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Summer is coming to a close and the crunch of leaves and cool weather is just around the corner. Before the First leaf turns golden brown lets take some time and enjoy the last days of summer. Here are some ways to say farewell to Summer.
1. Pitch a tent in the backyard and gaze under the starry skies.
2. During the dog days of August take time and run through the sprinkler.
3. Check out your local festivals and state fairs, who can resist and Elephant Ear.
4. Have a picnic in your local park.
5. Invite friends for a barbecue on a lovely summer evening because as we know there are not many left.
It is that time of year for that age old honored tradition, the family vacation. Many of us growing up remember being piled into the backseat of the family car, riding for six plus hours to our destination, then just to do it all over again. As a parent the long drive to get to that amusement park or to the beach can be the most daunting task that can turn any family vacation into a disaster or does it have to be. Here are five tips that can help you on your next road trip making it a less stressful ride.
1. Plan ahead, prior to your trip prepare for any problems or situations that could arise. For my family that means going through the medicine cabinet and making sure to prepare for any ailments that can and often dose occur while on the road.
2. Prepare snacks and sandwiches to take in a cooler with you while on the road. This replaces unnecessary stops at fast food restaurants with a healthier alternative.
3. If traveling with smaller children try to make more stops to allow them to burn off that extra energy. Last thing you want is a fussy toddler in the backseat for the next six hours of a trip. Some rest stops have picnic areas and places to play so take advantage when you can.
4. Prepare activities for your kids so they have something to do while riding in the car. For my family its movies and electronic games but it can also be coloring books and crayons.
5. Try not to rush getting on the road, I know that sounds crazy, if you take your time and allow your children to keep their morning routine and play before having to climb into the car they may sleep for the first few miles.
Summer is upon us and trying to plan meals around our families busy schedule can be daunting. That is why on those crazy days of chauffeuring your children quick and simple meals can be a blessing. So, here are five simple recipes your family will enjoy.
Simple Pot Roast
1 Boneless Chuck Roast
2 Medium Carrots, chopped
1 large red onion
1 (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups of sliced Portobello mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Place Roast into a 5 quart slow cooker. Add Carrots, Onion, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, pepper, and salt. Cover roast and vegetables with water and cook on high for four hours until meat is tender.
2. Remove meat and vegetables to serving platter. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.
1 package of peeled ready to eat shrimp
1 package of Cole slaw mix
1 jar of Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon of Chili Garlic Sauce
3 teaspoons of sesame oil
3 teaspoons of soy sauce
1. In a large Wok heat 3 teaspoons of sesame oil; add Cole slaw mix, shrimp, Hoisin sauce, chili sauce, and soy sauce.
2. Stir ingredients until all the vegetables and shrimp are completely covered.
3. Simmer until vegetables and shrimp are hot.
4. Serve over rice or noodles
Chicken Barbecue Pizza
Boboli Pizza crust
1 Jar of barbecue sauce
1 red onion chopped
3 table spoons of olive oil
2 cups of cooked shredded chicken breast
1 diced sweet red pepper
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Brush pizza crust with olive oil
3. Pour on barbecue sauce and spread sauce covering all edges.
4. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese until pizza is completely covered.
5. Add chicken, onion, and red peppers; making sure all ingredients are evenly covered.
6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Cheesy Macaroni and ham casserole
1 package of Kraft American cheese slices (24)
3 cups of uncooked macaroni
1 package of diced ham
1 Tablespoon of flour
2 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 1/4 cup of milk
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook macaroni according to package and set aside
3. In a sauce pan melt butter and gradually whisk in flour, salt, and pepper for one minuet.
4. Add Milk and heavy cream gradually bringing it to a boil.
5. Add the cheese slices one at a time gradually stirring until melted.
6. Once the cheese is all melted remove from heat and stir in the cooked macaroni and diced ham.
7. Spread mixture in a casserole dish and bake for 20 minuets.
8. The last ten minutes you can add toasted bread crumbs or shredded cheese (optional).
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce
1 can of button mushrooms
1 diced red pepper
1 diced red onion
1. Place chicken breast, onion, mushrooms, and peppers into a 5 quart crock pot.
2. Pour in spaghetti sauce over chicken and the vegetables.
3. Cook on high for 3 hours or until chicken is done.
4. Remove chicken and shred; then return chicken back into the sauce.
5. Serve over cooked spaghetti or rice