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July 4th Favorites

Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011, at 7:01 PM

Hot weather is hear and some of our cooking changes completely. Mine includes a lot of fresh garden vegetables either from our garden or bought from farmers market.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July holiday. We plan on having a fun day that day swimming and spending time with family.

I am sure a lot of people will be using the grill this weekend so a few of these might help.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium bell peppers, chopped
1 small head garlic, peeled and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 ounces vinegar, your choice of cane, white or apple
8 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup dark molasses or honey
2 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
12 ounces beer
Cayenne pepper

Place butter in a saucepan over high heat and bring to smoking point, about 1 minute.

Add onions, peppers, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vinegar and ginger, stir and bring to a boil. Add molasses, tomato paste, hot sauce and brown sugar; stir and bring to a boil. Add beer, simmer for one hour. Puree in food processor, taste and adjust hotness with cayenne.

This sauce pairs beautifully with ribs, chicken, pork chops, flank steak and tenderloin.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
1 (16 ounce) carton cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
3 to 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Paprika, to taste

Mix cottage cheese, sour cream, egg, salt, pepper and Cheddar cheese together. Add cooked macaroni and mix well. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.

Sprinkle with paprika and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Pasta with Asparagus, Spinach and Bacon

1 (8-ounce) package penne pasta, uncooked
2 slices bacon
1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced
2 1/2 cups asparagus, sliced
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta as directed; drain, and keep warm. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp; remove from skillet and crumble. Cook onion in bacon drippings for 1 minute; add asparagus and saute 1 minute longer. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Stir into pasta; add spinach, 1/4 cup cheese and pepper. Toss well. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.

Layered dip

1 lb ground Beef cooked with Taco seasoning mix
1 can refried beans
1/2 cup salsa
8 oz sour cream
Black olives
shredded chedder cheese

layer in a 8x8 dish in the following order:

Beef, Beans. Salsa, sour cream,, olives, cheese

Heat until warm - serve with chips

We all love this about anytime..

I think you have to have Potato Salad at any picnic or BBQ so here is a recipe..

"No Bake" Baked Potato Salad

Has all the taste of a loaded baked potato, minus the baking part. Enjoy our No-Bake Baked Potato Salad for a change of pace.

8 medium potatoes (about 3 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon salt
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1/4 cup real bacon bits
4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

Cook potatoes 10 to 15 minutes, or until fork-tender; drain well and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Add potatoes and mix until well combined.

Serve warm, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Salad

It is a certainly a refreshing change-of-pace summer or anytime potato salad. We love sweet potatoes.

5 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fork-tender; drain.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Add sweet potatoes and mix until well coated. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

I have not tried this one yet but my friends family loves it. I am gonna try it soon.

Taco Potato Salad

3 pounds white potatoes
2 cups mayonnaise
1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced scallions (green onions)
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
1 cup coarsely crushed ranch-flavored tortilla chips

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and let cool.

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and taco seasoning; mix well.

Cut cooled potatoes into chunks and place in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise mixture and remaining ingredients to potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Cooking with Karen
Karen Shipley
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I began cooking at the age of 9 with my father and have always loved trying new recipes. Beware: I am fond of onions and peppers! I am diabetic so I do try to cook more healthy dishes these days. My door is always open to trying and sharing new recipes. Let's see what we can cook up with this blog!
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