Food, family, and fitness... all with a bit of style.

Five Meals for Your Family Table...Week 30

Oh my gosh can you believe tomorrow is August 1st??? If you are like me, you will want to be soaking up every bit of Summer you can! So here's one less thing to think about....5 meals to try this week! 
I just love a grilled salmon burger. I am lucky to have our local grocer make some delicious ones, but I jazz it up with a simple sauce.  I mix some plain Greek yogurt with a little horseradish, chopped chives and salt and pepper to make the perfect topping. And my kids... well they prefer ketchup!
I shared this recipe last night and oh gosh is it good! Fresh peaches make the best salsa. It comes together so quick and is great over some simple grilled chicken. You can grab the recipe here.
I love a good burger in the Summer, but not always the big, heavy bun that goes along with it. For this dinner I take a simple steak burger and add it to some romaine. Add some crisp bacon, fresh tomatoes, and crumbled bleu cheese and you have all the flavors of a wedge salad form!
I have found a crockpot meal in the Summer is just as good as in the Fall and Winter. Dinner cooking all day while out on the boat? Yes, please. Here is my recipe for pulled pork. We typically make sliders topped with pickles!
Thinly slice a large onion and lay it in the Crockpot. Place about 3 pounds of pork shoulder on top and sprinkle with salt & pepper. In a bowl, mix 3 TBSP brown sugar, 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 3 TBSP yellow mustard, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup chicken stock and pour over the pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Take out the pork, shred it, and dump the liquid, reserving 1 cup. Put the pork back into the Crockpot with 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce and some of the reserved liquid. Cook on low for another 30 minutes.
These Chicken Cordon Bleu Rollups take a little time to put together, but the flavor is so worth it! You can get the recipe here.
Enjoy this first week of August friends!
See you tomorrow for our weekend wrap up. There's always room for one more at our family table.

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

I'm not sure about you, but I love finding different ways to use all the yummy Summer fruits. Strawberries in my salad...yes!
Grilled pineapple on my burger...yes!
Peaches in salsa....yes!
This is a simple recipe and oh so full of flavor.
2 ripe peaches
1/4 of a small red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2-3 TBSP of  chopped cilantro
Juice of half a lemon (or lime)
salt & pepper to taste
Chop the peaches into small pieces, about the size of a dime.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Dice the onion very fine.
Combine the peaches, tomatoes, onion and cilantro. 
Toss with the juice of half a lemon.
Season with salt & pepper.
I find it best to me made an hour or more before dinner. The flavor gets better as it sits for a bit.
This is so good on grilled chicken, but also amazing over grilled pork or seafood.
Thanks Allie for the linkup!


Friday Favorites

Is this really the last weekend of July?? I feel like we were just in red, white & blue watching fireworks on the 4th!
And to be honest, am not really sure where this week went! Just three favorites today, as I link up with some of my favorite blogging friends, AndreaNarci, and Erika.

We went to The Taste of Orchard Park on Wednesday and we sure tasted! Crab cakes, BBQ pork tacos, spaghetti parm, apple cider donuts, hot pepper cheesesteaks, cinnamon rolls and more! So fun to eat lots of good food and see lots of friends and neighbors. But I tell you....Spaghetti Parm is not an easy dish to eat on the go!
Thank goodness for extra napkins!
And how about this dessert spread??
We tried the lemon raspberry cake and Ella got a cinnamon roll, which was warm out of the oven and I think her reaction shows just how amazing it was!
Last night Ella and I went to watch my sister Emma play soccer.  The girls warmed up together....
and she played a great game!
The last week of the month always has some of my favorite posts.
We shared some of our favorite apps for Show & Tell Tuesday. And by apps I am talking about those for the phone...not some amazing dip recipe 😉
What's Up Wednesday was a fun recap of what we have been up to this month! A whole lot of Summer everything!!
And Thursday I shared my latest  Book Review.

Tonight we are off to the Ice Cream Social in town. Such a cute night at the old train station with ice cream and friends! That's a winning combination!
Have the best weekend friends.
See you next week....there's always room for one more at our family table!

