Except now I’m exhausted from all the vacationing. We rented a house on the lake in Indiana and it was lovely.
There was beach time (ahem, strike a pose)
Bowling time (cold, rainy day)
BIG waves (well, for Lake Michigan).
Up to no good at the beach time.
Spotted an elusive beach gnome in one of the holes.
Just down the street, an American Ninja Warrior-like park. Big M as Kacy Catanzaro!
But from this blogger’s perspective, most of all, it had a really fully stocked kitchen which is unusual in a rental. Silicone basting brush – check. Juicer – check. Three colanders, one ginormous – check. I wanted for nothing.
So here are a few things that were on the menu for the week:
Smitten Kitchen’s Tomato Sausage Risotto which is a go-to dish to serve a lot of people. I use turkey Italian sausage to lighten it up a bit. Add 1/2 to every ingredient to serve 4 adults and 2 girls who are good eaters.
Cobb Salad with Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Ranch Dressing
WHAT YOU NEED
4 cooked boneless chicken breasts. You can cook them any way you want, but this method from thekitchn really works for salads.
16 oz. bacon, cooked crisp
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh peas (hint, Trader Joes has them in the refrigerated section)
3 hard boiled eggs
1 medium red onion, diced.
2 avocados, diced
Cooked corn kernels (good use for left-over corn on the cob)
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 head/clamshell butter lettuce
1 head iceberg lettuce
Blue cheese crumbles (optional)
WHAT YOU DO
Arrange all lettuce in bowl or platter. Toss with a little of the ranch dressing. Arrange all the ingredients in rows on the lettuce and drizzle with a little more dressing. I serve the blue cheese crumbles on the side as not everyone like blue cheese in this particular vacation house.
From BevCooks, Seared Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. I didn’t serve it with polenta, instead roasted a bunch of fingerling potatoes, halved, tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes, flipping half way through. Forget to take picture. To compensate, here are the sauce and marinade that I made ahead before we left.
Also featured in that picture is ginger syrup for the Ginger Beergaritas from How Sweet It Is. Tasted like a margarita soda. Yum.
We packed up this group of cousins and headed up the road to see the lake-adjacent house of my cousins. Showing up with 6 kids in tow, Tessa had this response:
We had a great time, great meal of turkey burgers, regular burgers, brats and as a side I made The Pioneer Woman’s Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggio, otherwise known as four-cheese, clothespin-on-the-aorta, mac and cheese.
Really a very simple dish when using Trader Joe’s 4 Cheese Italian blend. I make it often as a weeknight side. I also made a peach crumble from The Kitchn’s Make a Crumble from Any Fruit recipe.
It got a little dark to get too many pictures, but as least we got some fire pit action in.
And the song McNamara’s Band MAY have been played. And there MAY have a been a parade with tupperware instruments. However, in the interest that anyone may have in running for Supreme Court justice or other public office someday, we’ll keep that video just between us cousins.
There was card playing for money, natch.
And some pool time.
And this creepy, Scooby-Doo-like abandoned park named Canada Playground. This is Indiana’s way of saying “Hey Canada, maybe if you’d stop giving away health care you could step up your parks and rec maintenance!” Note it also says no dogs allowed. Because you wouldn’t want to mess up the facilities.
All in all, a success at Beachwalk Resort.
Now, one more day until I’m back to the life where there is much less joyful jumping.
But not before I made everyone one of these Birthday Cake Milkshakes. There are lots of different riffs on these out there, but I think using frosting makes for a better texture than the ones I’ve done with cake mix.
WHAT YOU NEED
1.5 Quarts of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
8 oz vanilla frosting from a can
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 cup milk (depending on how thick you would like the shake).
Sprinkles. Always sprinkles.
Extra frosting for the glasses
WHAT YOU DO
Blend first 4 ingredients in blender to desired milkshakiness. Rub vanilla frosting on the rim of each glass. Put sprinkles on a plate and turn the cup to coat rim in sprinkles. They can be any color or size, I just had Fourth of July nonpareils on hand. Pour in milkshake and serve to this happy camper.
I mustache you, was this delicious?