Back in the Saddle with a Viet-Texas Fusion Picnic!

 Somewhere along my long, long drive back from Texas, I started getting a craving for something fresh, crunchy & a little bit different.  As I happened to have a little time on my hands (while my children watched roughly 15 DVDs), I came up with lots of summertime menus that I think will be fun and fresh, good for an easy family dinner or to take to a picnic or potluck.  I'm particularly excited about this week's dinner since it's new to DOTP - always fun to try something we've never done!

Tuesday, June 28th:  Viet-Texas Fusion Picnic
Roasted Pork Bahn Mi Po' Boy
Spicy Noodle Slaw
Fruit Skewers
Vegetarian Option:  Marinated Tofu Bahn Mi Po' Boy
Kids' Meal:  Naked Roasted Pork Po' Boy ($6)
Dessert:  Bring Me More Brownies ($6)
Get You Through the Week:  Rio Grande Beef Casserole ($22)

If you've never had a Bahn Mi sandwich before, you've been missing something - I promise.  It's the Vietnamese version of a sub - essentially a big, crusty loaf of French bread spread with mayo and stuffed with meat and fresh, crunchy pickled vegetables.  All of the flavors sort of meld together in a wonderful way and you get mouthful after mouthful of yumminess.  They are becoming very popular around the country, so I'm sure you've noticed them for sale on every street corner here in Winston-Salem.  Just kidding, of course, but I do think our time has come to partake of the goodness.  Being that I'm from Texas, I've modified the whole thing a bit to my own Texas palate, adding homemade cilantro mayo and some Tex-mex flavors to the veggies (which we will pickle ourselves).  Just trust me, it's awesome.  Plus, it is the perfect picnic or outdoor dinner - portable, no-fork required, served cold - what could be easier!?

Since you can't really eat a Po' Boy without some tasty pasta salad on the side, I came up with a slightly spicy, very delicious cold noodle salad to go with.  It's got veggies, noodles, and a yummy dressing - you may find yourself fighting over who gets to eat the leftovers for lunch!

To finish off this fresh, light dinner, we're bringing back the popular family activity of making your own fruit skewers.  We'll do the boring part (washing, chopping, cleaning up), and you do the fun part - loading up skewers with your favorite summer fruits.

I'm not sure it's possible to improve on a pan of brownies as a summertime treat - they are great on their own and even better with ice cream.  Kids love 'em, adults love 'em.  You can cut very small little bits of them and pretend that you aren't really eating any calories (or you can certainly eat the crusty part which, as everyone knows, has no calories).

Our Get You Through the Week Meal this week is another DOTP invention, and we think you'll like it. It's the perfect potluck dish, so we thought you might want to have one handy for that spontaneous neighborhood gathering or just for your own family on a laid-back summer night.  We start with egg noodles, add organic ground beef, beans, cheese and sour cream.  We cannot promise that this is a low-fat dish, but we do promise that it will be all gone!

That's all we've got y'all.  After this Tuesday, we'll take a week off for July 4th and then be back on the 12th with Fantastico Chicken Salad Taco night - love!

Hope we'll see you on the porch!