Fourth of July Week – Grilling and Salads


4th of July Beach Day

I decided rather suddenly to take last week off from blogging and our dinners.  We had company for the first part of the week and I was a bit fearful of feeding him some of my first attempt dishes so I decided to stick with the tried and true.  Then it was my birthday and a HUGE storm blew through the area.  Many of our friends were without power for 3-5 days.  We only lost power for about 1/2 a day but it was inconvenient in that it was from about 3 pm to 11 pm.  Fourth of July party, movies, beach days it all seems to blur together now.

But, we did do lots of grilling and making salads.  Here are some of the highlights of our week:

Grilled Chicken and Steak Tortillas

When we lost power on my birthday I was a bit upset.  I had planned a meal just for me.  But, we improvised.  Before opening the refrigerator I made  a list of all the things I needed so that we could grab them as quickly as possible to minimize the time the door was open.  Then we cooked on our grill.  In the end it was a perfect meal.

Verdict:

Our kids loved it and so did I.   I used up all the chicken and steak bits from the previous two meals and some vegetables that needed to be used up right away.  I made a tzatziki sauce to put over the top.  It had tons of flavor and a bit of crunch from the tortillas and vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. meat, precooked – great for leftovers cut into small cubes
  • 2 medium sweet onions – cut into 8ths
  • 2 large peppers cut into large pieces
  • grape tomatoes – enough to cover 2-3 skewers
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 + TBSP garlic powder
  • 2+ TBSP dill week
  • 1 large cucumber – English seedless or regular cucumber with seeds removed cut into a small dice
  • dash of salt
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • olive oil, for grilling
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper for additional seasoning
  • feta cheese for garnish

 Directions:

  1. Mix sour cream, garlic powder, dill week, diced cucumber and dash of salt in a small bowl.  Mix well and taste.  Adjust spices according to taste.  Cover and set mixture aside in refrigerator.
  2. Place onions, tomatoes, and peppers on skewers and drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder.
  3. Place meat chunks in a basket and drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder.
  4. Grill meat and vegetables until warmed through and tomatoes start to burst.
  5. Place on warming tray.  Brush tortillas with a bit of olive oil on both sides and grill for 10-30 seconds each side until lightly browned.  Remove from heat.
  6. Serve with Tzatziki dressing, feta cheese, vegetables and meat on the grilled tortillas.

Pasta Salad

When we spent the day at the beach for Independence Day I made a bunch of cold salads to  eat throughout the day.  My children both informed me as I made the Pasta Salad that they hate Pasta Salad.  I made them both try a bite.  Guess what?  They don’t hate Pasta Salad.  I didn’t think they would.  They both love raw vegetables, add a bit of turkey pepperoni and cheddar cheese?  They loved it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boiled pasta, cooked to al dente according to package directions
  • 1 1/2 large diced red pepper
  • 1 (14 oz) can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, small dice
  • 2 large stalks of celery, small dice
  • 1 small onion, diced (if desired)
  • 1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets (if desired)
  • 1 (14 oz) package of sliced pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • 1 – 2 cups Italian Dressing, use homemade or your favorite brand

Directions:

  1. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water until cooled.  Place pasta in a large bowl.  Add 1/2 of the Italian Dressing to the pasta and stir well.
  2. Add rest of vegetables, meat and cheese to the cooled pasta.
  3. Stir well.  Add additional dressing as needed.  If not serving immediately taste and add extra salad dressing just before serving if needed.

 

Homestyle Potato Salad

Of course I had to make a Potato Salad too.  Both children again swore to me that they both HATED Potato Salad.  I will give them that even after tasting it my daughter still did not really care for it but she ate a small scoop of it.  I was okay with that because she really does not like mayonnaise for the most part.

This is a slightly sweeter version of Potato Salad a bit reminiscent of Deviled Eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. red potatoes, skins left on, cut into 6ths and boiled to al dente
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 TBSP + sweet pickle relish
  • 1 TBSP + yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1.  Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  2. Once potatoes are boiled rinse in cold water to cool them and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Once they are cooled to the touch stir in dressing and gently fold over potatoes.
  4. Add spices as necessary to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Overall this was a great week with tons of food and great memories.

 

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