Sunday, May 31, 2015

Portillo Chopped Salad {recipe}

Ohmigoodness. This salad. It was so very yummy. We ate EVERY bite. Chris looked at me in the middle of dinner and said "This needs to go in our 2 week meal rotation." The kids devoured it. And we have talked about it a few times since.
I found the recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything's website via Pinterest. And her picture looks SO much better than mine, see?
I hadn't heard Portillo's before and I found out, funny enough, that there is a Portillo's just 20 minutes from my parent's house in So. Cal! I should have been enjoying this salad for years and I've been missing out.
The dressing is phenomenal. Seriously. I usually use less dressing than what a recipe calls for, but we used every. drop. So don't skimp on that part.

Portillo's Chopped Salad
{see original recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything}
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
3 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped
2-1/2 cups red cabbage, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup green onions, sliced
4 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used packaged bacon bits)
4 cups Ditalini pasta, cooked per package directions and cooled

Toss romaine, iceberg and red cabbage, tomatoes and green onion in a large bowl. Right before serving, add cooled pasta, bacon, gorgonzola and dressing and toss to coat.

Sweet Italian Dressing
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed garlic (2 cloves)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Place first 6 ingredients in a large cup. Blend with an immersion blender. Continue to blend and slowly pour in EVOO until combined.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Week #22 {2015}

Early Sunday morning was spent snuggling with all my kiddos.
Then we headed to church,
where "The Church Has Left The Building". Instead of our regular church service, everyone was disbursed in groups to serve in our community. Our group went to a local park to pick up trash.
See the bottom left picture? Right as were we starting out at the park, a city park employee drove up in a golf cart. I turned to Chris and said, "Oh we're getting busted." since we were a church group, doing something on city property. And guess what?!?!? He stopped to offer us those pick-up tools to make it easier on us. How cool is that?
Chris {thankfully} checked the weather and we decided to do our Memorial Day grilling today instead of tomorrow because it's supposed to rain. Payton has been asking for days to try some shrimp so Chris grilled a few for all the kids to try
along side of our yummy pretzel burgers. {And I tried a shrimp again too.  I still don't like them.  =) }
I got to finish this book.
And little man crashed out on the floor.
Monday was Memorial Day! This was the only thing we did pretty much all day long. Although it looks like the sun is out and shining, it was actually raining.
It rained off and on ALL DAY LONG. We layed around watching movies which Rylan was very kind to document for us!
I finished another book that night.
Tuesday was more of this.
Wednesday we had a break in the rain, so we headed to the pool. It wasn't supposed to rain for another 3-4 hours when this happened.
We grabbed our stuff and ran for cover. And while the adults stayed under the awnings, then kids ran back to swim in the pouring rain.
That afternoon Dyl and I played Scrabble.
Then we made some Buffalo Pretzels.
And I got snuggles from him. Guess he was my boy today!
Thursday I got some fun mail from PinchMe. I can't wait to try the Kraft Parmesan Cheese. It looks yum-o!
This girl challenged me to a game of Attack Uno. And Ry kept trying to push the button {see?}.
It's blurry but he's adorable! And I'm loving his new haircut by the way.
This is a very common occurance in our home. Seeing this means Ry had to go potty and then he changed into pajama pants/shorts. That kid LOVES being in his pajamas.
Gigi sent the kids some large coloring pages so we had a fun family coloring night. Dylan got Superman.
Payton got Hello Kitty.
And Ry got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles {obviously}.
Friday we went back to the pool.
And later I sat in the backyard watching my handsome/awesome/amazing husband mow our lawn. When a super-light sprinkle of rain came, I sat there for a bit enjoying it, but then the skies opened up and it down poured. I ran inside, he kept mowing and in about 4 minutes the rain stopped and the sun was out shining again!
I made a new salad for dinner that everyone had 2nds/3rds of. It was awesome. We keep talking about how great it was. I'll share the recipe soon. In fact I'll probably make it again soon too!
Saturday we headed out on a Family Funday Adventure. You can read about it {here}!
We ended he night with Rylan spending a solid 20 minutes making a bed for him, Dylan & Payton to lay on. He was SO proud of his work!
One FULL week of Summer 2015 in the books!

Stillhouse Hollow Falls {Summertown, TN}

We decided to head down to Summertown, TN to hike to Stillhouse Hollow Falls.
It was beautiful.
But when we got to the falls and I was a little disappointed. It was SO pretty but so small.
We kept going on the trail and I'm glad we did because soon we came upon the actual falls. Doh! Here's the view from the top.
Then we hiked down to the bottom.
Crossed over the stream.
And got to the bottom of the falls. {Now THIS is what I expected. LOL!}
It was beautiful and peaceful.
We met another couple there and she offered to take our pic.
While we were talking the thunder started rolling so we headed out. There was an extra trail that Chris went and ran while the kids and I kept to the easier path.
We loved seeing the falls and will definitely be back. This time with bathing suits and towels!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

8 Layer Asian Salad {recipe}

Thanks to Pinterest, we had another yummy salad last week.
If you search "Asian Layered Salad" there are a whole BUNCH of recipes.  I looked through a few and decided to take the best parts of each and make my own. It's similar to my Asian Chicken Salad, which we love, but I thought having layers would make it fun, and having more vegetables is always  a good idea.
I started out with a bed of romaine lettuce {you could use red leaf or green leaf as well}. Topped that with shredded carrots {And by the way, just buy them shredded - unless you have a machine specifically for that purpose. I tried shredding them myself one time and it was awful!}
The next layer is thinly sliced red onion.
Layer #4 is sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal.
Then comes a beautiful layer of red bell pepper, again, thinly sliced.
For the 6th layer I put in a BUNCH of mandarin oranges {I buy the big can because my kids LOVE THEM!}
Sprinkle a layer of almond slices.
I saved the 8th layer, chow mein noodles, to put on right before I served it.
Aren't the layers beautiful?
8 Layer Asian Salad

romaine lettuce
shredded carrots
red onion
sugar snap peas 
red bell pepper
mandarin oranges
almond slices
chow mein noodles

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