Tag Archives: Summer

Simple & Refreshing Fruit Salad

Well hello there folks! I gotta tell ya, this last week has been one to test my patience. So, like everyone I’m sure has done at least once in their life, I had all of my future blog content stored all in one place! Easier to find if it’s in one place right? Yea well, do yourselves a favor right now, just stop reading and take a minute, go back up all of your important files! No really, go ahead. I’ll wait…….

You’ll thank me later. See, what I did, was I accidentally deleted ALL of my future blog posts. All the pictures, and wonderful things I wanted to bring to you all, GONE in an instant! However, good news, I have pretty much recovered, and can start bringing you new yummies!! I mean, I’m still sad over losing all of that work, but hey… I bounced back, and I am here with a stupid easy fruit salad. It’s actually embarrassing to even call it a recipe, because, seriously…. You’ll see 😂.

I believe the point I’m trying to make with this salad, is that not all fruit salads need a dressing. These fruits come together so well, and tastes so refreshing with just their natural flavors. This is so simple and so versatile that you could throw this together at the last minute with little effort. Use your favorite fruits, add more fruits to it, make it what you want it to be.

As you can see here, I chose strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blueberries. These were the fruits I had on hand and this is often how I make this salad. I have used fresh mandarin oranges instead of the canned, but this particular time I used canned. Either one works just as well as the other. If you choose to throw in bananas, make sure you do that right before serving so they don’t get all brown and mushy.

It’s the perfect summer side dish to have with breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s perfect for a potluck or cookout, and even as a snack. I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this delicious, refreshing salad as much as I do!

 

Print Recipe
Simple & Refreshing Fruit Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, toss together strawberries, mandarin oranges, marshmallows and blueberries.
  2. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

This recipe is very versatile. Add your favorite fruits and berries, like blackberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple, the list is endless!

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Simple Marinated Pork Chops

Have you fired up your grill yet? We pretty much BBQ all year round here at  Fort Awesome, but mostly in the Spring and Summer. It started getting warm here in Indiana long before it was supposed to, so we’ve been grilling up a storm! I absolutely love food off the grill. Kabobs, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak and lets not forget pork chops! Grilled pork chops are really the only way I enjoy them. Sure there’s times I’ve baked them and they turn out pretty good, but grilled is my favorite! Especially since I have a dedicated grill master and I don’t have to do it. I’m more of an indoor cook. I prepare the sides while he grills. I think it’s fair! Especially since he’s so darn good at it! So keeping with the grilling, I’ve got a great pork chop recipe for you. The marinade is so simple. It tastes fancy schmancy and has beautiful bold flavors, but it’s impressively easy and simple. As my husband says “simple is the way to go!” Amen to that! Today I give to you…..

This is so easy, you can sleep through most of the process. I mean literally sleep through most of the process. Here I’ll show you. First of all there are only 10 ingredients. Take the first 9 and whisk it up in a bowl.

Like so. My hanging pots and pans rack was not part of the marinade, by the way. That’s just me still learning how to take decent pictures and I’ve got quite the reflection there! 😂 Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “If you find it hard to laugh at yourself, I would be happy to do it for you.” – Groucho Marx. Anyway, to stay on topic and get to the part where you sleep through most of this recipe, just put your pork chops in a zip top bag, pour the marinade in, and seal it up. Turn it to coat.

Now place it in the fridge overnight and let it get all happy, while you…. go to bed! See? I told you that you get to sleep through most of this. When you’re ready to grill the next day, discard the marinade and grill your chops over medium heat, lid closed for about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on how thick or thin your chops are. It’s always a good idea to have a meat thermometer handy. You’ll want these to be at at least 145 degrees. Then take them off the grill, let them rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!

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

  • Pyrex bowls – They are inexpensive and don’t break as easily as other glass bowls, and believe me… I break a lot of dishes just by being my clumsy self LOL.
  • Oxo Good Grips Silicone Balloon Whisk – I love these! They’re durable and I can use them on teflon without scratching up my pan. I love using a whisk when making scrambled eggs. No more metal whisks for this girl.
Print Recipe
Marinated Pork Chops Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Grilling
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Grilling
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 9 ingredients; set aside.
  2. Add pork to a large resealable plastic zip top bag. Pour the marinade over the pork then seal bag and turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Drain and discard marinade. Grill over medium heat, covered, for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let meat stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

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Lighter Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

It’s Wednesday folks, and I don’t have a wine to share with you! 😱 I know, right? Imagine how I feel! Being wineless. It happens though, but don’t worry! I’ve got an amazing pasta salad recipe for you though! It’s that time of the year where people fire up the grill, host cookouts, or get invited to cookouts and outdoor potlucks. When the grill masters get that itch to fire up the grill, that’s when it’s the perfect time for pasta salads, potato salads, fruit salads, you name it cold salads to make their grand entrance! This one in particular will steal the spotlight, and if you’re still working hard  to eat healthier, like I promised myself I would, or if you just want to keep your lovely figure, don’t worry! This beautiful salad is all lightened up. It tastes absolutely sinful though. I found the original recipe over on Life in the Loft House, and thought to myself “how can I lighten this up so I can enjoy this without feeling guilty?” Well, here’s what I came up with! Come on in the kitchen and I’ll show you how simple this is. Another one of my favorite things about the salad. Simple!

So first, you’re going to cook your Rotini pasta until it’s al dente. That should take about 8 minutes or so. While that’s bubbling away on the stove, dump your mayo, sour cream and ranch dressing mix in a large bowl.

Then whisk it up real good until it’s all combined. When your pasta is finished cooking, drain that, and rinse it in cold water until cool. Set the pasta aside and cut your grape tomatoes in half.

