Summer is almost upon us (though the weather wants us to believe otherwise). I can tell by the chirping of birds when I wake up in the morning. I can tell by the sun shining in my window while I'm still in bed. I can tell by the constant rushing for softball, T-ball, ballet, play dates, etc. When summer time arrives, the whole world seems to wake up. Our tiny little town begins to bustle with activity. All of the summer residents and people with vacation homes start preparing their cottages for the onslaught of visitors that will appear between Memorial and Labor days. Stores that I've missed throughout the winter months will reopen their doors. The ones that remained open despite the bitter cold and decreased revenue will extend their hours. Summer means sunshine, laughter and fun. It is our favorite time of the year!
Whenever the littlest signs of summer appear, I am always ready to start making my signature summer dishes. (If you were to ask me why I don't make them year-round, I wouldn't be able to answer you. Some foods are just meant to be made in the summer.) Some of my favorite summer dishes are salads. I just love an easy Taco Salad on those days when it is too hot to want to eat anything warm. Nothing says picnic like my grandma's amazing potato salad. With mustard, pickles, celery and just enough mayonnaise and Miracle Whip to make it barely creamy, it is a summer staple. Whenever I smell someone else grilling, my eyes turn a bit green and I feel the need to drag out my grill and whatever meat I have on hand. Whether it is a hamburger, hot dog, steak, or chicken, it all tastes better on the grill.
One of my absolute favorite summer meals though, is a barbecued pork/chicken/beef dish that I make in a crock pot. Perfect for those days when you're going to be out on the boat most of the day only to arrive home to guests to feed, this meal is easy delicious and always well received.
Place a large roast in a crock pot
Add other seasonings to taste (I usually add some garlic powder, seasoning salt, and pepper)
Cook on low heat.
Once the meat is tender and easy to shred, shred it (remove excess fat/bones)
(Sometimes I will do the first part overnight so that I can shred it in the morning and it will be ready to eat for lunch)
Pour approx 1/2-1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce over the shredded meat
Pour approx 1 can of Coke over the shredded meat
Allow it to cook for 1-2 hours for the meat to absorb the flavors (though you can let it cook for much longer on the low setting)
Serve on buns
What are some of your favorite summer time meals? I'm always looking for new recipes to add to my repertoire. Please feel free to share
*Disclaimer - Recipe came from a modified recipe that I obtained from an online recipe site. I don't remember now which one it was, but if you know, I'd be happy to give credit to the original "chef". I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Coca-Cola® blogging program. If I am one of the first 100 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 gift card. For more information on the program, click here.