Summer time is filled with family oriented activities for us. We often get together with extended family to go camping or simply a full out barbecue on the family farm. One great thing about our get-togethers is there is always an abundance of delicious food to wet our appetites. When planning a family backyard barbecue we always have a few traditions to uphold each and every summer. Family favourite side salads, barbecued meats and desserts hit the table for all to consume after a fun filled day with games, relaxation and conversation at every picnic event. This year we chose to have a couple of different recipes to indulge in; unfortunately a light shower sent us indoors but it wasn’t long before the sun was out again. Being a family favourite, watermelon was our picnic theme leaving us with bellies filled with a light lunch before heading out to share in the annual garden planting.
Leading up to the day of the picnic I scoured my books of recipes looking for something different this year, something light but not short of taste. I found the perfect recipe I had been looking for which brought the healthy protein of chicken together with a in season summer fruits and a creamy sauce. I hadn’t tried the recipe before but my mother-in-law had sworn by the recipe from another family event so I went to shopping at my nearest Sobey’s for my list of ingredients. Along my shopping travels I found several other products that were on sale and since I could use them in my weekly recipes anyway, I picked a few more things up before checking out at the Sobey’s til.
On the Menu
- Campfire cheesy bacon mini quiche
- Party chicken pasta salad
- Strawberry pineapple jar cakes
- Watermelon lemonade garnished with watermelon
Everything was easy to prepare and store ahead for easy picnic packing. The quiche was quickly put together using liquid eggs and shredded cheese I had placed in a bag to sprinkle on top just prior to barbecuing. Baby Girl was eager to dive straight into the watermelon slices but the rest of us couldn’t get enough of the Party Chicken Pasta Salad. For dessert I made strawberry pineapple jar cakes. which can easily be cooked on the barbecue right in the jar. I decided to make these ahead in mason jars for easy storage and portability. The jar cakes were an easy 2 ingredient recipe. Simply mix an Angel Food box cake with a can of crushed pineapple, juice and all (do not add the water as instructed on the box), bake as normal , fill half the jar with cake chunks, top with whipped cream and strawberries, tie a spoon or fork to the jar for individual desserts.
To view the rest of my fun shopping experience and recipe pictures, please visit my Google+ album.
- 5 cups uncooked rotini pasta
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 12 oz. fresh snow pea pods, trimmed, halved crosswise
- 2 cups seedless red or green grapes, halved
- 1 can pineapple tidbits in unsweetened juice, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid
- 1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh gingerroot
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 6 to 8 leaves leaf lettuce
- Cook and drain rotini as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix chicken, celery, onions, pea pods, grapes and pineapple. In a small bowl, mix pineapple liquid and all remaining ingredients except almonds and lettuce.
- Add rotini and ½ cup of the almonds to the salad; stir gently to mix. Add mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat. Line serving bowl or platter with lettuce, spoon salad over lettuce. Sprinkle with remaining almonds.