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4 Editor’s Letter

Come with us behind the scenes of “Country Home Kitchen” and get a behind the scenes view of the ideas behind this issue.

5 Ask the Baker

6 Quick Tips in the Kitchen 8 Ice Cream Italian Sodas

June 20 is National Ice Cream Soda Day! Come with us as we explore a new twist on the traditional ice cream soda. By Casey Archibald

15 Meat is for Dinner

Dad will love a grilled meal this Father’s Day. Treat him to these awesome steaks and brats! By Dennis Weaver

21 Top 10 Gifts for Dad

Don’t forget Dad! Father's Day is on June 15 this year. Check out these last-minute gift ideas and get them just in time for his special day! By Casey Archibald

25 The Perfect Picnic

Learn how to have a great picnic outing with your family and take a look at our ultimate picnic checklist.

31 Cheesecake Bars There are so many options when it comes to this wonderful dessert. Which one will be your new family favorite? By Casey Archibald

41 Dessert Pizza

Who ever said pizza has to be savory? We love the flavors of these sweet, delightful pizzas. By Casey Archibald

48 Fiesta Salads

Mexican salads are all the rage. And they are perfect for summer. They are a wonderful mixture of beans, cheese, tortillas and more. By Casey Archibald

52 A Twist on Kabobs

Kabobs don’t have to have meat and veggies. Try french toast, or bread sticks! By Alice Osborne

57 Honey Butter Nothing is better atop a hot scone than a dollop of honey butter. Actually there might be...a dollop of flavored honey butter! By Dennis Weaver

By Dennis Weaver

Country Home Kitchen President




Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weaver Casey Archibald Alice Osborne


Casey Archibald

Copyrighted by The Prepared Pantry

Suzanne Peterson Kelli Tracy

Marketing and AdvertisPerfect Point Marketing Michael Johnson Katie Harris

editor’s letter THIS IS SUMMER Feel the sheer joy of summer. We can feel it. Can you? The kids are all out of school and it is such a pleasure to see them coming into The Prepared Pantry and collecting complimentary cupcakes and goodies into their little palms. Their giddy smiles and frosting-covered faces remind me of why we started this business in the first place. We love making people happy. The sheer joy of summer is what inspired this issue of "Country Home Kitchen." I can't believe we're almost halfway through the year and just days away from the longest day of 2014. This issue is a celebration of summer, fathers and family time. To me, that’s what summer is all about. Father's Day is fast-approaching, which was the inspiration behind the cover story. We hope Dad enjoys a perfectlycooked slab of steak or a rack of ribs slathered in barbeque sauce this June 15. Creating the articles and recipes for this issue was a blast. We passed cups of ice cream Italian sodas and small plates of salad around the office. Staff members were smiling as they gulped their drinks and shoveled a few bites of Mexican summer salads into their mouths. We could feel that sheer joy of summer spreading like wildfire throughout The Prepared Pantry. It was even more delightful than the bright sun that has been shining for several weeks straight. Although, we're grateful for that too. We hope the recipes and the personal touch of the articles in this issue will help bring that same feeling into your own family. June is a great month not only to remember fathers, but to bring families together with picnics and outdoor activities. Enjoy your June!

ask the baker What is oyster sauce and what can I substitute for it in a recipe?

few holes in the foil. If you are cooking with charcoal, simply scatter the wood chops across the coals once they are lit.

Oyster sauce is common in Asian-style dishes and includes several different kinds of sauces. You can substitute soy sauce and mushrooms for flavor for oyster sauce.

What happens if I put too much wine into the dishes I cook and they become overpowering?

My dog is always right at my feet when I cook, looking for things that drop. What is he allergic to that I shouldn’t let him eat? A lot of people know that dogs should stay away from chocolate, but there are a few other things you should prevent your canine cleanup crew from licking up when you're cooking. Grapes, raisins, anything in the onion family (shallots, leeks, etc.), garlic, avocados and moldy foods can all be dangerous for your pooch. Like people, individual dogs may have allergies to other foods too. If your dog is acting sick or differently after eating something, keep it away from him or ask your vet about it.

If you are making something like a stew, simply let the wine cook out (slowly) for a while longer. Don't overdo your meat, but cook the meal for as long as you can. Tomatoes or tomato sauce can also dilute the strong taste of wine. If you can, add some to your meal to tone down the strong wine taste.

I like to cook with onions, but a lot of times the flavor is too strong. I have tried putting in less but it doesn’t really work. What should I do? Try using something that is in the onion family, but that has a milder flavor. Shallots and leeks provide a great flavor and can be cut into tiny pieces, but they are not overpowering. Reserve the large onions for things like crockpot meals or stews.

How do I get that nice smoky flavor in my own home grilling without spending tons of time cooking? Wood chips can add a lot of flavor to your meat. That way you still get a great smoky flavor without the hours of slow cooking. Make sure you soak the wood chips in water for about a half an hour. If you are using a gas grill, place the wood chips inside a metal smoker box. Alternatively, you can wrap them in aluminum foil and poke a

e n i n up a C an Cle w Cre


quick tips Peel ginger with a spoon. Ginger has a lot of rough bumps and ridges, so when you peel it with a knife or potato peeler you lose a lot of the good parts. Use a spoon instead. It will follow the contours of the ginger and keep the waste to a minimum.

Slice avocado right in the skin. Instead of slicing through a slimy avocado on your cutting board, cut it right in its own skin. First, cut it in half and remove the pit. Then use your knife to cut the “meat” of the avocado into slices. Then simply spoon out your slices with a spoon.

Save your stock. Many times when a recipe calls for chicken or beef stock, it doesn’t call for a lot. Don't open a whole new container every time for just a few Tablespoons of stock. Instead, make up a whole batch and freeze the rest in ice cube trays. When you need to use some for a recipe, just pop out a few cubes. You can do the same for

cooking wine as well so you don’t have to reopen a bottle every time you use it.

Sample your meatloaf before you make a whole batch. The great part about some recipes is that you can taste it as you go to make sure it is coming along alright. It's another story when it comes to raw meat. But don't give up yet; cook just a tiny sample of your raw meatloaf before you stick it in the oven. You can cook it on a frying pan and give it a taste when it is cooked completely through. That way you can tell if you need to add any ingredients before you make a whole loaf.

Cut kiwi the easy way. Cut the top and bottom ends off a kiwi. Then use a spoon and run it along the inside edge next to the skin. It works like magic!

Don’t discard cheese rinds. You know those hard edges of cheese like parmesan that you usually throw away? Don't. Instead,

put them in a zip-lock bag and stick them in the freezer. Next time you make soup or stew, flavor it with the cheese rinds. When ready to serve, remove what is left of the rinds. It will give your soup a nice punch.

Ice cream drips. Having ice cream this summer? Before you place the scoops of ice cream in the cones, stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of the cone to prevent the dribbles from coming out the bottom.

Use Tupperware like it’s going out of style. Store fresh herbs and lettuce in Tupperware with lids instead of their original package. This will keep them fresh for longer and can help prevent them from freezing if your fridge tends to get too cold in certain spots.