Monthly Book Review....July Edition

It's the last Thursday of the month & time for my monthly book review!  I am linking up with Narci over at Grace and Love Blog for her monthly Carpool Book Club.  Be sure to check out her blog for all her picks too!!
I was so excited for my July list because I had one from a favorite author, one that has been on my "to read" list ,a great beach read, and one that I stumbled on at the library.
The first one this month was Wicked City by Beatriz Williams.
Now if you have followed my other book reviews, then you know I am a big fan of Williams. I have loved her work. I am so sad to say I did not love this one (insert sad face here). It was the story of two young women set in two time periods. Gin was in the 1920's during prohibition and Ella in more current day in NYC. The book went back and forth between the two and there was a sort of connection between the two characters... but I don't know. I didn't fall in love with the characters and it just never really got going for me. I was really bummed, because I just adored the other books from her. If you are going to pick up a Beatriz Williams book, I recommend starting with Tiny Little Thing. Any other Williams fans out there read this one? Let me know your thoughts.
After my disappointing first book, I wanted an easy beach read. Summer House from Nancy Thayer was in my pile.
This was a perfect beach read. This story followed a wealthy grandmother (Nona) from Nantucket (again I need to visit here) and the doings of her children and grandchildren. One of her grandchildren, Charlotte has left the family banking business to live with her and start an organic garden. The story details one Summer where all of the family comes back to Nantucket to visit and host the family meeting. There are lots of little twists in the "perfect lives" of the wealthy and we get a glimpse into Nona's past and how things may not always have been perfect for her either. A great, quick, Summer read!
I have had "The Things We Keep" by Sally Hepworth on my "to read" list for a while.
 I was excited to read this one. Oh gosh it was so good....but kind of sad at the same time. It's the story of Anna, a 30something woman who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, a disease her mother also suffered from. Her brother places her in an assisted care facility, where she meets a young man, Luke, who also has a form of dementia. They instantly form a connection, but are kept apart until the new staff member comes along and tries to change it. It's a beautiful story about human connection....heartbreaking....and yet gives you hope.
My last book this month was The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen.
This was the story of three women living in Newport Cove, one of the safest (and most perfect) communities. We got to learn a little about each as they met their new neighbor, Tessa, who was desperately trying to escape her past. Everyone has a secret to tell, and while this book was not super suspenseful, it was a quick read and a good story. Kind of reminded me of that show Desperate Housewives.😉 This was the first book I have read from this author, and I will for sure grab another one by her. I enjoyed her style of writing.
If you missed any of our other reviews, you can catch up here.
Any other great books I need to get on my list next month?? I have two vacations planned, so lots of reading time!! Drop your favorites in the comments!
Have a great day and we will see you tomorrow for Friday Favorites. There's always room for one more at our family table.

What's Up Wednesday.... July Edition

Happy Wednesday friends!! It's time to link up with ShayMel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday....May Edition. 
 A fun monthly post where we answer these questions....

What we're eating this week......
This week I shared a recipe for this delicious Asian Peanut Slaw with Coconut Shrimp. It's a perfect Summertime dinner!
We also have a favorite burger on the menu....
And you can catch the rest of our week's menu here.
What I'm reminiscing about......
How little our pup was! The other day Maddie sat on the back step and I remembered a picture of her from when she was a few months old, sitting the same way.
Two years... can you believe it?? I feel like she was that little fuzzball for like 3 weeks! I love her now, but gosh she was a darn cute puppy!
What I'm loving.....
Starting every weekend morning on the patio. With coffee, a good book & sunshine!
What we've been up to......
Soaking up every bit of Summer we can!!!
What I'm dreading....
Thinking about back to school stuff. We still have lots of Summer left, but August always seems to fly by! And before I know it, I will be taking the annual front porch picture on their first day!
What I'm working on......
I am still working on a new blog design. I have one that I like and am tweaking some details. Hoping to have it up and running next month!
What I'm excited about......
We are exploring a new lake next month. Spending the week at Canandaigua Lake to end our Summer. We took a quick day trip there last weekend to check it out....and it has me even more excited to spend a week there!
What I'm watching/reading.....
I have not watched anything in weeks! I just never seem to watch TV in the Summer. I have read 4 great books this month & I will be sharing my book review tomorrow, so be sure to stop by!
Spoiler alert...this was my favorite!
What I'm listening to......
Kids playing in the yard.
Birds in the backyard trees.
Waves on the lake.
Ice Cream truck song.
What I'm wearing......
My new favorite flip flops! Have you tried the Ipanema brand flip flops? I got my first pair in February when we went to Florida and they are so comfy! (Sorry if you don't like seeing feet!)
Then I picked up this pair that has a back...which are great for walking around.
And they look so cute! Casual or for a Summer night out! Local friends.. you can grab them at Research & Design!
What I'm doing this weekend.....
Well tonight we have a fun festival in our village...The Taste of Orchard Park. A street festival with restaurants sampling all their best foods. I love going and trying lots of food. Then we have an ice cream social in town on Friday night and a Street party on Saturday. Lots of fun happenings in town this weekend.
What I'm looking forward to next month.....
We have two trips planned in August. The first is up to a beach in Canada with good friends. It's just for a few days, but it's the most relaxing get away. Lazy days at the beach all day.. my favorite!
What else is new.....
We had the best time with our friends last weekend. Lots of fun boat time!
And in true Summer form, we have been eating lots of ice cream!
And we made our first batch of slime...
The kids loved it... me... not so much!
Bonus question.........
What's your favorite thing about Summer?
Well in case you cannot tell... all of it. I love all the summer stuff.....
Give me all the Summer......with this guy.....
and these two......
and I am a happy girl! #iloveyousummer
And that my friends is a little bit of What's Up for your Wednesday!
See you tomorrow for our July book review.
There's always room for one more at our family table.

