Blog Archives

Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch

Long weekends equal lots of fun and food with family and friends! At least it does in my neighborhood, if you can call it a neighborhood out here in the sticks.  We had two full, very busy, yet very fun days with family friends as we wave goodbye to summer and fit in at least one more (or two more in this case) cookout.

And out here in the sticks, we know how to have fun! Labor Day weekend marking not just goodbye to Summer, but also bringing out the first of many bonfires/chimney log fires of the new Fall season coming.

Of course the adults aren’t the only ones having fun. My little guy, Joe, had an absolute blast at his very first “neighborhood” party. If you are new here and don’t know, my son Joe is Autistic and would have never handled this much activity (aka a cookout/party) without getting overloaded and ending in a melt down. So, this is his first very successful party. He had a blast on the playground at our friend’s house, and lasted as long as I did! The score: Mom 1 vs. Melt Downs 0. Awww yea!!! Hang on a sec, I need to victory dance! Of course a lot of thanks goes to his Grandma. She kept up with him and enjoyed herself too. It was a good day!

The really cool fires and the playgrounds aren’t the only thing that bring us folks out here in the sticks together. Oh no, it’s the food! Isn’t it always the food? Our potluck parties (or pitch-ins as the native Hoosiers like to call them) are always incredible! There’s always so much food! Way more than I can justify eating in one sitting. I want to, I just can’t justify it. 😂 Seriously, we had pork loin, ribs, lamb chops, sausages, and of course hot dogs and burgers! My mother in law brought her amazing mac & cheese, and I really need to wiggle that recipe out of her so I can share it with all of you. There was so much more food than what I just listed, including this Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch.

This salad is incredible. It’s incredibly easy, incredibly delicious, it has incredible tasty bacon. See? Incredible! It comes together super fast. Although you can substitute real bacon bits for the bacon in this salad if you’re pressed for time, but I seriously recommend cooking bacon and crumbling it. I cook my bacon on a sheet pan in the oven and clean up is a breeze! Just heat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, put your bacon on there and bake it for about 15-20 minutes or until it’s crisp. Then put it on a paper towel lined plate and let it cool before crumbling. Clean up?! What clean up?!

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy this salad as much as I enjoyed sharing it with my friends and family.

Print Recipe
Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drain peas in a colander, if necessary. Mine had a little liquid from being frozen, but not much. We don't want that liquid.
  2. In a large bowl add peas, cheese, onion, sunflower kernels, crumbled bacon and ranch dressing. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste, and toss gently one more time to mix it in.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

Share this Recipe

Fabulous Greek Burgers with Feta and Tzatziki Sauce – #SundaySupper

Sunday Supper and I are back, and this time we want to gather around the picnic table. That’s right, we are bringing you some awesome ideas for your Labor Day cookout. Whether you choose to spend it on the lack, in a friend’s backyard, or in your own backyard, you won’t want to miss these recipes. So, take the day off, gather your friends and family, choose your picnic spot, and celebrate the last hurrah before Fall!

What I’ve chosen to bring to this Sunday Supper table for Labor Day, is a nice big juicy burger. I love burgers, and because I love them so much, I prefer to make them at home rather than eat them out at a fast food place. The quality is so much better, and nearly the fat and calories you’ll consume at your local fast food joint. Another plus side to making them at home, you discover how versatile burgers can be! You see, this isn’t just any burger. This, my friends, is a Fabulous Greek Burger with Feta and Tzatziki Sauce, and it’s oh so easy, so delicious, and truly fabulous.  You’re gonna love it!

So lets start with the Tzatziki sauce. If you’ve never had Greek food, and you have no clue what in the world this sauce is, it’s just a cucumber/yogurt sauce, to put it simply. Seriously though, if you’ve never had this sauce, it’s gonna blow your mind when you try it. I very slightly adapted this sauce from one of my favorite blogs, Recipe Runner. To make the sauce, take your peeled and diced up English cucumber, non-fat plain Greek  yogurt, a little lemon juice, dill, pressed garlic, salt and pepper and combine that together. Then I put it in a blender, pulsed a few times until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until you’re ready for it. Nice little make-ahead dealy there.  😉

For your burgers, you’ll want an extra large bowl so you have room to work with.  In this large bowl, mix your ground beef, crumbled fetta, red onion, garlic and hamburger seasoning. The best tool for mixing it up real good, your good clean hands. Once it’s all combined, I separate it out evenly into 6 large meatballs.