Avoid freezing your veggies. A lot of people tend to struggle with fridges that tend to freeze and ruin fresh lettuce or vegetables. Besides storing them in containers, there are a few other ways you can avoid this. First, check the temperature of your refrigerator. It’s best to follow the manufacturer's suggestion, but most fridges should stay between 36

and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. If your fridge makes it hard to tell what temperature it is, we suggest purchasing a fridge thermometer. Keep fruits and vegetables in a crisping drawer to keep them away from the circulating air in the fridge. If you are out of room in the drawers, keep produce as far to the front of the fridge as you possibly can.

Avoid Pre-filled spice racks. You know those cute little spice racks that come with all the spices and herbs already in them? Avoid those unless you plan on dumping all the spices out and refilling them with fresh herbs. They are usually filled with cheap, older herbs that are lacking in flavor.


une 20 is National Ice Cream Soda Day, so we thought we would celebrate by coming up with a few recipes and combinations that are delicious. Our drinks were actually a mix between ice cream sodas and Italian sodas.


You really don’t have to add both the cream and the ice cream, but we liked the way the cream blended with the rest of the drink and the scoop of ice cream acted as more of a topping. We love using ice cream to keep these drinks cold instead of ice, because ice tends to melt and make the drinks watery. The cream also has more of a tendency to curdle with the addition of ice.

Baker's Note: If you want

to make your ice cream sodas more like a root beer float, just follow our recipes but assemble them differently. Instead of the way we put them together, fill each cup with ice cream, and then add the liquids around the scoops. If none of the flavors listed below strike your fancy, try some of the other flavors that we offer. Celebrate on June 20th with these great drinks!

Pomegranate Lime Ice Cream Italian Soda Makes one drink 4 Tablespoons Torani Pomegranate Syrup 1 teaspoon lime juice 1 Tablespoon cream 8oz lemon-lime soda (or sparkling water if you like a tart drink) 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

1. For each drink, pour the pomegranate syrup, the lime juice and the cream into the bottom of a cup. Stir until mixed thoroughly. 2. Add in the sparkling water and stir again. 3. Top with a scoop of ice cream.

Baker's Note:

This particular drink tends to be more tart than the rest of them. To balance that out we used lemon-lime soda. However, if you prefer a tart taste use sparkling water.

Peach Ice Cream Italian Soda Makes one drink 2 Tablespoons Torani Peach Syrup 1 Tablespoon cream 8oz sparkling water 1 scoop vanilla ice cream 1. For each drink, add the peach syrup and the cream in the bottom of a cup. Stir until mixed thoroughly. 2. Add in the sparkling water and stir again. 3. Top with a scoop of ice cream.

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream Italian Soda (Tiger’s Blood) Makes one drink 2 Tablespoons Torani Strawberry Syrup 1 Tablespoons Torani Coconut Syrup 1 Tablespoon cream 10oz sparkling water 1 scoop vanilla ice cream 1. For each drink, add the strawberry syrup, coconut syrup and the cream in the bottom of a cup. Stir until mixed thoroughly.

2. Add in the sparkling water and stir again. 3. Top with a scoop of ice cream.

Orange Cream Ice Cream Floats Makes one drink 1 cup orange juice (no pulp) 8oz sparkling water 3 scoops softened ice cream (or more, to taste) 1. Fill each glass with the ice cream. 2. Pour the orange juice and the sparkling water over the ice cream.

Baker's Note: It is important

that the ice cream is softened for this particular drink. That way, the ice cream can sweeten the orange juice mixture and bring out that orange creamsicle flavor.

Huckleberry Ice Cream Italian Soda Makes one drink 2 Tablespoons Torani Huckleberry Syrup 1 Tablespoon cream 8oz sparkling water 1 scoop vanilla ice cream 1. For each drink, add the huckleberry syrup and the cream in the bottom of a cup. Stir until mixed thoroughly. 2. Add in the sparkling water and stir again. 3. Top with a scoop of ice cream.

Title Subtitle Author

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Example Use this box as a template for all of the other fun boxes/sidebars. It’s 12pt font of the Aparajita style . Use the big A with the underling and the small a with the arrow pointing up to change where the text is centered. The red text is Aardvark Cafe 26pt. The squiggley line is not connected, copy and place it where ever. And make the background match the page.


rilling and meat are often associated with Father's Day. This article is no exception. What is exceptional about this article is the variety of grilling and meat recipes that will keep Dad’ happy on his special day.


Bratwurst When we moved to the Midwest (Minnesota) we were amazed at the popularity of the bratwurst. It seemed like everyone was eating brats at every outing. Brats were the star at picnics, company parties, and tailgate gatherings. The grocery stores offered more kinds of bratwurst than we ever dreamed existed. Many times they were grilled. Sometimes they were steamed. They were occasionally simmered in beer and then grilled. Some folks said they simmer them for five minutes and others say fifteen. Some simmered them in straight beer, with onion slices, and others added apple slices. We learned to love brats. We usually buy the fully-cooked kind. If you buy the uncooked variety, use a thermometer and make sure the interior of the brat reaches 160 degrees. We’ve grilled brats. We’ve roasted them over open fires on sticks like we used to do with hot dogs (once we discovered brats, we never went back to hot dogs). We’ve fried them on the stovetop. We’ve loaded them with sauerkraut and we’ve eaten them plain. We discovered cheddar-filled brats. The only rule we had about


brats was that we had to cook them slow enough so they didn’t split wide open and lose a bunch of juice. We've learned to load them up with sauces and relishes. Brats have a pronounced flavor, enough so that it’s hard to overpower them even with a spicy relish. And it’s hard to find a relish, or a sauce, or a chutney that doesn’t go well with a brat. But alas, a brat isn’t a dietician’s dream. So we try to go easy on our brats, eating them as an occasional splurge, not an every weekend event. That just seems to make us relish them more. There are lots of recipes for beer-steamed brats. We thought we could do the same thing with apple cider. We poked holes in the sausage casings with the point of a knife, cut up an onion, and simmered both the brats and the onion in apple cider—-that’s the technique used for steaming brats in beer. It made for great brats but the apple flavor was weak. More holes didn’t seem to help. We finally concluded that we couldn’t get enough apple flavor this way. We started looking for a fresh apple relish. We found one that we liked and spiced it up.

Baker’s Note:

This relish is spiced with curry and fresh ginger. Curry is a mixture of spices and one curry may differ from another. We have a curry that we like and used plenty of it in this recipe. Those who like curry and spicy accompaniments will like this relish. Keep pickle relish,

mustard, and ketchup on hand for those who don't. Brats are also very good with chutney. You can make your own chutney or purchase sweet mango chutney, hot mango chutney, or plum chutney.

Spicy Apple Relish 6-8 Servings 1/2 cup apple juice 2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/2 red bell pepper, diced 1/2 medium onion, diced 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger, or to taste 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon curry 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1 Tablespoon cornstarch 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely diced 1. Pour half of the apple juice and the vinegar into a small or medium saucepan. 2. Add the diced pepper, onion, ginger, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about five minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the curry and cumin and set aside. 3. Place the cornstarch in a cup. With the other half of the apple juice make a slurry by adding a little of the juice to the cornstarch, stirring until it is absorbed, and then adding more. 4. Add the cornstarch slurry and diced apples to the pan. Cook until cornstarch thickens and the apples are crisp-tender. Serve hot or cold.

