Grilling, Birthdays, and Breakfast Casseroles

Summertime is here….for us at least. Regardless of what the calendar says, summertime in Arkansas starts in late May and usually is marked by the end of the school year and the beginning of vacation season. This year, obviously, is quite different but, hey we still have to eat!

Creamy Chicken Artichoke Pasta

Monday, June 1st, I cooked a new pasta recipe that was a hit. I knew I had artichokes in the freezer and some spinach and pasta on hand. So I found a recipe for a one pot 20 Minute Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta with some frozen cheesy breadsticks. Of course, Trever thought it should have meat.

20 Minute Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta

The sauce was very strange.

Tuesday was my first day back in the office – mornings only, alone and only 3-4 hours. So plenty of time in the afternoons for dinner prep – we had chicken thighs with a questionable sauce that I made up off the top of my head, some mashed potatoes, and turnip greens. I have eaten more greens this year thus far than i have in my entire life!

Wednesday night, my mom came over and we had the BEST steak fajitas! I just made a quick marinade with lime juice, olive, oil and seasonings and Trever grilled the meat – we had the spicy black bean bake with them. On Thursday, we had a pizza night. We were trying to get things together to go to the cabin for the weekend and were just busy.

On Friday, we took the girls and Abby’s boyfriend up to the cabin in North Arkansas – Friday night we had the traditional hot dogs roasted over a fire – but it was HOT and humid and no one was singing Kumbaya. On Saturday night, after a full day of activities, we decided to drive into town for carryout from Amigo Loco. Because nothing says cabin weekend like takeout Mexican food!

On Sunday night, June 8th , we were tired and had a lot of unpacking and laundry to do so we got takeout from town – Subway sandwiches and Taco Bell.

Knoephla Soup with Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

On Monday night, I made another new recipe inspired by watching Molly Yeh’s Girl Meets Farm. A knoephla soup, it would have been more suited to a chilly winter night! This is a German potato soup with homemade dumplings…it turned out quite well!

Tuesday was Abby’s birthday dinner and we had some juicy grilled burgers, baked beans, greens, and a semi homemade cake. Ok, the cake wasn’t homemade at all but the chocolate buttercream was!

A Molly Yeh recipe was the inspiration again for Wednesday night’s meal – except I had to sub several ingredients. The original recipe is for Oriecchiette with Broccolini and Sausage – I had broccoli on hand and had to buy penne. But the flavors were spot on!

Yay for Molly Yeh!

The potatoes weren’t pretty but they were delicious!

Thursday, Trever fired up the grill again to cook some chicken breasts that I had marinated in a vinaigrette dressing. I attempted a pan sauteed potato but they fell apart and didn’t have the crispiness I was going for. I made up a little aioli to go on top and they tasted really good!

Friday night as usual was takeout and Saturday was pizza night – I had forgotten to buy red sauce and had to improvise.

Trunk picnic at Petit Jean

June 14th was Sunday and I prepared a trunk picnic for my mom and I to get out of the house, ride around, and have lunch. I was trying to keep it low carb for her so I fixed an egg salad, some cheese and turkey snacks and some roast beef with bell pepper and cream cheese. Also a little dressed sliced avocado. I don’t necessarily have a “go to” egg salad recipe but this is one I have used with success.

Sadly, Sunday night was…you guessed it….takeout. The difference between “I’m tired” takeout and “Friday night takeout” is the caliber of said food!

Monday was a stressful day between a dishwasher debacle and a corona scare. So, yeah, takeout again.

Tuesday we were back on track with Taco Casserole – my tried and true recipe but I served it over black beans and added some lettuce, cheese, and sour cream for toppings.

Home cooking was the theme for Wednesday with grilled chicken, fried squash, swiss Chard and biscuits. Veggies thanks to Preservation Acres (go to Facebook and search for “Preservation Acres” for more info).

Thursday night was my roasted chicken and veggie tostadas. Allll the odds and ends of veggies went on these – red pepper, onion, zucchini, mushroom, tomatos. All topped with adobo sour cream and cilantro – for some of us!

Cheesy Kale Breakfast Casserole

Friday night and Saturday night – takeout and pizza! We had actually planned to go to the cabin this weekend but Sarah was running a low grade temp so we postponed our plans. I already had the ingredients for this breakfast casserole though so I went ahead and made it. I also used the extra time we had at home to make some chocolate chip cookies

Sunday afternoon, June 21st, Trever and I observed Father’s Day by riding up to the cabin. That evening, I don’t have any record of what we had for dinner so it must not have been memorable! Nothing for Monday either. Tuesday we had pizza because the red beans and rice I started didn’t get cooked. Wednesday night was the red beans and rice which were in desperate need of more flavor – I didn’t even take a picture. And Thursday is a blank page too!

Bacon Cheeseburgers

Friday night we were back at the cabin where Trever fired up the grills for burgers and on Saturday night we had hot dogs and cheese dip. I had brought along another breakfast casserole I made using the same recipe as the kale based one – but with no kale and lots of bacon! Not quite as healthy but tasty!

I added green onions and bacon this time.

Sunday, June 28th was….takeout! There’s a pattern here – if we are getting back from being out of town or I am tired in any way at all…yep, it’s gonna be takeout.

Monday was Trever’s birthday so we had steak fajitas, black bean bake, and I made his request of a strawberry twinkie cake. Someone he used to work with made this cake for him on his birthday and I had never attempted it, but it was pretty simple.

Here is the recipe I used for the cake…except instead of the strawberry glaze, I used a can of filling.

Not bad for a first attempt!
The sauce from the pan drippings made this delish.

We wrapped up June with marinated chicken thighs, mashed potatoes and zucchini fritters. I made the fritters a little too big and too “wet” but no one complained.

Recipe for fritters:

That’s all for June – a few new recipes, lots of old favorites and using the grill a bit more.

-Karri Temple Brackett
June 2020

Leave a Reply