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Creative Picnicking

July signals one of the most popular months for picnics and outdoor gatherings.
Whether you fire up the backyard grill or travel to your favorite lake or shady
spot, tasty dishes and foods that travel well will be popular choices this month.

Tired of the same old fried chicken or sandwiches? How about Pasta and Veggie
Stuffed Tomatoes for a nice change of pace? Also featured this month is Crazy
Cake, which will feed a crowd and have young and old trying to sample the icing.
Another great idea is Vidalia Onion Finger Sandwiches with a taste you don’t expect
and your guests will love. Let’s get creative this month and enjoy the great outdoors
with some wonderful new tastes.

VIDALIA ONION FINGER SANDWICHES

2 medium Vidalia onions, thinly sliced

Lime juice

8 slices soft wheat bread

1/2 cup softened butter or margarine

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup chopped tomatoes

Place sliced onions in a bowl. Sprinkle with freshly squeezed lime juice. Toss
gently. Lay out bread and spread with a very thin layer of softened butter or
margarine. This keeps the bread from getting soggy. Put onion slices on prepared
bread and top with cilantro and tomatoes. Cover with slices of bread, also spread
with butter. Carefully cut off and discard crusts and cut sandwiches diagonally.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Makes 8 sandwiches.

CRAZY CAKE

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups lukewarm water

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking
soda, and salt. Put this mixture in an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
In another bowl combine water, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients
in the pan. Pour oil over all. Using a fork, stir everything together until
the mixture is a uniform color and has no obvious lumps. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely
in pan before icing. Serves 12-15.

ICING #1

2-1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Place flour in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the
milk and continue whisking until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat
and cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together
until light and fluffy. Add the cooled flour and milk mixture and beat until
icing has consistency of whipped cream and all sugar is dissolved. Spread over
cooled cake.

ICING #2

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan. Set over medium heat until
the butter is melted, stirring well. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. After
the mixture has reached a full rolling boil, allow to cook one more minute without
stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat until thick. Pour immediately
over Icing #1.

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH APPLE SALAD

2 Tablespoons flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

4 large apples, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Cook flour, sugar, egg, and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until
thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool completely. Pour over
apples, celery, and walnuts in a large serving bowl. Toss lightly to coat. Chill.
Serves 6 to 8.

PASTA AND VEGGIE STUFFED TOMATOES

6 whole large tomatoes

2 cups cooked pasta (spaghetti or your favorite),

drained

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped green onions, using tops

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2 cup fresh cauliflower, chopped

1/2 cup fresh broccoli, chopped

2 Tablespoons Italian dressing

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut off tops of large tomatoes and scoop out centers. Mix remaining ingredients
together and toss lightly. Stuff tomatoes and chill until time to serve. Serves
6.

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