Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

The weather forecast was calling for intense thunderstorms so I knew grilling our dinner was out of the question.  I wanted pasta, so I gave the hubby a choice: Lasagna, Baked Ziti, or Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.  I was totally surprised when he choose the latter.  He is a BIG fan of baked ziti and lasagna so I was sure that was what we were going to have.

spaghetti with meatsauce

I used a combination of hot Italian sausage and ground beef.  I diced a onion and a few garlic cloves and added it to the meat as it was cooking.  I love the jarred pasta sauce by Mario Batali, it is really tasty and makes getting a pasta dinner on the table a snap.

Once the meat was browned, I added in the sauce and let it simmer while I boiled a pot of water.  Once the pasta was done, it was a simple matter of plating the pasta, adding a generous helping of parm cheese and digging in!

While we were eating the storm raged outside, but as soon as we finished, the sun came out and a double rainbow could be seen for miles.  Nothing like the sun shining through the rain to end to make for a spectacular night at home!

Chicken Fajita’s

I love Tex-Mex food and thankfully, so does the hubby. I was looking for a light, quick, veggie filled dinner and right away I thought of chicken faijtas!   I picked up a package of boneless skinless chicken and marinated it in citrus and garlic.

I grabbed both red and green peppers from the store, sliced them up with some red and white onions.  It was a snap to prep dinner.  It gave me time to soak up the sun while reading a book on the back deck.  A great way to spend a weekend at home, if you ask me!

chx fajita

Everything but the rice was cooked on the grill.  I boiled the water, added the rice and headed back out to relax while it cooked.  I cheated and used store bought salsa, and pre shredded cheese, because summer should be about easy and fun.  I will go back to complicated, labor intensive meals in the coming months, but for now, what I really want is to spend time soaking up the sun while reading a good book.  Summer is KING!

Burger and Salad

Finally I am feeling like my old self!  To celebrate, I make burgers on the grill.  The  hubby wanted potato chips as his side, I was craving a salad. Good thing I had both on hand so we were able to keep the peace.

The hubby piled two burgers on a bun, I choose to eat mine with a TON of cheese and a HUGE salad.  We are both fans of having BBQ sauce with our burgers.  I like to dip mine, the hubby slathers it on the top patty, either way, it is pretty delicious.  We have been enjoying quite a few nights out on the deck, the weather, for the most part, has been good.  I know so many folks are biased against August, calling it the Sunday of Summer, but I love it. It is my favorite month to vacation, I want to steal every bit of summer I can before the cold days of winter arrive.   August is what I need to fortify myself for the coming months.  June is lovely, July is fun, but August, now that is the best month of the whole dang year!

Brats and Peppers

I was kind of in the mood for sausage and pepper sandwiches, but I knew I didn’t have any in the freezer.  Thankfully, I had some brats, so I was able to thaw those and cook them instead.

brats

I had the hubby pick up some peppers and a bag of rolls from the store.   I took the easy way out and served him potato chips with his sandwich, which made him a very happy boy.  I was even able to use up the rest of the pizza sauce on his sandwich.  Nothing like cleaning out the fridge and freezer with one meal!

Sometimes easy wins out, but when it is easy and tasty, no one really cares…

Garlic Knots

I have to tell you, one of the best things about making pizza on the grill is having leftover dough to make garlic knots.  I LOVE garlic knots.  My poor Mom, she can’t handle garlic, it just doesn’t agree with her, me, garlic is AWESOME!

Making knots from pizza dough is super simple, just grab a ball of dough, roll it into a rope and tie a knot in it.  I put in on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake it for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.  While the dough is cooking, I dice up some garlic and add it to a heap of butter.  Normally I add a generous helping of minced parsley for color, but I didn’t have any on hand and I was in no mood to run to the store.   The deer have decimated my garden this year so grabbing some from there wasn’t an option.  Oh well, we didn’t need the parsley, they tasted wonderful, fresh from the oven, bathed in buttery, garlicky goodness.

garlic knots

I added a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese, but really, what food doesn’t taste better with cheese?  They made a nice accompaniment to our dinner of yellow squash, turkey, and rice.

turkey

Can you tell I had no desire to be creative, I just wanted to get dinner on the table? Heck everything on the plate is the same darn color!  At least it tasted better than it looked….

Chicken Dinner

My appetite was non existent while I was sick, even when I was able to eat, I was in too much pain to care.  I look back at the photos from that week and realize most of my dinners were a bit monochromatic….ah well….guess it is a good thing the hubby is color blind!

chx, salad, pots

I marinated some boneless, skinless chicken and the hubby was kind enough to grill them for me.  I bought a bag of baby potatoes, tossed them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them in a pan on the grill.   I took some help from the store with a pre bagged salad that even included the dressing.

Easy, quick meal, all I ate was one bit of chicken and one measly potato!  The hubby was happy to have tons of leftovers so it all worked out in the end!

Zucchini Bread

You know you are a sucker when the little girls next door come over to tell you that they signed you up to make dessert for them.  Heck, I was even given instructions as to what I was making and how much…..yup, SUCKER, right across the fore head, in big red letters.

Anyway,what they wanted to zucchini bread, two loaves, for church on Sunday.  I had zucchini from the garden on the counter, but I knew I would have to make the bread on Saturday morning, before I left for work.

Thankfully, I was able to make the bread and leave it cooling on the counter.  I texted their Mom to let them know it was ready and they could pick it up anytime. Then I went upstairs to get ready and I headed out to the Jersey Shore for our annual Alumni Happy Hour down the shore.

zucchini bread

It wasn’t until the next afternoon that I saw the girls and they told me the bread was a big hit.  To thank me, and ensure a never ending supply of zucchini bread, they brought me over a HUGE zucchini from their Dad’s garden.  Hopefully he knows that they gave it to me….!