Broccoli Salad

This one is a BBQ/pot luck favorite. I’ve had friends stash it away when there is 1/2 of it left so they can eat it the next day. Yup, they don’t want to share this one. So make lots…lol

Broccoli salad
2-3 pounds broccoli florettes cut into bite size pieces
3 quarts salted water, boiling
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups red grapes, halved

Put the broccoli into the boiling salted water for about 3 minutes. It should be bright green and softened just a little, not mushy at all. Drain and chill quickly (run some cold water over it until it isn’t steaming any more) and leave in colander until dry. Mix up the mayo, sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice until smooth. Toss dressing with walnuts, grapes and broccoli. Keep in fridge until serving time.

Thai Shrimp Salad

Thai Shrimp Salad

A nutty dressing gives this easy Asian dish its irresistible flavor.

2 carrots, peeled
8 cups sliced napa cabbage
4 large radishes, cut into matchsticks
1/4 seedless English cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup cream of coconut
2 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.
Tabasco sauce
3/4 lb. cooked medium-size shrimp
1 cup chow mein noodles
2 green onions, sliced
1. Using vegetable peeler, cut carrots into ribbons. Place carrot ribbons and cabbage in colander. Pour 4 cups boiling water over vegetables; rinse with cold water. Transfer to salad spinner, and spin to remove as much water as possible. In large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, radishes, and cucumber.
2. In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine cream of coconut, peanut butter, lime juice, water, anchovy paste, salt, and Tabasco sauce. Shake well to combine.
3. Add shrimp, noodles, and green onions to salad. Drizzle with dressing.

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Antipasto Salad

Antipasto Salad

You can serve this zesty Italian pasta salad hot or cold.

8 oz. penne, or any tube-shaped pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 lb. provolone or mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 lb. thickly cut salami, diced
1 can (6 oz.) pitted black olives
1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
1/3 cup diced roasted red peppers
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and transfer to serving bowl. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Shake well. Pour over hot pasta, and toss to combine.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to mix well. If serving cold, cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

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Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad

Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad

With ingredients like juicy mango cubes, chicken strips, and raw, crunchy vegetables, this salad will put you in paradise.

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. bonelss, skinless chicken breast halves
1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 can (16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 medium jicama, peeled and cut into thin sticks
1/2 head green leaf letuce washed, dried, and sliced
1. Whisk together lime juice, honey, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in oil, whisking until thickened. Place 1/4-cup dressing in a shallow dish. Add chicken and marinade, covered, in refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. Heat grill to medium and oil rack. Grill chicken for 6 minutes per side, until cooked through, or broil for 5 minutes per side. Cool slightly, then, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
3. On platter, arrange mango, beans, bell pepper, jicama, lettuce, and chicken. Drizzle with remaining dressing.

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Candied-Beet-and-Orange Salad

Candied-Beet-and-Orange Salad

You can’t beat this salad. Remember, buy beets that are firm and plump with no wrinkles.

4 medium or 8 small beets (about 1 lb.), trimmed
2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. orange-juice concentrate
1 Tbs. apple-cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 navel orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/3 cup toasted pecan halves
Chives (optional)
1. Heat oven to 425°F. In small baking pan, combine beets, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1 Tbs. water. Cover with foil and bake until beets are tender, about 1 hour. Peel beets when cool enough to handle, and then cut into wedges.
2. To make dressing: In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine remaining oil, orange-juice concentrate, vinegar, salt, and pepper; shake well.
3. In large bowl, toss together beets, orange segments, apple slices, dressing, and pecans. Sprinkle with chives, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

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E-Mail Recipe Specials – Picnic Foods

Some more recipe e-mails, these are picnic themed so I thought I would share since everyone would like something new for their picnic.

Make 2 Super Sandwiches and Unfried Chicken

1. Roasted Vegetable Ciabatta

You can substitute any grilled vegetable for the yellow squash.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss together 2 sliced yellow squash and 2 tsp. olive oil. Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes until soft. Slice open 1 loaf of ciabatta bread (or a baguette). Spread the top and bottom halves with 1 pkg. (4 oz.) garlic-and-herb cream cheese. Layer 1 drained jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, 2 cups fresh baby-spinach leaves, and the cooked squash on bottom half.
Wrap entire sandwich in plastic wrap or foil. To serve, cut into crosswise slices at picnic. Makes 6 servings.

2. Monster Sub to Share

In a food processor, combine 2/3 cup green olives stuffed with pimento, 8 pitted kalamata olives, 1/2 cup diced celery, 2 Tbs. diced red onion, 1/2 tsp. oregano, 2 Tbs. olive oil, and 1 minced garlic clove. Pulse mixture several seconds to coarsely chop. Slice open an 18-inch baguette lengthwise. Spread half of olive relish on the bottom of the baguette, then layer on 1/4 pound ham, 1/4 pound salami, and 1/4 pound provolone cheese. Spread remaining relish on cheese, and top with bread. Wrap entire sandwich in plastic wrap or foil. Cut into crosswise slices at picnic. Makes 6 servings.

