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4th of July Celebration


Family Reunion BBQ

Organization is the key to a successful family reunion. Ask for help, whether it's preparing food, organizing games or taking pictures. A variety of activities will ensure that everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, has a terrific time. Follow the traditional reunion food menu, the Make It Special ideas and the preparation guide, and you're on your way to having the permanent assignment of organizing your family reunion!


Make It Special!

Getting Family Together

Confer with family members months before to set a date and location. If the reunion isn't being held at someone's house, call the park board or a private site to arrange for a picnic site with a shelter in case of inclement weather. Gather grills if not available at home or the park.

Send out reminders, along with a schedule of events, to all families attending. If you're sharing the food preparation, enclose the recipe(s) you want them to prepare and a list of any extras to bring, such as paper and plastic products and condiments.

Family Fun

Ask family members to coordinate activities, such as sporting events, talent show, scavenger hunt, watermelon-seed-spitting contest and bingo. Have them assemble prizes, for example, candy or other nonperishable food items, notepads, gift certificates to nationwide chain ice-cream shops or movie theaters.

Put a white paper tablecloth on each table (secure with spring-type clothespins if windy). Have each family attending create with crayons a "family crest" on the tablecloths, representing what makes their family special.

Give partygoers 10 recipe cards each. Have them write the name of a not-immediate family member at the top of each card, followed by one or two memories of that person. Collect the cards and place them in a basket for guests to read at leisure during the party.

Remember with Photos

Have each family bring a recent photo album or other special items. Place them all on a table (away from the food) for everyone to enjoy at their leisure.

Give a disposable camera to each family, and ask them to take and later share photos of the event.

Table Decorations

Gather wildflowers (or purchase flowers), and place them in canning or other jars; tie at the rim with ribbon or raffia. Or use potted flowers on each table as centerpieces, and raffle them off at the end of the reunion.

Make name tags from copies of current or old photos.




Preparation Guide

Up to 2 Months Before

Make meat patties for Grilled Bacon-Cheeseburgers for a Crowd freeze tightly wrapped. Patties can be transported frozen.

Bake Mint-Chocolate Brownies but do not frost. Store tightly wrapped in freezer.

A Few Days Before

Make Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix store tightly covered.

The Day Before

Make Old-Fashioned Lemonade store refrigerated.

Make Old-Fashioned Potato Salad store refrigerated.

Make Deviled Eggs refrigerate covered.

Remove brownies from freezer; frost and drizzle glaze. Store covered.

The Morning Of

Make Seven-Layer Salad refrigerate covered.

Up to 5 Hours Before

Make Slow Cooker Baked Beans You may take uncooked beans to your reunion site and plug in the slow cooker at the site if there are electrical facilities.

Make Easy Raspberry Trifle store covered in refrigerator.

1 to 1 1/2 Hours Before Serving

If using a charcoal grill, heat grill.

About 15 Minutes Before Serving

Grill cheeseburgers.


Family Reunion BBQ Menu

Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Bacon-Cheeseburgers for a Crowd

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Seven-Layer Salad

Deviled Eggs


Assorted beverages
Mint-Chocolate Brownies

Easy Raspberry Trifle


Fire-Up-the-Grill Get-Together

With this tasty spread, your backyard will be the best barbecue joint in town! The emphasis is on casual, full-flavored food. This is the type of meal that gives summer grilling its terrific reputation!


Make It Special!

Fired-Up Foods

Jazz up beverages, both lemonade and margaritas, with frosted-rim glasses. Before filling the glasses, thoroughly chill them in the refrigerator. Rub the rims with the cut side of a lime or lemon, then dip the rims into a shallow dish of granulated or colored sugar. Add a smoky flavor and aroma to the ribs or chicken with grilling wood chips (available where grill accessories are sold). Soak a handful or less of chips in water for about 15 minutes. Add to the grill a few minutes before putting on the meat. The chips will give off smoke as they burn, infusing the ribs or chicken with a smoky flavor and aroma.

Father's Day

For a special Father's Day gift, purchase a grilling apron (in Dad's favorite color!), and have all the kids trace their hands on it with fabric paints. Write the child's name and age next to or inside each handprint. Every year when Dad takes out the apron, he can see how much the kids have grown by comparing the size of their hands to the handprints!

Fourth of July

For table decorations and party favors, create rockets from paper towel tubes. Make points for the rockets with construction paper, and staple them to one end of the tubes. You can fill the tubes with wrapped candy. Then glue construction or wrapping paper over the ends to seal. Glue colorful paper shreds (available where gift wrap is sold) on the paper-covered ends to look like flames.


