Summer is here and it is sizzling! Funny how the days of picnics, cookouts, camping, and other outdoor food festivities are in the hottest time of year which makes keeping things fresh and safe a bit of a challenge! So what can you do to keep foods cool, preserved, and delicious? There are options outside of a box; so let’s dig in and see what they are! Here are eleven safe possibilities followed by serving ideas and ways to keep them, and you, safe and satisfied all summer!
Frozen meats such as hotdogs, steak, and pre-made burgers.
Cabbage and Onions
Let’s start with sturdy because one thing is for sure, your meat-eaters are not going to be happy with a droopy salad. If grilling away from home is in your near future, freeze your meat then pack it in an ice-filled cooler. Steer away from chicken for now since it tends to be finicky. Plus, undercooked fowl can be foul on your stomach if not fully cooked and handled under cautious conditions! Invest in a Yeti cooler as it can keep ice for days! You may pay a little more for the quality but you’ll use it for years and foods will be far less likely to spoil, which in turn will eventually pay for your cooler. It’s best to keep meats separately wrapped or in their own containers to avoid cross-contamination. The meat should be fine if consumed shortly after cooking, but you don’t want the juices to cross over into other dishes that would otherwise be safe to sit out for a while. Let’s keep those kinds of surprises at bay!
Keep meaty meals simple and traditional with a pack of buns or add spice and variety by cutting, chopping, or slicing meats to load up some taco shells! Bring along a fresh bottle of Taco Bell sauce and you’ll have yourself some yummy tacos with a twist! Toss some cobs of corn on the grill for a perfect side. They are inexpensive, filling, and hold up extremely well in the heat. Serve an array of Mexican spices giving guests their choice of options to make this meal a festive fiesta!
Fruits are a great option in summer. These grew in the heat so they can last in the same environment…at least through mealtime! Melons, peaches, and berries are much better ice cold on a hot day, but it’s not the end of the world if things get a little heated. At least these outdoor beauties won’t quickly spoil and cause illness. Kept on the ice they should hold up well to be a refreshing snack packed with energy and hydration.
Outdoor Summer Fruit Salad
Choose any combination of your favorite fruits.
Cut all fruit into a combination of cubes and slices.
Gently mix together, put in a bowl and serve!
A lot of veggies are just as compliant as fruits. Perfect for grilling and a great lasting side as well. Some dependable warm weather additions are corn on the cob, squash, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and onions.
For a fun and healthy camping dish, fill a sturdy piece of aluminum foil with your choice of any of the above vegetables, chopped or sliced, roll up tightly then toss them in your campfire and cook until tender. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, or any dry seasoning and you’ll have a deliciously safe meal!
If the home is where you’re hosting, things just got easier! Pasta salad kept cold, baked beans straight from the oven, and cobblers anywhere in between will serve you well right up until the serving time when kept in their natural temperature habitat! As appetites wind down, simply return leftovers to a covered container and refrigerate for a ready-made meal in minutes tomorrow!
14.5 ounces can pork and beans
14.5 ounces can red kidney beans
14.5 ouncescan lima beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard
Fry onions in oil until tender.
Mix onions with all remaining ingredients.
Put into a casserole dish.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour until bubbly.
Summer Pasta Salad
3 cups cooked noodles
3 cups chopped or shredded imitation crab
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Prepare choice of preferred noodles. (elbow, seashell etc.)
Cool with cold running water, drain and set aside.
Fold in mayonnaise until creamy.
Add remaining ingredients, stirring gently.
Place in an airtight container and refrigerate several hours or overnight until cold through and through.
Serve. (Be sure to put leftovers back into the refrigerator ASAP)
10 1/2 cups of sliced, ripe fresh peaches (reserving as much juice as possible) or three 28 ounce cans of sliced peaches in juice.
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 sticks of real butter
Place peaches along with any juice in the bottom of a buttered 9 x 13 pan. If using canned peaches, drain one of the cans then combine with the others.
Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup sugar.
In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients with a pastry blender until crumbly.
Sprinkle on top of the peaches.
Bake at 350° until lightly browned.
Serve foods safely and enjoy the best tastes of summer whether smokin’ on the grill or fresh-picked garden fruits and vegetables. There’s nothing like the bounty and flavors of summer, so get out there and enjoy!