Press and shape your large meatballs into hamburger patties. I take my meatball that’s nice and packed tight, put it between wax paper, and smoosh it. Then peel the paper back, and shape the sides, patting out as needed. Then I line a baking sheet with wax paper and place my patties on that so that it’s ready for and easy for the Hubster to take them out the grill. My work is done here! It’s all on him now. 😆

And ladies & gentlemen, this is one of the reasons I love that man so much. Perfectly grilled, fabulous, juicy burgers and toasted buns. To assemble, just slather the bottom bun with that beautiful, mind-blowing Tzatziki sauce, top that with a beautifully grilled burger that’s loaded with feta and goodness, add your tomato slice, and top with baby spinach leaves, and then your top bun. Now finally, sit back, relax, and enjoy this burger, which happens to be our new favorite. Yes, even the kids!

Need something to go with it? Got ya covered! Serve this yummy burger up with a side of my Greek Pasta Salad. Perfect accompaniment! Have a safe and fun Labor Day folks! I hope you have found some inspiration for your own BBQ.

Labor Day Menu Ideas

Scrumptious Labor Day Sides and Starters

Delicious Labor Day Entrees

Luscious Labor Day Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
Fabulous Greek Burgers with Feta and Tzatziki Sauce Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Cuisine Greek
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Greek
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. SAUCE:
  2. Peel and dice cucumber. In a medium bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until well combined. Fold in the cucumber. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse a few times until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. BURGERS:
  4. In a large bowl, mix all burger ingredients except for buns, spinach and tomatoes.
  5. Shape into 6 patties, and place patties on the grill over medium heat.Cover and cook 5-8 minutes, turning once, until a meat thermometer reads 160 when inserted in the center of the patties.
  6. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of sauce on the bottom half of each bun. Top with a burger, tomato and spinach. Cover with top buns and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Sauce slightly adapted from reciperunner.com

Burgers adapted from Betty Crocker

Share this Recipe

Make-Ahead Bacon-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Ahh… Sunday Dinners. Do any of you get together with family for a Sunday dinner? Or perhaps maybe Saturday works out better?  It doesn’t matter what the day, but I find it very important to have a nice sit down dinner with family that involves a bit more than the usual rushed weeknight fare, and also involves more than just my household family. We extend the invitation to family close by, like my in-laws. We enjoy being able to sit down and catch up with each other after a long week. Unfortunately my family live on the other end of the United States, in Washington state, but fortunately, I like my in-laws.  😂 The kids enjoy it too. It’s important to include the young kids into the conversation at the dinner table. Even Joe has a good time and brightens the room with his smiles.

Speaking of smiles, I got a lot of smiles for these mashed potatoes I made for just such a meal occasion. For Sunday dinner, I made The Best Chicken Marinade, which is a recipe I found over on Mom on Timeout, and absolutely delicious! I highly recommend it, and I also made Slow Cooker Barbecued Green Beans I found over on Spicy Southern Kitchen. By the way, another recipe you should definitely check out after you’re done here.

Right away, I’m sure you can see how easy this special Sunday dinner came together. I got chicken marinating, plus my own personal Grill Master, so make ahead #1. Then my potatoes, which are make ahead #2, and green beans done in the slow cooker make ahead #3. I had pretty much everything done and my feet up by 1 pm! All that was needed to do was pop those potatoes in the oven and dinner was served! Folks will think you slaved all day over this meal, and that’s ok. Let them think so, and take the credit! I do! 😆

So here we go! As usual, just peel your potatoes and cut them into little chunks. I used russet potatoes, so I peeled them. I have not used any other kind of potato with skins, I just didn’t want skins for this recipe. No other reason really. So cover those with water, and set on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil them until they are fork tender. Then drain them and return them to the pot.

Oh yea, and did I tell you I cut out a lot of fat but left all the flavor and richness? You bet! Less fat, no sacrifice! So add in your light sour cream, your neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese), and salt and pepper.

Grab your hand mixer and whip those potatoes until smooth, and cream cheese has melted. Now stir in your chives, reduced-fat cheese, and your real bacon bits. Combine that real well, then spread into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Drizzle the top with melted butter and sprinkle with some paprika. Here’s the part where you can decide to go ahead and finish it off and pop in the oven, OR if you’re preparing this ahead of time,  you can cover it and refrigerate until you’re ready.

30 minutes before you are ready, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temp. Then shove it in the oven, covered, for about 40 minutes. Then uncover and bake about 20 minutes more.

