July 18, 2013

Spotlight on Summer: Picnic Fare and Quick Cooking

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Last week, I posted links to previous blogs that contained recipes for cool and creamy foods.  Today, in part two of the series, I'm doing the same thing, but with foods that are good to take on a picnic or can be prepared on busy summer days with very little effort.  Click the words in bold to go to the page with the recipe.

Picnic Fare:

What better way to celebrate summer than with a picnic?  Picnics are fun, but be sure to keep food safety in mind:  keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!

Margaret's Morsels | Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad:  This has been my favorite chicken salad recipe for over 20 years!  When I take it on picnics, I serve it just like I do at home:  on a plate with croissants on the side.  If you want to use it for sandwiches, keep the chicken salad in the cooler and assemble the sandwiches when you're ready to eat.  This will keep the sandwiches from getting soggy.

Margaret's Morsels | Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs:  I like to take chicken salad on a picnic, but my mother liked to take fried chicken.  To accompany the chicken, she always took a batch of deviled eggs.  They're better made the day before so you can pack and go the day of the picnic.  Make sure to leave them in the cooler until you're ready to eat.

Margaret's Morsels | Lillie's Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad:  My grandmother made this simple salad -- apples, bananas, crushed pineapple and orange juice -- for my mom and her siblings; my mom made it for her kids and now I make it for my family.  It's ideal for a picnic because it doesn't contain mayonnaise, sour cream or Cool Whip. Serve it straight from the cooler as a refreshing fruit salad or as dessert.

Margaret's Morsels | Award Winning Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies:  No one will ever guess these cookies only use three ingredients.  They bake in just minutes so you can whip up a batch at the spur of the moment.  They're also easy to pack and mess free since they're not frosted.

Margaret's Morsels | Mini Mason Jar Cakes

Mini Mason Jar Cakes:  Mason jars aren't just for canning anymore.  You can use the four ounce jars to make cute desserts -- cakes, cobblers, pies and crisps -- that are wonderful for a picnic or casual get together.  Don't forget to pack spoons!

Margaret's Morsels | Fruit Tea

Fruit Tea:  Soft drinks and Kool-Aid might be easy to pack for a picnic, but they're not as refreshing as an ice cold glass of fruit tea.  This dressed up sweet tea uses lemon juice, pineapple juice and, the secret ingredient, ginger ale!

Quick Cooking:

Life tends to move a little slower in the summer.  The weather is warmer, days are longer and there's more to do outside.  Who wants to be stuck inside cooking?  These recipes let you put dinner on the table without having to do a lot of work or get the kitchen too hot.

Margaret's Morsels | Sauteed Pork Chops

Sauteed Pork Chops:  You won't heat up the kitchen when you cook these pork chops.  They cook in just 11 minutes!  The only thing you need other than the ingredients is a skillet with a lid.

Margaret's Morsels | Easy Pork Chops and Apples

Easy Pork Chops and Apples:  This dish is as easy as they come.  You don't even have to brown the pork chops or cut and peel the apples.  Cook a vegetable separately and you've got a meal that's very easy to prepare.  

Margaret's Morsels | Hamburger Macaroni Casserole

Hamburger Macaroni Casserole:  A reader once described this dish as homemade Hamburger Helper, but better.  The macaroni doesn't even have to be cooked separately.  Everything is cooked in the same pan and, from start to finish, takes less than 45 minutes to cook.

Margaret's Morsels | Marinated Baked Chicken

Marinated Baked Chicken:  This dish takes very little work, but you do need to plan ahead since the chicken has to be marinated overnight.  The marinade is super easy to mix up:  you use equal parts of Italian salad dressing and soy sauce.  The recipe can easily be doubled or, if necessary, halved.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli with Lemon

Broccoli with Lemon:  This recipe starts with fresh steamed broccoli.  If you don't have time to steam the broccoli, microwave a package of fresh broccoli florets that's sold in a microwave-safe bag.  You can mix up the rest of the ingredients while the broccoli is in the microwave.

Margaret's Morsels | Potato Salad

Potato Salad:  You might not think of this dish as quick, but it can be when you don't have to peel, cut and boil potatoes.  Ore-Ida Steam 'n Mash cut Russet potatoes -- which cook in only 10 minutes in the microwave -- can be substituted for fresh potatoes.  No one will ever taste the difference.

Check back next week for this series finale:  foods that won't heat up the kitchen.

© Margaret's Morsels

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