3. 1 Big Basket of Unfried Chicken

In a large freezer-weight resealable plastic bag, combine 2 cups buttermilk, 2 tsp. red hot-pepper sauce, and 1 tsp. salt. Add 1 pkg. (1 1/2 pounds) skinless drumsticks, 1 pkg. (1 1/2 pounds) skinless thighs, and 1 pkg. (1 1/2 pounds) skinless breasts. Turn bag to coat chicken well. Refrigerate overnight. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a shallow bowl, combine 2 cups cornflake crumbs, 1/2 cup cornmeal, and 1 tsp. salt. Drain chicken well and coat with crumbs. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 40 minutes. To keep crust crispy, let chicken cool completely before packing in a container with a tight-fitting lid or wrapping in foil. Makes 6 servings.
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Toss 4 Spectacular Salads

1. Thai Beef Bowl

Nope, cold steak salad isn’t classic picnic fare — but we guarantee it’s about to become a family favorite.
Grill or cook 3/4 pound skirt steak, flank steak, or London broil to medium rare or medium. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice. Set aside. Place 1 pkg. (3.75 oz.) cellophane noodles, 1 cup shredded carrots, and 1 cup sliced snow peas in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water, and let sit 5 minutes. Drain well. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 2/3 cup cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez), 1/3 cup lime juice, 1 Tbs. green hot-pepper sauce, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Shake well. Pour over noodles; add 1 cup sliced radishes and 2 Tbs. each chopped basil, cilantro, and mint; toss well. Add sliced steak and toss again. You can make this the night before your picnic and refrigerate; pack in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Makes 6 servings.

2. Italian Tortellini Salad

We’ve combined all the best flavors of an antipasto platter into one bowl.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 1 pkg. (20 oz.) refrigerated cheese tortellini according to package directions; drain well and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 can (5.75 oz.) drained pitted black olives, 1 jar (12 oz.) drained marinated artichoke hearts, 1/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/4 pound thick-sliced Genoa salami, cut into wedges. Pour 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing over hot pasta, and toss again. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs. each chopped basil and parsley, if desired. Let cool, then pack in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Makes 11 cups.

3. Two-Potato Salad

Our sweet-potato version is safer than your mom’s recipe — no worries about spoiled mayonnaise!
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, toss together 1 1/2 pounds peeled and diced sweet potatoes, 1 Tbs. vegetable oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet and bake 50 minutes. Meanwhile, cook 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until just tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then peel and dice. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, and 2 Tbs. cider vinegar. Shake well. In a large bowl, combine cooked potatoes, 2 diced celery stalks, and 1 diced Granny Smith apple. Toss salad with dressing. This dish tastes best if it’s made the morning of your picnic; pack in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Makes 8 cups.

4. Napa Coleslaw

Asian dressing adds some bite to this all-American side dish.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 1/2 cup Asian ginger salad dressing, 1/4 cup carrot juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Shake well. In a large bowl, toss together 8 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage and 2 cups shredded carrots. Pour dressing mixture over slaw, and toss to combine. Put in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid for transport.
Pack 1 cup chow-mein noodles in a resealable plastic bag, and sprinkle on slaw just before serving. Makes 8 cups.

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Dig into 2 Delicious Desserts

1. Creamy Orange Bars

You can’t take ice cream in your picnic basket, but these sherbet-y dessert bars are just as good.
Using the packets from an 11.1-oz. package of no-bake cheesecake, prepare crust in bowl according to directions on box, using 2 Tbs. sugar and 5 Tbs. melted butter. Press crumbs into an 8-inch baking pan. In a medium-size bowl, stir 1 packet unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup thawed frozen orange-juice concentrate. Let mixture sit 10 minutes. Microwave in 10-second intervals until heated and gelatin is completely dissolved. Following package directions (decreasing milk by 1/4 cup), in a large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat together cheesecake-filling mix and milk for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat mixture 3 minutes more. Beat in orange juice-gelatin mixture and 1 to 2 drops orange food coloring. Pour over crust in pan, and smooth surface. Chill at least 3 hours. Cut into bars; to transport, cover pan with 2 layers of plastic wrap secured with rubber bands. Makes 12 servings.

2. Summer Fruit Salad

Whip up the vanilla syrup as much as a week ahead and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to take it to your picnic. You can use the syrup on any fresh fruit; here are our favorites.
In a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 1 vanilla bean, split open. Bring sugar-and-vanilla mixture to a boil over high heat and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes more. Transfer syrup to a bowl and let cool completely. In a large bowl, combine 1 pint each blueberries and raspberries, 2 cups halved seedless grapes, 1 quart strawberries, cut into quarters, and 3 nectarines or peaches, sliced. Toss fruit with vanilla syrup right before you leave for your picnic, and transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Makes 12 servings.

Chicken Taco Salad

A favorite around here. My husband can eat a HUGE bowl of this at a time so make sure you make a lot.

2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
1 head of lettuce, shredded
1 large tomato, diced
2 green onions, sliced, or 1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 can kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup corn, canned or frozen, thawed
1 small can sliced black olives
1 avocado, diced
1 bag tortilla chips

1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup cilantro, shredded
juice of 2 limes

In a large bowl layer lettuce, chicken, tomato, onions, cucumber, kidney beans, avocado, cheese and olives. In a mixing cup combine sour cream, salsa, cilantro and lime juice. Divide up the salad into smaller bowls for serving and top with sauce. Crush a hand full of chips onto each salad and eat.

Also, you can do this all vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and adding more beans or mexican rice (cook short grain rice according to package instructions but add 1/4 cup salsa for 1 cup of rice). Very filling and with the beans, cheese and avocado you are getting lots of protein and good oils.