I would like to say that my kid eats everything that I make but I would be a big fat liar.  He did eat most of these appetizer/snacks but it was the neighbor kids that I dragged over who ate everything in site.  It was kind of nice though until they started licking the counter tops, I knew I hadn't made enough.  I did make more before they turned on me but it was a close thing!  Some of these need to be made a few hours in advance but others can be made on the fly.  Some you are going to nod your head and say "duh" who doesn't do that already.  Here's the thing, this is the first summer that I am at home with my son.  Usually I'm working but since I have yet to find a job and am currently still taking classes, I'm home.  All of these years I've been sending my son  to camp during the summer which means a peanut and butter sandwich, cookies, chips, sugar free jello, yogurt and so forth in his lunch box.  Now that he is home this summer he will not eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Geez, really.  I have to come up with daily lunches for him too?!  Oh boy, isn't this gonna be fun.

Your kids having friends over, how about some of these:

Berry Fruit Dip:

3/4 cup fresh Strawberries
1/2 cup fresh Blueberries
8oz Cream Cheese
2-3 TBSP Honey

Bring the cream cheese to room temp.  In a blender or utensil of your choice, blend all ingredients.  Chill for two hours.  Serve with fresh cut melons, pretzels, carrots, celery, strawberries etc.

Watermelon S'mores or Banana S'mores

Wedges of seedless watermelon about 1/2 to 3/4" thick
Milk chocolate bits or use Nutella or other hazelnut spread (if using the hazelnut, you do not need to heat it first, just drop some in a ziplock back, nip the corner and pipe it on, it's really, really delish!)
thick zip lock bag
bowl of water 
Mini Marshmallow

I used the small seedless watermelons, cut into rounds and then wedged. Place on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (same with the bananas)

Put the milk chocolate in the zip lock bag but do not zip it close.  Place the bag in the water with the zip lock hanging outside the water, place in microwave and heat in 1 minute intervals.  I use a spoon or a spatula to mix the chocolate after each nuking.  Don't open the bag, just mix by pushing it around while it is laying on your counter.  By the second or third heating it should be almost melted.  Be careful, it is hot.  Using the flat of a spatula, move the melted chocolate to one corner.  Nip off the corner with scissors and pipe onto the watermelon and or bananas.   Add the mini marshmallows to the top.  Broil 


Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers and Mushrooms

1/4 Lb Sausage (I used spicy hot but you can use what you like)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes spiced or flavored--I used the type from the Hispanic section in the market.  It has on the can that it is for Con Queso.  It was spicy, oh la la. plus 2 TBSP of the juice from the can
1 1/2 TBSP Tomato Paste
2 heaping TBSP minced Yellow Onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Thin shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese.  To kick this up you could you other types of cheeses like Dubliner and Sheep Milk

First cook the sausage, when cooked removed from pan and throw the onions in to cook.  While they are cooking mince up the sausage.  Throw back into pan when onions are done and add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes and extra juice.  Reduce until there is no liquids remaining.  Remove from stove.

Wash the mini bell peppers or mushroom (mushrooms I usually wipe not wash).  Slice the bell peppers in half evenly (or as evenly as possible).  Remove any seeds and the membrane that runs down the middle. Core the mushrooms.  I use an apple corer to remove the stem as I always seem to break the mushroom if I don't.  

Stuff, add cheese to the top.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Broil until cheese is melted and starting to toast.  

Serve with warm Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce

Take the left over diced tomatoes 
1 TBSP Tomato Paste
Dusting of chili powder
Dusting of Garlic salt or powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a Blender, puree
Serve warm

Baked Mozzarella Balls

Use the seasoned Mozzarella balls in oil
1/2 cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs (Gluten free or regular)
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour (Gluten Free or regular)
1 or 2 eggs depending on how many mozzarella balls you are going to make
1/2 cup Panko

Mix the Breadcrumbs and Flour together.  Roll the cold mozzarells balls in the flour mixture then the egg and then the Panko.  Place on a plate.  When all have been rolled place the plate in the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes cook at 400 degree F for 4-15 minutes depending on your oven and if you are using gluten free (these cook faster).  Watch them carefully!!
If you would like to see how these are made, please watch the video below.  If you like, go to YouTube and subscribe to my channel.  Don't forget to hit the like button!!
I hope you enjoyed these recipes and the video!  If so, please leave a comment.

