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Summer sides

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

Cucumbers have arrived in my garden, and I was looking for the traditional creamy cucumbers like my grandma made. This is it!

Creamy Sliced Cucumbers

Source: Arlene Bontrager, Hutchinson, Kansas.

Ingredients:

4 to 5 (medium-sized) cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tsp. dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. sour cream

Directions:

1. Prepare cucumbers and place in bowl. Add onions, dill weed, salt and pepper. Stir together and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Cucumbers will get watery.

2. Add sour cream and stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 3 hours in advance.


Cheese and Marshmallow Salad

Source: Kim Oborny, Durham, Kansas.

This recipe caught my eye because of the different ingredients. I've served it at two picnics to rave reviews.

Ingredients:

1(15-oz.) can pineapple tidbits, well drained, reserving juice
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
>1 large egg, beaten
Juice from pineapple
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 c. miniature marshmallows
1/4 lb. processed American cheese

Directions:

1. Drain pineapple and place in a medium saucepan on medium heat.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add egg and stir to combine.

3. When well blended, pour into the heated pineapple juice. Add butter and stir until thickened.

4. Cut cheese into quarter-inch cubes. Put cheese, pineapple and marshmallows in a serving bowl. Pour hot pineapple juice mix over the top and mix until combined. Chill at least 3 hours to overnight before serving.


Grape Salad

If you don't have almonds, don't fret--just skip them. I only add them when I'm toting this to a potluck.

Ingredients:

3 c. green grapes
3 c. red grapes
1/2 c. slivered almonds
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. granulated sugar

Directions:

Whip together last four ingredients. Stir in slivered almonds. Fold in grapes until completely covered.


Bean and Banana Salad

Source: Kathy Hogue, Topeka, Kansas.

Okay, I admit I was curious about this recipe so I tried it!

Ingredients:

1 (15-oz.) can pork and beans
2 heaping tsp. sweet pickle relish
1 heaping Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 large firm banana, sliced

Directions:

1. Mix relish and mayonnaise together.

2. Drain beans and add to the mixture.

3. Just before serving, add sliced banana.


Basil Tomato Salad

Source: Margaret Trojan, Beaver Crossing, Nebraska.

This recipe had several of my favorite garden-fresh ingredients and tasted so light! The flavor is enhanced if you can let it sit overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 c. cooked white rice, cooled
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped

Directions:

1. Whisk together oil, vinegar, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

2. Add rice, tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Toss and serve chilled.


Cranberry Salad with Cream Cheese

Source: Lucile Fuller, Wichita, Kansas.

The fresh taste of this salad is welcome in the hot summer heat! I've let it cool a bit and then poured it into individual plastic serving cups so guests can keep their salad separate from their baked beans and steak.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. boiling water
2 small pkgs. cherry gelatin
1 pkg. cranberries
3 bananas
2 c. granulated sugar
4 apples
1 large can crushed pineapple

Topping:

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese
Milk
1/2 c. pecan or walnut pieces

Directions:

1. In a large mixer bowl, dissolve cherry gelatin in boiling water.

2. In food processor, grind cranberries, bananas and apples with sugar. Add crushed pineapple with juice and pulse for a few seconds until combined. Add to the gelatin in the mixer bowl.

3. Pour into a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. Refrigerate until firm.

4. Prepare topping by mixing softened cream cheese with a little milk to thin. Spread on the firm salad and sprinkle with nuts.


Banana Split Salad

Yes please! This salad is a great summertime dessert that the kids devoured. This salad makes about 8 cups and is easy to double if you have a large container.

Ingredients:

1 (3.4.-oz.) box instant banana pudding
1 (20-oz.) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 (8-oz.) container whipped topping
1 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 (10-oz.) jar maraschino cherries, halved

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, stir together pudding mix and pineapple until dissolved and thickened. Fold in whipped topping just until combined.

2. Gently stir in the marshmallows, nuts, chocolate chips, bananas and cherries.

3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to overnight.


Simple Apple Salad for a Crowd

Ingredients:

1 to 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 c. toasted pecans
8 c. chopped, tart red apples, unpeeled
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained but reserve juice
2 c. seedless green grapes

Dressing:

Reserved pineapple juice
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. corn starch
2 Tbsp. water
1 c. mayonnaise

Directions:

1. Make dressing first by combining the reserved pineapple juice, butter, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling.

2. Combine cornstarch and water to make a smooth paste. Add to the hot mixture and cook until thick and smooth.

3. Chill completely before stirring in mayonnaise (this is important!)

4. Combine apples, pineapple chunks, grapes and poppy seed. Add dressing. 5. Stir in pecans right before serving for maximum crunchiness.

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