The picnic season is said to begin with the Memorial Day weekend, and from that time on, summertime activities accelerate.
From now until Labor Day, I think we eat as many meals outdoors on the deck as we do indoors. Whether we grill steaks or hamburgers, I like to be outdoors and to enjoy the long, sunny days of summer that seem to come and go too fast.
Grilled Ham Steaks with Apricot Glaze
Serving size: 4
1 pound boneless ham, cut into four 1/2-inch thick pieces
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
In a small bowl, mix the jam, mustard and vinegar. Grill ham slices over hot coals, brushing with apricot basting sauce occasionally and turning once, until nicely browned, about 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serving size: 6
1 medium heat cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Chop cabbage coarsely. Put in pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover with water and boil for 7 minutes. Drain, set aside. For white sauce, melt margarine in pan; add flour and slowly add milk. Cook and stir until thick. Add salt and pepper. Butter a rectangular baking dish. Place 1/2 of the cabbage in a baking dish, then pour 1/2 of the white sauce over the cabbage. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesans cheese and 1/2 cup cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes
Serving size: 4
4 baking potatoes
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 pound Velveeta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes in several places with a fork. Bake 1 hour or until potatoes are done. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out centers, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Mash potatoes. Add dressing and sour cream and chives; mash until fluffy. Spoon into shells; top with Velveeta. Place in shallow baking dish. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.
GARY'S TIP: To keep fresh-picked parsley fresh, place stems in a bowl of water in the refrigerator.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: There are bigger things in life than money. They're called bills.
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