The weather has been feeling almost Fall-like here, which has me craving meat-laden dishes. I loved the pork roast we smoked on the BBQ earlier in our Summer BBQ Sunday series but this time we tried chops with apples.
Warm or cold, the kids have been enjoying the pool. Who would have thought this inexpensive Canadian Tire purchase would be enough to entertain the kids in the backyard all summer.
Of course we added to the fun with some ring pops. I’m not talking about those solid blocks of sugar put the ice pop variety from Tovolo that we discovered at our local specialty shop, The Mercantile. We filled some with limeade, President’s Choice Blood Orange sparkling soda, and water with fresh fruit mix. I even made an adult version with some STLTO Chardonnay Wine. They were a huge hit.
For future reference, sparkling soda expands when frozen so avoid explosions by not filling the mold right to the rim and wine ring pops are potent.
When out of the pool, my girls keep busy with the Crayola Pixi Pop Art kits. We love Crayola for craft supplies but the Pixi Pop Art kits take art from just supplies to activities. My oldest daughter loved customizing her water bottle and both my girls enjoyed creating braclets and necklaces togehter. The kits are easy, with no glue required. This kept them busy (and not fighting) for an hour or so. They loved creating their own designs.
Grilled Pork Chops and Apples
We picked up some nice, thick cut chops at a local farmers market, perfect for the grill.. We seasoned them with some of our favourite rumbs we’ve used before: Dave’s Special Steak Rub and The Epicentre’s True North (By Southwest) all natural rub. Using the Weber Gourmet BBQ Sear Grate we seared each side over direct heat then moved them over medium indirect heat to continue cooking until the juices ran clear.
Of course a grilled pork chop needs applesauce but after the success of the grilled apple dessert we thought we would try making our own applesauce. Using the same grilled apple recipe we chopped the apples up and mixed them with the rest of the ingredients versus stuffing them. We then placed the apples on the barbeque with the pork chops to cook. The plan was to then mash the apples when they were done but we loved the chunky apples instead. The chops were tender, practically pulling apart, and the apple mix complemented their smokiness.
STLTO Wine Sangria
I have never been much of a red wine drinker; it usually doesn’t agree with me. The only time I’ve been able to enjoy it is in a sangria mix. Our list of 69 cocktail recipes has a few wine based concoctions, including ideas for sangria, but I was looking to do something easy.
Instead I just cut up some tangerines, lemons and peaches and tossed them in a pitcher. I muddled them with a wooden spoon to let some of the juices out and then added about 2 cups of STLTO’s Malbec – Merlot. I then let this sit in the refrigerator. When I was ready to enjoy a drink, I added the wine and fruit to my cup, about 3/4 full and then topped it with some sparkling water. You could probably just enjoy the fruited wine but I liked the addition of a few bubbles.
My ten-year old daughter was inspired to make her own drink creation for the kids (without alcohol). She cut up a variety of fruit, including strawberries and grapes, and then added some Green Bottle Sparkling Cranberry and Orange along with some water. The kids loved having their own exotic looking creation to enjoy.
Ice Cream Super Scooper
We felt like something sweet after dinner but weren’t sure what to have. An easy fallback is ice cream. You know how much pleasure kids get licking the mixing spoon when you bake? Well these Super Scoopers from Prepara sort of recreate that experience. Each spoon is used to scoop out a serving of ice cream but instead of putting it in a cone or bowl, the kids eat right of the scoop. How fun. Plus its small size means you have give the kids a small treat. Of course, the problem is now stopping myself from using these scoops for a late night treat myself, once the kids have gone to bed.
What are you cooking on the barbecue this weekend?