Experimenting

Summertime is always a hard time to cook and be inspired to eat. The temperatures usually are way to warm (or hot) and nothing sounds good to any of us. This year I have been perusing Pinterest to try and find something that will keep us from eating the same old things–taco salad, sandwiches, omelets, quesadillas–not that these things are not good, but trying to expand our horizons.

The first candidate is a Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Quite frankly I think this should have been called a Pie instead. Layers of salty, sweet, and creamy ingredients are put together over baking, boiling, and cooling times.

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Pretzel, sugar, and butter crust

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Finished dessert

A few changes were made to the recipe. I used neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese as we prefer the taste of it. It also helps on watching calories without giving up taste. My strawberry Jell-o was actually the house brand of strawberry gelatin and the Cool Whip was also the house brand. Over the years I have learned that some items in the grocery story that are the house brand are just as good as the name brand and cost less, so I see no reason to always pay the higher price just to get the name brand. Anyway, I will have to report back after lunch tomorrow to let you know whether it was good or not.

My family also likes lasagna, however that can be a bit of a heavy dish in the summer. Again on Pinterest I found a recipe for Lasagna Rolls. Probably the one ingredient that is going to make this a toss up will be the spinach. Neither DD or DS likes spinach and definitely not in their pasta. However, I am hoping that they will at least give it a try. A little bit of deviousness will be employed as DH and I have decided not to tell them that it has spinach in it. There isn’t a lot, so hopefully they will enjoy it before they figure it out.

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Draining noodles

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Ricotta, spinach, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper filling

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Lasagna Rolls

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Completed dish

Tomorrow I will bake this dish up and serve it with salad and sourdough bread. A followup report will be coming over the holiday weekend to let you know how these tasted and were received. It will be interesting!

In the midst of all of this, DH helped make dough for homemade pizza tonight. Thank goodness for his help as I had messy fingers. 20160701_162747

Once risen and formed out, this pizza crust was topped with garlic alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, pineapple, and black olives. This is the family’s favorite for Friday night!

DFIL dropped by on his way out of town to share a few kernals of corn seed and two different kinds of bean seeds that were promptly planted in the garden. While I was out putting them in the ground, I found we do have a few beets, onions, green beans, 3 watermelon plants, 2-3 yellow squash plants on a hill, some tomato plants in my raised bed with blossoms on them, two jalapeño plants still alive in the raised bed, and a few garlics. There are weeds which I will have to go out early in the cool mornings next week to pull out as well. Everything was watered really well and we will continue to water every day for awhile. DFIL indicated that while the corn will not be ready to harvest until the first of October, if watered properly it should be up in a week. We will see and pray that there will not be an early frost. Between late planting, gophers, and busy schedules, I fear the garden will be much smaller this year. Maybe I can plant some fall seeds/plants in August? Guess I had better start those plants this next week.

Until next time, happy Canada Day to those north of us and happy Fourth of July to our fellow countrymen! Stay cool and enjoy time with family and the freedoms we have!

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About susanssnippets

I wear multiple hats: wife of 25+ years, mother, chauffeur/riding companion to DD22 and DS17, daughter/daughter-in-law, crafter, home engineer and too many others to list.
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