Saturday, September 02, 2006

Picnic by the River -- August 30

The Lord gave us another beautiful evening for our picnic by the river on the way to prayer meeting this week. It was sunny, yet cool and breezy, a reminder that fall is on the way. From here on out we’ll need a sweater or jacket on our picnic nights.

This week I planned a more picnic-type meal -- Cashew Chicken Wraps and Ranch Pasta Salad. Both were very good, especially the wraps. I made some changes to the recipes, which were both originally from QUICK COOKING, so I’ll share them here. (I tend to make changes to recipes without noting down what I did -- then next time I make that recipe, I can’t remember what I did!)

Here are the recipes:


1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s Light)
4 Tblsp. Dijon mustard (I used the pub-style, with mustard seeds)
1 Tblsp. honey
1 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
Onion powder to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cashews
4 flour tortillas (6 inches) or 3 of the larger wraps made specifically for this purpose -- I used spinach ones!

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, honey, vinegar and seasonings. Stir well until a creamy dressing forms. Stir in the chicken, celery, and cashews and mix well. Spoon a fourth of the mixture down the center of each tortilla ; roll up. If you are using the larger wraps, use one-third of the mixture in each. Yield: 3 to 4 sandwiches.

For picnicking, I rolled each wrap snugly in a large piece of plastic wrap. I brought along a small cutting board and sliced the wraps in half to serve. For children, you might prefer to slice them in thirds.


3 cups uncooked tricolor rotini
1 cup finely chopped fresh broccoli florets
3/4 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber*
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped green pepper*
1 cup ranch dressing**
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine the pasta and vegetables. Drizzle with ranch dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

* I didn’t have a cucumber, so I used chopped green pepper instead. But I think it would be good with both!

** I made my own ranch dressing; just stirred it up in the salad bowl before adding the other ingredients. I mixed together: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 Tblsp. dried minced onion, 1/2 tsp. dill weed, and 2-3 drops of hot pepper sauce.

Hope others who try these recipes enjoy them as much as we did. They would taste just as good at a dining table as they did by the river!

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