Baker's Note: Brats can

be cooked on the grill or in a frying pan. If cooked too fast, they will split open and lose some of the juice. Make sure you cook them slow to avoid losing the moist, juicy texture. Toast the buns over a fire or on a grill if desired. Serve the relish with bratwurst.

How to Make Super Easy Barbecue Ribs Occasionally, I would get a hankering for ribs. Then I would

go to town, stop at a BBQ house and order them. Or go without. I would never make them. But I plan on making them this weekend. My daughter, Debbie, started me on this. She’s a heck of cook and baker. We were over at her house and she went out on the deck and came back with a big plate of barbecue ribs. When I asked her how she made them, she showed me an easy way. She cooked them in a Dutch oven set on the grill and slow cooked for about 90 minutes. But it really doesn’t matter

where you cook them in as long as it’s slow. A crockpot works well. You can use the side burner on your grill. The slow cooking will make the ribs tender, the meat will slide from the bones, and your barbecue sauce will flavor them.

Barbecue Ribs 3-4 Servings 3 to 4 pounds pork spare ribs 1 large sweet onion or two smaller ones, sliced 1 1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce 1. Trim most of the fat from the ribs. Place a layer of ribs in the bottom of a Dutch oven or other heavy pan that you can use on the grill. Place a layer of sliced onions over the ribs. Repeat the process with the remaining onions and meat. Pour the barbecue sauce over the meat and onions. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is tender and slides easily from the bones. Homemade BBQ sauce is better. We tried recipe after recipe so you don't have to. See our best versions of these famous BBQ sauce recipes.

Carolina Barbecue Sauce Carolina sauce is sweeter, spicier, and has more complex flavors than most other barbecue sauces. Yield: About three cups of sauce

2 Tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce 1/2 teaspoon diced or granulated chipotle peppers or to taste (See notes.) 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 Tablespoon dark cocoa powder 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon salt

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce A Kansas City BBQ sauce is thick and tangy. This one uses minced ancho chilies for heat. You can leave them out or use hot sauce as a substitute. Yield: About three cups of sauce

1 1/3 cup ketchup 1 cup water 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 2 Tablespoons molasses 1 Tablespoon onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon celery salt 1 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon dried minced ancho chili peppers

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat stirring often for about five minutes. 2. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is thick. Set aside to cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Baker's Note:

Ancho peppers are a very mild, earthy pepper. You may substitute chipotle peppers which are hotter and have a smoky flavor. Hot is a matter of opinion. You may want to add more chili peppers. Taste it while simmering and add more if needed.

1. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until it is soft and translucent. 2. Add the tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, maple syrup, coriander, cocoa, brown sugar, allspice, ground thyme, and cinnamon. 3. Cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for five minutes or until the sauce thickens. 4. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for another few minutes. Set aside to cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Baker’s Note: Hot is a matter of opinion. You may want to add more chili peppers. Taste it while simmering and add more if needed.


The Prepared Pantry sells a variety of diced and granulated peppers for cooking. Use whatever you please and adjust for heat.

regular ribs or 4 slabs of baby back ribs plus one recipe of barbecue sauce, about 22 ounces or 2 3/4 cups sauce. Extra sauce can be refrigerated.

Saturday was delightful. Diane Jensen, the founder of Gresham and Myers spice company, came to the store and made ribs. She recruited her son and husband to help. Wonderful people, terrific ribs. Time and again, people told us they were the best ribs they had ever tasted. They were surprised that they were so simple to make.

It’s best to start these the night before. Then you can let the meat absorb the flavors of the spices overnight. Total cook time, including the slow cooker and grill, is three to four hours. Both the sauce and the ribs can be made ahead of time. To make the ribs ahead, cook the ribs in the slow cooker or the oven and then store them in the refrigerator for up to ten days or the freezer for up to four months. Thaw the ribs before finishing them on the grill.

The meat’ is not expensive either. Diane paid $2.05 a pound at Sam’s Club. Someone said that they were $1.79 at Albertsons. I’ve never made ribs. They seemed too involved. Diane made them easy, in basically three steps. 1. Rub the ribs with the spices. 2. Slow cook them in a crockpot or wrap them in foil and cook them on low heat in the oven. 3. Coat them with sauce and finish them on the grill or under the broiler in your oven. Her barbecue sauce is terrific, made with the same spice blend and few simple ingredients.

Another Great Ribs Recipe 3-4 Servings A four-ounce canister of Gresham and Meyers Barbecue Rub will make 3 slabs of

1. Season the ribs generously with Gresham and Meyers Barbecue Rib Rub. Wrap the seasoned ribs in aluminum foil and store them in the

refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight. 2. To cook them in the oven, place the foil wrapped ribs in an oven set at 250 degrees and cook for two to three hours for baby back ribs and three to four hours for large ribs or until cooked and tender. 3. To cook them in a slow cooker or crockpot, remove the foil and cook for the same times or until tender.

4. For dry ribs, open the foil and sprinkle the ribs with more spice rub and cook them uncovered on the grill on under the broiler in the oven for about 20 minutes checking frequently to make sure the molasses in the rub does not burn. 5. For sauced ribs, open the foil and cover the ribs with sauce and cook uncovered as above. Serve hot with more barbecue sauce as desired.

Diane's Easy Barbecue Sauce Recipe This can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for two weeks. Yield: About three cups of sauce

1/4 cup Gresham and Meyers Barbecue Rub or equal •1 1/2 cups ketchup •1/2 cup brown sugar •1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1. Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is hot. To see more Gresham and Myers spices, click here.

How to Cook the Perfect Steak Every Time Never go to the grocery store hungry. You buy too much. And the wrong things. I went last week, starving.

They had sirloin steaks on sale for $2 each. I could tell they weren’t the best cuts of meat. I bought them anyway—quite a few of them. They were tough. Sure I could help them with a good steak tenderizer but you can’t make a perfect steak with a poor cut. Which takes us to:

keep the steaks from sticking). Add enough fat to lightly coat the pan. (I prefer oil because it won’t burn and taste like butter does). If there is enough marbling, it may require no more fat than already exists in the meat.

Step number one: Buy a

the meat properly.

good cut of meat.

I think I know what a good cut of meat looks like—good color, shiny, uniform thickness so that it cooks evenly, and with minimal sinew but with marbling. But I’m guessing. It’s better to ask the butcher or the meat manager. There are eight grades of meat based primarily on marbling and the age of the animal: Prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner. If you want a good steak, choose one of the first three. Prime is used in restaurants. You may need to go to a butcher. My $2 cuts didn’t stand a chance. They're in the freezer. They'll make good stew meat.

Step number two:

and prepare the pan.

Step number three:


Season the meat before you start cooking. Season foods with salt and pepper, as well as with any spice blends or rubs before you begin cooking. Doing so will cause the meat to absorb the flavors more efficiently than seasoning the meat while it is cooking. We carry two lines of spice blends: Colorado Cattle Company and Teeny Tiny Spice Company. I absolutely love both but for steaks, I’m going with Colorado Cattle Company.

Step number four: the pan.


