• Lindsey, EDRD

I kinda dig it when the Fourth falls on the weekend. It's like we get two days of celebrating and taking it easy. We started off by going to my in-laws' for some lake time.

The boys and I had a successful first attempt at making tie-dye shirts (and a matching one for their Grandma too!)

My brother in law's dog Meeka wanted her photo taken too.

Enjoying their suckers in the kiddie pool. Only at Grandma's!

That triple berry pie? GOOD.

The next morning we headed up to my parents' cabin for the day. It's not too often that we get back-to-back sunny 90-degree days, much less on a weekend.

When you play so hard that your life jacket's back label transfers onto your skin!

I brought ingredients to make sheet pan nachos for the fam. It's an easy meal to make for a crowd. This quesadilla cheese is a MUST- it melts so well and is so buttery.

Nothing says "American!" like...nachos?

Last week I posted pics of fruit and yogurt popsicles I had made in anticipation of the fourth. Let's talk more about popsicles, mmk?

My kids have never-ending appetites and with it being so stinkin' hot around here, I'm all for offering popsicles. I buy my fair share of store-bought ones, but I'm also a big fan of making my own. My boys get into the process of choosing flavors. Usually I'll use plain yogurt and blend up fruit (with an immersion blender or just a fork) to flavor it up. I've also taken plain ol' watermelon and mashed it up into popsicle molds. Another favorite is to take lemonade or juice (you could opt for sugar free) and add fruit puree. Blackberry and strawberry lemonade are excellent. I've also been mega lazy and just made them out of chocolate almond milk.

When it comes to the molds, I've tried them alllllllll. It's always tempting to go with the cheapest available (like the ones pictured above), but if your kids are old enough to get the concept, silicone squeeze ones are the way to go. No unmolding necessary!

Here are some good choices for silicone popsicle molds:

Zoku Summer Pop Molds

Cuisinart Ice Pop Set

Sunnylife Icy Pole Moulds

This article from Country Living makes me want to try ALL THE POPSICLES.

I hope you had a great holiday weekend and are inspired to make some DIY pops!

  • Lindsey, EDRD

I LOVE me some red, white, & blue! This year we are planning on doing our usual- boat parade and beach day at the in-laws', followed by an on-time bed time for all + ear plugs to drown out the fireworks.

We are a GOOD TIME. #Parentsoflittlekids.

I've been doing some cooking in the kitchen in preparation. If I'm bringing food to share, I want to have confidence that the recipe will turn out!

So far I've made this triple berry pie. Next time I'll par bake the crust but otherwise it's a winner.

I've also assembled a few molds of vanilla yogurt & berry popsicles in the freezer.

And last but not least, faux-tato salad!

Okay, so this recipe has been around for awhile, but I've never attempted it. As a kid I wasn't a fan of potato salad, but this is something I can get behind. A heaping serving of veggies. Some creamy Greek yogurt. Tangy mustard. Chopped up eggs. Crunchy celery and onion. It's ALL GOOD. And it's easy!

Faux-tato Salad

2 heads cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets

1/2 cup mayo (I love olive oil based mayo)

Heaping 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (can sub in pickle juice)

1 teaspoon sugar

Pinch each of salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. If you don't have a steamer basket, a metal colander set atop of the pot will work. Add cauliflower florets and steam for ~9 minutes, or until fork-tender. You don't want it too mushy, as it'll soften up a little bit as it refrigerates later.

Let cauliflower cool completely. Meanwhile stir together yogurt, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add to cooled cauliflower. Stir in celery, onion, and chopped eggs. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance. Can garnish with a dash of paprika for some color, or even add additional sliced eggs on top.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 75 calories, 9 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 208 mg sodium. Compare that with a (smaller serving) half cup of traditional potato salad that has closer to 170 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrates. My version counts as veggies and it tastes like the real thing!

I hope everyone has a red, white, and blue-tastic Fourth!

(Yes, that is obnoxious to say- can't help it!)

  • Lindsey, EDRD

We got a puppy.

(OMG, why would she get a puppy when she already gripes so much about how hard it is to take care of four kids?)

A 9 week old mini goldendoodle.

(So in addition to having to see a bajillion pictures of her kids when all I really want is the dang recipe, now I'll have to look at dog pics too?)

We have some semi-valid reasons for adding Teddy to the family, the primary being that it'll be fun for the kids to grow up with a dog. Plus Teddy was born on April 10, meaning our April birthday streak is complete, with 2, 4, 6, 8, and now 10.

He's been a pretty good boy so far, factoring in that he's still just a little puppy who would love nothing more than to play-bite with his human siblings.

I may be wearing my super cool new APLs, but yeah, the poop filled Wal Mart bag keeps me humble!

He can be my little co-pilot, so long as we keep rocking the curbside pickup everrrrrrything.

So yes, now in addition to minding my own four kids, I'm also trying to train a dog. And clean the house. And cook.

But hey- I made something new this week! I've said before that I am not too much into raw veggies. Roasted 4EVER. I had a bunch of leftover grape tomatoes and tossed them in the hot oven with some olive oil and Italian seasoning and holy wow I could eat these all day long.

I had some spinach on hand too and once the tomatoes were done, I add that to the hot pan to let it wilt down just a bit. Between that and the grilled salmon and rice pilaf, does this not look like heaven on a plate? So light! So summery! So full of vitamin A and C and antioxidants!

Italian Roasted Tomatoes

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss tomatoes with oil and seasonings. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally so tomatoes can get evenly cooked. Crank up the oven to a high broil and keep on eye on them- you want them to just start to char a bit. Remove from oven and stir in fresh spinach if you'd like. Return to the now-off-but-still-warm-oven to further wilt the spinach as needed.

I served this as a side dish but you could easily turn it into a base of a meal. Add some pine nuts to the pan to roast along with the tomatoes and serve over cooked whole wheat pasta. Spread on some whole grain bread along with a thin slice of fresh mozzarella for an amazing vegetarian sandwich.

I'm not even going to bother with figuring out the calories here because it is SO minimal. Eat as much as you'd like- there's no such thing as enjoying too many veggies!

Now excuse me while I go let out the dog to pee for the 47th time today.

(Eye roll)

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