We don’t swim in your toilet….

So please don’t pee in our pool.

We Don’t Skinny Dip…We Chunky Dunk

Ok lets back up a bit….. (P.S. there are lots of great appetizer/side dish recipes in this post!)

Minnesota Swimming

Last weekend we went up to Minnesota to visit some family. MaryJo & Jerry are on my mom’s side. MaryJo is technically my mom’s Aunt but they are the same age so more like cousins 🙂

Most of the time we make it up to Minnesota to see them it is in the dead of winter. They have had their AWESOME pool for 7 years now and this is the first time we got to take advantage of it. Don’t know what we were thinking all these years not going up to visit them during the summer! We already decided this will have to be a yearly weekend getaway.

Check out the GORGEOUS pool.

Jerry just built the pergola in June.

I drove up with my Aunt Wendy on Thursday. It was nice to have a day away from the kids. On the way up we stopped at the Outlet Mall. Once we arrived we stayed up late chatting with MaryJo and Jerry.

On Friday morning Wendy, MaryJo and I went to the grocery store and planned all the meals for the weekend.

Friday afternoon as soon as my kids, my mom and sister arrived we jumped in the pool for a quick dip.

Cohen liked playing with the pool toys while we prepared the food for dinner.

Wendy picked out all the recipes to try this weekend. She gets a lot of her recipes from AllRecipes.com. She has a few requirements when picking recipes to try.

1) The recipes should have around 10 (or less) ingredients.

2) The directions must have less than 5 steps.

3) The recipe must have a 4 or 5 star rating

4) The recipe must be reviewed by more than 15 people.

So the first night we tried a pasta salad. BEST PASTA SALAD EVER! Seriously. We were all raving about it. It was gone in a matter of minutes. Trust me. You want to make this ASAP.

Tortellini Pesto Salad

Ingredients

1 9oz pkg cheese tortellini

1 small red bell pepper, julienned

3/4 cup fresh broccoli florets

1/3 cup shredded carrots

1/3 cup pitted green olives (I would have these be optional because I am not a fan)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 cup light mayo

1/4 cup prepared basil pesto

1/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 bunch fresh spinach leaves

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place tortellini in the pot and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain, and cool.

In a large bowl mix the cooked tortellini, red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, olives and garlic.

In a separate bowl, stir together the mayo, pesto, milk, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and vinegar. Pour over the tortellini and vegetables, and gently toss to coat.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour, until chilled.

Once you are ready to serve stir in the spinach leaves.

******************************************************************************************

After we finished eating two things happened. We made fun of Jerry for his outrageous shirt…and the fact that he matched Cohen. They did some male bonding (as much as you can with a 10 month old). Jerry was outnumbered 6 girls to 2 guys. He couldn’t wait for the other men to arrive late that night.

While we waited for the guys to get there the coolest thing happened. After MaryJo’s mom passed away we all put in some money to buy a magnolia tree for their back yard. Jerry said it will always bloom in the spring. That night as we were sitting on the deck chatting Jerry looked over and saw that the tree had bloomed! We couldn’t believe it. We know that Grandma was looking down on us and glad we were all together having a wonderful time. Here is a pic of the tree that decided to bloom for us on a hot summer night!

On Saturday morning the boys got up early to golf, while the ladies went to the Farmer’s Market.

We were back by 11 a.m. and had a quick lunch before we swam the rest of the day.

Some had deli sandwiches, the rest of us had an open-faced tuna salad sandwiches (recipe below) AND while lounging by the pool we had some UV Cake and Coke. Never had it before but thought it sounded like a good poolside drink.

UV Cake tastes like vanilla cake. YUM! Mixed with Coke we all decided it tasted like a cream soda. Another option we thought of was to make a Rootbeer Float type drink. We will have to do that next time 🙂

Here is the recipe for the yummy open-faced tuna salad sandwiches we had. I don’t think I will ever make a tuna salad sandwich with just mayo again. This was so easy to make and way better!

Basil Pesto Tuna Salad

Ingredients

1 6 oz can canned tuna in water

1/4 cup prepared basil pesto

8 oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced

2 tablespoons mayo

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions

Note: I think we tripled this recipe. We also added more sun-dried tomatoes then it called for.

In a bowl mix all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. We served it on some great wheat bread from the bakery. EASY PEASY!

YUM!! SUN-DRIED TOMATOES!

We also had some of

Aunt Wendy’s Salsa

Ingredients

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pkg dry Zesty Italian Dressing Mix

Vegetable Oil

White Vinegar

1 pkg shredded Mexican style cheese

Directions

Place first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Then in a small bowl mix the dry Italian dressing with some vegetable oil and vinegar. Pour the liquid over salsa mixture. Sprinkle however much cheese you want into bowl.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Again, sooo good. I have a favorite homemade salsa recipe (find that here)… but Wendy’s was just as good! It had a different taste to is with the cheese and the white vinegar/Italian dressing. But none of us could stop snacking on it all afternoon. Well that is until a little mishap with Cohen grabbing the bowl and throwing it all over the garage floor. We were all disappointed the salsa was gone so fast…little stinker!

Fun in the pool

My guys

Ok this next picture is too funny. Cohen has been making this weird face lately. His “Chuckie Face” He makes it all the time when he smiles. What a nut

Oops almost forgot…one more appetizer recipe.

Greek Feta Spread

Ingredients

1 6 0z package feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly pressed

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 oz sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon black olives, drained and finely chopped

Directions

In a food processor, place the feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, tomatoes, and oregano. Using the pulse setting, blend the mixture until smooth

Transfer to a medium bowl and blend in the olives with a spoon.

Refrigerate until serving. Serve with pita chips.

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This entry was posted in About Faith & Family, About Food, Appetizers, Sides & Snacks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to We don’t swim in your toilet….

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