I am a huge fan of baked potatoes but now that spring has finally arrived (or so it seems) they just aren’t something I cook. I hate heating up the oven and the house once the warm weather hits and I avoid it at all cost. So what do I do when the craving strikes? Make up this loaded baked potato salad! It provides all the delicious taste of a loaded baked potato without having to heat up the oven. Plus, it’s chilled and refreshing which helps beat the heat.
There really isn’t anything not to like about this potato salad. Cheese, bacon and ranch are always a winning combination! This would be a great side dish to bring to a summer bbq or just to whip up on a weeknight with a yummy grilled steak.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
recipe slightly adapted from Key Ingredient
4 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup light mayo
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. dry ranch seasoning
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste
1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and sour cream. After thoroughly combined, stir in cheese, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper.
2. Chop potatoes into bite size chunks (you can peel them if you want, I was lazy and didn’t). Boil potatoes for 10-20 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and allow to cool a bit.
3. Mix potatoes and 3/4 of the bacon into sour cream mixture. Top with remaining bacon and chill until ready to serve.
Looking for the perfect cocktail to serve at all your spring and summer barbeques? Well, I’m sharing it with you today! While I can’t report on the full tastiness of this because of that big news I told you on Friday I can say I sampled it before the wine was added and it was so yummy. I can only imagine how much more tasty it was with the Moscato.
But, don’t worry, I got the full report from the peeps I made it for and I totally trust their opinions! It was light, refreshing, citrusy, bubbly and (a bit to Joel’s disappointment) not very boozy. It’s a wine cocktail for goodness sakes, it’s just supposed to taste good. That’s what I think at least. I personally really don’t like the taste of any kind of alcohol and would almost always opt for a cherry coke over a cocktail. I’m not a big wine fan (and now you are wondering why I’m writing about wine) but if I am going to drink it, I like the fruity, bubbly, juice tasting variety. So, I know I would have liked the spiked version of this.
It was just amazingly refreshing and will be especially perfect once the hot, humid weather strikes! I can’t wait to be able to try the full version of this.
recipe from Eat, Drink, Love
1 (750 mL) fruity white wine (I used Moscato)
3 cups lemon lime soda
2 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
Sliced lemons, limes and oranges
1. In a large pitcher, stir together the wine, lemon lime soda, pineapple juice and the orange juice. Then gently stir in the slices of fruit.
2. Place the sangria in the refrigerator for about 2 hours and serve. This is something you don’t want to make ahead of time because of the fruit. If you do need to make this more than two hours in advance, mix all the liquid ingredients together and chill. Then right before serving, add the sliced fruit.
3. If you want to pretty up the rims of your glasses, dip them lightly in water then in a shallow dish filled with sugar. Then fill ‘em up and enjoy!
So, I know I have already shared a couple cucumber salad recipes with you all (here and here) but Noah and I are big cucumber fans and we go through quite a few every week. Because of this, we are always looking for new ways to eat them and this is our current favorite. My mom whipped this up one night when we were over for dinner and it was amazing and so simple.
And the ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand. I don’t think I have to tell you how much I love those kinds of recipes!
The recipe recommends making this two hours before you are going to serve it but it is soo much better the next day so if you have the time, mix it up the night before so that it has time to marinate and soak up the delicious dressing.
This is going to be my official summer side dish. Delish!
Cucumber Tomato Salad
3 English cucumbers, washed and thinly sliced
3 medium tomatoes, washed and diced into bite size chunks
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vinegar (I used plain ‘ole white but red wine vinegar would be really tasty too)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil (veggie or canola)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. course ground pepper
Place cucumbers, tomatoes and onions in a medium sized bowl. Add vinegar, sugar, water, oil, salt and pepper to a mason jar or some container with a tight seal. Shake until thoroughly combined. Pour over veggies and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
One of Noah’s favorite foods right now is corn. When I ask him what he wants for lunch it’s always tacos, pizza or corn. He indeed is his father’s son!
Although we all like corn, it can get a little old after awhile so I am always looking for ways to change it up. We of course love Sweet Corn Cake, Corn Casserole and Smoked Corn but I was in need of a simple and quick weeknight side. When I came across this recipe I knew it would be a winner in our house. What’s better than fresh, buttery corn?
Brown Butter Skillet Corn
recipe from Barefeet in the Kitchen
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from the cob
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a large thick bottomed skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter. Let it cook until it foams and then a few moments past that it will turn a light brown color. Be careful not to let it overcook, as burnt butter, with light brown specks that will turn black, is not at all the same.
2. Add the corn to the skillet and stir to coat all the pieces. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper and stir again. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the corn is hot and still crisp. Enjoy!
First, I have to start by saying happy 31st anniversary to my amazing parents! You both inspire me and I pray that Joel and I will be as happy as you two when we’ve been married for 31 years! I love you so much and hope that you have a wonderful anniversary!
Onto the kabobs! We are trying to get all the grilling in we can before the days of summer are long gone. And they will be soon around here.
I love kabobs but the problem I always encounter is that everything has a different cook time. Because of this, I don’t make them very often which is really too bad since it’s a full meal on a stick….no worrying about side dishes. So, to combat this problem I parboiled and blanched the longer cooking items so that they could all be threaded together on the skewers and I wouldn’t have to worry about undercooking the chicken or burning the veggies. Plus, I was able to put them all together while Noah napped and just throw them in the fridge. Then when dinner rolled around I simply grabbed them out of the fridge, preheated the grill and we had dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes. Gotta love that on a weeknight!
