Summer Potlucks, Sunday Dinner, and Gospel Music

Eating is so fun! I love all the fresh veggies and fruit that is in season right now. I went to a potluck last night. Just look at all those veggies that were on my plate.

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Amazing. It is hard not to eat healthy right now. One of our favorite things to do lately is grill lots of vegetables on the weekend and then find all sorts of ways to eat them during the week.

Often, we just put them on top of a big salad. This little salad is so simple that it seems strange to even write it down but we’ve been enjoying it so much and using it as the basis for so many meals lately that I wanted to write it down to remember it and share it. It goes like this…

Kale Salad
Kale
Romaine
1 clove Garlic
1 Carrot
1 small handful of Parsley leaves, chopped
1 slice Lemon
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste

I use a few Kale leaves, deveined, and a few Romaine leaves. It isn’t science, just a few of each. Chop the Kale into strips and chop the garlic. Place both in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and the juice of the lemon slice. Stir or massage the leaves with your fingers. This process helps take any bitterness out of the Kale. Let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Cut the carrot into matchsticks and add to the bowl. Add the parsley. Chop the Romaine and add. Sprinkle with the vinegar and oil and stir together. You can play around with the amounts, I always make it a little different and it always turns out great!

We roasted these portabellas with a little Balsamic vinegar and laid them on top of a salad with Romaine, grilled asparagus, sliced peppers, cukes, and herbs. I made a homemade vinaigrette to pour on top and sprinkled fresh chevre on top. It was so simple and delicious.

One of my favorite things to do with summer yellow squash, or crookneck as we used to call it growing up, is to saute it with Vidalia onions and tomatoes (add the tomatoes in right at the end so they don’t get too squishy). I realized this was an excellent topping for cheese grits. It made the best breakfast!

Cheese Grits with a Fried Egg on top, Pederson’s Uncured Bacon, & Sauteed Squash with Vidalia Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil.

Our first veggies from the garden this year were- potatoes that we forgot we planted! Surprise!

I had just brought home a mess of English Peas, too, so I made this yummy Creamed Peas with Potatoes dish I remember my grandmother on my Mom’s side, Nana, make just about every Sunday for dinner in the summer.

I called my Mom to make sure I knew how to prepare it. Simply boil the cut potatoes in a little water. Drain. Set aside. Do the same with the shelled peas. Make a roux with 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp flour. Add in a cup of milk, white pepper and salt. Add the potatoes and peas back in and cook for a few minutes to let the sauce thicken.

A dinner Nana would have approved of- Chicken Fried Chicken, Cucumber Salad, Creamed Peas with Potatoes, and Sauteed Squash and Onions.

Speaking of Sunday dinners… I can’t get enough of this new Gospel album from Elizabeth Cook. She’s knocked it out of the park with this one.

I adore this woman- she is beautiful, sweet as can be, and has the most amazing voice. She embodies the spirit of country music. Real country music. On top of all that beauty and talent, she is super smart and has this amazing courage to do what she wants to do, musically speaking. It’s a bit of a Waylon Jennings spirit and I admire it. Go by this album, Gospel Plow. You’ll love it! And enjoy this clip of her performing one of the songs from the album, which was released last week, on the David Letterman show. Incidentally, Dave also happens to be a big fan of hers.

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