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Planning a picnic or cookout?

Zeamays, Wikimedia Commons

A staple for picnics and cookouts, potato salad is very versatile. Be sure to keep it cold.


Our country’s Independence Day celebration is almost here. July 4th is on a Sunday this year, and hopefully it will be a safe day for everybody.

Please be aware that we are well into fire season now, and we do not want a repeat of how awful last year’s season was.

There are many ways to celebrate but one thing seems to be a common must-have: food.

What would a 4th of July gathering be without a plentiful array of delicious food? You are on your own as to what kind of beverages you provide (again, think safety), but here are a few recipes that have my vote for feeding a hungry bunch of friends or family.

All American potato salad

About 3 pounds unpeeled red potatoes

1/2 cup diced onion (any type)

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 cup sweet or dill pickle relish

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

3/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Paprika for garnish

1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Cook until just tender. Be careful not to overcook. Drain and cube, leaving unpeeled if you like. Place in bowl with next 4 ingredients; toss gently.

2. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley, dry mustard, salt and pepper; stir well. Pour over potato mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle top with paprika. Cover and chill. Makes 9 servings. Serving size 1 cup.

All American fried chicken

Just one of many, many good fried chicken recipes.

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or equivalent in favorite parts, such as drumsticks)

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

2 eggs, whisked

3/4 cup milk

1 cup flour

Vegetable oil, for frying

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Rub the chicken pieces on both sides with the poultry seasoning. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg and milk mixture, and then dredge the chicken in flour mixture.

2. Heat enough oil to generously cover the bottom of a large, deep pan over medium-high heat. Fry the battered chicken until all sides are golden brown and the meat is cooked through. Remove from oil and drain. Serve hot or cold.

Grape salad

You can use green or red grapes, or combine the two.

4 pounds seedless green grapes

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 ounces chopped pecans

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1. Wash and dry grapes. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla.

2. Add grapes to cream cheese mixture and mix until evenly incorporated.

3. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans; mix again. Chill until serving time.

Red, white and blue gelatin dessert

Allow time for each layer to completely set.

2 packages (3-oz. each) blackberry gelatin (or use blue)

1 can blueberry pie filling

3 packages (3-oz. each) lemon gelatin

1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese

1 container (6-oz.) whipped topping, such as Cool Whip

2 packages (3-oz. each) strawberry gelatin

1 box frozen strawberries (or bag), thawed and drained

1. Make blackberry gelatin with 3 cups water instead of 4; stir in blueberry pie filling.

2. Pour mixture into a deep, rectangular pan; cool until firmly set.

3. Add 1 cup boiling water to lemon gelatin. Beat dissolved gelatin into the cream cheese.

4. Cool lemon mixture to room temperature; then fold in whipped topping.

5. Pour mixture on top of blackberry gelatin layer; cool until firmly set.

6. Make strawberry gelatin with 3 cups water instead of 4; stir in strawberries.

7. Cool until room temperature, then pour this mixture on top of the cream cheese layer; cool until firmly set. Cut into squares to serve.


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