In this post, sponsored by Litehouse Foods, I share great ways to make a summer celebration with your family delicious and fun. 

When I was eleven, I remember going out to shop and eat lunch with my uncle. He was in the Navy at the time and came to New York City to visit for a bit. I had such a great time with him that day. Our NYC adventure meant so much to me because he showed up and made spending quality time with me a priority. That gesture touched my heart and part of me believes it’s why he remained a consistent force in my life over the years. We bonded at the mall over a burger. Crazy, right?

After serving his country, my uncle decided to say farewell to his family on the east coast and start a new life in California with a woman he would later marry. Their love has stood the test of time, and now, more than 30 years after their first date, my uncle and aunt have packed up all of their belongings and moved to Maryland so my kids can grow up around them. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this means to my husband and me.

Their decision to move has offered fresh perspective on the joys of living close to family.

So after driving across the United States for over 5 days, we were ready to welcome them with open arms. I’m talking hugs, kisses, screams, and all that good stuff. And because I knew that they just spent days without a home cooked meal (and probably eating crap on the road), I just had to host a “Welcome to Maryland” family celebration. What better way to say welcome and I love you than with food (and balloons, of course).

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I have a secret to share. I don’t like to cook. I’d much rather be doing something else, like reading, sleeping, or chilling with my kids. I mean, I cook for my family, but it’s not the highlight of my day.

But I’ll tell you what. I truly do enjoy making the people I love happy. I cook and bake like a mad woman around the holidays. Why? Well, I do it to express love. I want to see my loved one happy–even if it means standing in a kitchen all day.

And although cooking isn’t my favorite thing to do, I actually can whip up a pretty good meal. So, with the help of my two oldest kids, I started planning my menu and getting ready to have a gathering we would all remember for years to come. But I didn’t want to go crazy this time. With an infant and a to-do list that can’t seem to shrink, I had to prepare a meal that didn’t leave me feeling exhausted.

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With my two oldest kids before a yummy family dinner

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Our menu was simple. We decided to serve…

Chicken

Potato Salad 

Corn on the Cob 

Coleslaw 

Crabcakes 

Hot Dogs 

Watermelon 

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake

I made everything myself (except for the crab cakes) and I also made the best tasting coleslaw in about two minutes. Anytime I can make a dish my entire family likes in under five minutes, it’s a major win for me. With three kids, including a 3-month-old, I am constantly in search of how to make life easier without lowering my standards.

My coleslaw secret is simple. I used the new Coleslaw Dressing from Litehouse Foods and mixed it with a bag of slaw. As my kids would say, “easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.”

Sweet, tangy, and the perfect dressing for making coleslaw, this has become a new favorite in our home. My husband and kids even use it as their new favorite veggie dip. And as someone who typically doesn’t even like coleslaw that much, I have to admit that this dressing has made me a coleslaw believer. And what I really love is how the dressing doesn’t “water out” when I added it to the cabbage. Thank goodness because I just can’t stand when that happens.

During our family celebration, my kids snacked on carrots and Litehouse Coleslaw Dressing while I finished up our fabulous meal. Once we all got ready to eat, we all enjoyed coleslaw with our summer dishes and I decided to try something new and put coleslaw on a hot dog. I was skeptical, but it was actually really good.

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My uncle even shared that he usually doesn’t like coleslaw and took some just because he didn’t want to insult me, but he ended up really liking it. His exact words were, “I don’t like coleslaw but this stuff is really good.” When they left to head back to their new Maryland home, my aunt asked for the rest of my Litehouse Dressing and I told her I actually had a new jar in the fridge and she could take that instead. Her smile was everything!

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Before mixing dressing with slaw

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Coleslaw is made and we are ready to eat

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My yummy plate

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my family digging in

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The kids’ table

My family isn’t perfect, but we sure enjoy spending time together. We also enjoy good food, lots of laughs, and making memories that last. I feel so blessed that my uncle and aunt are here and when I see how happy my kids are about it, it makes my heart smile. And I love that Litehouse Foods was able to make our celebration more delicious without making my meal prep any harder.

 

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Auntie Donna and Baby Girl

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With my favorite uncle

 

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With my big girl, my cousin, and her daughter

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Family selfie with my mom

If you have plans to prepare an easy but delicious meal to share with the people you love most, enter for your chance to win four coupons so you can get your own Coleslaw Dressing or other Litehouse Foods products for free. You can find Litehouse dressings in the refrigerated produce department at grocery stores nationwide.

I promise Litehouse products will add a touch of flavor to moments you hope to never forget.

 

This post is sponsored by Litehouse Foods, but all opinions shared are my own. #SeeTheLite 

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