The Family Meal: Happy 4th!


the-family-mealI think one of the reasons we love summer BBQ’s so much is because it’s just good old fashioned fun. There’s nothing fussy about a BBQ. Unlike our winter holidays where we get out the special plates, linen napkins and silver and create a smorgasbord of endless food options to gorge ourselves on, a summer BBQ is simple and the ingredients colorful.

I love the 4th of July because I can stick a half a dozen little American flags out on my lawn, fill my paper plate with burgers, coleslaw and watermelon and sip on a Texas-size glass of ice cold sweet tea.  To me there is nothing better than sitting on the back deck watching the little stacks of smoke waft from row upon row of neighbors’ grills.  All day long songs play on the radio stations about freedom and being born in the USA and when the day winds down and dusk sets in I still get a big kick out of lighting a sparkler and writing my name in the air.

Whether you’ve got a backyard full of friends and family this year or you’re just hanging out at the lake with your kids the following meal is simple and sure to please! Happy Independence Day to you and your family!

Margarita Chicken

A fiesta on your plate!


small bowl, large zip top bag, oil
4 bone-in chicken breast halves
1 can (10 oz.) frozen margarita mix, thawed
2/3 cup tequila
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chicken seasoning, McCormick Grill Mates
  1. Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry; set aside
  2. For marinade, in a small bowl combine margarita mix, tequila, cilantro, and chicken seasoning.  Place chicken in large zip top bag; pour marinade over chicken. Squeeze air out of bag and seal. Gently massage bag to coat chicken and marinate in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Remove chicken from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.
  4. Place chicken on hot oiled grill and cook 18 to 22 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink and juice run clear. Remove from grill and serve hot!

Waldorf Slaw

This is the only slaw I make, it’s our favorite!


Large bowl, small bowl and plastic wrap
1 bag of 3 color slaw mix (16 oz.) without the dressing
2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup of mayonnaise (I use fat free)
1/3 cup of poppy seed dressing (I use fat free)
  1. In a large bowl combine slaw mix, diced apples, and chopped walnuts; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir to combine mayonnaise and poppy seed dressing.  Pour dressing over slaw mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Slow Berry Cobbler

Don’t want to spend the day in the kitchen but you want to end it with a yummy RED, WHITE AND BLUE treat?  This is it!

Need for Filling:

1 (10 ounce) bag frozen strawberries
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen blueberries
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen raspberries
1/3 to 2/3 cup of sugar, depending on your level of preferred sweetness
½ cup baking mix (like Bisquick)

Need for Topping:

2 ¼ cups baking mix
¼ cup sugar, plus ¼ cup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamonSpray the insert of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together all the frozen fruit, sugar and ½ cup baking mix.  Transfer the fruit to the slow cooker.  In another large mixing bowl, stir together  2 ¼ cups of baking mix, ¼ cup of sugar, melted butter and milk with a wooden spoon.  With your hands drop bits of dough on top of the fruit in the slow cooker.  In a small mixing bowl mix the remaining ¼ cup of sugar with cinnamon.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the dough and place lid on slow cooker.  Turn the power onto high and slow cook for 3 to 4 hours until the topping has puffed and fruit is bubbling.

Serve warm with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream!!!


224215_10150232788595763_692905762_9265226_5431791_nSteph is a small town girl living the big city life with her superhero hubby of nearly 6 years, Scott and their superhero- in-training son, Weston who is 14 months old.   When she isn’t chasing her son away from electrical outlets she loves to throw theme parties, write notes to her friends, read, travel and cook.  She is obsessed with taking pictures but has yet to complete her son’s baby album because she loves hanging out at antique stores and barn sales on weekends.


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