Friday, September 2, 2011

Picnic and Tailgates - herb recipes for FUN!

Football season has finally started and I am thrilled.  I love the sport of football.  In part, this is due to the fact my father taught me the terminology and strategy of the game while we watched together on Sundays giving me the ability (unlike most other girls in the marching band) to understand what was going on when I sat through the games in high school.

His teaching gave me the tools to like the game and I still do.  Once the car racing season ends I love nothing more than a football game on Sunday!

Being that Labor Day weekend and the football season are linked this year. I am going to share some great appetizer and picnic recipes so you can enjoy the last harah of summer before Fall in upon us! 


Spinach Tomato Appetizers
This recipe is great for using the abundance of tomatoes this time of year!
1 10-oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 c Italian bread crumbs
3 green onions, chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 TB butter, melted
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese, more for garnish
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
6 thick tomato slices
ground black pepper

Cook spinach according to package directions and drain well. In a medium
bowl, combine spinach, bread crumbs, green onions, eggs, butter, 1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, white pepper, thyme,
and Tabasco sauce; mix well. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on a
greased baking pan. Sprinkle with black pepper. Mound an equal portion of
spinach mixture on each tomato slice. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan
cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Walnuts and Parmesan Bruschetta
1 Tbls. fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)
1 Tbls. fresh parsley (1 tsp. dried) 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Thinly slice half a baguette. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and broil them until they're golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes per side).

Pulse the walnuts, Parmesan, herbs and salt in a food processor until crumbly. Add the lemon juice. While the machine is running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Spread the mixture on the rounds. Garnish the bruschetta with additional Parmesan, if desired.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Marinated mushrooms and artichokes

1/2 to 1 cup prepared BYP Caesar Salad Dressing
fresh button mushrooms or sliced portobello
frozen cooked artichoke hearts

Marinade fresh mushrooms and frozen cooked artichoke hearts in prepared BYP Caesar Salad Dressing for several hours in the refrigerator.  Drain and serve on picks.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 t. garlic salt
1 c. sour cream
3 T. dill vinegar (may substitute regular vinegar and 1/4 t. dill)
4 t. minced green onions

Sprinkle cucumbers with salt in colander and allow to drain for one hour.  Rinse with clear water and drain 5 minutes.  Mix sour cream, vinegar and onions in serving bowl.  Add cucumber slices and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving.  Keeps well on ice!  Serves 4 to 6.

Picnic Burgers

You can make these ahead and just warm them on the grill or in the broiler before serving.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork or turkey
2 Tbls. garlic powder
1/2 Tbls. black pepper
2 Tbls. mixes fresh herbs, finely chopped
2 Tbls. light soy sauce (do not add extra salt)
3 4 Tbls instant oats or break crumbs

Mix ground meat with herbs and seasonings.  Add soy sauce and oats.  Mix well.  Shape into mini paddies (make a golfball sized meatball and smash flat.)  Cook on a griddle or grill uuntil internal temp is at least 170 degrees.  Serve on buns with all the fixins.

1/2 french baguette loaf
1 cup walnuts
1 cup grated Parmesan

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