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Friday, June 28, 2013

Top 10 Summer Meals

It's supposed to be over 100 degrees for the next several days where I live. I have been racking my brain to figure out how to avoid using my oven and still produce something healthy and edible by kid standards. J-Dog voted for a week of Little Caesar's Pizza. D. would eat hot dogs for every meal....again, no. Here's a Top 10 list of easy, family friend Meal Ideas to keep you cool, calm and collected, if only for a minute.

1. Subs --break out the garden veggies, try lacing your bread with fresh herbs and dig out the cold cuts. Find some fancy bread--or even French Bread-- and make some Subs--best yet, the kids can make their own.

2. Sloppy Joe's- all on the stove top--under 20 minutes and dinner is done. Here's one of our Family Faves for this meal.

Sloppy Joe’s

1 lb.                        Hamburger
1                              Onion, chopped
1 can                      Tomato soup
1/3 cup                  Ketchup
1 tsp.                      Garlic salt
1/4 tsp.                  Chili powder
3 Tbsp.                  Mustard, yellow
                                Salt and pepper to taste
Brown hamburger until no longer pink
Add other ingredients.  Mix well
Bring to a simmer; simmer 20-30 minutes.
Serve over buns

3. Awesome Dogs--simply a very dressed up hot dog or polish sausage. Boil the hot dogs on the stove top. Once removed from the water, place in bun (if desired) and top with your own favorite combination. Chili, cheese, crushed Fritos, cilantro, onion, sauerkraut, chopped spinach,  diced tomato and basil, bacon bits, nacho sauce--use your imagination.

4. Spaghetti -really original, I know. But it's fast, easy, uses garden goodies if you have them, cheap and on the stove top. Don't complain.

5. Crock Pot Pork- there are a million versions of this, but I like this one.  Super easy and a crock pot doesn't heat my house. Use the meat for tacos, salads, sandwiches and nachos.

6. BBQ chicken. If you are lucky enough to have a family member who touches raw meat, you are in good shape. I like to marinade the chicken in lemon juice and basil and garlic with olive oil for a few hours and then grill it. Ok so the hubs grills, but I get it ready to go. There are many easy to use marinades on the market, or even Italian dressing works. Grill extra chicken to use for leftovers later. 

7. Eggs-boiled, scrambled, fried or over easy. Eggs are cheap, cook fast and are versatile. Egg salad sandwiches are a staple here when it gets hot.

8. Grilled pizza- yes, you can grill a pizza on a bbq. One version can be found HERE.

9. Shrimp Alfredo. Thy THIS you won't be disappointed.

10. Garlic and Brown Sugar Chicken- crock pot to the rescue.
6 chicken breasts
1 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. vinegar
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp. soy or tamari sauce 
1 tsp. pepper

Line crock pot with liner, or spray with cooking spray. Put chicken in crock pot; mix other ingredients together and pour over chicken. Cook 6-8 hours on high. 

Stay Cool!

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