Thank you for coming by.
Remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have.
You probably just read that title and thought "What?", has she lost her ever freakin' mind!  Nope, I really mean grilled as in BBQ'd watermelon.  I know, I know it sounds weird.  I had heard someone mention this years ago and thought who would want to do that.  That's weird.  It is and it's not.  You are only grilling for a few moments on each side.  Just enough to heat the outside and give it some grill marks.  However, it is the spice that is on the outside that gets a bit infused inside the melon when you do this.  I have to say that we did it this week, and it is good.  No, it is awesome.  It added so much flavor that no salad dressing was needed.  I'm not kidding.  You can put a dressing on if you like, but with the amount of goodness coming through from the Pico de Gallo and little salt and pepper, oh la la.  No, try it first without dressing.  You are going to go "Wow, she was right, she's brilliant".  Aww, come on now.  You're making me blush.  
I will include a Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing with this recipe but really, try it without.  You can always sprinkle more of the Pico de Gallo on the salad, though for me that would make it too spicy.  Getting old and my digestive track is not what it used to be.

Seedless Watermelon Round.  I used 1 round per person for the salad that I made.  The seedless watermelon was the small ones that you can get now a days.

For 4 people:

4 watermelon rounds
Pico de Gallo
neutral oil spray (such as coconut oil, that is what I used)

3/4 cup chopped Cucumber
1/2 cup chopped Red Onion
1 Avocado
3/4 cup chopped Mushrooms
6 largish chopped Radishes
8 Basil leafs, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar or more to your taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

If you are using the Balsamic Vinaigrette, go very easy on the Pico de Gallo.  

Cut your watermelon into rounds, take a paper towel and dab off excess moisture.  Spray one side of the round with your oil and sprinkle the Pico de Gallo.  I didn't use salad dressing on the salad so was was pretty liberal with the Pico de Gallo. Grill oil side down, spray top of round and sprinkle.  Be very careful spraying over heat as this can cause a flare up.  You can always turn the BBQ off and then spray the other side.  You only need to cook a few minutes per side on a very hot grill.  The rounds become soft on the outside, so be careful when flipping or moving them.

Dice up the "meat" of the watermelon and mix with other ingredients.  Serve with BBQ Chicken or Steak or Ham.  You could also add meat to this salad and have as a main coarse.  Sprinkle some bacon on it.

The melon will get soft on the outside, you can see where my tongs stabbed through it. Be careful when flipping them and moving them.
We BBQ'd steaks with a Monterey Rub. So, so good
I hope you enjoyed this recipe, if you did can you please leave a comment!

Thank you and remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,
I love salads.  I really do but lettuce does not last long in my refrigerator.  Since my son refuses to eat salads, I am the only one.  I hate when any food goes to waste even though I now have a composter, throwing food into it erks me to no end.  I have started to come up with side dishes that are salad like and with vegetables that last longer then lettuce.  This will be the first none meat one that I am posting on this site and it is one that I love.  One, it has lemons and two, avocado.  What can go wrong with those two in the mix.  I did try and get my son to eat some of it but he would rather wrestle a rattlesnake then try to put it in his mouth.  
We have also been BBQ'ing quite a bit since the weather is hotter and I have no desire to turn the stove or oven on in the house.  The house heats up way too fast and with trying to conserve money and cut down on expenses, turning on the air conditioner is not an option right now.  Besides, I love to BBQ and as a bonus any side dish that you do not have to cook is more points to me.

Without further ado: 


1/2 Head of Purple Cauliflower (or less depending on how many people you are feeding) broken into small bite size pieces
1/2 Cucumber, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2-1 Avocado,chopped into bite size pieces 
3 Radishes, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup Red Grapes, cut in half

Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 TBSP Sugar
2 TBSP Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Juice from 1 Lemon or 2 (I used two but that is just me)
2 tsp fresh Dill, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop it up, throw it into a bowl and shake up the Vinaigrette really well and then dress the salad right before serving.
How beautiful is this salad. The salad really comes together in a wonderful taste explosion!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  If so, leave me a comment down below!

Remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,