Show & Tell Tuesday....Share your favorite Apps

Hi friends!  I am so excited to link up with Andrea over at Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday. Today's topic... What's on your phone...helpful apps, etc.
Well let me tell you....the last topic was my jam... favorite recipes! yay! This not so much. I am just not really an app person. Now appetizers...yes...that kind of app I am totally down to talk about and contribute. 
Phone not so much. 
Aside from Facebook and Instagram I have two apps. Yes...two. I love them both and use them all the time.
The first is the Cartwheel app from Target. I mean if you don't have this, it's just plain silly. It is so easy to use. Scan what you are buying and if there is an offer you can add it. Just scan the barcode at checkout and all the offers you have will be applied. No need to cut coupons, however you can use the cartwheel discount in addition to coupons.
My second app is Map My Run from Under Armour.  
Now this app probably does a whole host of techy-things..none of which I use it for. I use it to do just what it my run. I use it to keep track of my speed and distance as I run. There is a little voice that interrupts my music to tell me when I have hit another mile and update my pace. I am pretty simple with my workout!
So that's about it.......I guess I am just not an app girl. 😐
If you missed any posts earlier this year..... here are some of our other Show & Tell posts...
Steal & Splurge
See you tomorrow for What's Up Wednesday. A fun recap of what we have been up to this month!
There's always room for one more at our family table.

Five Meals for Your Family....Week 29

Monday....Monday! A new week and five meal ideas for your family table. A fun, fresh new shrimp dish, amazing BBQ tacos and a favorite burger are just three of the meal ideas we have for you today.
We made this Asian Peanut Slaw with Coconut Shrimp this weekend and it was so, so good! With such fresh flavors it's perfect on a warm Summer night! You can grab the recipe here.
Baked BBQ Chicken Tacos are loaded with flavor and will be a new Taco Tuesday Favorite for sure! Even better is the chicken cooks all day in the crockpot! I always thought the crockpot was reservied for cold weather meals, but it's a great way to get dinner on the table on those busy Summer days too! Place 1lb of boneless chicken in the crockpot, along with 2 cups of chicken stock. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken, shred it and toss with 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. I fill the shells with fresh spinach, red onion, the chicken and some pepper jack cheese. Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
We made these Chicken Caprese Burgers earlier in the Summer and they quickly became a favorite. Fresh and full of  two of my favorite Summer flavors...... basil & tomato. I made my burgers with 1 1/4 pound of ground chicken mixed with 1 TSP of Italian Seasoning (salt free), 1 TSP of salt and 1/2 TSP of black pepper. I grilled them and topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella at the end. Layer the bun with fresh basil leaves, tomatoes and top with the burger. I drizzled it with some herb infused EVOO, but it would also be great with your favorite pesto too.
Steak with peppers & mushrooms. We don't eat steak a lot, but it's nice to have every once in while. I keep the seasoning simple.. EVOO, salt & pepper. Sprinkle that on your steaks and then layer some baby bell peppers and mushrooms in a grill basket and sprinkle them too. Put everything on the grill and let the grill do it's thing! Toss the veggies every now and then to be sure they don't burn. I load up my veggies and top the steak with some goat cheese. The kids like to slice up the meat and the veggies and toss over some brown rice to make a "steak bowl".
Keeping it simple and ending the week with a grilled pizza and salad bar!
 Grab some whole wheat or whole grain naan or flatbreads for your crust. Lay out lots of topping options and grill over low heat for 5-6 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. While the pizzas are cooking, build your salads. Be sure to put out veggies in lots of great colors! Build your own dinner is  a favorite in our house!
Have a great week friends!
See you tomorrow for Show & Tell Tuesday.
There's always room for one more at our family table.

Asian Peanut Slaw with Coconut Shrimp

I am a big fan of food! I enjoy eating out, but what I love even more is trying to recreate some of those same meals at home. I once had an Asian peanut slaw at a restaurant and it was so good! I thought it would be great topped with shrimp.
These flavors go surprising well together and it's a perfect light and fresh dinner for the Summertime!
For the slaw
1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP liquid aminos
2 TBSP honey
2 TBSP of rice vinegar (can sub white vinegar)
1 TSP of ginger
1 clove of minced garlic
12oz bag of Asian Slaw mix (or coleslaw)
2 TBSP of chopped cilantro
Sesame seeds (optional)
 Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Using a whisk, blend until combined.
If the mixture is thick, add a few TBSP of water until it is more of a sauce consistency.
Pour 1/2 of sauce mixture over slaw and mix to combine.
 Let sit for a few minutes and add more sauce if desired. 

For the shrimp
1lb peeled shrimp
3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup panko
2 TBSP flour
2 egg whites
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. 
In a bowl, mix the unsweetened coconut, panko and flour. 
In another bowl, whisk together the 2 egg whites. 
Dip the shrimp into the egg whites, then press into the coconut mixture. 
Lay on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 10 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked through and coconut is starting to turn golden.
Place a heaping spoonful of slaw on your plate and sprinkle with cilantro and sesame seeds.
Top with some shrimp.
I also shared a similar dish before.... Shrimp Wraps with Peanut Dipping Sauce. You can grab that recipe here.

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