Sunday Backyard Picnic

Yesterday I tried some new recipes, and since the weather was so nice in the shade, we ate our dinner on a blanket thrown across the back lawn.  Clayton said, "That a little weird," when I took a picture of my dinner on the grass, but what does he know?  Sheesh!  Gotta enjoy summer while it lasts! 

I got these recipes out of an old kids' magazine, and made a few adjustments to the recipes.  Click here if you want the original recipes, or to see how cute the article was!  Completely over the top, but fun to look at anyway.

Chicken Wands with Mango Dipping Sauce

 1/3 cup soy sauce

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

4 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

12 chicken tenders

Mango Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)


Whisk together soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, honey, vinegar, and oil in a large bowl. Add chicken to marinade; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes. Soak 12 wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high (if using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 to 4 seconds). Thread chicken onto skewers, dividing evenly. Grill, turning once, until chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve warm or at room temperature with mango dipping sauce and rice.


Mango Dipping Sauce

1 1/2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Puree mangoes, honey, vinegar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender until smooth. Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Summer Salad with Green Beans and Tomatoes

2 handfuls green beans, trimmed

2 tomatoes, diced

4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Cook beans until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain, and pat dry with paper towels. Cut beans into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Add tomatoes and mozzarella; toss. The vegetable mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 day.   Just before serving, whisk together vinegar and oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Toss vegetable mixture with the vinaigrette.