Good Ol’ Summer Fun

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Good Ol’ Summer Fun

Each week of warm weather and the summer brings excitement and memories. I read a saying recently that said, “The story of food is also the story of who we are.”

When I was a young mother, we lived in New jersey and some of my fondest memories are going to the diner on Saturday for breakfast or lunch. This week my daughter and the grands were in town. With moving boxes packed and challenging to move around, they opted to stay in a hotel. Now as a back line, my son in law is highly allergic to potatoes so potatoes are only eaten when she is at my house or at a restaurant when she is not even in the same town as her husband. She gave me a list of requests of potato dishes while she was in town: baked potatoes, French fries, tater tots both with brown gravy – a diner favorite. One of the mornings that they came to the house for breakfast, I decided to have a diner breakfast as a memory blast from the past. I knew that my daughter has been to diners with her children and that is a fun part of her raising her children.

I share this with you as my blog this week as an opportunity to have a fun event with your family. A hygge moment. My granddaughter told me that Grandma’s Diner was better than the diner in Tulsa they have been to recently. My favorite at the diner when we lived back East was having chocolate milk in a tall glass with ice and of course French fries with brown gravy. I started by meeting them at the car and welcomed them to the diner. I used a vintage type table cloth, complete with a lazy Susan filled with condiments. I had paper under their plates with crayons, markers and colored pencils. I even had the peg game from Cracker Barrel. Before we sat down, I informed them that we needed to feed the animals first. They were delighted to help feed the horses. They were seated and drink orders were taken on an order pad and a pen on my apron and the choice was white milk, chocolate milk with whip crème, orange juice in their own bottle, or water. Of course, I had cute luau straws from The Dollar Store in my apron pocket.

Then we took orders for breakfast. Pancakes, home fries, and eggs. I used one of my favorite pancake recipes full of whole grains and packed with nutrition. Toppings for the pancakes included butter, mashed strawberries, fresh blueberries, applesauce, syrup and whip crème.

Seconds of milk, a whole batch of pancakes and a whole pan of home fries later, breakfast was done and memories were made. The week also included tater tots and French fries with brown gravy and more home fries.

I share with you my recipe for home fries that I have used for many years along with one of my favorite pancake recipes. Take the time to have fun with your family this summer. Ingredients for these recipes can be found at Kitchen Kneads.

Easy 2-Ingredient Popsicles

Are you ready for a summer filled with refreshing and frugal treats to help you beat the heat? I love these popsicles because they’re so easy to make and because they’re perfect for hot summer days. It seriously takes only 2 minutes to put these together. Then after a few hours in the freezer, they’re ready to cool you down and delight your taste buds.

When I pulled these out of the freezer, I was expecting a pretty delicious, yet hard popsicle because of the high water content. I’m not really a fan of hard popsicles, but to my surprise these are nice and soft. Even after 24 hours in the freezer. They’re soft enough to bite if you’re a popsicle biter like me, but still firm enough to hold their shape while you eat it.

All you need to make these flavor-packed popsicles is equal amounts of your favorite of Torani syrup and water. Fill a popsicle mold with popsicle sticks. And freeze them! The flavors I used were watermelon and lime. Oh my goodness, the watermelon is so good! The lime is tart and refreshing, but I think I’ll add a little sugar to it next time.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

• 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 ¾ cups buttermilk


1. In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
2. Stir in the liquid ingredients.
3. Drop by 2 Tablespoons on a nonstick griddle or skillet coated with cooking spray heated to medium heat.
4. Flip the pancakes when they rise and they begin to bubble.
5. Serve with toppings of choice.

Home Fries

• 1 potato per person. I like to use either red or Yukon Gold potatoes
• ¼ yellow onion diced
• Olive oil
• Salt, pepper and savory Tumeric blend
• Chicken broth


1. In a large skillet on low heat, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
2. When heated, toss in the potatoes, onions, and salt and pepper.
3. Let the potatoes sizzle and brown all of them just slightly.
4. Pour in just enough chicken broth to cover the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle on the turmeric savory blend.
5. Cover with a large lid and cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender.
6. Remove the lid and stir.
7. Serve hot and if desired, serve with Ketchup!

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