Picnics

Shrimp Salad Stuffed Tomatoes

May 24, 2016

These stuffed tomatoes are a bit retro, but are totally delicious. They make a nice, gluten-free addition to a picnic or barbecue.

Nebraska Girl Peanut Butter Bars

July 24, 2015

Tomorrow I’m going on a picnic in the Hudson Valley. I thought that I might take along my Peanut Butter Bars, as bars are typically good travelers. Plus, they’re no-bake and super easy to make.

Picnic Fried Chicken

July 3, 2014

I love fried chicken and make it quite often. I’ve been known to make fried chicken for road trips even. Make my Picnic Fried Chicken ahead of time for a summer picnic or eat it at home. Serve it hot, cold or room temperature.  

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

September 2, 2013

Antique Picnic Basket

Chile-Spiced Bean Salad

A bit of chile mingles with corn and three kinds of beans in this colorful salad that stays crisp for hours. 

INGREDIENTS

Spicy Dressing

2 Cups Red Kidney Beans

2 Cups Pinto Beans

2 Cups Garbanzo Beans

2 Cups Whole Kernel Corn

1 Sliced Large Celery Stalk

5 Sliced Green Onions (Including Green Tops)

1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley

1/2 Cup Diced Green Chiles

Prepares the Spicy Dressing and set aside (recipe below).  In a large-size bowl combine the kidney beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans.  If you are using canned beans then make sure to drain and rinse them.  Add the corn to the beans and mix.  Add the celery, onions, parsley, and chiles. Combine well.  Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours.  Makes 8 servings.

Spicy Dressing:

3/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Wine Vinegar

1 Minced Garlic Clove

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic, kosher salt, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and pepper.  Mix well to combine.  

Parsley Potato Salad

September 2, 2013

Parsley Potato SaladPotato Salad with Chili Coriander and Allioli

For a new twist on the traditional potato salad, try this light; fresh-tasting version that combines sliced potatoes with an oil and vinegar dressing. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Small Red Potatoes

1 Finely Chopped Large Celery Stalk

1 Hard-Boiled Egg

1 Minced Garlic Cloves

4 Canned Anchovy Fillets

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar

1/4 Teaspoon Hot Sauce

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Finely Chopped Green Onions (Including Green Tops)

1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley

Pour water into a 4-quart pan to a 1 inch depth.  Bring to a boil over a high heat.  Add the potatoes.  Cover and reduce the heat.  Cook for 20 to 30 minutes just until tender when pierced with a fork.  Don’t overcook.  Drain the water and let cool.  Peel and thinly slice into a large-size bowl.  Add the chopped celery.  In a blender or food processor, pulse the cooked egg, garlic, anchovies, mustard, sugar, hot sauce, olive oil and vinegar until smooth.  Add the kosher salt and pepper and pulse for another 30 seconds.  Stir in the green onions and parsley.  Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and stir gently.  Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours or until the next day.  Transport in a cooler when taking to a picnic.  Serves 6

Chocolate Buttercream Cake

September 1, 2013

 

Chocolate Buttercream CakeChocolate Buttermilk Cake

My moist, rich chocolate cake is an ever-popular dessert, indoors or at a picnic.  This one is frosted and filled with a fluffy chocolate buttercream.  Yum!

INGREDIENTS

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa

1 Cup Water

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Cup Melted Butter

3 Lightly Beaten Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Chocolate Buttercream

Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a large-size bowl, blend the cocoa and water.  Sift the flour, sugar and baking soda into the cocoa mixture.  Blend well.  Stir in the butter, eggs and vanilla.  Using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes.  Stir in the sour cream.  Pour into 2 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.  Place into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Remove from the oven when done and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.  Invert onto racks to cool completely.  Prepare the Chocolate Buttercream and spread between the cake layers and over the top and sides of the cake.  Makes 8 to 10 servings. 

Chocolate Buttercream

INGREDIENTS

3/4 Cup Plus 4 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup Sugar

4 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs

In a large-size bowl combine the butter and sugar.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the unsweetened chocolate and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add the eggs and beat until light in color and thick (for about 3 minutes).  If the mixture gets dark and runny from over beating then chill and beat again.  

 

Crusty Parmesan Chicken

August 31, 2013

Crusty Parm ChickenCrusty Parmesan Chicken

For chicken that is crunchy and delicious hot or cold, try this quick and easy oven-fried version.  The recipe multiplies easily to feed a crowd. 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Freshly Chopped Parsley

5 Tablespoons Butter

4 to 6 Chicken Breasts (About 3 Pounds)

Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, pepper, and parsley.  In a large-size sauté pan, over a medium heat, melt the butter.  Dip the chicken breasts in the butter, and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place the chicken, skin side up, in a parchment paper lined baking dish.  Arrange the chicken breasts so they don’t touch.  Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the juices run clear.  Remove from the oven.  To serve warm, wrap in foil and transport in a container designed to hold the heat. To serve cold, let cool slightly, cover loosely with foil, and refrigerate until well chilled.  Transport in a cooler.  Serve 4

Honey Applesauce Cupcakes

August 29, 2013

home made muffins on a plateHoney Applesauce Cupcakes

These down to earth cupcakes are honey flavored and packed with dried fruits.  They take on a graceful look when baked in brioche tins.  Frost with my cream cheese frosting or leave plain.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Butter

1 Cup Honey

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots

1 Cup Chopped Pitted Dates

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Place the butter in a large-size bowl.  Beat the butter with an electric mixer while gradually adding the honey.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  In a small-size bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the applesauce, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Stir in the raisins, apricots, and dates until just combined. Spoon the batter into well-greased 3 inch brioche tins or paper-lined muffin tins.  Fill each three-quarters of the way full.  Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Remember that every oven heats differently so check at 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and turn out onto racks to cool.  Makes about 20 muffins.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

6 Cups Powdered Sugar

In a large-size bowl beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.

Mixed Bean & Artichoke Salad

August 28, 2013

Mixed Bean & Artichoke SaladMixed Bean & Artichoke Salad 2

A superb dressing, one that includes capers and the marinade from artichoke hearts, elevates this sturdy combination to regal status.  If you like, garnish with slices of hard-boiled egg.

INGREDIENTS

2 Drained Cans White Beans (15 Ounces Each)

1 Cup Pitted Green or Black Olives

1 Cup Blanched Green Beans

1 Drained Jar Sliced Pimentos (4 Ounces)

1 Drained Can Garbanzo Beans (8 Ounces)

1 Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts (6 Ounces)

1 1/2 Cups Thinly Sliced Celery

1 1/2 Cups Thinly Sliced Carrots

2 Large Thinly Sliced Dill Pickles

1 Thinly Sliced Mild Red Onion

Oil & Vinegar Dressing

2 Sliced Hard-Boiled Eggs (Optional)

In a container with a lid, combine the white beans, olives, green beans, pimentos, and garbanzo beans. Drain the artichokes, reserving the marinade for the dressing.  Cut the artichokes in half.  Setting a few aside for garnish, add the remaining artichokes to the bean mixture along with the celery, carrots, pickles and onions.  Prepare the Oil & Vinegar Dressing and pour over the bean mixture; stir well.  Cover and refrigerate until the next day; stir several times.  To serve, stir the salad well.  Arrange the egg slices, if desired, and reserved artichokes on top. I chose to leave the eggs out of this dish when I made it tonight.  Makes 8 servings.

Oil & Vinegar Dressing

Measure the reserved artichoke marinade in a 1 quart glass measuring cup and add enough olive oil to make 3/4 cup total.  Add 3/4 cup white wine vinegar; 2 tablespoons chopped parsley; 3 large minced garlic cloves; 2 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 tablespoon dry basil; 1 tablespoon; ground coriander; 2 tablespoons drained & chopped capers; kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Stir until well blended.

 

Barbecued Corn on the Cob

August 27, 2013

Corn 4Barbecued Corn on the Cob

Two of summer’s most appealing joys are barbecuing and corn on the cob.  This combination is an easy-to-prepare picnic vegetable.  It’s a perfect accompaniment to barbecued meats or poultry, and it goes right on the grill with them.

INGREDIENTS

4 Unhusked Ears of Corn

Butter

Salt

Pepper

Pull the husks back from the ears of corn, leaving the husks attached at base, and remove the silk.  Cut off 2 or 3 pieces of husk; cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips and set aside.  Replace the husks and tie each ear closed with 1 or 2 of the reserved strips to seal completely.  Soak in ice water for about 30 minutes.  Darin well; seal in plastic bags and transport in a cooler (if you are going on a picnic).  Place the corn on a grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of glowing coals.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally to cook evenly.  To serve, discard the husks and season the corn with butter, salt, and pepper.  Makes 4 servings.

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