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Top 5 Foods For Picnics and Cookouts

Top 5 Foods For Picnics and Cookouts

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.

Happy Picnicking!

Crab Burgers

1 cup flaked crab meat
1/4 cup celery, diced
2 tbsp. onion, chopped
1/2 cup Cheddar
cheese, shredded
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.

Teriyaki Kabobs

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
30 skewers
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.

Walnut-Apple Salad

2 cups walnuts
1 head romaine lettuce
2 cups blue cheese, crumbled
2 red Delicious apples, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lemon
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.

Chocolate Frosting

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?

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  • Amelia says:

    Linda – Why use sugar-free pudding if one makes this dessert – Choc. Éclair Cake – but uses the rich ingredients of the frosting? (pwd. sugar / corn syrup). The ‘aftertaste’ of sugar-free pudding ruins the effect. Save those calories for the real deal, and indulge !

  • Amelia says:

    Lindsie – reading your post told me your family comes from good cooks! I make my own green-tomato relish each summer, freezing it in small jars. When I make my potato salad – or macaroni salad/ deviled eggs – this is the finishing touch for a burst of flavor. I am not too keen on “store bought” pickle relish, and would never eat a dish containing such, but if you have an opportunity – try the relish I had suggested. I am sure you know someone who makes it at their home and would share.

  • Lindsie says:

    If you like potatoe salad and want to change it up a little I make mine by adding potatoes just regular Idaho ones boiled eggs celery onion then add real mayonnaise I don’t like real mayonnaise but you wont be able to tell a little sour cream, diced up green olive and some garlic a touch of mustard and a touch of pickle relish and it is amazing it sounded gross to me when my dad made it but its actually really tasty

    I don’t know measurements cause I just throw all the ingredients in till it looks abut right but if anyone is interested I can measure everything out the next time I make it and repost it. You can even toss some bacon bits in it!

  • christine butler says:

    love them all!!!!!

  • Jessica D. says:

    The crab burger sounds amazing 🙂 gonna definately try it 🙂

  • Lynda says:

    Chicken salad over a bed of fresh garden vegetables and grilled mushrooms.

  • Janet groves says:

    Everything sounds great but its the kabobs for me! ( and noodle salad)

  • marie says:

    Loved the eclair dessert

  • Linda Joann Smith says:

    crab burger; yuk, never tried it never will, don;t like crab! But the Chocolate
    E’claire cake I’ve been makeing for years and love it ! Everyone loves that cake,
    easy to make, that no time at all, and it don’t last no time at all.. Try this one you will love it, and you can make it with sugar free pudding if you wish. LJS in SC

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