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In June, we packed a fried chicken and cupcake picnic to commemorate the solstice. It seems like yesterday.

Now, we are experiencing early morning temperatures in the mid 40’s, the start of school and the beginning of the debate about whether or not to pumpkin spice (yes, always yes).

So let’s pack another picnic, whether to listen to the symphony in Washington Park on Saturday evening or for another occasion.

This time, we’ll take a tasty egg salad on dark bread with thin slices of cucumber, a pasta chicken “ranch” salad, and fruit hand pies. You could also use the egg salad as a spread for crackers instead of as a sandwich filling

Whatever you do this weekend, make the most of it. It’s the last weekend before the Labor Day holiday, so summer has nearly escaped our grasp once again.

Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

¾ cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

¾ cup finely chopped fresh rhubarb

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 ½ teaspoons grated orange peel

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon whipping cream

2 teaspoons sugar

Heat oven to 375. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In 2-quart saucepan, mix strawberries, rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch and orange peel. Cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Cool slightly.

Remove pie crusts from pouches; unroll on work surface. With 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 14 rounds from each crust; reroll scraps. On cookie sheet, place half of the dough rounds 2 inches apart. Top each with 2 teaspoons fruit mixture. Brush crust edges with water; top with remaining dough rounds. Press edges firmly with fork to seal. Cut slits in top of each round.

In small bowl, beat egg yolk and whipping cream; brush over tops of pies. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or cool.

(Recipe from Pillsbury)

Herbed Egg Salad

8 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped chives

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

1-½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar, plus more if needed

Hot sauce

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Mix eggs, chives, mayonnaise, dill, mustard, 1-½ teaspoons vinegar and a few dashes of hot sauce in a medium bowl until well combined. Season with salt, pepper and more hot sauce or vinegar if desired. Makes four large sandwiches or use a spread with crackers.

(Recipe “Bon Appetit,” June 2015)

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

1 pound gemelli or penne

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup (4 slices) cooked bacon, crumbled

½ cup ranch dressing

2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook gemelli according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook until golden and cooked through, 8 minutes per side. Let rest 10 minutes, then cut into 1-inch pieces.

To bowl, add gemelli, chicken, bacon and ranch and toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with chives before serving. Serves 8.

(Recipe from delish.com)

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Community News Editor

Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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