Angel Food Cake Kabobs

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Angel Food Cake Kabobs! Feeling Patriotic? This colorful dessert is perfect for an Independence Day picnic or gathering. Strawberries for Red, angel food cake for White, and blueberries for…..well, you know…Blue! Get the kids involved by letting them assemble the delectable desserts in advance. Better throw in extra ingredients for nibbling. Transport the kabobs in pint-size canning jars. Drizzle with chocolate before serving or make up individual portions of hot fudge sauce in small jars for dunking. It’s all fun and celebration for a light, refreshing dessert-on-a-stick. Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks!

ANGEL FOOD CAKE KABOBS

Ingredients:

Angel Food Cake

12-15 bamboo skewers

1 quart strawberries

1 pint blueberries

I jar chocolate fudge sauce

Instructions:

Cut the angel food cake into large square, bite-sized pieces. Wash strawberries; pat dry. Repeat with blueberries. To assemble kabobs skewer one strawberry, one piece of cake, then two blueberries. Repeat to fill each skewer. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

All the Buzz!

Life can find us as busy as a bee some days, so I invite you to drop by from time to time to find something sweet. Who doesn’t enjoy dining al fresco, picnics in the park, and foods that are healthy? I do. I like fresh ingredients, garden herbs, rich chocolate, and French butter…to name just a few. But I’m in good company. Some of my recent posts have been favored by the “Food Network” on Twitter as well as Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) on Instagram. Come along with me for “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: All the Buzz! This remarkable journey of the palate is special because it gives me a few moments with you. Thanks very much to all of my guests and followers on http://snapshotsincursive.com for the uplifting support, award nominations, and moving words of encouragement. What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? It’s as simple as reciting your A-B-Cs. One of my passions is being at home in my own country kitchen. I love to cook, and my husband loves that I do it often. Now more than ever, since I am retired, I relish the thought of creating something delicious from scratch. I adore time-honored traditions using tried-and-true recipes. Yet, I often never think twice about tweaking old favorites or modifying others to suit the inner craving of the moment. Most of the recipes serve 2-4 people, but can be altered in any direction. The leftovers are golden morsels to be eaten again later or shared with others. And I love to share. To me, seeing a smile in gratitude is thanks enough. The recipes you will find here in the next several weeks can be prepared very easily. Feel free to contact me with questions. Now take a deep breath, inhale the aromas, and join me on a tasteful journey entitled, “EATING MY WAY THROUGH THE ALPHABET: ALL THE BUZZ!”

Traditional Four-Bean Combo

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Traditional Four-Bean Combo! This is an amazing side dish you can slow cook in the crockpot and forget about it. The end result is a sweet and savory baked bean assortment that will explode with flavor and compliment anything you plan to pair with it, especially grilled meats. The presentation is a color wheel of enticing hues giving it center-stage on the dinner plate. Leftovers only taste better and better as the flavors get swallowed up in each other. The next time you crave something different and nutritious, give this recipe a whirl.

TRADITIONAL FOUR-BEAN COMBO

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bacon, sautéd and diced

1 cup onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 cup cider vinegar

3/4 cup brown sugar

15 ounces kidney beans, drained

15 1/2 ounces yellow waxed beans, drained

42 ounces pork and beans, with sauce

3 cups garden green beans, cooked al dente

Instructions:

Combine bacon, onion, mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add the beans and stir together to blend the colors and flavors. Transfer to a crock pot. Cook on HIGH until beans are bubbly. Turn to LOW setting and simmer for 5-7 hours. Unplug crock pot. Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.

Zapata Mexican Corn Salad

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Clean Plate Club: Zapata Mexican Corn Salad! Picnic season is upon us and salads are the star attractions. They are not only refreshing, colorful, and bursting with flavor, but look appealing in glass jars…making them incredibly portable. Choose single-size portions or larger quantities. How fun is that? Southwest corn offers the extra kick of poblano and red peppers. Pair it with natural sweet corn for amazing seasoning. Top everything off with the crunch of chili cheese corn chips. Toss a bag in the picnic basket since you only crush them and sprinkle them on before serving. Nibbling is allowed.

ZAPATA MEXICAN CORN SALAD

Ingredients:

15-ounce can Southwest Corn with poblanos and red peppers, whole kernel and drained

15-ounce can natural sweet corn, whole kernel and drained

2 radishes, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1 jalapeño, chopped

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

9.75-ounce bag chili cheese corn chips

Cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

Combine southwest corn, sweet corn, radishes, green onion, red onion, and jalapeño. Mix well. Stir in mayonnaise and Greek yogurt. Fold in cheddar cheese. Stir well. Transfer to covered container. Refrigerate one hour. Before serving, crush chili cheese corn chips. Sprinkle on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter H

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Daily Special: Hot Dog Coney Island Sauce! Sometimes it’s a treat to dress up an ordinary grilled hot dog with a thick tangy coney sauce bursting with flavor. Now you can make your own secret sauce to keep on hand for that weekend picnic…or any time.