Add the meat only after the pan is thoroughly heated. On my stove at home, that’s medium high. If you


Choose a pan that is large enough just to accommodate the meat without the pieces overlapping. It should be a heavy metal pan that will distribute heat evenly (triclad pans distribute heat better than nonstick pans but I usually use a nonstick pan because it requires less fat to


have oil in the pan, heat the oil until the surface ripples and looks hazy. This is a more intense heat than is required for white meats and fish. Don’t let the oil burn.

Step number five:

Cook the meat properly.

It’s essential to keep the pan hot through the cooking process. The hot pan sears the meat and seals in the juices. Cook the meat on one side and then turn the meat to cook the other. Meats should be turned only once. Additional turns will lose juice and cause the pan and the meat to lose heat. Because meat will continue cooking after it is removed from the heat, allow for the “carryover” time in determining how long the meat should cook. Once upon a time I worked in a bakery in a construction camp. Bakers work at night. But there were construction workers that worked at night also and our staff was required to cook for them. The chef, who worked in the day, taught me to tell how done a steak was with a poke of my finger. As the meat cooks, it becomes firmer. I still poke meat but a surer

method is with an insta-read thermometer. A medium rare steak is 130 to 135 degrees and should be warm through the middle with a hint of red. The insta-read thermometer that you use for baking works just fine for meats.

Herb and Garlic Topping for Steaks, Chops, and Chicken This recipe makes enough topping for four large steaks. 4 Large Steaks 1 large clove garlic, minced 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped 6 tablespoons of butter, melted 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 2/3 cups bread crumbs Mix all the ingredients together and blend well. Spoon over your cooked steaks, chicken, or chops. Brown under the broiler element in your oven if desired.

on’t let Father’s Day pass you by without letting Dad know you care. Whether he’s your father, your husband, your boyfriend or your brother, he deserves to know you’re thinking about him. Below are our top ten picks for the best Father’s Day gifts, but these only scratch the surface of what you can find at The Prepared Pantry.




cast iron meat grinder & sausage maker

toppings. You’ll never find burgers like the ones you can make with this press. It is dishwasher safe, and easy to use.


bacon blue cheese whipped mustard

the handy mesh grilling basket

Cook veggies, shrimp, chicken and fish like never before. If the man in your life likes grilling, he’ll love this grilling basket. It is nonstick and can be loaded up with anything. When the food is done, all you have to do is grab it by the handles with mitted hands and take it straight to the table. This basket is made of tough steel and is 12 by 12 inches in size.


Home-ground meat and sausage is so much better than the kind you buy at the store. Let Dad experiment with different flavors and types of meat. This grinder features two grinding discs, stuffing funnels and a wide clamp opening that can be easily attached to countertops and tables.


stuffed hamburger press

bbq branding iron

Dad needs to brand his meat so everyone knows who that juicy steak belongs to. Sear names or messages into steaks


and chicken; everyone will get a kick out of this! Personalize your meat with this sturdy, easy-touse branding iron.

Tell Dad to say goodbye to ordinary burgers and introduce him to stuffed ones! This press makes it easy to stuff burger patties with cheese, onions, or any of your family's favorite

Most men love blue cheese. Even more men love bacon. So what could be better for the man in your life than bacon and blue cheese-flavored whipped mustard? This stuff is hard to beat. This mustard can be used as a dip or a spread. It can transform an ordinary sandwich into an extraordinary treat.


colorchanging thermometer

Dad might be great at grilling, but every chef makes a mistake every now and then when it comes to the temperature of his meat. Dad can quit guessing with this indoor and outdoor color-changing thermometer. The color codes can easily be matched to the type of meat

you’re cooking. It can even be used in the microwave.


cast iron bacon press


deluxe burger buddy professional burger press

will never want to grill without them again.


knives, cutlery & sets

With this tool, Dad can finally make perfect, uniform patties every time. This is a professional press and helps burger patties cook evenly. The best part about this press is that there is room to do two patties at a time so Dad can make them twice as fast. Dad's bacon will be even better with this professional, cast iron bacon press. It is very easy to use and cooks the bacon quickly, and to perfection. Once Dad uses a bacon press, he’ll never go back. The press weighs down the bacon strips and results in flat, fast even cooking with minimal shrinkage. Nothing is more difficult than trying to fit crumpled up bacon onto a long sandwich like a hogie. With this cast iron bacon press, say goodbye to bacon bubbles. This press has a wooden handle to help avoid burnt fingers. It is a generous size and is a great addition to any kitchen.



gourmet seasoning and rub

Get two in a gift box, or get one by itself. Either way, Dad will love these gourmet seasonings and rubs. They make meat taste like it came straight from a gourmet restaurant. You can’t beat the variety of flavors. Dad

We won’t tell you which knives to get Dad, because you know him better than we do. But check out our wide selection of knives, cutlery and knife sets. Browse through them and see what he might like. We can tell you that our professional 17-piece set is a popular choice and will last Dad a very long time.




t's a beautiful summer evening; perfect for a picnic. But after a challenging day at the office, you just don't have the energy to pull it off. There's an easier way. In the summertime, we keep two large plastic tubs with everything (non-perishable) that you might need on a picnic-from paper supplies, to a first aid kit, to matches, to seasonings. Grab your checklist (there is one to the right to get you started) and check off everything that is not perishable that you might use. Stick it all in a plastic tub or two. Now all you have to do after that hectic day at the office is grab the perishables from the refrigerator and you're ready to go. Our daughter and son-in-law go one step further. They keep a small barbeque grill in the back of their pickup. They also have binoculars for watching game or birds. Be sure to have jackets stashed somewhere for those evenings when the weather changes or cools off unexpectedly. We also suggest keeping picnic and camping items in large containers in the corner of your garage where you can grab them in a moment and be ready for an outing.

Top tips for a great picnic • Everyone likes to lounge on a picnic blanket but sometimes the ground is wet. Bring along a plastic tarp to put underneath the blanket. The tarp will last many years if kept out of the


The Ultimate Picnic Checklist

•Cooler •Ice for cooler (we prefer those “blue ice” blocks that can be frozen in the freezer and reused) •Eating and serving utensils •Tablecloth or picnic blanket •Cutting board and two sharp knives—a serrated knife for bread and a paring knife to cut vegetables and other foods •Napkins and paper towels •Cleaning wipes •Moist washcloth in a zipper-type plastic bag •Hand towel •Seasonings (we keep a small plastic tub filled with seasonings plus salt and pepper) •Sugar •Condiments •Vegetable oil for cooking •Grill and propane or charcoal and fire starter •Cooking pans and utensils •Camping stove if you use one •Drinking water •Beverages •A good book and family games with which to wait out a summer storm •Repair kit (we keep a tiny repair kit with a strip of duct tape, a sewing kit, a small pocket knife, and a length of pliable wire) •Matches •Flashlight •Can opener •Insect repellant •Sunscreen •Calamine lotion •First aid kit •Roll of aluminum foil •Trash bags for refuge •Camera •Bathing suit •Folding chairs •Map

sunlight and can be hosed clean at home if needed. • Pick your picnic spot strategically. If mosquitoes are a problem, choose a higher, drier spot that is in full sun and exposed to a breeze—mosquitoes have trouble in the wind and don't like heat. On the other hand, if staying warm is a problem, choose a spot exposed to the sun and protected from cool breezes. If it's hot, pick a spot that will be in the cool of the shade in the hottest part of the afternoon. • Think safety. If you have kids, make sure there are no hazards nearby: busy roads, deep water, or cliffs.

