Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gotta Wear Shades

The sun cleared for a moment, turning my spring fever into spring madness. There is nothing for it but a picnic. It's too cold and dark outdoors, so I did my best to bring summer indoors in less than 10 minutes.

  • picnic table cloth
  • beach towels scattered over sofas and other nearby surfaces
  • sunscreen lying around
  • lawn and camping chairs scattered around the kitchen
  • beach umbrella stuck in a corner of my sofa
  • sunglasses/ swim goggles laying everywhere (everyone had to wear them)
  • sun hats hanging on our fake tree
  • Gipsy Kings music for that sunshiny island feel
Our picnic menu included tons of classics like deviled eggs, lemonade, chips, fresh fruit, focacia bread, kabobs, and dirt for desert. Enjoy two FABULOUS recipes.

Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar (I used pomagranate because it was all I had)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
10 large mushrooms, halved
2 green onions, minced
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, chunked
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut in thirds
1 can pineapple chunks, drained

1. In a large contained mix soy sauce, cider vinegar, honey oil, green onions, ginger and red pepper flakes. Place chicken and mushrooms into the mixture and stir to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour.2. Preheat grill for high heat. (I used my George Foreman again)
3. Wrap chicken chunks with bacon, and thread onto skewers so bacon is secured. Alternate with mushroom halves and pineapple chunks.
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook for 15-20 minutes, brushing occasionally with remaining marinade, until bacon is crisp and juices run clear.
*Note: I usually keep a jar of minced ginger and garlic from the produce department in my fridge. I also keep a knob of ginger in a Ziploc in my freezer. It is easier to zest that way and it lasts for months. I've had this knob for 7 months and it tastes great.

Dirt Pie with Worms
Serves 10

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages jello instant chocolate pudding
3 1/2 cups milk (skim works fine)
12 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
20 ounces Oreos, crushed finely
20 gummy worms (optional)

1. Mix butter, cream cheese and sugar in bowl and set aside. In separate bowl, mix milk and pudding. fold in Cool Whip. combine the two bowls gently by folding until combined completely.

2. Layer in individual buckets or in one large pot. Start with a layer of cookies on the bottom, pudding mixture, cookies, pudding and cookies on top. Top with gummy worms. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. (Not totally necessary, but it tastes better).

Note: Be creative in your packaging, sand pails are darling! I used a lined flower pot, then stuck a few cleaned artificial flowers in mine and used it for the centerpiece.

We did a little salsa dancing as the skewers finished cooking. I should have done the limbo. But WE FEEL WARM!!! I can't wait for warm weather and BBQ season.

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