Sides highlight yummy grilling menu

Posted Monday, Jun. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Cooking and grilling out is in full swing here at the Thompsons. This makes dinner so much easier with me concentrating on the sides.

For the most part, the weather is cooperating and we've been so lucky to get some much needed rain.

My daylilies are coming to life. I'm enjoying taking many pictures of them. Don't forget to come visit the North Texas Daylily Society's Flower Show at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. It's free and open to the public.

Summertime Sun Tea

I love Sun Tea for a lunchtime treat. I don't add sugar to it, but I do throw in a couple sprigs of mint into the glass jar, along with a cinnamon stick.

6-8 tea bags (your favorite flavor)

1 1/2 quarts cold water

Place tea bags in a 2-quart clear, GLASS container. Add water and cover. Let stand in full sun, (or at room temperature), for 2-3 hours or until desired strength of tea is accomplished. Serve over ice. I like to add fresh cut wedges of lime and lemon.

Dee Dee's Pina Colada Flip

2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice

1/2 cup cream of coconut

2 cups club soda

1 pint vanilla ice cream (your favorite brand)

In a pitcher, mix pineapple juice and cream of coconut. Stir in club soda. Serve in chilled glasses and top with ice cream. This makes four (10 ounce) servings. These are great for any age!

Dee Dee's easy Picnic Baked Beans

6 servings (Double everything for 12 servings).

1 (31-ounce) can pork and beans in tomato sauce (We prefer Bush's)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 cup chili sauce

2 Tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In a 1 1/2 quart casserole (3 quart for 12 servings), combine pork and beans, onion, green pepper, chili sauce, molasses and mustard.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour (1 1/2 hours for 12 servings.) I sometimes drain off some liquid and cook until the desired consistency.

Thompson's Summer Squash Casserole

1 stick butter

1 (8 ounce) package herb dressing

2 pounds yellow squash, sliced, cooked and drained

2 small onions, finely chopped

1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 (4 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts

1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimientos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in saucepan and stir into dressing. Divide and place HALF in an 8 x 12 inch baking dish.

Combine squash, onions, soup, water chestnuts and pimientos in a bowl and pour over dressing. Cover with remaining dresssing and bake for 30-40 minutes. This serves 8.

Our Favorite Fried okra

There are more ways to fry okra, some more simple, some not. This one always turns out so wonderful!

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 Tablespoons whole milk

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

22-28 fresh okra pods, rinsed and thinly sliced

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine eggs and milk in shallow bowl and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine corn meal, flour, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Dip okra slices in egg-milk mixture and then into cornmeal mixture.

Place okra in heavy skillet, such as an iron one, with hot oil and cook on medium heat-high heat until okra browns. Stir occasionally. Drain on paper towels. This serves 8-10.

Dee Dee's Swiss Cheese Grilled Hamburgers

This is such a welcome and different treat unlike the "traditional" grilled burgers.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (We prefer grass-fed).

3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (about 3 ounces)

1 can or jar (8 ounces) sauerkraut, heated and drained

1/2 cup Thousand Island Dressing (We like Wishbone or Kraft).

Shape ground beef into six patties. Grill or broil until done. Top evenly with cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. Serve, if desired on rye or pita bread instead of a hamburger bun.

The sun is not bright and the sky is somewhat cloudy, perfect for a couple more pictures of a gorgeous daylily I have had my eye on. I'm heading outside to catch the image I am looking for.

Don't forget to stop by your favorite Farmer's Market, they are beginning to get some very nice produce in and even fresh eggs. We can't wait for the okra to get big enough to fry and the squash ready for that good casserole.

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