Preparation Guide

The Day Before

Make Cilantro Dressing for Potato-Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing store covered in refrigerator.

Prepare Corn and Walnut Dip store covered in refrigerator.

The Morning Before

Clean the berries for Berry Shortcake Stars refrigerate.

Make shortcakes; cool completely and store covered at room temperature.

Prepare the pudding; cover and refrigerate.

Cut ribs into serving pieces.

Prepare the potato salad using the dressing prepared the day before; refrigerate covered.

Prepare the lemonade; refrigerate.

Prepare salad greens for Quick Caesar Salad if not purchasing already torn; cover and refrigerate.

About 3 Hours Before Meal

Cook marinade for Jamai can Jerk Chicken marinate chicken for up to 3 hours in refrigerator.

Up to 2 Hours Before Meal

Prepare Sweet-Savory Sauce for the ribs.

1 to 1 1/2 Hours Before Serving

If using a charcoal grill, heat grill.

About 45 Minutes Before Meal

Prepare Back Ribs with Sweet-Savory Sauce

Prepare and serve Peach Margaritas

Prepare and grill the garlic only for the Grilled Garlic with French Bread

About 20 Minutes Before Meal

Grill chicken.

Just Before Meal

Grill the bread. Toss salad.

About 20 Minutes Before Serving Dessert

If desired, reheat shortcakes tighlyt wrapped in alumninum foil in 350° oven for about 10 minutes. Fill and top shotcakes.


Fire-Up-the-Grill Get-Together Menu

Corn and Walnut Dip

Peach Margaritas

Back Ribs with Sweet-Savory Barbecue Sauce

Jamai can Jerk Chicken

Potato-Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Quick Caesar Salad

Grilled Garlic with French Bread

Berry Shortcake Stars


Pack-'n-Go Picnic

Get out that picnic basket, sun hat, sunscreen, picnic blanket, cooler and, yes, that tucked-away thermos. Let the sizzlin' summer picnics begin while keeping cool with this down-home favorite menu!


Make It Special!

Totable Tips

Have a picnic basket stocked and ready to go any time with items needed for the next picnic: disposable plates, cups and silverware, napkins, paper towels, serving spoons, pot holders, a sharp knife, bottle/ can opener, salt and pepper shakers, matches, tablecloth or blanket, as well as moist towelettes and garbage bags for cleanup.

Make "hobo packs." For each person, wrap a plastic plate, plastic cup, plastic silverware and individually wrapped moist towelette in a bandana, and tie it to a stick of green wood. The sticks make it easy for picnickers--kids included--to carry their own supplies, and the bandanas become napkins!

Sizzlin' Stuff

Keep hot foods hot by wrapping the dish in heavy-duty aluminum foil and then in several layers of newspaper. Carry it in an insulated chest, or place it in a box and surround with pillows, blankets or a quilt.

Cool It!

Chill foods thoroughly before placing them in the cooler. Fill the cooler as full as possible. A full cooler stays cool longer than one that's only partially full.

Use ice packs or blocks of ice instead of ice cubes--they last longer. Make your own blocks of ice, using clean half-gallon milk cartons. Fill the cartons with water and freeze; place the chunk of ice in a resealable freezer bag.

Freeze special beverage cubes with fruit juice for fruit drinks, tea for tea drinks. When the cubes melt, you have cool liquids, not watered-down beverages!

Pack and Stack

egg cartons make " eggstra-easy" convenient containers for small items such as filled cherry or roma tomatoes or deviled eggs. Cut deviled eggs in half crosswise instead of lengthwise. Line the carton with plastic wrap, or wrap each egg individually in plastic wrap. eggs cut lengthwise can be sandwiched together and packed.

Pack the cooler so that foods to be eaten first are on top, to avoid packing and repacking the food.

Pack only what you can eat at the picnic; perishable leftovers may contain harmful bacteria. Any perishable food left out for more than 2 hours should be tossed. When in doubt, toss it out.


Preparation Guide
Up to 2 Weeks Before

Make Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies or Banana Cake to Take cut into serving pieces and freeze in totable container.

2 Days Before

Make Picnic Pasta Salad place in totable container in refrigerator.

The Day Before

Make Pineapple Teastore in nonmetal container in refrigerator..

Make Hurry-Up Potato Salad place in totable container in refrigerator.

Make Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken place in totable container in refrigerator.

Make Deviled eggs store in refrigerator.

1 Hour Before Leaving for Picnic

                Pack food for travel.


