Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Easy Side






July 4th is almost here and I'm sure most of you are busy getting ready for the festivities. Picnics, barbeques, fireworks . . . . all so much fun. And all of it outside. Where it's hot. Really hot, if you're in most places.

Don't let the summer heat spoil any plans! Thanks to grills and slow cookers, you can still enjoy many wonderful summer favorites with very little effort. I'm sharing a couple of my family's favorite summer recipes - one done in a slow cooker (what could be easier?) and one on the grill. Both are super simple and delicious!




Slow Cooked Baked Beans


1 lg. (55 oz.) can of baked beans (I used Bush's Baked Beans)

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup barbeque sauce (I used Famous Dave's Sweet & Zesty)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp. dry mustard


Spray the crock of your slow cooker with non-stick spray. Mix all the ingredients together in the crock. Cover and cook on the low heat setting for 4 - 5 hours. Stir well before serving.




Cheesy Grilled Potatoes


6 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (Yukon Gold are particularly good!)

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter, cut into small dice

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

2 tbsp. crumbled cooked bacon

2 medium green onions, sliced


Heat your gas grill or light the coals, if using charcoal. Place the potato chunks on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Use two layers of regular aluminum foil. Sprinkle with the salt and dot the potatoes with butter. Sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes and butter.




Wrap the foil securely around the potato-cheese mixture, forming a little pouch. Pierce the top of the foil pouch once or twice with a fork to vent steam.

Place the packet approximately 4 - 6 inches from medium heat, cover the grill and cook for 45 - 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Remove the potatoes from the grill and carefully open the foil packet. Sprinkle with bacon and onions.




Put the side dishes together, add something like a grilled bacon-cheeseburger and you've got a tasty, filling, fuss-free meal!





Need a little something sweet for after dinner or in-between meals on the 4th? A treat that can take the heat if you're picnicking outside? How about an iced sugar cookie? I've never turned down a sugar cookie and you can have so much fun decorating them for the holiday! 


Iced Sugar Cookies




As many of you now know, I am not known for my cookie decorating skills. They are minimal, at best. Thanks to sites like Pinterest and the brilliant, wonderful people who share ideas there, I've been able to bump-up my abilities just a little. This year, we'll have "fireworks" cookies (like the ones pictured above) and even some tie-dyed stars (see below)! Aren't they pretty? And so unbelievably EASY!!




You can find a terrific sugar cookie recipe and wonderfully easy icing recipe here. The technique for making fun "firework" design can be found here and you'll find the tie-dye icing technique here.

Enjoy!

Wishing you a safe & Happy 4th of July!









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32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hello! And thank you!! Have a wonderful week!!

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  2. Oooh, this is much easier and yummier than baked potatoes. Bookmarked! Have a fabulous 4th of July celebrations, Stephanie! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Anna! Have a very safe and Happy 4th of July!

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  3. Have a fabulous 4th of July celebration Stephanie! The baked potatoes look smashing!

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    1. Hi Minnie! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the potatoes. Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!!

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  4. I've never thought to add the cheese when barbecuing potatoes in foil. I'm usually going for a savoury taste, but now I'm so intrigued. The next time I BBQ potatoes, this is the recipe I'm using. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi! I know - I never thought to do it either until I came across this old recipe in my recipe box! I neglected to add that I also had a little shredded cheese on the table to add once they were on the plate. I hope you enjoy them! Have a great week!!

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  5. The burger and its side dishes would be the kind of food that my husband loves very much but I never had the chance to make this for him! Thanks for the reminder :-D

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    1. Hi Christine! Congratulations on receiving the Addictive Blog Award! You have such a wonderful blog and I'm just thrilled for you. Glad I could help with the reminders! Both dishes are really easy to make with just a minimum (actually less, but I don't know what that word is!) of effort. Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by. I always like hearing from you!

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  6. Wow, I love those cookies, so festive and perfect for the 4th!

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    1. Hello! Aren't they? And the cookies are so unbelievably easy to make, especially the tie-dyed stars! I'm not joking about my inability to decorate cookies, so if I can do it, anyone can! I hope you give them a try. Thank you for your kind words. Have a safe & Happy 4th of July!!

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  7. Definately going to try the cheesy potatoes! The coookies look great too! Very nice!!!

    I also really like your blog. Visiting from the naptime facebook hop. New blog follower now too! :)

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    1. Hi Lauren! I was just over at your site (which is great, by the way). Thank you for being my newest follower and for your very kind comments. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better via blog posts! Have a wonderful 4th of July!!

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  8. The potatoes look great! We do something similar when we're camping, with potatoes, onions and butter. The bacon and cheese sound like delicious additions!

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    1. Hi Patricia! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your wonderful comment! We do potatoes the same way you do when you're camping and we like them that way, too. The cheese and bacon add a really nice flavor and how can you go wrong with bacon? I hope you and your family enjoy them! Thank you, again, for stopping!

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  9. Stephanie,
    These both look delish! I love the potatoes and can't wait to try this recipe. We love potatoes any way we can get them :) Thanks for sharing on Creative Thursday. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Hi Michelle! So super easy to make! I hope you and your family enjoy them. AND I hope you have a wonderful trip!!

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  10. What a great holiday menu! Those potatoes look amazing. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you tomorrow.

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    1. Hello! Thank you so much for hosting Tout It Tuesday! I'll be seeing you tomorrow . . . .

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  11. Those potatoes look entirely too delicious. I must have them. :)

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    1. Hi Amber! Thank you so much for stopping by! The potatoes are super-simple and pretty good. I hope you enjoy them! Have a wonderful week!!

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  12. Hi Stephanie! I shared your Cheesy Grilled Potatoes over on Weekend Potluck this week! Thank you so much for sharing those last week and thank you for linking back to Weekend Potluck in your post. I've pinned this one (love those cookies too)! Hope you have a great weekend!
    http://www.thecountrycook.net/2012/07/weekend-potluck-26.html#

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    1. Hi Brandie! Oh. my. gosh! Thank you so much for selecting the cheesy grilled potatoes as a personal favorite! What a fantastic way to start my Friday the 13th!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  13. Stephanie,

    Congrats on being a personal favorite on Weekend Potluck#26!

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    1. Hi Becky! Thank you so much! What a great thing to see when I turned on my computer this morning!

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  14. Thanks for linking up at our Pinteresting Party! Come back tomorrow to check out your feature of most clicked! Yay! :)

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    1. YAY!!! {I'm jumping up-and-down!} I can't believe it! Thank you so much, Lauren! I'll definitely be at the Pinteresting party tomorrow!!

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  15. Congrats Stephanie!! You deserve it :))

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    1. Thank you, Minnie! It's been a really fun day.

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  16. how would you make the potatoes in the oven?

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    1. Hello! That's a good question - thank you for asking! If I were making these in the oven, I would prepare them according to the instructions and still use the foil pouch. But instead of putting the pouch on the grill, I would put the pouch on a baking sheet and put them into a 400°F oven for about 45-60 minutes. I hope that helps! Thank you for stopping by!

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