• Don't forget the tablecloth. Inexpensive plastic coated ones make great picnic equipment, especially with kids. • Speaking of kids, don't forget paper towels for those spills and cleaning wipes to cleanse dirty hands and faces. Put a dry towel and a wet washcloth on your list. Stick the wet washcloth in zip-lock bag. • Bring plenty of liquids. Active kids playing in the hot sun need to be reminded to drink. Water is the best hydrator but consider juices and slushes. Try mixing soda pop with juice—half juice and half soda- or try

freezing punches or juices to a slush to take along in the cooler. • Include fruit in your picnic basket. It keeps well, it's nourishing, and it's refreshing. Often fruit satisfies a craving for something sweeter. Add fruits and fruit pieces to green salads and turkey or chicken salads. • Bring along a cutting board and a couple good knives. You'll be surprised at how often you will use them. Cutting boards are especially useful if you are without a picnic table. The hard plastic types are great for picnics. For cleanup, just stick the cutting board in the dishwasher when you get home.


• Perishable foods must be kept cold. Bacteria grow best above forty degrees and it takes plenty of ice in a cooler to keep foods below forty degrees. Perishable foods should only be allowed to remain above forty degrees for a couple hours. • Stick a first aid kit in the car and leave it there all summer. Chances are you will need it. Keep sunscreen and calamine lotion in the car too. • In the heat of the summer, be prepared for a thunderstorm. Know the rules of lightning safety. Be prepared to retreat to a place of shelter. Waiting out a summer storm is much more pleasant with good books or a game the family enjoys. • If you are going into the mountains or woods—off the beaten track—be sure that someone you trust knows where you are going and when you plan to return. Remember that you may not be able to use your cell phone in more remote areas. • Consider adding folding camp stools to your arsenal. They are comfortable, inexpensive, and compact. With these, you can stop anywhere and have a comfortable picnic and even in the best park, these beat a picnic bench. • Include games and books. Frisbees and balls work for the kids. A badminton set works for adults. And it's nice to have a couple interesting books along that you never find time to read at home.


Top Five Recipes for Your Summer Picnic 1. Turkey Salad Sandwiches If you like chicken salad sandwiches, you’ll like this recipe for turkey salad sandwiches. The filling has flavor and color with the addition of dried cranberries. We used American Harvest MultiGrain Bread and the sandwiches were terrific.

Salad This baked potato salad is made with a creamy dressing. You can bake your potato salad on the grill, which makes it a great salad for summer. 4 Servings 2 pounds russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 1/2 cups cooked sausage such as bratwurst sliced or diced 1 1/2 cup broccoli florets 1 bell red pepper cut into slices olive oil for misting 1/4 cup chopped green onions 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup mayonnaise parmesan cheese Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1 cup cooked turkey, cubed 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon onion salt 1/2 cup celery, chopped 1/2 cup dried cranberries 2--3 1/4 teaspoon Sandwhiches black pepper Mix all the ingredients together. Use this as a filling for bread or pita sandwiches.

2. Old Country Bratwurst Roasted Potato

1. Spray a baking sheet or pizza crisper with cooking oil using a mister. Place the potatoes on the sheet. With the mister, spray the potatoes with olive oil until covered. Salt and pepper to taste. 2. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are no longer hard but not completely baked. Add the broccoli and red peppers and continue baking until done. Remove to a bowl. 3. Make the dressing by mixing the green onions, mustard, sour cream, and mayonnaise together. Toss the potatoes in the dressing and sprinkle with cheese. Serve chilled.

Picnic TIme

Baker’s Note: If you choose

to make this salad on your grill, turn the heat to low. Place your baking sheet on the highest shelf if there is more than one shelf to your grill. Close the lid and bake as if in the oven. If your grill does not have a lid, you can improvise by placing a large tub over the baking sheet. Many grills bake at a higher temperature than desired. Since the heat comes from the bottom, raise your baking sheet. Four empty tin cans make good stanchions to raise your sheet. If it is still baking too hot, place an old baking sheet on the grill and the stanchions on the sheet. The lower sheet will deflect heat away from the upper sheet.

3. Light Waldorf Salad There are many Waldorf salad recipes. Most are made with mayonnaise. This one is a little different, made lighter with whipped cream and grapes instead of raisins. (Of course, you can substitute commercial whipped topping for the whipped cream.) We don’t know that you can call this Waldorf salad “light” like in reduced fat but it is light on the palette, delightfully refreshing. We suppose that if you use a light whipped topping, it would be. Fresh grapes instead of the traditional raisins help. We think of Waldorf salad as a harvesttime salad but all that is really required are good, crisp apples. You can usually get good apples year round but if you

don’t have good apples, don’t bother making a Waldorf salad. 6 Servings 3 cups coarsely chopped apples, about 3 medium apples 1 Tablespoon lemon juice 1 Tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup grapes, cut in half 1 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 1/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste 1/3 heavy cream, whipped salad greens or lettuce 1. Toss the apples with the lemon juice, sugar, and salt to coat (The lemon juice will help keep the apples from turning dark. If you were making a Waldorf salad with mayonnaise only, the acidity in the mayonnaise would do the trick). Add the grapes, celery, and nuts. 2. Fold the mayonnaise into the whipped cream. Fold the apple mixture into the whipped cream mixture. Serve on greens.

4. Oven-Fried Chicken We like the ease of oven fried chicken. But when we cook it in a baking dish, the drippings collect in the pan and make the chicken soggy and greasy. This way, the chicken is still moist but not greasy and the coating stays crispy on both sides. We think you’ll love fixing chicken this easy way. 6 Servings

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 1. Place an oven-proof cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. This method will work best if the rack sits an inch or so off the pan to allow air to circulate under the rack and cook the meat from below. 2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, paprika, salt and pepper. 3. Coat the chicken by dredging the pieces in the flour mixture. 4. Place the chicken on the rack. Bake for about 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 375 and cook it for an additional 20 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

5. South of the Border Bacon and Cheese Dip 6 Servings 1-8 ounce package of cream cheese 5 large slices of bacon cooked and snipped into bits 1/4 cup salsa 1/3 cup crushed pineapple cilantro snipped into pieces Beat the cream cheese until light. Add the other ingredients.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder





he best part about these cheesecake bars is that you can do them your way. What flavors do you think your family will love the most? Mix and match flavors until you find a new family favorite. The options are endless. You can use either a vanilla or a chocolate crust. Some of our favorite ones are cherry vanilla, black forest, lemon, pineapple, and raspberry.

The crust is made with our Vanilla Bean Baby Cakes Mix or our Fudgy Baby Cakes Mix and the filling with cream cheese. The fruit accents are made with our premade pastry fillings. The fruit designs are made by squeezing lines of fruit filling onto the cream cheese filling before it is baked. The herringbone effect is made by dragging the edge of a spatula through the lines pulling them into little half circles.