Pack-'n-Go Picnic Menu

Deviled eggs

Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken

Hurry-Up Potato Salad

Picnic Pasta Salad

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Banana Cake to Take

Pineapple Tea



Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix

This one-of-a-kind munching mix is loaded with your favorite snack foods!

3 cups small pretzel twists

1 cup honey-roasted peanuts

1 cup Frosted Cheerios® cereal

1 cup dried banana chips

1 cup candy-coated chocolate candies

1. Stir together all ingredients.

2. Store in airtight container.


Seven-Layer Salad

It’s a do-ahead, take-along, crunchy-munchy crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

1 bag (10 ounces) ready-to-eat mixed salad greens (6 cups)

8 medium radishes, thinly sliced

5 medium green onions, thinly sliced (5 tablespoons)

2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced (1 cup)

12 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

1 package (10 ounces) frozen green peas, thawed

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)

1. Place salad greens in large salad bowl. Layer radishes, onions, celery, bacon and peas on salad greens.

2. Spread mayonnaise over peas, covering top completely and sealing to edge of bowl. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors but no longer than 12 hours. Just before serving, toss if desired. Store covered in refrigerator.


Pineapple Tea

Make this fruit-flavored tea from scratch instead of paying extra for premixed flavored iced tea drinks.

3 cans (12 ounces each) unsweetened pineapple juice concentrate, thawed

1 1/2 cups lemon juice

1 cup sugar

12 cups iced tea

1. Mix juice concentrate, lemon juice and sugar in large pitcher until sugar is dissolved.

2. Stir in tea. Store covered in refrigerator.


Peach Margaritas

Chill out with a twist on the classic--they’re peachy!

1 medium lime, cut in half

Granulated sugar

3 cups crushed ice

1 cup tequila

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 can (12-ounce size) frozen peach juice concentrate, thawed

6 peach slices

1. Rub rims of 6 stemmed glasses with 1 lime half; dip rims of glasses into granulated sugar.

2. Squeeze juice from both lime halves into blender. Add remaining ingredients except peach slices to blender. Cover and blend on high speed until foamy. Pour into glasses. Garnish sides of glasses with peach slices. Serve immediately.


Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

A tangy dressing makes this potato salad better than deli salad.

6 medium potatoes, peeled (2 pounds)

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)

4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1. Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in 3-quart saucepan. Add potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 30 to 35 minutes or until tender; drain. Cool slightly; cut into cubes.

2. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in large glass or plastic bowl. Add potatoes, celery and onion; toss. Stir in eggs. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours until chilled.


Mint-Chocolate Brownies

Get a double dose of mint! Cool mint chips flavor these brownies, and a mint-chocolate glaze generously highlights the top.

1 package Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup chopped pe cans

1 package (10 ounces) mint-chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)

Mint Frosting (See Below)Shiny Chocolate Glaze (See Below)

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

2. Stir brownie mix, chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl, using spoon, about 50 strokes or until well blended.

3. Stir in pe cans and 1 cup of the mint-chocolate chips (set aside remaining mint-chocolate chips for Shiny Chocolate Glaze). Spread in pan.

4. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean; cool completely.

5. Spread Mint Frosting over brownies. Drizzle Shiny Chocolate Glaze over frosted brownies.

6. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until glaze is firm. For 48 brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Mint Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon mint extract

2drops green food color, if desired

1. Beat powdered sugar and butter in small bowl on low speed of electric mixer until smooth. Beat in milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until spreadable. Beat in extract and food color.

Shiny Chocolate Glaze

Remaining mint-chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 to 3 teaspoons hot water

1. Heat mint-chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Stir in hot water, a few drops at a time, until mixture is thin enough to drizzle.


Hurry-Up Potato Salad

Using frozen hash browns takes most of the work out of this classic summer salad.

8 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes with onions and peppers

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 teaspoon curry powder, if desired

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1. Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in 4-quart saucepan. Add potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain.

2. Mix remaining ingredients in large glass or plastic bowl. Fold in potatoes. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.


Easy Raspberry Trifle

Not only is this divine dessert easy to make, but it’s almost fat free!

1 package Betty Crocker® 1-step white angel food cake mix

1 1/4 cups cold water

2 cups boiling water

1 package (8-serving size) sugar-free raspberry-flavored gelatin

2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed

3containers (6 ounces each) Yoplait® Original red raspberry yogurt

1. Move oven rack to lowest position (remove other racks). Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Beat cake mix and cold water in extra- large glass or metal bowl on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 1 minute. Pour into ungreased 10x4-inch angel food cake pan (tube pan). Do not use bundt cake pan or 9x3 1/2-inch angel food pan, or batter will overflow.

