Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shake Those Winter Blahs

Does all this winter weather have you and your family suffering from cabin fever? Does your family have the winter blues? It’s time to take them on a winter picnic! Rent some movies, throw a blanket on the floor and cook up some summer heat inspired recipes. Gather your family around and enjoy a good old fashioned ‘picnic’. You’ll have everything you need minus the ants!

Nothing says summer fun like good old classic picnic food. The following recipes will have you celebrating in no time.

Keep in mind that these are the basic recipes. Use your imagination to modify them in any way. If you’re craving something a bit spicier, add some chilli powder to the corn before cooking or jazz up the burger recipe by adding some smoky paprika or Cajun seasoning. You might like to add pepper jack cheese and guacamole for a “south of the border twist.” Your options are limitless with this menu!

Potato Salad
3 pounds potatoes, cooked until tender, cooled, and cubed
6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and chopped
½ chopped sweet onion (as in Vidalia or Maui)
2 stalks chopped celery

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard (such as yellow or Dijon)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the dressing ingredients first, adding a bit of each at a time until you get a consistency and taste that you like, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, egg, onions, and celery. Pour dressing on top and mix until salad and dressing are combined.

Veggie Pasta Salad
1 (16 ounce) package pasta cooked and cooled
1 and a 1/2 cup finely chopped veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, and onions
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1 packet dry vegetable soup mix (such as Knorr brand)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended

Basic Burgers
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoon liquid smoke flavouring
Grill seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste

Preheat a grill pan; meanwhile, mix together the ingredients. Form the mixture into 6 patties. Place the patties on the grill grate, and cook until your desired level of done.

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