Basic Recipe 16-20 Servings

1 Baby Cakes cake mix or equal 1/2 cube butter 1 egg 1 8-oz package of cream cheese 3 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla 1 pound of powdered sugar Fruit filling of your choice Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan with shortening. 1. Melt the butter and whisk the egg. In a medium bowl, stir the cake mix, egg, and melted butter together. To form the crust, press the mixture into the bottom of the 9 x 13 inch pan. 2. In the bowl of your stand-type mixer (with the paddle attachment), beat the cream cheese until it’s soft. Add the three eggs, vanilla, and powdered sugar and beat until well-combined. Scrape the filling into the crust. 3. Cut a 1/4-inch corner off a squeeze bag of fruit filling (you may use other fillings). Squeeze eight thin lines across (not lengthwise) over the cream cheese filling. Create a pattern by dragging the edge of a spatula across the lines of filling and at 3/4 inch intervals. 4. Bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until the top of the bars become a pretty golden brown. Chill the cake. After it is chilled, cut it into bars with a knife or pizza wheel.

Baker’s Note: Each bag of premade filling is enough to make about six pans of cheesecake bars. If

you are not making enough cheesecake bars to feed an army, don’t worry. The opened fillings can be stored in the refrigerator in the bag they come in; simply clip the open end!


For these bars we used the basic recipe that is listed at the beginning of this article and chose to use the premade raspberry filling and the Vanilla Baby Cakes mix. Follow the basic directions as written at the beginning of this article.

Blueberry Lemon For these bars we used the basic recipe that is listed at the beginning of this article and chose to use the premade lemon and the premade blueberry filling. We also used the Vanilla Baby Cakes mix. Follow the basic directions as written at the beginning of this article.


Black Forest

For these bars we used the basic recipe that is listed at the beginning of this article and chose to use the premade cherry filling and the Fudgy Baby Cakes mix. Follow the basic directions as written at the beginning of this article.


Strawberry For these bars we used the basic recipe that is listed at the beginning of this article and chose to use the premade strawberry filling and the Vanilla Baby Cakes mix. Follow the basic directions as written at the beginning of this article, but add some pink food coloring in the cheesecake portion of the recipe to give it a prettier hue.


Lemon For these bars we used the basic recipe that is listed at the beginning of this article and chose to use the premade lemon filling. We also used the Vanilla Baby Cakes mix. Follow the basic directions as written at the beginning of this article.


Apple Pie For these bars we used the basic recipe that is listed at the beginning of this article and chose to use the premade apple filling. We also used the Vanilla Baby Cakes mix and then drizzled the finished bars in Caramel Designer Dessert Sauce. Follow the basic directions as written at the beginning of this article








ho says pizza has to be savory?

When I was a little girl I loved sweets. Well, I still do. On rare occasions, my family went to the pizza parlor. Every time we went, I would beg my parents to order the dessert pizza. They almost never gave in, but when they did I wanted to skip the slices of cheese pizza and go straight to the ones with melty cinnamon and sugar on them. I loved the way the warm frosting drizzle melted in my mouth. Even better, are homemade dessert pizzas. And don’t stop at cinnamon-sugar pizzas. We’ve come up with great recipes for brownie pizzas, fruit pizzas and rocky road pizzas. They are all delicious. If I would have known about these as a child I probably would have wanted to stay home and make them myself.

little sugar. Roll the dough out onto a pizza pan. 2. In a medium size bowl, mix up the streusel topping. Using a fork or your hands, mix together the cinnamon, flour, sugar and butter. Alternatively, use a streusel mix. 3. Top the pizza with the streusel mix (for a more moist pizza, brush with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter first). Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. 4. Drizzle with the pastry frosting.

Baker’s Note: To make the apple version of this pizza, simply add a layer of apple filling below your streusel layer.

Rocky Road Brownie Pizza

Part of what made this pizza so good, was the great, high-quality cinnamon we used.


2. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center of the brownie. 3. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. 4. Invert the giant brownie onto a cutting board or another pan and then onto a large plate or platter for serving. 5. Spread the chocolate frosting over the brownie. 6. Sprinkle the walnuts, minimarshmallows and chocolate chips over the frosting. 7. Drizzle with caramel topping. 8. Serve with whipped cream and cherries.

3 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup butter 3/4 cup cocoa 2 teaspoons vanilla 1/2 cup milk


1. Create the pizza dough as you normally would, or according to directions on the package. You may want to sweeten the dough with a

1. Pour your brownie batter into a lightly greased 14-inch round nonstick pizza pan.

Chocolate Frosting

Cinnamon Streusel Pizza (Apple Version

pizza dough ½ cup flour ½ cup brown sugar ¼ cup butter 1 Tablespoon cinnamon pastry frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream the butter in a medium mixing bowl. 1 batch of brownies to fill a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (either a recipe or a mix) Chocolate Frosting (see recipe below) 1/3 cup walnuts 3/4 cup mini-marshmallows 1/2 cup chocolate chips 1/3 cup caramel topping Whipped cream (optional) Maraschino cherries (optional)

2. Add cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk (a little at a time until it reaches the desired consistency) until smooth.

Brownie Pizza These are really simple to make. It’s simply a brownie baked in a pizza pan and then frosted and decorated with drizzles.

1. Bake the “pizza”. We used Uncle Bob’s Extra Moist and Chewy Brownie Mix. It makes a 9 x 9-inch pan of brownies. With these, we made 14–inch round pizzas. Because the batter is spread thinner than in a nine-inch pan, they baked in only 15 minutes. You can also use this mix and bake a 12-inch pizza or two 9-inch pizzas using two 9-inch cake pans. The batter is little deeper and it takes another couple minutes to bake.

Baker’s Note: I like the thicker

brownies. I like the ratio of more brownie to less frosting but in our test kitchen, I was a minority of one. Everyone else liked the thinner, crispier brownie. We compromised by spreading the frosting thinly. 2. Frost the Pizza. We used our cream cheese frosting mix. You can use any frosting that you wish. The white frosting against the dark brownie crust is attractive. Go easy on the frosting—too much frosting makes it too sweet. 3. Decorate with Drizzles. We used Designer Dessert Sauces. On some of them, we squeezed thin ribbons of raspberry pastry filling. Ice cream toppings would work fine. Of course, you can decorate it any way you choose. The sprinkles are toasted coconut pieces. This is quick, easy party fare—much faster than baking and decorating a cake. It makes up well ahead of time and holds for several days. It’s easy enough that anyone can make it and pretty enough that you will look like an artist.

"When I was a little girl I loved sweets. Well, I still do." -Casey Archibald

Fresh Fruit & Cookie Pizza These make gorgeous dessert pizzas. Use your favorite fruits or whatever is in season. The one in the picture is made with strawberry, blueberry and key lime. The one in the recipe is a favorite. We sometimes use Instant Clearjel to make the glaze without cooking. 1 batch of cookie dough (our favorite is Butterscotch Pecan) 1/2 lb Bavarian cream filling or similar 1 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced 1/2 cup blueberries 1 can mandarin oranges, drained 2-3 bananas, sliced (tossed in lemon juice to keep from browning) 2 kiwis, sliced and halved Glaze or jam 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup orange juice 1/4 cup water 2 teaspoons cornstarch

serving. Or layput your cookies onto a platter.