The combinations are endless when it comes to these kabobs. A more traditional take would be to swap out the potatoes, broccoli and zucchini with peppers and onions. Go with whatever your family enjoys!
Chicken Bratwurst and Veggie Kabobs
5 chicken bratwurst (approx. 19 oz.)
2 medium russet potatoes, diced into 1-inch chunks
1 cup broccoli florets
2-3 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Wooden skewers, soaked for 30 minutes
1. Parboil potatoes for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the brats until they are cooked through, about 8 minutes. When potatoes have 1 minute left, add the broccoli. Drain. Toss all the veggies in olive oil.
2. Remove brats and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch chunks. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
3. Thread brats alternatively with veggies. Grill 3 minutes per side, seasoning with salt and pepper.
If you are looking for a light, refreshing alternative to ice cream this month I have the recipe for you. When I say light, I don’t necessarily mean healthy, it does have 2 cups of sugar (or more)…it’s just not heavy and custardy like a traditional ice cream.
I love strawberry lemonade so when I was making ice cream for a gathering recently I thought it would be a nice combination. I looked around and found this recipe which uses a whole lemon. I had never heard of using a whole lemon in a recipe until I made Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins and I was amazed by the lemon flavor it imparted in the muffins. For the sorbet though, I think the rind may have made the sorbet just a touch bitter so when I make this again I will add more sugar to balance it out. My strawberries may not have been sweet enough too. I’m not really sure which it was but it just needed a bit more sweetness for me. I think maybe 1/4-1/2 cup more sugar would have done it for me. If you like a really tart lemonade, then it’s probably just perfect the way it’s written.
It was a gorgeous color and really refreshing in the heat. Definitely a delicious treat to cool off with this summer!
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
1 lemon, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cups sugar (or more if your strawberries aren’t very sweet or you don’t like it super tart)
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
1. Place the chopped lemon and sugar in a food processor, and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Puree the strawberries in a food processor, and add to the lemon mixture, along with the juice of 1 lemon. Taste and add more juice as desired. The lemon flavor should be intense but should not overpower the strawberries. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen.
Recipe linked to Cast Party Wednesday and Full Plate Thursday.
We recently had some friends over for dinner to catch up and break out the smoker. We made delicious pulled pork and planned on grilling some corn on the cob for one of the sides. Well, unfortunately the Minnesota wind had a different plan for us. It was ridiculously windy that day which meant no grilling and smoking the meat in the garage red neck style. I didn’t want to just boil the corn so Joel suggested throwing it in the smoker. I searched the internet a bit and found that it is possible to smoke corn.
Turns out it was super delicious! Joel, who normally doesn’t eat corn on the cob, devoured it. The corn had a slightly smoky flavor and was great slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. This was a simple recipe and the part that took the longest was shucking the corn and removing the silk…..ugh, I hate that part.
Smoked Corn on the Cob
6 ears of corn
6 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1. Peel back husks of corn but do not remove them from the corn; remove all the silk. Soak the ears of corn in water for several hours.
2. Dry corn then brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Pull husks back over the corn then place in a smoker heated to 225 degrees F. Cook for about an hour and a half. Remove from smoker and remove husks. Serve with butter.
Recipe linked to Mangia Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday and Full Plate Thursday.
Creamed corn is one of those old school foods that totally brings me back to my childhood. I had never cooked or eaten homemade creamed corn until now and my goodness it was so good. It tastes so much sweeter and fresher than the canned version.
If corn isn’t in season when preparing this, adding sugar will help sweeten up the dish but it shouldn’t be necessary during corn’s peak. Use your instincts and taste buds. If you think the corn needs it, add it.
This is the perfect simple summer side dish for any main course. I especially love it with grilled barbeque chicken because it was another childhood favorite. This will definitely be gracing our table over and over this summer.
recipe from Taste and Tell
8 ears fresh corn
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half, whole milk, skim milk, or heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or white pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1. Cut kernels from the cob and scrape the cobs with the edge of a spoon to extract as much juice and material as possible. You should have 5 1/4 cups of corn.
2. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet until frothy. Add corn and stir constantly for 1 minute.
3. Pour in half-and-half. Add salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring vigilantly until the liquid has thickened to a dense, yellowish sauce, about 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let steam for 2 minutes. Serve immediately, and be sure to pool some sauce around each serving.
I don’t like a whole lot of vegetables but the ones that I do enjoy I totally love. And zucchini is one of those vegetables. I could probably eat it every day.
I love grilled zucchini but I usually had trouble preparing it. I used to slice it into bite size chunks, place it in foil then grill it but I always seemed to overcook it and it just turned to mush. Not so good. One day I decided to just cut thick rings and throw it on the grill and it turned out perfectly. And what makes grilled food even better? A marinade. I just mixed up a simple oil and vinegar dressing then let them marinade in the fridge for as long as I could. Obviously, the longer they can marinade (up to overnight) the better they will taste but I have thrown them on the grill after only 30 minutes and it still turned out great.
This zucchini is a great side to grilled chicken or pork chops for a delicious, healthy and mess free meal!
1 large zucchini or 2 medium
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. basil
kosher salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Combine olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a sealable container. Seal container and shake until well combined. Wash zucchini thoroughly and slice into thick rounds. Toss in the oil and vinegar mixture and marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Place zucchini on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes then flip and cook another 3 minutes or until tender.