Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Easy summer meal

I don't know about the rest of you, but yummy, easy meals are becoming more and more popular in this household...especially with the a new little one arriving VERY soon!

We had some friends over for dinner one night this weekend and with the heat I wasn't feeling like being in the kitchen much.  So I planned an easy meal that I could also do some of the prep ahead!

Dinner Menu

* Pulled Pork on a bun
* Creamy Potato Salad
* Veggie Shish kabobs
* Aloha Cake - I was most excited about this!!

I actually went and made the Pulled Pork the afternoon before, shredded it and added the sauce and left it right in the crock pot insert and into the fridge after it cooled down. Then 1 1/2 hrs before company's arrival, I had hubby put it on 'warm' and warmed it up!  It was plenty hot by dinner time.

The recipe is the same I have posted before. You can find it here. Super easy!

The Creamy Potato Salad is a combo of Martha Stewart and my own. I used the baby white potatoes (pre-bagged), green and red pepper, green onions, celery and fresh parsley. The dressing consisted of:
~  1 1/2 cups Hellmans Mayo - one day I'll make my own like Martha
~ 3 tbsp cider vinegar
~ 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
~ sprinkle of sugar

I usually mix mine all together then give it a little taste test and see what it needs more of or if it's enough to cover the potatoes.

Pulled Pork and Creamy Potato Salad

I actually cooked the baby potatoes the day before as well, while the heat from the crock pot was going.

The Veggie Shish kabobs were probably the least amount of prep. I chose white button mushrooms, green and red pepper chunks, cooking onions and grape tomatoes. I just wiped the mushrooms with a damp cloth (they say you are not suppose to wash them, they absorb the moisture), chopped the peppers into chunks and then cut up the onion in larger pieces (the stronger the onion when raw, the sweeter it is when cooked).

I threw them into a bowl, poured a maple garlic marinade over it (I had been saving this one) and into the fridge it went. ** It helps to soak your skewers in water for about 10mins before loading them up, especially if they are bamboo ones**

The Aloha Cake, I found this recipe on Pinterest and had been wanting to making it for a while. So this was my perfect opportunity!!


~ 1 box yellow cake mix
~ 3/4 c. oil
~ 3 eggs
~ 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, with juice
~ 1/2 t. vanilla

*So use these ingredients and don't worry about what the box says! As you mix all the ingredients together, the oranges will break up. Grease your 9x13 pan, pour into pan and bake 30-35 minutes at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

**I used one circular pan that was tall so I could make it a layered circular cake. If you chose to do this, your baking time will increase, about another 10-15 mins. you just have to keep your eye on it. When I cooked mine, at the 35min mark, it was still wet and jiggly in the middle. I kinda watched it every 5-8 mins checking on it. The top started to brown too much, so I put tinfoil tented over it loosely to prevent it from burning.**

Aloha Cake


~ 1 box, regular size (4-servings) instant coconut pudding

~ 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, with juice
~ 8 oz. carton Cool Whip

*Mix the pudding (do not follow the box instructions) with the pineapple and juice. Then mix it with the Cool Whip. It makes quite a bit of icing, you will have extra to enjoy!

** Jello does make coconut pudding, I couldn't find it in the one store I was in and bought Dr.Oetker cooked pudding...MISTAKE!!!  It was a mistake only because with it not being cooked first, it had a slight powdery/granular consistency to the frosting and may not have been as thick. The taste was fine though!!  So make sure to buy INSTANT!**

Aloha cake

Once the cake is completely cooled, ice it and keep it in the fridge. Serve cold.

Overall the meal was a success!  It was about 95 degrees with the humidity and we didn't have to heat up the house cooking all day!!

Hope you enjoy!!

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