2. Spread the pie filling evenly over the pizza dough.

6. Spread the bavarian cream filling over the cookie.

3. Bake for 6 minutes.

7. Arrange the fruit on the bavarian cream however you would like. Usually a pattern of some sort works out well. 8. Gradually combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Combine sugar and orange juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the water and cornstarch mixture. Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Brush over fruit. Serve with whipped cream or plain.

Fruit Filled Dessert Pizza 1 pizza dough mix or recipe

4. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. 5. Invert the giant cookie onto a cutting board or another pan and then onto a large plate or platter for

6. Remove from the oven and slide the pizza out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. 7. Drizzle the icing over the pizza. Serve warm.

Brown Sugar and Nut Streusel Topping (or use premade Streusel)

1. Stir the, brown sugar and flour together.

1. Mix your cookie dough according to recipe or package directions.

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the streusel has melted slightly and the edge of the pizza crust is lightly browned.

Âźcup flour cup brown sugar 2 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Press the cookie dough onto a lightly greased 14-inch round nonstick pizza pan. Or roll out your dough and cut into circles.

4. Remove from oven and sprinkle the streusel over the fruit filling.

2. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry knife or two butter knives.

For the Icing (or use premade icing) 1 lb of fruit pie filling (your choice of fruit, but we used apple) streusel topping (see recipe below) white icing drizzle Preheat oven to 425 degrees 1. Roll the pizza dough out evenly in a 14-inch nonstick round pizza pan.

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 1/2 tablespoons milk 1. For the icing, mix the powdered sugar, extract and enough milk to form an icing of drizzling consistency.








ave a fiesta this summer with these delicious Mexican salads. They are all full of flavor and we think you will adore them. Salads come in all shapes and sizes, but leafy greens topped with beans and cheese and a touch of Mexican zest are my favorite. We hope you enjoy these Mexican-inspired salads for your summer fiestas!

CaféRioCopycat Salad This salad is our version of the famous pulled pork Café Rio salad. Most of the same ingredients are used in their burritos, so if you don’t feel like a salad, just roll it up and go easy on the lettuce. Makes 6 Salads


6 large tortillas Shredded cheese, Mexican blend or cheddar and parmesan Cafe Rio Rice (see the recipe below) Cafe Rio Pinto Beans (see the recipe below) Cafe Rio Sweet Pork (see the recipe below) Leafy green lettuce Pico de gallo or salsa (optional) Guacamole Sour cream Tortilla chips, crushed Cotija cheese, crumbled, or parmesan and cheddar cheese Cafe Rio Cilantro Ranch (see the recipe below)

Putting the salad together

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 1. In a large, shallow, oven-safe bowl or aluminum dish, lay one tortilla. Sprinkle the shredded cheese blend on the tortilla, to taste. Place the bowl or dish in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes ay 375 degrees, or until the cheese is melted. 2. Remove the dish from the oven and add the rice first, followed by the pork, the lettuce and then about a Tablespoon each of pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole. 3. Top it all off with crushed tortilla chips and the Cilantro Ranch Dressing. 4. Garnish with cilantro (optional). Repeat with remaining ingredients for additional salads. (below)

For the Rice 1 c. uncooked white rice 1 teaspoon butter 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 Tablespoon green onions, minced 1 15 oz can chicken broth 1 cup water 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice 2 teaspoon sugar 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped 1. In a medium saucepan combine the rice, butter, garlic, green onions, chicken broth and the water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 20 minutes, or until the rice is soft.

4. Pour the mixture over the hot rice and mix in as you fluff the rice with a fork.

For the Pork 2 pounds boneless pork (we like to use pork shoulder) 3 cans Coca Cola 2 cups brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt ¼ teaspoon onion salt 1/4 cup water 1 small can diced green chilies, drained 1 10oz can mild red enchilada sauce 1. Place the pork, 2 cans of the Coca Cola and ½ cup of the brown sugar in a zip-type plastic bag to marinate. Let the meat marinate for a few hours or overnight. 2. After the pork has marinated, drain the marinade and place the pork in the crockpot. Pour in ½ of the remaining can of Coca Cola, the water, the onion salt and the garlic salt in the crockpot. 3. Cook on low for 8 hours until the meat shreds easily. 4. Remove the pork from crockpot and drain any liquid that is left over then shred the pork using two forks. 5. In a blender, pour the last ½ of the remaining can of Coca Cola, the drained chilies, the enchilada sauce and the remaining 11/2 cups of brown sugar. Blend until fully incorporated.

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

6. Place the shredded pork back into the crockpot and cover it with the sauce from the previous step. Cook the pork on low for another 2 hours.

3. In a bowl combine the lime juice, the sugar and the cilantro.

For the Pinto Beans


2 Tablespoons butter 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained 1 ½ cups tomato juice 1 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1. In a medium skillet, sauté the garlic and the cumin in the butter on medium heat until the garlic is fragrant. 2. Add the drained pinto beans, the tomato juice and the salt. Stir until the beans are heated all the way through. 3. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

FortheCreamyTomatillo Dressing 1 1 oz package ranch dressing mix 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup mayonnaise 2 medium sized tomatillos (ask your grocer if you don’t know what they are)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 small jalapeno, without the seeds (optional) 1. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors blend together.

Frito Salad Makes 6 Salads

1 green pepper, diced 1 red pepper, diced 1(15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 oz) can of corn 1 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese 1 package of taco seasoning 2 cups of shredded chicken 1 cup mayonnaise Chili Cheese Fritos 1. Cook chicken with packet of taco

seasoning and water (the amount listed on the taco seasoning packet) until water is absorbed. Allow time to cool. 2. Mix all remaining ingredients (except for the Fritos) in a bowl with the cooled chicken. Store in refrigerator for at least an hour to allow time for the flavors to meld. 3. Stir in Chili Cheese Fritos with each serving.

Chicken Taco Salad Makes 6 Salads

Taco salads are easy to make. Use tortilla bakers to make low fat shells rather than fried shells. If you don’t have bakers, you can simply load your salad onto tortilla chips. This salad serves six as a side salad or two as a main dish salad. 2 cups cooked shredded chicken or chicken breast cut up into small

cubes 3/4 cup homemade taco sauce 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded 6 small tortillas or two large tortillas 1 14-ounce can of cooked black beans, well drained 1/2 cup diced red onions 3 medium tomatoes, diced 1/3 cup sour cream 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese 12 pitted black olives 1 cup homemade salsa

Chipotle Sauce 1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup mayonnaise 3 tablespoons lime juice 1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning 1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

To assemble the salad 1.Bake the tortillas in tortilla bakers, the shape of bowls, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Let them cool. 2. Lay a bed of lettuce in the bottom of each tortilla bowl. Starting with the chicken, layer chicken, beans, red onions, and tomatoes on the lettuce. Top with a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese. Slice the olives and scatter them on the salad. Top with chipotle sauce.

