Grilled Chicken Salad with Corn, Bacons, and Bananas

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This grilled chicken salad served with grilled corn on the cob, bacon bits, and grilled bananas, is so easy to make and make a fresh addition to your Summer menu.



SERVINGS: 4

4 boneless chicken breasts
4 ears of corns
1 cup bacon bits
4 ripe bananas
2 lbs bag salad mix (Dole's Classic Iceberg or Greener Selection is great!), rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil, for brushing
butter, for brushing

For the dressing:
5 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp mustard

DIRECTIONS:
1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, brush with oil, and grill for 15 minutes, turning once. Cut into strips.
2. Peel the corns and brush the sides with butter, (season with salt if desired), and brown on the grill.
3. Brush the bananas with butter and grill for 5 minutes.
4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well.
5. Place the rinsed salad mix in a large bowl. Pour dressing over it and toss well.
6. Distribute the salad mix into 4 salad plates. Place chicken strips, grilled bananas, and corn over the leaves and top with bacon bits.

Pork Satay

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This "meat on a stick" dish never fails to please anyone of any age whenever it is served at a BBQ or gathering. The sweet soy sauce is the single most important ingredient. You can get it at your local Asian grocery or here at Amazon.



INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size strips
6 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 ziplock bag
bamboo/wooden skewers
1 tsp vegetable oil, for brushing

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place meat pieces into a large ziplock bag.
2. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic pwd, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into the ziplock bag and mix well with the meats.
3. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours (or overnight for best results)
4. Immerse skewers in water for 15 minutes.
5. Slide the meat pieces into the skewers and grill for 10-15 minutes (until meat is fully cooked). Keep a close eye on them and rotate the sides frequently. Brush the sides with oil occasionaly to prevent sticking.
6. Serve over warm rice with more soy sauce on the side for dipping.

Strawberry Banana Crepes

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Last week I went to an international buffet-style restaurant where they had a crepes station, and saw the entire process of making crepes, from pouring the dough to putting all the good stuff on it. It didn't look too difficult so I decided to give it a try. I was right! Homemade crepes are easy to make and taste just as delicious as the ones served at the restaurant. I used only strawberries and bananas but you can also add peach slices if you like.



COOKING TIME: about 5-10 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
8-10 fresh strawberries, sliced
2-3 bananas, sliced
peach slices (optional)
spray can whipped topping
chocolate syrup
powdered sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix flour and egg in a mixing bowl. Gradually add milk and water, mix well.
2. Add salt and butter. Beat until smooth.
3. Heat griddle to 400F.
4. Pour about 1/4 cup of dough onto the preheated griddle, and using a wooden spatula, spread the dough to cover a large circle (about 6-7 inches diameter)
5. Cook about 2 minutes until the bottom is light brown
6. Loosen the sides with a spatula and flip over. Cook for another 2 minutes.
7. Place the crepe on a dessert plate.
8. Add slices of strawberries and bananas (and peach, if desired) onto the crepe, and fold the sides to cover the fruits.
9. Spray whipped topping on top, and drizzle with chocolate syrup. (Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, optional)
10. Serve hot.


Easy Lasagna

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My days have been so hectic this week I haven't found myself in the kitchen much. After five straight days of takeouts and eating out, I wanted to eat in last night and fix something easy. This lasagna recipe is made with Prego sauce (Again, Prego sauce has made my life a little easier...) and the rest is very easy to put together.



EASY LASAGNA

PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
SERVINGS: 8

12 pieces lasagna noodles
1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
8 oz mushroom (optional)
16 oz Italian Sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook lasagna noodle according to package directions, drain, set aside. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a large skillet, brown beef with onion and mushroom. Drain well.
3. Stir in Italian sauce, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and salt. Simmer for 5minutes
4. Spray lasagna baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
5. Layer 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 of meat mixture, 1/3 of ricotta, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan cheeses
6. Repeat layer (step 5) twice
7. Bake at 350F for 30 mins or until thoroughly heated and bubbly
8. Let stand for 8-10 minutes before serving

Best Grilled Corns Ever

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Sometimes the easiest recipe simply makes the best thing. These grilled corns, in my opinion, is the best thing of a Summer cookout, and only three ingredients are needed: corns on the cobs, margarine, and hot sauce. I like them spicy, so I always use a lot of hot sauce, but you can adjust the spiciness by reducing the amount of hot sauce to your taste. You can use any hot sauce, but my absolute favorite is this ABC Extra Hot Chili Sauce

Umm, a little warning: Have some dental floss ready when making these! :P



DIRECTIONS:

1. Rub margarine and hot sauce on the surface of the corns (that have been peeled and rinsed) and coat evenly.
2. Grill for a total cooking time of 30 minutes, rotating it every 10 minutes to allow for even heating.
3. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Graduation Cupcakes

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My husband finished his Master's degree this Spring. He's worked really hard, juggling his school, work, and family, and I cannot be prouder of him. Bakerella's candy cup caps inspired me to make these cupcakes to celebrate his achievement.



See my Chocolate Cupcakes recipe

DECORATING

WHAT YOU'LL NEED (see pic below):

- Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares
- Dark chocolate w/ peppermint center (or Reese's peanut butter cups)
- Xtremes sweetly sour belts
- Smarties
- White frosting
- Blue sugar crystals (optional)



DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Cut each the sweet sour belts candy into long strips of each color
2. Frost the baked cupcakes with white frosting
3. Sprinkle with blue sugar crystals
4. Place chocolate cups, topped with chocolate squares (using a little bit of frosting to "glue" them together)
5. Place the candy strip and a smarty on top (again, using the frosting as the "glue")

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