Monthly Archives: July 2011

Campfire Chocolate Bananas

We have been out in the woods for the past few days biking, hiking and beach combing. We had such a great time and on top of the traditional s’mores, we also tried out another sweet treat for around the campfire or the grill, whichever one works for you.

Chocolate chips or chocolate squares
Marshmallows (optional)
Aluminum Foil

Just slice open a fairly firm banana length-wise with the peel still on, making sure not to cut all the way through. Then stuff it with chocolate (and maybe some marshmallows) and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Place it on the grill (or in your campfire) as the coals die down.

You’ll know they’re ready to be eaten when the peel is black, the banana is soft and the chocolate is all melty. It won’t take long…3-5 minutes tops…if the coals are still hot. Cooking time will vary greatly depending on how hot your fire is. We just kept checking on it, pulling it out with tongs, checking, wrapping it back up and placing it back in the coals until it was ready.

Scoop into a bowl or just eat straight out of the banana peel.

Did I change anything? We didn’t add any marshmallows. We just used chocolate.

What did the family think? Only two of us tried it, but it was REALLY good. It would have been super, duper good with some vanilla ice cream on the side.

Where did this recipe come from? Slashfood

photo from Slashfood


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Kicked Up Cole Slaw

I loved, loved, loved this cole slaw. It is still definitely cole slaw, with just a little more kick to it.

1 bag of shredded slaw mix
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin and cut in smaller pieces
2 green onions, sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn (kernels sliced off) or 1/2 cup frozen corn (defrosted) or canned
handful of chopped cilantro
1 cup chipotle or spicy ranch (I used Brianna’s Chipotle Cheddar dressing)
2 tablespoons mayo
a few splashes apple cider vinegar
fresh ground pepper

In large bowl combine ranch dressing, mayo, vinegar and black pepper.

Add vegetables (minus cilantro) and toss until fully dressed.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled. Toss in cilantro right before serving.

Did I change anything? I left out the carrots since there were carrots in the slaw mix I used. I also changed the original dressing. The creator of the recipe used Marie’s Chipotle Ranch, but I couldn’t find that.

What did the family think? I LOVED it! Hubby liked it, but wished I hadn’t put corn in it. The boys aren’t huge cole slaw fans…they have no idea what they’re missing.

Where did this recipe come from? Aggie’s Kitchen


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Salad, Side Dish, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Radish, Tomato, Cucumber and Green Onion Salad

I am not a huge radish fan. Okay, I don’t really like them at all, but I LOVE them in this salad. This salad is cool and crunchy and perfect for a hot summer day.

6 radishes, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

We had this with marinated pork chops and some sliced strawberries.

Chop the radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions into small pieces.

Whisk together oil and vinegar. Put all chopped vegetables in a bowl and drizzle with oil and vinegar dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until everything is combined.

What did the family think? Sadly, it wasn’t a huge hit. I was the only one who liked it and I didn’t just like it, I loved it. I will happily be eating all of the leftovers.

Where did this recipe come from? Melanie Cooks

Photo from Melanie Cooks

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Salad, Side Dish, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Potato-Fennel Gratin

This was my first time ever cooking with fennel and it was a great way to teach the boys about a new food. I was starting to put the fennel bulbs in the grocery cart and their natural curiosity took over and it sounded something like this…”What is THAT?”

2 small fennel bulbs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds russet potatoes (4 large potatoes)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (1/2 pound)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.

Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel.

Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.

Peel the potatoes, then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline.

Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.

Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.

Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.

We had this with rosemary and garlic steak kabobs and watermelon.

Did I change anything? I only cooked it for an hour and it was fine.

What did the family think? 75% of us loved this dish. (I bet you can guess who the other 25% was.) Our oldest even had seconds and wanted me to make the leftovers for him in a sandwich. (Which sounds gross to me.) What was good was putting some of the cheesy sauce from the potatoes on the steak we were eating with it.

Where did this recipe come from? Aggie’s Kitchen and she got it from Ina Garten

photo from Aggie’s Kitchen

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

If you don’t like raw red onions, then you can stop reading right now. If you do, then read on. You will love this easy little summer salad.

3-4 handfuls sugar snap peas, chopped large*
1 red onion, chopped large*
1 lemon, juiced
few splashes white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

*When chopped, onions pieces and snap pea pieces should be about the same size.

Combine chopped vegetables in a bowl.

Pour lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil over vegetables and gently toss together.

Season well with salt and pepper.

Enjoy chilled.

Did I change anything? I only used 1/2 an onion.

What did the family think? I loved how crunchy it was. Hubby thought it was good, but wasn’t too sure about the red onions. I gave our boys just plain snap peas. Our oldest said he thought they tasted like the garden, which I thought was spot on. Our youngest took all the peas out of their pods and ate a few of the peas.

Where did this recipe come from? Aggie’s Kitchen

photo from Aggie’s Kitchen

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Filed under Easy, Salad, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Chicken Primavera with Fettuccine

This is the second time I have used Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s new cooking cremes and they have not disappointed me yet. I just wish our grocery store would carry all of the flavors.

1 lb.boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cupsfrozen stir-fry vegetables (broccoli, carrots, red peppers, snow peas)
1 tub(10 oz.)PHILADELPHIA Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme
2 cupshot cooked fettuccine

Cook and stir chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until done.

Add vegetables; cook 2 to 3 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Add cooking creme; cook and stir 3 min. Stir in pasta.

What did the family think? They loved the creamy pasta. Little man isn’t especially fond of chicken, but both the boys did eat some of the red peppers and the snap peas.

Where did this recipe come from? It was on the container of Italian Cheese & Herb Philadelphia Cooking Creme

photo from Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Filed under Italian, Six Ingredients or Less

Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa

We are back from vacation and slowly getting back into the kitchen. This was the last dinner I made before we left and it was FANTASTIC!

1 pound kielbasa (pork or turkey), cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced (leave in chunks if using an outdoor grill and slice later)
1 pound frozen potato-and-cheddar pierogies (do not thaw)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.

Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth. Set aside.

Toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogies thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter.

Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Roughly chop the onion and add to the bowl along with the pierogies, onoins and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Divide among shallow bowls.

Did I change anything? I cooked the sausages and the pierogies/onion mixture at the same time. I left out the parsley.

What did the family think? Hubby and I had this and really, really liked it. The boys ate the sausages and a mishmash of other things since I was trying to clean out the frig since we were going out of town.

Where did this recipe come from? Food Network

photo from Food Network

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again