HOT DOG CONEY ISLAND SAUCE

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons butter

2 pounds ground beef

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups catsup

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon basil, crushed

Instructions:

In a large sauce pan, lightly brown the onion and garlic in butter. Remove from heat. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Return to heat and cook on medium until the beef is crumbled and cooked. Cover and simmer on low setting for one hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with grated cheese, green onion snips, and mustard.

Dining Outside the Home: Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips in Las Vegas, Nevada

Dining Outside the Home: Gordon Ramsay Fish ‘n Chips in Las Vegas, Nevada! It’s no shame to be mesmerized while walking along The LINQ Promenade. With al fresco dining, unique shopping, and vibrant lights, it’s easy to get caught up in the flurry of activity. Gordon Ramsay knows that. Perhaps that is the reason he opened a takeaway-style British restaurant, with a simple menu, called Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips. The name says it all. Order battered fish filets accompanied by homemade dipping sauces along with chips, natural or dirty. Thank goodness the line moves quickly, because the aromas are mouth-watering. Grab a seat at the counter for picnic-style dining and dig in. There’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple.

Dining Outside the Home: Carpenter Creek Cellars in Remington, Indiana 

Dining Outside the Home: Carpenter Creek Cellars in Remington, Indiana! What do you get when a 1919 country horse barn gets restored and transformed into a charming rustic winery? Award-winning wines, of course! From semi-sweet whites to bold dry reds, your palate is in for a journey of discovery. But don’t stop there. Take a trip down this country road in Jasper County, Indiana. Experience an extensive wine-tasting bar for the discerning palate, convenient outdoor seating for picnic pleasure, live entertainment on occasion, and assorted gourmet cheeses from this family-owned winery. Tours are available upon request. Spend a lovely hour or more sipping wine like an aficionado while absorbing the ambiance of Carpenter Creek Cellars.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter P

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Picnic Pork and Beans! Tradition speaks loud and clear at family gatherings and picnics, especially in the summer. No matter the cookout, barbecue, or pitch-in, certain foods are expected on the buffet table. One of them is the coveted baked beans. Usually the unmarried auntie or the matriarch is the keeper of the cherished recipes. The “grande dame” knows all the ingredients, especially the heavily-guarded secret ones. It might be a dab of this or a pinch of that. My advice? Time, patience, and integrity. After all, there’s a lot of responsibility in carrying on the Secret Family Recipes. In the end, it’s all worth it!
PICNIC PORK AND BEANS
Ingredients:

3 slices uncured bacon, thick

1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced

1 tablespoon bacon drippings

28-ounce can pork and beans

1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

2 tablespoons pimento, diced

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Fry bacon in a large skillet until partially cooked. Remove bacon from pan and dab on paper towels. Let cool and then break into pieces. Discard all but one tablespoon bacon drippings. Add sweet onion to pan; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Combine sweet onion, pork and beans, seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, diced pimento, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Mix well. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Top with bacon pieces. Bake uncovered for one hour, or until beans are bubbly and sauce is thick. Let stand 10 minutes for sauce to thicken slightly. Serve warm. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter G

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob! Here’s an alternative to stovetop corn on the cob or microwave cooking. Throw the corn on the grill while the burgers are on their way to being well-done. You won’t believe the incredible taste. Or will you? If the results are slightly blackened or charred in spots, so much the better. That’s what makes it taste so good. By leaving the corn in the husk, natural steaming keeps the corn moist rather than dry and brittle. And if it rains? By all means, get out the kitchen torch and improvise. Toppings still apply. 
GRILLED CORN ON THE COB 
Ingredients:

4 ears corn, in husks

1 teaspoon sea salt

Butter to taste

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning*

Salt to taste
Instructions:

Peel the husks without removing at the base. Strip away the corn silk. Fold the husks back into place. Fill a bowl with cold water. Add sea salt. Submerge the corn for 10 minutes. Heat the grill to medium-high. Remove corn and let drain. Place on the grill for 15 minutes. Cover. Turn the corn occasionally. Allow the corn to get slightly charred in places. When done, transfer corn cobs to a serving platter. Slather with butter. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning. Add sea salt to taste. Serve immediately. 
*I receive no recompense for mentioning Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning.