Tasty Tuesday: Warm Weather Menu

March 29, 2022

Let’s get ready for Spring and Summer by making recipes for WARMER WEATHER!

We are on our way to saying “goodbye” to winter weather and welcoming Spring and Summer – warmer temperatures and new life blossoming forth!

So I say it’s time to think about warmer weather dishes – it’s time to get outside – do things that make us feel “alive” and make foods we can take with us.

MENU

Bacon and Water Chestnut Hors D’oeuvres
Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños
Original Chex Mix
Hot Chicken Salad
Seven Layer Salad
24-Hour Salad

BACON AND WATER CHESTNUT HORS D’OEUVRES

bacon and water chestnuts after cooking
Bacon and water chestnut before cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 can whole water chestnuts
  • 1 pound lean bacon, halved
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Roll each piece of water chestnut in a bacon strip (half).
  2. Bake in a 225 deg F oven for 1 hour. Drain and discard the grease.
  3. Mix ketchup and sugar well and pour over the water chestnuts wrapped and partially cooked bacon.
  4. Bake one hour longer.
  5. Serve warm with toothpicks.

Quick, easy, and everyone I’ve known tries these simply love them!  These are great to take to the park for a snack! Just take some hand wipes because they CAN be a little messy – as finger foods can!

BACON-WRAPPED ASPARAGUS

ALTERNATIVE:  BACON-WRAPPED FRESH GREEN BEANS

Bacon-wrapped asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (or more) fresh asparagus
  • Bacon, again cut in half
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Clean the asparagus under clear running water and trim (I like to break the fat part of the stems, they break where the tender parts turn to tough parts, but you can also cut them.)
  2. Put similar size asparagus together – bunch them in 3-4 stems of asparagus and wrap the center of the stalks with the bacon.
  3. Lay them on a foil lined baking sheet (baking sheet with edges because the fat in the bacon will melt when heated), place them seam side down.
  4. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil.
  5. Bake in a preheated 400 deg F oven for 15-25 minutes – check and when the bacon looks cooked (not necessarily totally brown), the asparagus should be done.
  6. Remove and serve.

You can use fresh long whole green beans the same way EXCEPT, blanch the green beans in salted water first, not cook; blanch to start the cooking process. Wrap the same as asparagus, cook the same as asparagus, but not as long because they are smaller.  Watch them close, but the bacon does need to cook/bake until ALMOST crisp.

BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED JALAPEÑOS

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

Are you getting the idea you can wrap bacon around almost anything that can be baked and eaten as a snack, appetizer, or vegetable side? YEP, creativity! In my opinion, the creativity is what cooking is all about.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Jalapeños – all of the medium size, open with a knife but only enough to get the seeds and membrane out
  • Bacon
  • Cream Cheese – plain or any combination, such as Herb Cream Cheese
  • Optional — Ricotta, Pepper Jack, or Cheddar cheese (to mix with the cream cheese)

Instructions

  1. Stuff the jalapeños with the cream cheese (or cream cheese mixture).
  2. Half the bacon strips. Wrap a half strip of bacon around the stuffed jalapeños. Place on a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Bake at 400 deg F. oven until bacon is done and just crisp.
  4. Let cool before eating. 

ORIGINAL CHEX MIX

Original Chex Mix

This recipe is the “original” but it can surely be modified and adjusted to use up any and almost all of your leftover dry cereals, snacks, and/or nuts.

Makes 2 ¼ quarts.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups crisp rice squares
  • 2 cups shredded wheat squares
  • 1 cup thin pretzels – sticks or shapes
  • 2 cups oat cereal balls
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 2 teaspoons cereal salt
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and stir in the Worcestershire Sauce, garlic salt, and celery salt. Remove from heat and let stand.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in large roasting pan. Pour butter sauce over the cereal mixture and toss until well blended.
  3. Bake uncovered in slow oven (250 deg F) for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper (paper towels) to cool and absorb any extra butter.
  4. Store in an air tight container.

HOT CHICKEN SALAD

Hot chicken salad

This is a favorite recipe from my mother – she loved casseroles and even put chicken salad in a casserole dish and served it with fresh bread! This is a great lunch or weeknight dinner – it uses up leftovers in the refrigerator, is filling and nourishing. It can be eaten hot, warm, or even cold!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked chicken cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped green pepper (or red pepper)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion (or dry onion)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 Tablespoons pimento peppers, strips or diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
  • ½ cup Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups broken potato chips

Instructions

  1. Blend all together except the cheese and potato chips.
  2. Place in a buttered casserole dish and top with the cheese and potato chips. 
  3. Bake in 350 deg F. oven for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

SEVEN LAYER SALAD

Ingredients

  • Lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 6 slices crisply cooked bacon

Instructions

  1. We want to see all the layers so line the bottom of a 9×13” glass dish (or a large round deep glass bowl) with bite-sized lettuce.
  2. Sprinkle with ½ cup chopped green pepper and ½ cup chopped red pepper (or 1 cup chopped green pepper).
  3. Then sprinkle on ½ cup diced red onion and ½ cup chopped celery.
  4. Add 1 package frozen peas, uncooked.
  5. Add 2 T. granulated sugar to 1 ½ cups Miracle Whip then pour mixture over the top but DO NOT STIR!
  6. Add 1 cup shredded cheese and 6 slices crisply cooked bacon which has been crumbled.
  7. Let stand covered in the refrigerator 24 hours before serving.

24-HOUR SALAD

Fruit salad

This is also called Fruit Salad. This recipe is a favorite of my family.

Substitutions can be made, such as using walnuts in place of the grapes or eliminating the coconut. I find the canned fruits are best.

Ingredients

  • 1 can pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained
  • 1 cup Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup small marshmallows
  • 1 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Mix all together and let set in the refrigerator 24 hours.

An easy way to “serve” these salads is to get plastic drinking cups with lids. Put the salad in a cup, refrigerate and then just take it from the fridge, pick up plastic spoons (or forks) and be on your way!

Yellow, orange and purple flowers in the front yard

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I hope I’ve given you some new ideas to “spring” up your food!

Bon Appétit

With love,

Granni K

To download this recipe, click here.

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