Summer is almost here! Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the season. To help you start off the summer season right, here are our top picks for easy but tasty picnic foods:
1. Kabobs or Burgers. Nothing says light up the grill like a great kabob or burger(and not just beef ones). Pick fresh tomatoes for the burgers, add a piece of avocado or grilled mushrooms. Try all-vegetable kabobs or veggie burgers. Check out our crab patty burger, recipe below.
2. Fresh Tossed Salad. Stop at the local farmers market and get some fresh lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Refreshing and healthy. Or make our walnut apple salad. Or for something different, try some “Texas Caviar.”
3. Fresh Tomatoes. Cut fresh slices and sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese; add a piece of fresh mozzarella and some balsamic vinegar for a great taste; or slice and marinate in some virgin olive oil, garlic, and parsley. Caprese salad is a true summer favorite!
4. Macaroni Salad. This dish is one that just says “summer.” There are so many different ways to make macaroni salad –mayonnaise-based or with a vinaigrette dressing —pick your favorite or try something new. Add pieces of mozzarella or provolone cheese or pepperoni, or keep it vegetarian and add cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and celery — or add them all to make an easy, flavorful antipasto salad.
5. Chocolate Éclair Cake. Ice cream would be great too but this easy to make (see below) dessert is tasty, cool, and both adult and child approved.
1 cup flaked crab meat
1/4 cup celery, diced
2 tbsp. onion, chopped
1/2 cup Cheddar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Hamburger buns, split and buttered.
Combine crab meat, celery, onion, and cheese. Add mayonnaise. Spread on buttered halves of hamburger buns. Broil or grill until hot and browned.
2 1/2 lbs. eye round steak
1 1/4 teaspoon meat tenderizer
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger
1 (13 1/2 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with tenderizer. Combine oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, add the meat, and refrigerate for several hours. Turn occasionally. Spear meat and pineapple chunks alternately on skewers.
Broil or grill.
2 cups walnuts
1 head romaine lettuce
2 cups blue cheese, crumbled
2 red Delicious apples, cut into bite-size pieces
Italian dressing (to taste)
Toast walnuts on a baking sheet in an oven or toaster oven at 150ºF, for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Add crumbled blue cheese, walnuts, and apples (to keep the apples from turning brown, sprinkle them with lemon juice before adding to the salad.) Add the dressing (enough to coat the salad) right before serving.
Chocolate Éclair Dessert
1 lb. graham crackers
2 (3 1/2 oz.) boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (9 oz.) container whipped topping
Grease bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan. Line with a layer of graham crackers. Mix pudding with
milk; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Blend in whipped topping.
Pour half the mixture over the crackers. Add a second layer of crackers and the remaining
pudding. Cover with a final layer of crackers. Refrigerate 2 hours. Frost with chocolate
frosting and refrigerate overnight.
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 tbsp. cocoa
3 tbsp. softened margarine
2 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. light corn syrup
3 tbsp. (or more) milk
Sift confectioners’ sugar with cocoa. Cream margarine and blend in sugar and cocoa. Add oil and corn syrup. Blend in milk until frosting becomes smooth and spreadable.
Do you have a favorite cookout recipe? Share it with us. We’re also looking for the best-ever iced tea recipe! Got one?