Summer Lunch Party-Recipes included!Posted: June 18, 2013
When I worked full-time and raised my two girls, I still liked to entertain. I found ways of making delicious dishes that looked like I spent hours in the kitchen. My girls are both married now, but since I am still working full-time, I use these recipes when I have a busy week and I’m unable to “pre-prepare” for weekend company.
Quick & Easy Sour Cream Salsa Dip
1 large jar of thick chunky salsa
1 large tub of sour cream
2 tbsp chili powder
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
My quick and easy Sour Cream and Salsa Dip is an example of that. I take a large jar of thick salsa. The thicker, the better. I even put it in a strainer for a few minutes and let some of the water runoff. Then I mix it with a large container of sour cream (you can even use the light or fat free and you will never know the difference!) Then add two tablespoons of chili powder and mix well. Lastly add a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. You can add chopped black olives, chopped chilies, Monterey jack in place of the cheddar – I’ve even added left over beef chili. You just want to keep the consistency on the thick side for dipping. Use your imagination! You can make the day before and serve with tons of chips. It makes quite a bit, but goes fast!
Saucy Susan Chicken
For this recipe I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They are the perfect portion and often on sale. A great ‘protein’ for a crowd. The Saucy Susan is actually the brand name of the apricot based sauce that you can find in the grocery store. You can also use Duck Sauce as a substitute and it works pretty much the same way. I cook this recipe in the disposable aluminum pans as the ‘saucy’ part of the chicken tends to thicken up and stick, so this makes for an easy clean-up (and who doesn’t want that!). I place the chicken in the aluminum pans, they shouldn’t be touching, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I cover the pan with foil and bake at 325’ for one hour. I then take off the top, drain out the juices from the chicken and then add the Saucy Susan sauce liberally to the chicken, like you would a bbq sauce. The more the better as you can use it over rice with the dinner. Bake for another hour or until as brown as you’d like. Serve with white rice, which is wonderful with the sauce from the pan drizzled on top of it!
Homey Baked Beans
My “Homey Baked Bean” recipe is super, super easy. Depending on the number of people you are serving, will decide the amount of cans to buy. I purchase a one large can of my favorite canned baked bean (Bushes BBQ Flavored is mine!). I add to that one can of black beans that have been drained and rinsed; one can of small white beans that have been drained and rinsed. To that mixture, I had one half cup of good maple syrup and one half cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Season with black pepper and garlic. Mix well and spoon into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with pam. Even the top with the back of your spoon. Take apprx. 8 slices of uncooked bacon and cut into bit size pieces, about 1” x 1”. Place these over the entire top of the beans. Bake uncovered for one hour at 325 or until bacon crispy. YUMMY.
Classic Deviled Eggs
1 dozen eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few “sprinkles” of black pepper
Paprika, for garnish
Boil & cool eggs. Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a separate bowl. Mash the yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper, together until it’s mixed well.
Evenly spoon heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve!
Caprese Salad with Croutons:
vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/4-inch thick slices
1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick slices
about a “bunch” of fresh basil
*high quality balsalmic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and pepper
Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, working to cover the bottom of a large, shallow platter. Sprinkle with chopped basil, and sprinkle croutons on top of the salad. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then season with salt and pepper.
*I like to use a really good balsamic-makes for an extra tasty salad.
Enjoy your summer gatherings!
P.S. With each recipe, add as much or as little as you’d like according to your taste preference-I don’t always measure exact amounts!