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Pat’s Pantry: Summer menus

By Pat Mills

In the next few weeks, summer as we know it will end as the kids go back to school, and the nights start to get cooler. So lets enjoy some summer menus now that are speedy and scrumptious. – Pat

B-b-q dogs

¾ cup ketchup
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
10 hot dogs
10 hot dog buns split

Combine ketchup, onion, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan; simmer 2-3 minutes. Add hot dogs; simmer 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve on buns topped with relish. Yield: 10 servings.

Broiled pizza burgers

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion salt
10 slices process American cheese, divided
4 hamburger buns split

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt and onion salt. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add six cheese slices; cook and stir until cheese is melted and blended. Place hamburger buns cut side up on a baking sheet; spoon about ¼ cup meat mixture onto each bun half. Cut remaining cheese slices in half diagonally; place over meat mixture. Broil 6-8 in. from the heat for 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

Old fashion potato salad

5 pounds red potatoes
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup vinegar
¼ cup water
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 to 1½ cups (12 oz) sour cream

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain and cool. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sugar, flour, salt, mustard and pepper. Add vinegar and water; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add a small amount to eggs; return all to the pan. Cook and stir for 1-½ to 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened and a thermometer reads 160 degrees. Refrigerate until cooled. Peel potatoes if desired; slice and place in a large bowl. Add onions. Stir sour cream into dressing; pour over potato mixture and toss to coat. Yield: 16-18 servings.

Creamy fruit salad

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 can (15 1/4  oz) fruit cocktail or tropical fruit salad, drained
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (6 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups pastel miniature marshmallows

In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, fruit cocktail, milk and lemonade concentrate. Fold in the whipped topping and marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Yield: 12-16 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• When making gelatin, stir the powder and hot liquid with a slotted spoon. This keeps the clumps of powder from sticking to the sides of the dish.
• Quickly pep up potato salad from the deli by stirring in finely chopped green or sweet red pepper, shredded cheddar cheese or herbs such as basil, dill or parsley.

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