All that’s left is to serve it up, and enjoy! Don’t forget the wine! 😉

Print Recipe
Make-Ahead Bacon-Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover. Salt the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; partially cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl. Add sour cream, neufchatel cheese, salt & pepper.
  4. Beat with hand mixer until smooth and cream cheese has melted.
  5. Stir in fresh chives, cheddar cheese and real bacon bits until combined.
  6. Spread in a greased 13x9 backing dish.
  7. Melt the butter and drizzle over the potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika.
  8. At this point you can choose to cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or bake right away.
  9. When ready to bake, if you've refrigerated your potatoes, let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 20 minutes longer.
  11. Enjoy!
Share this Recipe

Delicious Ranch Potato Salad

The weather here is just perfect. A beautiful 78 degrees which is perfect for me! Not too hot, not too cold. It’s wonderful, and it’s got me wanting to gather up the clan, and go to a park for a picnic. I don’t know about you, but I love picnics. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite picnic food was potato salad. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have a picnic without potato salad! It just wouldn’t be right. It also wouldn’t be right to make the same old potato salad over and over again either. I don’t know about you folks, but I like variety. I get bored with the same ol’ thing.

So lets switch it up! I’ve created this Delicious Ranch Potato Salad, and I served it at a potluck cookout very recently. It was a huge hit with my family and friends, and I know it will be with you and your family too. Like most potato salads, this one is super easy. You can even make it a day ahead of time.

First you want to get your potatoes cut up and into the pot of salted water, get that boiling. While those are cooking, take the rest of your ingredients and combine them in a large bowl. I like to use my giant Pyrex glass bowl for almost all of my salads. I like the extra tossing room.

Once your potatoes have cooked and are fork tender, which will only take about 8-12 minutes, you’ll want to drain them well. Then add them to your dressing mixture in your giant bowl. Toss it all together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I use red potatoes in this recipe. I prefer to use a waxy potato in potato salads like red potatoes, fingerling potatoes are new potatoes. The waxy potatoes hold up much better, where as starchy ones like russet potatoes tend to fall apart too easily, and turn your salad into mush. Ew…

 

Print Recipe
Delicious Ranch Potato Salad Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Clean and cut potatoes into chunks, then place in a large pot with salted water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep it at a gentle boil and let cook until potatoes are fork tender,, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Once potatoes are done, drain well, and add to the dressing mixture and toss to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let flavors mingle and chill.
Recipe Notes

You can make this salad a day ahead of time, just keep covered in the refrigerator. Light ranch dressing may be substituted for regular to save a few calories.

Share this Recipe

Chicken, Veggie & Rice Casserole

After this long weekend and returning to every day life, you’re probably going to be looking for an easy weeknight meal. Well, surprise surprise, I have what you are looking for! Today I’m sharing with you my Chicken, Veggie and Rice casserole. It’s so simple, and just perfect for busy weeknights, or for when you’re just tired and don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen. I mean, you need time to put your feet up and have a glass of wine. I’m just saying.

This recipe calls for cooked chicken, which increases the ease of it. If you already have cooked chicken in your freezer (which I like to keep stocked up on), or if you have leftovers from the night before, great! If you don’t have any already cooked chicken, to keep this recipe simple, you can grab a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store deli. That will do just fine.

All you need to round out this meal is a tossed salad. So lets just jump right in so you can get to relaxing!

A few of my favorite things I used in this recipe:

  • Pyrex 4 qt. glass mixing bowl – I love this giant bowl. I use it to mix casseroles together before putting them in the casserole dish, and I also love it because I can make a huge batch of salads to take to potlucks or to have at any party. Lots of space in this one. Plus Pyrex is non-porous so it won’t absorb food odors, flavors or stains, and it’s oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher safe.
  • Paula Deen Cookware – I absolutely love my cookware set. Paula Deen has many different sets, but this is the one I have and I love it. Always cooks evenly, washes easily, never stains.
  • Pioneer Woman Ceramic Bakeware Set – I just got this set and I adore them! They’re so pretty, not to mention easy to wash.


Print Recipe
Chicken, Veggie & Rice Casserole Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare your rice according to the package directions.
  3. In a very large bowl, combine rice, chicken, soup, milk, carrots, green beans, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Spoon into a 2 1/2 - 3 qt. casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs.
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Flip on the broiler, and broil for a minute or two, just to brown the bread crumbs. Watch closely so you don't burn it.
  6. Serve & enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Del Monte.

Share this Recipe