Friday, July 13, 2012

Back to Iowa & a Menu Post

This weekend, we are headed back to Iowa again for Justin's class reunion. Just to humor you all, here are some photos from the last class reunion in 2007. It was the summer right before we got married. I had my appendix removed a month before and then ended up getting bronchitis two days before his reunion. Yup, lucky me. I felt like I had been put through a meat grinder, but mustered up enough energy to make an appearance. You can pretty much see the fun-o-meter diminish before your very eyes...

Here the fun-o-meter is pretty high. Please excuse the beer in the photo. It was the one of two beers I actually allowed myself that evening. An hour later...

I'm starting to get the face my family calls my "wet cat" face. Not particularly thrilled. Then we hit rock bottom...

Pursed lips, slumped shoulders, I think I went home shortly after this photo. I kind of felt like I was about to die. This time around, I am healthy and will be able to enjoy things a little bit more:) It will be great to catch up with people. I am also hoping to retrieve some Iowa sweet corn, tomatoes, and maybe some cucumbers along some roadside stand. If you were to taste a slice of heaven, I think it would taste like peaches and cream sweet corn grown in the richest soil on earth. Yes, Iowa sweet corn. 

Since I'm not sure when we will be back home on Sunday, I am planning a quick and easy pasta dish the evening of our return. Later in the week, we will be dining on some of our favorite summer dishes. When July hits you have to enjoy the bounty with some summer classics. BLT's and burgers on the grill. Here is the rundown:

Sunday 7/15          Penne Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Mushrooms, & Broccoli

Monday 7/16        Chicken Kabobs with Greek Quinoa Salad

Tuesday 7/17        Left-overs

Wednesday 7/18  BLT's with Sweet Corn

Thursday 7/19      Left-overs

Friday 7/20 or      Papa Chris Burgers with Potato Salad & Cucumbers (Belly Aches)
Saturday 7/21

Groceries you will need:

1/2 lb. 85% lean ground beef
1/2 lb. 93% lean ground beef
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package Italian chicken sausage
1 package center cut bacon
1-2 lemons (depending on the size of the lemon)
1 package mushrooms
1 head garlic
2 cucumbers
4 ears sweet corn
4 tomatoes
1 red onion
2 white or yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
1 head lettuce
1 bunch celery
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound russet potatoes
1 package hamburger buns (for us it will be 1 gluten-free pack & 1 whole wheat)
1 box brown rice penne pasta
1 bag or box quinoa
1 box reduced sodium chicken broth
1 jar pickle relish
1 container Parmesan cheese
2 containers sour cream
Butter or margarine (if you like it on your sweet corn, I eat mine plain)
1/2 dozen eggs

Pantry items you will need:

Seasoning salt (I use Penzy's 4-S blend)
Celery seed
Granulated sugar
White wine vinegar
Olive oil

I hope you all have a great weekend! Stay out of the heat, but do try to make it out to visit your local farmer's market or road side farm stands for some of your produce. There is nothing better!


  1. haha, I love your "wet cat" face! So sassy. Hope you have a great trip this year :)

  2. Thanks Abby! The trip was much better this year. It still amazes me how much things change in just five years, even in a small town:)

  3. Love your blog!! Made your Thai Chicken Salad & love it.
    I have been to the place where Justin's class reunion was held. It is beautiful!!! That yard is to die for & the home is just as cool.
    Love you sweets-Mom