Recipes from picnic-themed dinner are tasty

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 03, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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It's all about being busy here lately. Is it me or do the weeds in my yard grow fast overnight? I don't like using chemicals to kill them so my tolerance level is getting unruly. But out of this "doom and gloom" came an invitation to an indoor picnic - air-conditioned of course - given by the best hostess I have ever met, friend Anne Kane.

From the invitation to every detail, the picnic theme was a fantastic way to welcome summertime. Because everyone cherishes an invitation to her beautiful home and delicious dishes, they want to bring her a hostess gift. So what idea did she have for this? Each guest could bring a picnic item that will be donated to a local food bank. Now that's cool! I saw things likes tuna, peanut butter and many other food items that filled a box she would later deliver to the food bank. I never thought of that idea, but it' a good one. I am including her recipes for Salmon Salad and White Gazpacho, each extremely good. Thank you Anne for a wonderful luncheon, it was nice it was to meet new friends.

If you haven't tried my squash and sausage casserole, you might want to as the squash is coming into gardens and the Farmer's Markets.

Anne Kane's Salmon Salad

• 2/3 cup sour cream

• 1/4 cup chopped parsley

• 1/4 cup capers (in the pickle section)

• 1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles (gherkins)

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

• 1/4 teaspoon sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

• 1/2 cup green onions, chopped

• 6-8 salmon fillet, poached (I made this with salmon we had grilled, and broke it up with a fork and it was also very delicious!)

1. Mix all together and refrigerate before serving.

Anne likes to add a couple of handfuls of some kind of cooked pasta and serve it as a dinner salad with sides of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Anne's White Gazpacho

• 3 large cucumbers, peeled, sliced lengthwise, seeds removed and coarsely chopped

• 1 cup seedless white grapes

• 1 avocado, diced

• 2 cloves of garlic, minced

• 3 cups of chicken OR vegetable stock OR 2 cans (13 and 3/4 ounces) cans chicken broth

• 1 cup plain yogurt

• 2 cups sour cream (low fat is ok.)

• 3 Tablespoons white vinegar

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 2-3 drops Tabasco

Garnishes:

1. Finely chopped scallions, finely chopped green peppers, parsley-ALL optional

2. Place cucumbers, grapes, avocado and garlic in blender or food processor and puree.

3. Add stock, yogurt, sour cream and vinegar; salt and Tabasco sauce. Process until smooth and refrigerate.

4. Before serving, whisk to blend, taste for seasoning and adjust. Serve in chilled bowls.

This serves 20-22, if using small bowls, for larger bowls this recipe could serve 12-15, perfect for a picnic or special gathering.

Thompson's Squash and Sausage Casserole

• 1 pound yellow squash

• 1 pound mild or hot sausage

• 1 egg

• 1 and 1/2 cups cottage cheese

• 1 cup broken saltine crackers

• 1 cup evaporated milk

• 10 ounces grated cheddar cheese

1. Slice squash and cook in salted water until tender. Drain.

2. Brown sausage and drain.

3. Mix squash, sausage, egg, cottage cheese, crackers, evaporated milk and half the cheddar cheese.

4. Pour into a 2 quart casserole and top with remaining cheese.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until brown on top-about 30 minutes.

This casserole serves 8.

What my Grandmother didn't teach me:

Garlic: Equivalent to ONE clove-1/4 teaspoon minced dried garlic OR 1/3 teaspoon of garlic powder, OR 1/4 teaspoon of garlic juice, OR 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt (but omit 1/2 teaspoon salt from recipe)

Tip of the Week:

I was amazed at how high and fast the beef prices are now. I located the marked down (reduced for quick sale) but didn't find what I wanted. I asked the butcher about what I was looking for for a pot roast, but there's none reduced. He told me to come back that evening and more meat will be reduced. So, it does help to find out when your market reduces meat.

Have a great week in Parker County and be sure and visit your local Farmer's markets. And now I'll go outside and pull more weeds.

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