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Watermelon Punch

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Crisp, cool, refreshing watermelon punch is great for all the hot summer days ahead. Thanks to Becky Terry for submitting this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (3 large lemons)
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups fresh orange juice (6-8 oranges)
1 small watermelon
Garnish: lime wedges

Directions:

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; boil 3 minutes. Cool completely, and stir in orange juice. Peel, seed and cube watermelon. Process cubed watermelon in a blender until smooth. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, reserving 3 cups juice; discard watermelon pulp.
Stir together watermelon juice and sugar mixture; chill thoroughly. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.

Yield: 8 cups.

4th of July Ribs

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Ribs on July 4th. It does not get much better. Here’s a great recipe for BBQ ribs from Myscha Crouch from Hartselle, Alabama. Make these for your backyard BBQ this fourth, you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients

4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cans tomato puree
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chili sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes hot sauce
8 pounds pork back ribs

Directions: 
Saute garlic in oil 4 minutes. Add next 12 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Sprinkle ribs with salt. Place ribs, bone side down, on grill over medium heat. Grill for 20 minutes. turn meaty side down and grill 20 more minutes. Brush with sauce and grill 15 more minutes, basting occasionally. Turn and baste, cooking several minutes more.

Binky’s Seasoning

 

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Sprinkle this blend of seasonings on meats, fish, or anything you plan on cooking low and slow outdoors. If you add a bit more salt and dissolve the mix in water, you’ve got yourself a great brine for larger cuts that could dry out during cooking. Thanks to reader Clyde Helmer from Baldwin County for the recipe.

Ingredients and Directions:

Mix two parts salt, 1 part onion powder, 1 part garlic powder, 1 part black pepper, 1 part paprika, 1 part chili powder, ½ part cayenne pepper, ½ part crushed oregano and ½ part crushed rosemary.

 

 

Garden Macaroni Salad

 

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Macaroni salad with all the best from your summer vegetable garden. Thanks to reader Mary Ann Johnson from North Alabama for the recipe.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped radishes
  • 1 cup chopped onion (red onions add color)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound hickory smoked bacon
  • 4 cups elbow macaroni
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Fry bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. When cool, crumble into small pieces and set aside. Cook macaroni until tender. Don’t overcook or the noodles will fall apart when mixed with other ingredients. Drain macaroni and let cool. In a large bowl, combine all chopped raw vegetables and crumbled bacon. Mix well, gently add macaroni and mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Gently mix all ingredients until well coated with mayonnaise. Chill overnight.

 

Picnic Potato Salad

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Don’t forget the chopped dill pickles in this fun picnic recipe from Janice Bush of Baldwin County.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled, washed and cubed
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, cut up
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ cup dill pickles, chopped
  • ¼ cup white or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: 

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and cook on medium until potatoes are tender. Drain. In separate bowl, mix celery salt, pickles, onions, mustard and mayonnaise and pour over potatoes. Add eggs and mix well; add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle bacon bits over the top.

 

Gulf Shores Fried Chicken

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There’s not much better than home-made fried chicken. Here is a simple recipe for fried chicken that’s great for picnics or sitting around on the porch.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken, cut into eight pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper or Binky’s Seasoning (recipe following)
  • Solid Crisco or oil for frying

Preparation:

Place enough Crisco in an electric frying pan set at 350 to 375 degrees to come up the sides about ¼ of an inch. Since temperatures may vary on fry pans, be careful not to let the oil burn. Mix flour with seasonings. Coat chicken with seasoned flour and shake off excess. Brown chicken on each side, then cover and cook until juices run clear (about 20 minutes).

Crawfish Stuffed Picnic Eggs

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A fun recipe for crawfish deviled eggs from our reader Kim Robertson from Baldwin County.

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen large or jumbo hard-boiled eggs, halved with yolks and whites separated
  • 3 pounds cooked crawfish (store bought or cooked at home), peeled and chopped
  • 24 whole, cooked and peeled crawfish to use as garnish (do not chop)
  • ¾ -1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise (adjust to desired consistency)
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons sweet pickle relish (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 4 green onions, chopped (I add a little extra)
  • 24 green onion stems to use as garnish (about 1/2-inch in length) on the eggs
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
  • 2 or 3 drops Tabasco or other hot sauce

Preparation:

In a large bowl, mash the egg yolks until creamy and smooth. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, chopped green onions, pickle relish, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and potato flakes and combine until thoroughly mixed. Fold in the chopped crawfish meat and mix well. Spoon the crawfish-egg mixture into the egg whites, filling the centers generously. Garnish each egg with an entire crawfish tail and green onion stem. Carefully monitor the amount of salt used; if your cooked crawfish are highly seasoned, you may want to omit salt altogether or lessen the amount used. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Bill’s Cold Lasagna

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Bill Stone may be a bit new to Alabama, but he’s not new to cooking. He and his wife retired to Foley, Ala., from Connecticut in 2011, but he’s been playing around in kitchens for far longer, and that’s how he came up with this month’s standout recipe, Bill’s Cold Lasagna. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and I like going to restaurants and coming home and trying to replicate the recipe for what I had,” he says. Looking for a good use for leftover lasagna noodles led him to create a flavor-packed pasta dish that is perfect for picnics since it’s served cold.

“It cuts clean and stays together, so it’s nice and easy to eat,” Bill said. “It looks nice too; all the layers of color make for a great presentation.” He encourages folks to change up ingredients and to use more or less of the things they like best, but he offered one piece of advice: “Don’t go too heavy on the dressing, or it will get soggy, and you don’t want that.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 1 bottle Italian or Greek salad dressing
  • 1 purple onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 package baby spinach
  • 2 cups kalamata seedless olives, cut in half
  • 1 container of feta cheese
  • 1 container of Parmesan cheese

Preparation: 

Cook lasagna noodles per package instructions, drain and let cool. Pour the dressing lightly in a 9-inch by 12-inch pan and rub around the whole pan. Lay noodles on bottom until covered. Put tomatoes, olives, spinach and onions on top of noodles. Adjust amount to your liking. Sprinkle feta and Parmesan cheeses, as much as you like. Lightly pour dressing over all. Continue layering until the pan is full; the top layer should be tomatoes, onions, olives, spinach, feta and Parmesan. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (overnight is better). Cut and serve in squares just like lasagna.