is in order-MIL is now in another part of the state and the calls of congratulations and tell your saint of a husband he deserves the freedom.
Maybe not nice, but true.
No recipes, but once I catch up on life I’ll get back to creating some new ideas for July 4th!
Since I’m not able to do near as much typing as I’d like and what I do needs to be geared toward my contracted newspapers and magazines-I found this recipe for a “blue” muffin that would be great for breakfast or dessert!
Plus, if you wanted to do it as the “Red, White and Blue” theme-you could divvy it up and use some strawberries or raspberries for the red and maybe just the white chips in some OR combine the various berries (as long as the total the amount of what is needed on the blueberries!) to create all 3 colors at once!
Blueberry White Chip Muffins
2 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 C. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 pkg. 12 oz. white chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
recipe Streusel Topping, (see recipe below)
PREHEAT oven to 375. Paper line 18 muffin cups. COMBINE flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in milk, egg, butter and lemon peel. Stir in 1 1/2 C. morsels and blueberries. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling almost full. Sprinkle with Streusel Topping. BAKE for 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly. PLACE remaining morsels in small, heavy duty plastic bag. Microwave on MEDIUM HIGH (70%) power for 30 seconds; knead. Microwave at additional 10 to 20 second intervals, kneading until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to drizzle over muffins. Serve warm.
FOR STREUSEL TOPPING:
COMBINE 1/3 C. granulated sugar, 1/4 C. all purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
For those who’d like it healthier-use egg whites or egg beaters in place of the whole egg, fat-free milk and even use a bit of Splenda instead of part of the white sugar.
BE WARNED: I personally don’t like to use Splenda in baking as it tends to make the final product a bit too tough for my own personal preferences!