Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Menu

We have been so busy with moving to our beautiful 60 acre property and me with my new career (and endless amounts of studying) that I haven't been able to dedicate the time to give credit where credit is due in my day-to-day cooking. I will say, however, that I have been doing a lot of sheet-pan cooking during the move--it's so easy and minimal clean-up. Just stick it in the oven and come back an hour later.

Now that I am getting back in my groove, I was able to browse a few new recipes for this memorial day weekend which is being spent with our wonderful new neighbors.

The hubby smoked a brisket, ribs and brats with his own favorite seasonings--dee-licious!! We don't call him the "Grill King" for nothing. :)

I made fresh guacamole and salsa and then used google for Baked Beans, Potato Salad and Strawberry Pretzel dessert. [There are so many different varieties of baked beans and potato salad, it's fun to google a new one every time it's called for.]

First we start with The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond--Baked Beans:

I used canellini, navy and pinto beans for mine (rather than pork and beans). I also added garlic and black pepper, omitting the green pepper since the hubby can't eat it. Probably some of the best baked beans I've ever had. I cooked it on the stove for about an hour to thicken up and then used my rice cooker as a warmer since I didn't have a crockpot the right size.

Next up from Dill Pickle and Mustard Potato Salad. 
I did half red potatoes and half russet (because that's what I had). I also used my french fry cutter to get quick cuts length ways then hand cut across the width. Cuts my time in half and makes nice (mostly) perfect cubes. I didn't add the cream and added black pepper and celery seed as well as at least a half cup of mustard. The hubby likes very mustardy potato salad so I'm always generous with the pickle juice and mustard. When I want to be extra healthy I use yogurt instead of mayo.

Finally for dessert I can always count on Taste of Home to suggest delicious old fashioned recipes. I had tasted Strawberry Pretzel dessert when I was a kid, and after making it, realized it is still just as tasty. It's a great recipe particularly for a gathering with children and the elderly--ok, it's great for everyone. :)

I used Dream Whip, mostly because it stores on the shelf for a long time, saves space in my freezer and you don't have to wait for it to thaw. I didn't have six hours to let it set up, but it worked out well to keep in the freezer and turned out perfect.