Now add your pasta, bacon (which I used a pkg. of real bacon pieces), tomatoes, olives and cheese to the large bowl with the dressing.

Toss gently to combine. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. I hope you enjoy this delicious, creamy pasta salad as much as we all did.

 

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, dry ranch dressing mix, garlic powder and milk with a whisk until thoroughly combined. Add pasta, cooked bacon pieces, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Gently toss to completely combine everything together.
  3. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

If after chilling in the fridge, and your salad seems a little dry, just add a little milk and stir to combine to moisten it up.

Slightly adapted from Life in the Lofthouse

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Light and Refreshing Berry Fruit Salad + Kids In The Kitchen

Monday already!? What a busy weekend we had over here! The weekend just flew by. The weather here was so incredibly nice, you couldn’t resist firing up the grill, spending time with friends on Saturday and having a great potluck (or pitch-in as the native Hoosiers call it) with tons of delicious food, and then spending a beautiful Sunday with family, once again firing up that grill for a wonderful meal. We had soooo much food this weekend and I have sooo much to share with you. The first thing I must share with you though, is my favorite part of this weekend. My daughter spent some time looking at recipes (just like her mother) and decided she wanted to make something for me. She knows I absolutely LOOOOVE love love love fruit salad. Her and I share a deep love and passion for all things strawberry. So she came across a recipe over at Kristine’s Kitchen Blog. We modified it just very slightly, and came out with a brand new favorite fruit salad! My daughter was SO excited! She went to the store with her Grandma, shopping list in hand, and bought all of the things she needed to make this.

I gotta tell you guys, one of my favorite things to do is cook with my kids. For the moment, it’s just the one out of the four that seems interested, but that’s ok! We have so much fun. And it’s so important to get your kids in the kitchen and cook with them. My mom and grandma did with me. I think the first thing my mom taught me how to make was spaghetti sauce. I’m not 100% certain, but it’s definitely the one I remember the most. I enjoyed it, but as I got to be a teen, I swore I wanted nothing to do with it anymore or anything else domestic related. 😂😂😂😂 So here I am many years later, a stay at home mom, and all things domestic, loving every minute of it.  Here’s the thing guys, when those kids show interest in helping, no matter what it is, harness it. Let them help. They want to be part of something. They want to spend time with you. Don’t wave them off, bring them in the kitchen with you. There’s always something they can do.

Because I believe so heavily that kids in the kitchen is so important, I want to make it a regular on my blog. Maybe it will give you some ideas to try with your kids, or grandkids, nieces, nephews, what have ya. So let do this! Come join me and Andrea (age 10) in my kitchen while we introduce you to this beautiful fruit salad!

This is a very easy salad, with plenty of things for the kiddos to help with. I started off by pitting the cherries, and cutting up the strawberries into bite size pieces. Then I had Andrea pretty much do the rest, starting with rinsing and patting the berries (very gently of course) dry.

Then once she patted them dry, she put them all in a big bowl. I used the largest bowl I have, to make sure she had enough room to gently toss with ease, when it came time for that.

This is the part where we stood back and commented to each other how pretty that looked. The berries are just so vibrant in color. I love naturally beautiful fruit salads. Our next step was to mix the very simple, yet incredible dressing. We got a small bowl and mixed together some lime juice and some honey. You can use fresh lime juice if you want to, but we used bottled.

Once that was all mixed up, it was time to drizzle that all over the berries.

Then you very carefully and gently toss to combine it all and coat the berries in that wonderful dressing. Andrea has watched me in the kitchen so often, and we have of course done some cooking together before, that she is fully aware that the cook gets to taste! We did not skip this step. We tasted, we were both very dramatic about how wonderful it already tasted, and then had to cover it and put it in the fridge before we sat there and just ate the whole thing right away! This salad is so incredibly light and refreshing, even after a big meal like what we had. Perfect light dessert. You could serve it with a dollop of whipped cream if you wish. We could not wait to share this with our family! Everyone (except my berry hating husband) absolutely loved it! Andrea got a lot of praises for this.  I hope you and your kids enjoy this salad as much as we did!

 

Print Recipe
Light and Refreshing Berry Fruit Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rinse and very gently pat your berries and cherries dry.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice and honey. Pour over fruit and toss gently to coat.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Fruit salad is always best served the same day it's made, but it's still good the next day.
Recipe Notes

Very slightly adapted from kristineskitchenblog.com

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Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad

Warmer weather has made its way to my part of the world, and I get so excited when the temperature gets warmer because for me, that means grilling! Now, we grill all year round, but honestly in the colder months, it’s just less often. It’s not all about the grill though! Oh noooo. It’s salads too! I love salads. I could live on salads. There’s so many different kinds, like potato salads, and noodle salads, and fruit salads. Then there’s salads like this one. Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad. I prepared this salad last Sunday. We invited my mom-in-law over for dinner, and I had my husband (the Grill Master of the house) grill up this incredible chicken I had marinating, and I prepared some green beans, and this incredibly yummy salad.  This recipe makes quite a bit, like 8-10 servings, however, I was only feeding 5 of us and we ended up with only 1 serving left over. Some time in the middle of the night, the hubster ate it for a snack! That’s just how good this is.

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Lauren over at Tastes Better  From Scratch. She has tons of delicious recipes, and she’s really not kidding, it really does taste better from scratch. Another reason why I love salads. They’re just so fresh and delicious!

So here it is folks! Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad!

Print Recipe
Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, drizzle lemon juice over chopped avocado, and toss to coat. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and feta cheese to avocado. In a small bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and top with fresh cilantro. Toss gently to combine.
Recipe Notes

adapted from tastesbetterfromscratch.com

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