3. Bake 37 to 47 minutes or until top is dark golden brown and cracks feel very dry and not sticky. Do not underbake.

4. Immediately turn pan upside down onto glass bottle until cake is completely cool, about 1 hour. Run knife around edges; remove from pan. Tear cake into about 3/4-inch pieces.

5. Pour boiling water on gelatin in large bowl; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add raspberries. (If desired, remove several raspberries and reserve for garnish.) Refrigerate gelatin mixture about 15 minutes or until thickened but not set.

6. Layer half each of the cake pieces, gelatin mixture and yogurt in 3-quart glass bowl; repeat. Garnish with reserved raspberries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until firm. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dessert.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Heat oven to 325ºF. Stir 1/3 cup cornstarch into dry cake mix. Increase water to 1 1/3 cups. Beat on low speed 30 seconds; beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Bake 53 to 58 minutes.


Corn and Walnut Dip

Nuts add crunch and corn adds color to this incredibly creamy, zesty cream cheese dip.

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

1. Beat cream cheese, oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

2. Stir in corn, walnuts and onion. Serve with tortilla chips if desired


Banana Cake to Take

This irresistible cake is brimming with goodies: bananas, oats, spices, nuts and raisins. Yum!

1 egg

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (4 medium)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

2/3 cup chopped nuts

2/3 cup raisins

Powdered sugar, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, with cooking spray.

2. Beat egg, oil, buttermilk, bananas, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into pan.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Quick Caesar Salad

You’ll have this restaurant favorite on your table in no time!

1/2 cup Caesar dressing

1 large or 2 small bunches romaine, torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups)

1 cup Caesar or garlic-flavored croutons

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground pepper

1. Pour dressing into large salad bowl. Add romaine; toss until coated with dressing.

2. Sprinkle with croutons, cheese and pepper; toss.


Grilled Bacon-Cheeseburgers (Crowd Size)

Crispy bacon and tangy blue cheese dressing add their distinctive flavor to burgers cooked on the grill.

3 pounds lean ground beef

2 small onions, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon pepper

12 hamburger buns, split and toasted

1 cup blue cheese dressing

12 slices bacon, crisply cooked and broken in half

1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Mix beef, onions and pepper. Shape into 12 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick.

2. Cover and grill patties 3 to 4 inches from medium heat 10 to 11 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in center and juice is clear.

3. Place burgers on bottom half of buns. Spoon dressing onto burgers; top each with 2 pieces of bacon. Top with top half of buns.


Slow Cooker Baked Beans

Don't heat up the whole house for baked beans--slow cook them! Get the same spicy brown sugar taste, and let your slow cooker take the heat.

3 cans (28 ounces each) baked beans

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2/3 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground mustard

1. Mix all ingredients in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low heat setting 4 to 5 hours (or high heat setting 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes) or until desired consistency.


Potato-Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing

What’s better than potato salad? Potato salad tossed with cucumbers, bell pepper, green onions, tomatoes and a zesty herb dressing!

1 1/2 pounds white potatoes, cut in half (4 medium)

Cilantro Dressing (See Below)

1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/2 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

1 medium tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)

Chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

1. Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling in 3-quart saucepan. Add potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

2. While potatoes are cooking, make Cilantro Dressing. Drain potatoes; cool slightly. Remove skins if desired. Cut potatoes into cubes (about 4 cups).

3. Pour dressing over warm potatoes in large bowl. Add cucumber, bell pepper, onions and tomato; toss. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours until chilled. Stir gently before serving. Garnish with cilantro.

Cilantro Dressing

1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

1. Shake all ingredients in tightly covered container.


Picnic Pasta Salad

This quick and easy pasta salad features the fresh flavors of v eggies and herbs.

1 package (16 ounces) rotini pasta

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup Italian dressing

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves


1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves

or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 ounces)

5 roma (plum) tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

1 large cucumber, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

1 medium red onion, chopped'

1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained

1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain.

2. Mix tomato sauce, dressing, basil and oregano in large bowl. Add pasta and remaining ingredients; toss. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours until chilled but no longer than 48 hours.


Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken

Who doesn't love fried chicken? An all-time favorite, this chicken gets extra flavor from ranch dressing mix.

