Recipes for summer cooking

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Play ball! That is about all we have heard around our house this week. Both of our children are playing baseball and softball and boy, are they playing!

This week we have been in a baseball tournament and our daughter has had two softball games, so we have played eight games in three days. Late nights at the ballpark and doing uniform laundry every night made for an exhausting, memorable and exciting week. As the children played, the parents talked about how much the children changed from last year in both maturity and physical appearance. Time certainly has flown by, and another baseball season is over. We develop pictures, pack away some of the gear and wait for the next sporting season to begin.

I hope each of you had an enjoyable and memorable Fourth of July holiday. We had some family in and did a lot of visiting and ate a lot of great food. One recipe I would like to share with you is my Uncle Bill's barbecued chicken. My uncle started making this chicken in the 1950s at our Powell family reunions, and the tradition continues today. It is fun to enjoy it anytime, but around a packed table with family it is the best.

Missouri Basting Sauce for Chicken

2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

3/4 pound butter or margarine

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

This is enough basting sauce for 5 whole chickens.

Combine all above ingredients in a large pan and heat until butter is melted; stir well. Cut chickens in half or into quarters. Dip in basting sauce and place on grill. Turn chickens every 5 to 7 minutes and baste with basting mop. Continue this for approximately one hour or until almost done. Finish chickens last 15 to 20 minutes with your favorite barbecue sauce moped on straight or mix barbecue sauce with remaining basting sauce and mop that mixture on chickens. Yum!

When I was at work talking about our family traditions and especially food traditions, one of my co-workers, Shannon Brady was remembering the cheesecake dessert that was so popular many years ago with the lemon gelatin and whipped evaporated milk. I can remember my mother making that and it did not stay long at our house. This recipe is for good memories and days gone by.

Cheesecake Dessert


1 small package lemon gelatin

1 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large can evaporated milk, well chilled, whipped stiff


1 stick margarine or butter, melted

1/2 of a 1-pound box graham cracker, crushed

2 tablespoons sugar

Mix melted margarine, sugar and graham cracker crumbs together and pour into a large glass baking dish, reserving 1 cup of the crumb mixture to sprinkle on the top. Press firmly and evenly onto bottom of pan. Mix and cool to lukewarm 1 small package lemon gelatin and boiling water. Cool and add lemon juice. Mix together sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Add to gelatin mixture. Whip the can of well-chilled evaporated milk at high speed of a mixer until it forms stiff peaks and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spoon gelatin mixture into crust-lined dish and sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Chill several hours. Cut into squares to serve. As an added touch, top with cherry pie filling, or well drained crushed pineapple.

Squash is ripening and soon there will be an abundant supply. Some people might wonder what to do with all of the squash. Here are a couple of recipes that might help use up some of that fresh and delicious produce.

Zucchini Casserole

4 cups coarsely grated zucchini

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon horseradish

1 1/2 cups buttered cracker crumbs

1 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons butter

1 beaten egg

Mix all ingredients with 1/3 cup of the crumbs. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over top. Bake in casserole dish until evenly browned. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.

Zucchini Squash Casserole

3 cups zucchini squash, parboiled

2 beaten eggs

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Onion salt, minced onion or finely chopped fresh onion

1 cup crushed soda crackers

2/3 cup diced or shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Drain zucchini well. Mix all together. Pour into a buttered casserole. Place a few small dots of butter on top and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes for a double batch. This is delicious!

Squash and Sausage Casserole

4 cups diced yellow and/or zucchini squash, lightly cooked and drained

1 pound regular sausage, cooked and drained

2 eggs

1 box seasoned croutons

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup milk

1 can cream soup, either celery or mushroom is best

1/2 to 1 pound shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix eggs and milk with salt and pepper. Add croutons and stir slightly until they soak up the milk. Add cream soup. Stir in squash and sausage. Layer casserole with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.

Stir-fried Summer Squash

Nonfat cooking spray

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 small yellow squash (approximately 5 inches long, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick, about 2 cups total)

2 medium zucchini (approximately 6-7 inches long, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick, about 2 cups total)

1 cup thinly sliced onion, separated into rings

3/4 teaspoon parsley garlic salt

Coat a nonstick wok or sautZ pan with cooking spray. Preheat, then add oil. When the oil is hot, add the yellow squash, zucchini, and onion. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the squash is crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley garlic salt and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Parsley garlic salt is a bottled garlic salt and dried parsley flakes combined. It gives this squash a fantastic flavor.

I hope you enjoy one or more of these recipes as you also enjoy garden fresh produce.

Have a wonderful week and until next time, happy cooking.

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