Category Archives: dinner

last weekend at the cabin

Those were my snow boots when I was little.

{click on images for a larger view}
We spent last weekend at a the cabin with my family. Plenty of snow to play in, slippery garbage bags to wear while being pulled behind the snowmobile without a sled, homemade Oreos, laughing until there were tears, dance party, cousin bath time, naked 2-year-old zipping down the slide in the playroom, Swedish pancakes with berries and whipped cream, Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner, caramel popcorn, Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, not enough sleep, tiny snowman, playing on the swings, warming up by the fire, soaking in the hot tub, happy times!
Hawaiian Haystacks
{Perfect for a crowd! Serves about 12 people.}

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

4 c. milk

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken

6 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into pieces

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add flour and salt and stir. Add milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add cream of mushroom soup and chicken. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Serve over sticky white rice with any or all of the following toppings:

grated Cheddar cheese

chopped celery

chowmein noodles

pineapple tidbits

sweetened shredded coconut

toasted sliced almonds

chopped green onions

chopped tomatoes

sliced bananas

sliced olives

pizza on the grill

We are going to live on this for the rest of the summer.

BEST pizza ever. And you don’t even have to heat up your kitchen.

{And to make it easier, you can mix the dough in a Bosch or Kitchenaid rather than kneading it yourself.}

Basic Grilled Pizza Dough
{from Everyday Food Magazine July/August 2010}

1 tsp. sugar
1 packet yeast (1/4 ounce)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
coarse salt
2 1/4 c. flour, plus more for work surface

1. Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Whisk oil and 1 tsp. salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until liquid in incorporated (dough will appear dry). Knead until dough comes together in an elastic ball, 2 minutes. Transfer to an oiled medium bowl; brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm, draft-free place until dough has double in bulk, 45 min. Punch down dough and cover; let rise another 30 minutes.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. (To store, refrigerate dough pieces, covered, up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month). Let rest 15 minutes before using. Makes 1 pound dough or 4 10-inch pizzas.

To grill:

Heat up your grill to medium-high heat, clean and lightly oil grates. On a lightly floured surface roll out 1 piece of dough into a 10-inch-long oval. Brush one side with olive oil and season with coarse salt. Place dough oiled side down onto grill. Brush top with olive oil and cook until underside is lightly charred and bubbles form all over top, 1 or 2 minutes. With tongs, flip and top with desired toppings, and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bottom is lightly charred.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

Heat 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Add 2 minced garlic cloves (or a couple dashes garlic powder–that’s what I used) and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Cook about 1 minute. Puree two 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer. Cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens, about 15 min. Stir in 1/2 tsp. dried oregano. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

chicken + pineapple skewers

I wait all winter to fire up the grill so we can have these for dinner! This is one of those favorites I come back to over and over (from my one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Tyler Florence). As Clayton said the other night, “Thanks for the rockin’ dinner!”
The recipe says to use chicken thighs, but I usually use 4 chicken breasts instead, since I always have those in the freezer. I usually serve these over rice, with a green salad on the side. Make sure to save a little more than half of the sauce for serving so there’s enough to go over the rice too.

How Do You Feed 30 People Singlehandedly?

Double this recipe, then double it again. I’m taking this to Lake Powell this week for when it’s my night to serve dinner…phew! Big families are the best though, especially Clayton’s. Should be fun…I have a feeling some funny memories are about to be made! As always.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 Tbsp. oil

1 large can pineapple chunks with juice, undrained

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

3 Tbsp. vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

2 T. flour or 1 T. cornstarch

1/4 c. water

1/4 bag of frozen meatballs (from Costco-about 30 or 35)

2 green peppers, diced

In a large saucepan, mix oil and pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple). Cook over low heat for a few minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. In small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth, then add to the pan. Cook over low heat until mixture is thick and smooth. Add meatballs, canned pineapple, and green peppers, and simmer until heated through. Serve hot over rice.

(This freezes really well!)

Thanks Carrie for this recipe!

Sunday Backyard Picnic

Yesterday I tried some new recipes, and since the weather was so nice in the shade, we ate our dinner on a blanket thrown across the back lawn.  Clayton said, “That a little weird,” when I took a picture of my dinner on the grass, but what does he know?  Sheesh!  Gotta enjoy summer while it lasts! 

I got these recipes out of an old kids’ magazine, and made a few adjustments to the recipes.  Click here if you want the original recipes, or to see how cute the article was!  Completely over the top, but fun to look at anyway.
Chicken Wands with Mango Dipping Sauce

 1/3 cup soy sauce

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

4 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

12 chicken tenders

Mango Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)


Whisk together soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, honey, vinegar, and oil in a large bowl. Add chicken to marinade; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes. Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high (if using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 to 4 seconds). Thread chicken onto skewers, dividing evenly. Grill, turning once, until chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve warm or at room temperature with mango dipping sauce and rice.


Mango Dipping Sauce

1 1/2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Puree mangoes, honey, vinegar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender until smooth. Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Summer Salad with Green Beans and Tomatoes

2 handfuls green beans, trimmed

2 tomatoes, diced

4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Cook beans until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Cut beans into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes and mozzarella; toss. The vegetable mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day.   Just before serving, whisk together vinegar and oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetable mixture with the vinaigrette. 

We Have A Winner

One of those days where there’s an inch of milk left and not much else in the fridge, house looks like a bomb detonated nearby, and there’s still homework and….dinner?!!  Oh shoot.  Grabbed an old kid’s magazine which I had been looking at (trying to get ideas for Ben’s school golf course project…a story in itself, later), and found this winner of a recipe.  Had almost everything on hand, so a quick trip to the store on the way home from karate and everyone’s tummy was happy.  Even Daddy’s.