Hooray! It’s June and we’ve been taking advantage of the fabulous weather! Nothing cheers me up like sunny days, blue skies, patio dining and entertaining loved ones on our farm. Hubby manning the grill, Little One happily bouncing on her trampoline…absolute perfection.
June and the end of the school year signals lots of family time! I get really excited about spending our afternoons and evenings sharing a meal with family and friends. I also love making sure to use as many in-season and locally-sourced ingredients as I can. How much more “local” can you get than food from your own garden, right?
Another ingredient that is a favourite in this house is Gay Lea sour cream! Little One absolutely loves sour cream. I’ve caught her eating it straight from the container and I’ve tried explaining to her that sour cream is not yogurt! She actually seems to prefer eating sour cream straight up! Strange? She certainly has “different” taste from her friends! That’s for sure!
The thing I love about sour cream is how it can transform a dish. Added to baking, it makes whatever you bake so moist! Marinate meat in sour cream and your meat will be super tender and super moist. For baking, I love using Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Cream. Otherwise, I use Gay Lea Regular/Original Sour Cream (for making dips, to dollop on top of soups, in casseroles, etc).
Here are some easy patio dining recipes:
Loaded Potato Casserole
- 6 cooked potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup Gay Lea sour cream
- 8-10 chives or green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cheese (marble or cheddar), shredded
- 1/4 cup melted butter (optional, but makes potato casserole a beautiful golden colour when baked)
- Boil potatoes and when cooked, grate them.
- Butter/grease your casserole dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, salt, sour ream, chives or green onions, and grated cheese. Add mixture into casserole dish. If adding bacon, sprinkle crumbled cooked bacon.
- Pour melted butter over top of potatoes bake at 400° for 25 minutes (or until potato casserole is nicely browned).
- If you wish, you can add an extra sprinkle of chopped chives on top of the casserole like I did.
- Serve hot and enjoy as a great side dish!
Prep time: 20 min. Cook time: 25 time. Serves 6 to 8.
Crispy Panko & Sour Cream Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1 8 oz container of Gay Lea sour cream
- 2 cups Panko crumbs
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Gay Lea Butter (to brown the panko chicken)
- Wash, clean and dry chicken breasts. Cut into slices.
- In a large dish, pour sour cream over chicken breast slices and let marinate for about an hour in the fridge.
- In a large mixing bowl, add panko crumbs, herbs and spices.
- Butter/grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
- Dredge the sour cream-marinated chicken breasts in the panko mixture.
- In a heated skillet with butter, brown panko chicken strips. Don’t cook them fully, but just enough to give them a lovely golden colour. Do them in batches and make sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- In your casserole dish, line panko chicken up so that they are not touching. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. *If you do not wish to ‘brown’ the chicken strips in a pan, you can omit that step and just bake in oven for 30-35 minutes
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 30-35 min. Serves 6 to 8.
Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake
Nothing says Summer’s finally here than tons of rhubarb and strawberry creations! I was going to make a lovely moist vanilla cake with strawberry and rhubarb topping, but ended up making a “dump cake”. I was intrigued by all this talk of “dump cakes” on my friends’ Facebook walls, that I had to test it out. Apparently, a dump cake is…well, just that! A cake that has its ingredients dumped into a baking pan! Genius? For busy moms, sure thing!
The inclusion of Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Cream results in a super moist cake. The cake is sweet and tart with the strawberries and rhubarb.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar (or you can try using an alternative like maple syrup or coconut sugar)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup Gay Lea Gold Premium sour cream
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 c strawberries, sliced
- 1 c rhubarb, cut into 1 in pieces
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp fresh lemon zest
- confectioners’ sugar to dust
- a few strawberries to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, making sure well-combined.
- Add vanilla and stir in Gay Lea sour cream.
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients until just incorporated.
- In medium mixing bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries and 2 tbps sugar.
- In an 8 in springform pan, you can either line with parchment paper or grease with butter to avoid sticking.
- “Dump” fruit mixture into 8-inch springform pan. Make sure to evenly distribute fruit mixture.
- Cover fruit mixture with cake batter and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Once cake is baked, let cool on wire rack. Remove from springform pan and garnish with dusting of confectioners’ sugar, fresh lemon zest and strawberries.
Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 40-45 min. Yields 1 8-inch round cake.
I served this Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Cream Cake at a tea party I hosted on our farm recently, and it was a hit with my friends. Looking forward to many patio dining experiences this Summer!
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Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.