Seems like most of my traffic is coming from those who are looking for the BBQ recipes, the grilling recipes and more.  So I'll post them all here and add a few more now and then.

NEW! Fall Crock Pot Favorite

Mediterranean Beef Stew
I have a 6 qt crock pot and therefore use:
5-6 zucchini
6 cans of Basil Garlic and Oregano diced tomatoes
4-6 sticks of cinnamon.
2 packages of stew meat from the commissary. (approx 1lb each?)

This is a favorite of ours. Great to start before church and to have waiting for you with a loaf of Italian seasoned bread in the bread machine.
Can you tell I love modern convenience!

This is also the only recipe where my kids will actually eat zucchini. I serve this with brown rice.

Memorial Day 2011

In the summer months we try to grill as much as possible to help cut down on the heat that comes from the oven making the AC work harder.  If you do have to cook, do it in the morning or in a crock pot.

BBQ chicken is so easy to make!  I learned a few tricks to making the chicken really moist and fabulous tasting.

Whatever sauce you like, whether it's the original, honey, spicy or a mix of both, I bake the chicken in the oven with the sauce in deep disposable aluminum pans covered in aluminum foil to keep the moisture in.  When they're completely cooked, throw them on the grill with some left over sauce, and crisp them up.  They're delicious!
You can do the same thing with Steak Tips.  I marinade our tips in Zesty Italian dressing for a few hours in the refrigerator and then cook them in the oven, covered with foil, and then drop them on the grill to sear them.  They are so soft and moist because of the dressing- they almost melt in your mouth.

If you like kabobs, marinade the meat in the Italian dressing as well as the veggies you like in the same dressing in another bowl- sanitation first!  The bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green) taste really good marinaded in Italian.  My family will eat just the peppers by themselves as a veggie side. :) Zucchini, yellow squash, and red onions or the pearl onions are great for kabobs.

We also make a fruit salad that people ask about every time.  And it's so easy!  we simply cut up strawberries, bananas, blueberries, use a couple small cans of mandarin oranges, peeled kiwi, pineapple (save the juce to soak the sliced bananas in so they don't brown), apple sliced are good, and any other fruit your family likes. Gather it all in a big bowl.  Mix in either a raspberry or strawberry yogurt- 1 or 2 depending on how big your salad is.  And serve chilled. Some people like to add walnuts and others like shredded coconut.

Another family favorites my kids can't live without is "Green Stuff".  You probably know it better as Pistachio Pudding Salad.
1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped pistachios or walnuts
(optional) Garnish with Maraschino Cherries


Drain the juice from your can of pineapple. Thaw the whipped topping slightly, it does not have to be completely thawed it will thaw when your mixing it. Combine all the ingredients stirring gently to fold together. Do not make the pudding, just fold in the dry mix.
Garnish with cherries and some crumbled nuts. You can use pecans, walnuts or pistachios.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve, can be easily doubled.

Another crowd pleaser is my Mom's famous Icebox Cake.  It's made with graham crackers and chocolate fudge pudding.  Simple to make!  Layer chocolate pudding (chocolate fudge instant pudding from the box works best just follow the box directions to make the pudding) and graham crakers like you would layer a lasagna ending with pudding on top. Chill for at least an hour.  You can either top with crumbled graham crackers or strawberries or simply serve with whipped topping. Other variations I've seen include the strawberries inside or any other fruit.  Some like to make an eclair icebox cake with a custard as an additional layer.

Another favorites salad of ours comes from a Taste of Home recipe I found years ago, called Italian Basil Pasta Salad

1 package 16 ounces) bow tie pasta
2 cups grape tomatoes
7 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup pickled banana pepper rings
1 can 2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
4 thin slices hard salami, diced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes, cheese, yellow pepper, onion, pepper rings, olives, salami and basil.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

These are only a few of the many recipes out there you can try for your Memorial Day BBQ.  I'd love you hear about your favorites!

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