July 2021 - Summer Picnic

July 2021 - Summer Picnic

Summer is here and we're cooking up dishes that are simple, portable, and can easily be made ahead.  More time to enjoy outside at the park or beach rather than in a hot kitchen!  Enjoy:)

BLT Salad with Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

Yield:  4-6 servings


½ c. good-quality mayonnaise

½ c. buttermilk

2 Tbl. finely minced celery

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 Tbl. each fresh chopped dill and chives (can also use parsley, basil, tarragon)

Kosher salt, cracked black pepper to taste


1 lb. applewood smoked bacon, cooked crisp, drained, coarsely chopped

½ head each iceberg and romaine lettuce, washed and coarsely chopped

2 lb.+ ripe farm tomatoes (mixed varieties, colors, sizes…..chopped or sliced)

Homemade grilled croutons*

Fresh chopped chives for garnish

 Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour.   To assemble the salad, toss the lettuce and two-thirds of the bacon with a small amount of dressing and arrange on a platter.  Scatter the tomatoes over the greens and top with dressing, remaining bacon, fresh chives, and croutons.

 *Grilled Croutons……Slice and brush crusty bread generously with olive oil, and grill over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until well-toasted.  Cut into croutons.

Maple & Mustard Crusted Chicken

Yield: Approx. 4 servings

2 ½ c. coarse breadcrumbs* (homemade or Panko)

1/3 c. local maple syrup

1/3 c. Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

¾ tsp. black pepper

1 c. flour

Olive oil

2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (OR 1 ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders – see variation below)

 Preheat the oven to 425 and drizzle a baking sheet generously with olive oil – set aside.  *Prepare homemade breadcrumbs by placing stale bread pieces of any kind into a food processor and pulse until nice coarse crumb consistency (process longer if you prefer fine crumbs).  Measure off 2 ½ cups into a large shallow dish and freeze the rest in a ziploc bag for another time. In a shallow bowl combine the maple, Dijon, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper.  Blend well and set aside.

Place the flour in another shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper.  Working in batches dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Coat pieces completely with the maple-mustard mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Lastly, coat with the breadcrumbs and place the chicken on prepared baking sheet skin-side down, spaced apart.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 minutes without moving.  After 35 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula (trying not to disturb breading) and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until internal temp reaches 170. Remove from the oven and serve.

Variation: Follow the same method if using boneless chicken breast or tenders though adjust baking time to 15 minutes without disturbing, flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until fully cooked.

 BBP = Basic Breading Procedure (method of dredging in flour first, then egg or wet ingredients, followed by breading.  This helps the breading adhere to the food).

Honey-Ginger Lemonade

Yield:  1 Gallon (16 8-oz. servings)


6 lemons, at room temperature

1 ½ c. sugar

1 c. honey

½ c. peeled & chopped fresh ginger

2 c. water

14 c. cold water

Juice the lemons and strain off the seeds.  In a heavy saucepan combine the 2 cups of water, sugar, honey, and ginger and bring this mixture to a boil.  Simmer gently until the sugar dissolves and the ginger has flavored the syrup – about 10 minutes.  Strain the syrup and cool. To prepare the lemonade combine the ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice, and the 14 cups of cold water.  Stir well and let the lemonade chill in the refrigerator.  Serve over ice, garnished with fresh lemon slices.

All recipes from Carolyn's Farm Kitchen

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