2/3 cup buttermilk

8 chicken breast halves (6 pounds)

1 cup Country® Corn Flakes cereal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 envelopes (1 ounce each) ranch dressing mix (dry)

Cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Cover large cookie sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2. Pour buttermilk into shallow glass or plastic bowl. Add chicken; turn to coat. Let stand 5 minutes.

3. Place cereal, flour and dressing mix (dry) in blender. Cover and blend on medium speed until mixture becomes a coarse powder. Transfer to resealable plastic bag. Remove chicken from buttermilk; discard buttermilk. Place chicken in cereal mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat.

4. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake about 55 minutes or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut


Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Sip this classic from a frosty glass. Its homemade flavor is worth every squeeze!

6 cups cold water

2 cups lemon juice (8 to 10 lemons)

1 cup sugarIce cube

Lemon slice, if desired

Maraschino cherry with stem, if desired

1. Mix water, lemon juice and sugar in large pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled if desired.

2. Serve lemonade over ice. Garnish each serving with a lemon slice and cherry.


Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Take a Jamaican vacation in your very own backyard. This flavorful marinade gives your grilled chicken a spicy hint of true Jamaican "jerk" cooking.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)

1 small red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds)

1. Heat oil in 8-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook remaining ingredients except chicken in oil about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until bell pepper is crisp-tender; cool.

2. Place chicken and bell pepper mixture in shallow glass dish; turn chicken to coat with pepper mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 3 hours, turning chicken occasionally.

3. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat.

4. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Cover and grill chicken 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.


Grilled Garlic with French Bread

Enjoy the buttery flavor of grilled garlic and olive oil on thinly sliced French bread. Irresistible!

3 large garlic bulbs

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

16 thin slices French bread

1. Carefully peel paperlike skin from around each bulb of garlic, leaving just enough to hold garlic cloves together.

2. Place each garlic bulb on 12-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Brush bulbs with oil. Wrap foil securely around each bulb.

3. Heat coals or gas grill. Cover and grill 4 inches from medium coals 25 to 35 minutes or until garlic is tender when pierced with toothpick or fork.

4. Grill bread 4 inches from medium coals about 5 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. To serve, gently squeeze garlic out of cloves; spread on bread.


Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs are a lot easier to make than they look. Try this recipe and see how simple it is!

6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

3 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Slip out yolks and mash with fork.

2. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Fill whites with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.


Berry Shortcake Stars

This red, white and blue patriotic dessert may outshine the fireworks at your July 4th get-together!

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups milk

2 packages (4-serving size each) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix4 cups milk

4 cups raspberries

1 cup blueberries

1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in 1 1/2 cups milk just until blended.

2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Gently smooth into a ball. Knead 20 to 25 times. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 10 stars with floured 3-inch star-shaped cutter. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Make pudding mix as directed on package for pudding, using 4 cups milk. Split warm shortcakes. Fill and top shortcakes with pudding, raspberries and blueberries.


Back Ribs with Sweet-Savory Sauce

Want the secret to tender and juicy ribs? These ribs are gently simmered then grilled, producing tender meat that falls from the bone.

Sweet-Savory Sauce (See Below)

4 1/2 pounds pork loin back ribs

3 cups water

1. Make Sweet-Savory Sauce.

2. Cut ribs into serving pieces. Place ribs in 4-quart Dutch oven; add water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes; drain.

3. Heat coals or gas grill for indirect heat. Cover and grill pork 5 to 6 inches from medium coals 15 to 20 minutes, brushing with sauce every 3 minutes, until pork is no longer pink and meat begins to pull away from bones.

4. Heat any remaining sauce to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir 1 minute. Serve sauce with ribs.

Sweet-Savory Sauce

1 cup chili sauce

3/4 cup grape jelly

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons dry red wine or beef broth

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1. Heat all ingredients in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until jelly is melted.


Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

You’re only a brownie mix away from this quick and easy cream cheese indulgence!

1 package Betty Crocker® Supreme chocolate chunk brownie mix

3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

2. Stir brownie mix, water, oil and 2 eggs in medium bowl about 50 strokes or until well blended. Spread 2/3 of the batter in pan.

3. Microwave peanut butter chips in small microwavable bowl on High 30 seconds or until chips are melted when stirred. Stir in cream cheese, sugar and 1 egg until smooth.

4. Spread peanut butter mixture over batter in pan. Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls onto peanut butter mixture; swirl lightly with spatula for marbled effect.

5. Bake 30 to 34 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely for easier cutting. For 18 brownies, cut into 6 rows by 3 rows. Store tightly covered.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Stir 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour into brownie mix (dry). Increase water to 1/4 cup; decrease oil to 1/3 cup.