Friday, May 31, 2013

May Re-Make Recap

I can't believe we're at the end of May already! This month has absolutely flown by, and I'm so ready for our evenings and weekends to slow down a bit in June. (Ha. YEAH RIGHT.) There were quite a few nights in May when cooking dinner went by the wayside, due to extracurricular activities or just plain exhaustion on my part. I still managed to pull together a pretty delicious recap for you, though, thanks in part to Andrew's birthday party.

We've been grilling out a ton since the weather's warmed up, and these grilled chicken Caesar flatbreads are one of our absolute favorite things to make. The chicken has tons of flavor, and it's so tender. This meal is basically like a portable Caesar salad. In my mind, the only possible way to improve upon a Caesar salad is to make it portable. Win!

You probably know by now how much I love a good sandwich, and these chipotle chicken cheesesteaks are one of my favorites, for sure. This time around, I upped the smoky flavor even more by using roasted red peppers instead of a regular bell pepper, and I topped my sandwich with ranch dressing instead of mayo. I loved the way the ranch cooled down the heat of the chipotle. I also skipped the avocado this time, and surprisingly, I think I preferred them without the avocado (but either way is delicious).

I made these pepperoni pizza puffs twice this month: once for Andrew's Super Mario Brothers birthday party (where they masqueraded as "Toad's Pizza Muffins") and once for us for dinner, because they are so dang good. The boys absolutely love these, and Joe and I are pretty fond of them too. I don't know why I don't make them more often, but that is definitely going to change going forward. (Side note: We actually prefer dipping them in ranch rather than the pizza sauce in the picture. We are Ranch People, if you hadn't noticed.)

I also made pesto pasta salad for Andrew's party and called it "Mario and Luigi's Pasta Salad" (I got really into the theme, if you haven't noticed). I doubled everything and used a block of mozzarella rather than the fresh stuff. It was just as delicious. This was one of the first things that was gone at his party, and even the kids seemed to like it!

One last party-related recipe: I made a batch of soft sugar cookie bars and decorated them to look like the question mark blocks in Super Mario. These are always a huge hit, and the frosting is just to die for.

I'm not joking when I say that I could eat taco rice three nights a week and never get tired of it. This is by far one of our family's favorite dinners. Joe and I actually fight over who gets to take the leftovers to work every time I make this, without fail.

I'm pretty sure this broccoli salad has been on my last three recaps, and here it is again. I made this for Memorial Day because everyone always requests it. I don't blame them! This stuff is seriously so good.

When pierogies went on sale recently, I jumped at the chance to make this bacon pierogi bake. Gah, you guys, this is just so good. The cream cheese sauce is amazing, and the bacon pairs so perfectly with the pierogies. The chopped tomatoes and sliced green onions give the whole dish such a wonderful freshness.

I made Cuban sandwiches and shredded pork po' boys on back-to-back nights, using the same batch of shredded pork. This is the best recipe I've found for making pork loin in the Crock pot. The meat is rubbed with vinegar, oil, garlic and spices and marinates overnight, which makes it so tender and flavorful. I love that the same batch of meat can be used to make two completely different, but equally delicious, sandwiches.

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