Southwest Chicken Salad Makes 6 Salads

You can cook the chicken on patio or on the stovetop. Our Grillin’ Fry Pan is perfect for the stovetop. Season the chicken with your favorite Southwest blend or taco seasoning or choose one of ours: South of the Border Spice Blend, Yellowstone Seasoning’s Buffalo Blend or Old Faithful Spice Blend. The dressing is very simple made with cider vinegar and sugar. 2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts Southwest seasoning 4 slices bacon

1 bunch spinach greens, washed 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese 2/3 cup cider vinegar 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tomato, thinly sliced 1. Season the chicken with Southwest Seasoning and cook over the grill or on the stovetop. 2. Cook the bacon in the microwave until it’s crisp and break it into pieces. 3. Place the spinach greens on four plates. Arrange onion and red pepper slices on the spinach. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. 4. Slice the cooked chicken breasts and place one half breast on each plate. 5. Mix the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over the salads. Garnish each plate with a tomato slice or two.




his week’s familiar theme? Kabobs on a bamboo skewer. The new twist? Using skewers to serve up dishes traditionally presented on a dinner plate. Fruit, meat, and veggie kabobs move over—there’s some competition in town! And how does everything seem to taste better on a stick?

Stuffed Almond Butter Strawberry Jam French Toast Kabobs The title speaks for itself—and if you’re fond of giving brunches, this approach to French toast is a big crowd pleaser. 8 slices Challah bread, or your favorite bread (about 1-inch thick) 3/4 cup fresh almond butter 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries (or fruit of choice) + more for garnish 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup strawberry jam (or jam of choice to complement the fresh fruit) 1 cup milk 7 large eggs beaten 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 5 Tablespoons butter 3/4 cup pure maple syrup + more for drizzling (grade B has more nutrients) Lay bread on flat surface; spread 4 slices with almond butter (or other nut butter of your choice). Spread remaining 4 slices with jam. I use jam to match the fresh fruit I’m incorporating (i.e. strawberry jam + fresh strawberries;

peach jam + fresh peach slices, etc.). Then layer fresh fruit slices evenly over jam-covered bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top these fruit-covered slices with the nut-butter covered bread. (You should have 4 sandwiches.) In medium-sized bowl whisk eggs, milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Dip sandwiches on both sides in egg mixture, saturating bread thoroughly. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sandwiches 3-4 minutes until each side is golden brown. Press firmly with spatula to seal each sandwich. Remove sandwiches to a cutting board and while still warm, thoroughly coat each with maple syrup. Cut each sandwich into evenly sized squares and thread them onto skewers, alternating with fresh fruit slices. Drizzle with more warm syrup and serve..

For instance, cobb salad would look pretty and so delicious served this way. And an added bonus—it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. 2 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal 1 cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal 1/2 head iceberg or butter lettuce, cut into 2 1/2-inch chunks 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes bleu cheese dressing (or another favorite dressing), for serving Thread carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes onto 4 long wooden skewers, alternating the vegetables. Starting with a tomato is pretty, but you might want to end with a carrot slice—it makes a secure anchor for the stack. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Salad on a stick We’ve served it in a Mason jar and now it shows up on a stick! The possibilities in this one are limited only to your imagination.

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Snakes on a stick

the end slightly (to create the snake “head”).

These playful breadsticks are a fun item for any summer party or backyard barbecue. But they show up most at our table when it’s “Spaghetti Night.”

You'’ll need to work the dough a little in creating the snake; place 2 black olives on the flattened area for eyes and a small piece of pimiento in the “mouth” for the tongue. Bake on a prepared baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes or until the snakes are golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with herbs of your choice. We favor dried basil and oregano. Serve either warm, on the stick, or you can remove them from the stick once they are cool.

1 (11 ounce) can refrigerated breadstick dough (or your favorite from-scratch French bread recipe) 2 Tablespoons butter, melted herbs, to taste pimiento, for snake tongues sliced black olives, for eyes Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray each skewer with non-stick spray. Roll dough into strings about 1/4-1/2-inch in diameter. Wrap each breadstick around the skewer and flatten out


Grilled Cheese and Tomatoes on a stick This fun and unique way to serve a traditional favorite is a very sneaky way to get vegetable-dodgers to eat their vitamins! bread (multigrain and white) cheese (provolone and cheddar) cherry or grape tomatoes fresh basil First, grill your cheese sandwiches in a skillet or panini maker. If using a mild cheese like provolone, a sprinkle of salt and pepper on the top layer of cheese is a nice flavor punch. Next, cut sandwiches into 1 1/2-inch squares. Skewer the squares with tomatoes and basil, alternating each. We like serving these cuties with mugs of piping hot tomato soup, garnishes with more basil (chopped and sprinkled atop the soup).



everal years ago our family moved from Minnesota to Idaho. In Minnesota, scones were always English scones— made with baking powder and similar to biscuits. In Idaho, scones are deep fried slabs of bread dough. That wasn’t a surprise to me; my mother often fried slices of bread dough and called them scones. But then, we lived in the West. We ate them hot with butter and maple syrup. The restaurants serve hot scones—(fried bread dough) appetizers. Usually, they serve them with honey butter. They're good. We think they're better with flavored honey butter. So we set off to create some honey butter recipes.

How to Make Honey Butter Honey butter is simple: Whip softened butter and honey together. It should be light and fluffy and melt easily on your toast or scone. Store it in the refrigerator where it will become firm. The question is this: how much butter and how much honey? For that, we went to our cookbooks and the internet. Then we went to work making flavored honey butters. With each trial, we served flavored honey butters to staff and customers on little squares of bread or warm muffins. We have all kinds of honey in our store–hazelnut, chokecherry,


plum & acai, and much more. It’s very simple to make very good flavored honey butter by simply adding butter to flavored honey. My favorites are peach and strawberry rhubarb.

Cinnamon Vanil a Honey Butter This is a very good honey butter. Be sure to use a good quality vanilla. 1/2 cup soft butter 1/2 cup honey 3/8 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Beat softened butter and honey together along with the cinnamon and vanilla until smooth and fluffy.

Banana Pecan Honey Butter This was a crowd pleaser. We served it to both customers and staff and everyone was enthusiastic. It takes a good banana flavor. 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup honey 3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans 1 teaspoon banana flavoring Beat softened butter and honey together along with the pecans and banana flavoring until smooth and fluffy.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Honey Butter

You can add cream cheese to most honey butters for a little richer spread. This is a great honey butter. 1/2 cup butter 1/3 cup honey 3 tablespoons cream cheese 1 teaspoon strawberry flavoring 1 drop red food coloring, if desired. Beat softened butter, honey, cream cheese, and strawberry flavoring together until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the food coloring, if desired.

Raspberry Jam Honey Butter We wondered how jam or jelly and honey would go together. It worked fine, especially with tart flavors like raspberry and or currant. 1/2 cup butter 1/3 cup honey 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam Beat softened butter, honey, and jam together until smooth and fluffy.

Huckleberry Honey Butter 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup huckleberry honey Beat softened butter and honey together until smooth and fluffy.

“It should be light and fluffy and melt easily on your toast or scone.” -Dennis Weaver


June 11 2014 issue  

In this issue of "Country Home Kitchen," you'll find recipes and tips about how to make Father's Day a blast for Dad. Learn about grilling,...

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