Jun 19, 2012

Top Ten Sides to Take To A Cookout

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One of the reasons I love summer is the food.

Because let's face it, corn on the cob isn't the same in November.

Nope, summer brings on some of the best food there is.

And the very best thing is to get invited to a cookout where you get to sample all kinds of calorie loaded yumminess. 

And you don't have to feel one bit of guilt for it either because it would be impolite to not try everything.

Some things must even be tried twice to make sure no feelings are hurt.

{I am such a people pleaser...}

And of course, you can't show up without some yumminess of your own to share.

That's where I come in.

Here are 10 dishes that you can't go wrong with!

10.  Baked Beans!  My mom always made the very best baked beans, and I still use her recipe to this day.  Here it is:

2 large cans of beans, (any variety will do...I usually use the store brand)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 TBSP of ketchup
2 TBSP of yellow mustard
2 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP of Tabasco Sauce

Mix it all together and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until onions are soft.  Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes before serving so that the sauce can thicken.

9.  Macaroni and Cheese!  I always use this recipe from Paula Deen.  It's my absolute favorite, and truly southern.

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8.  Crack Potatoes!  They have a gazillion different names, but it's basically the hash brown casserole that becomes completely addictive.  Here's my recipe:

1 bag of frozen shredded hash browns
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of cheese (or more if you like them really cheesy!)
1 TBSP of Onion Powder
1 TBSP of salt

Mix it all together and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

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7.  Fruit Salad!  Someone has to bring something healthy, right?!  I opt for fresh fruit, and this recipe looks really delicious!

6.  Taco Dip and Chips!  I think I've shared this recipe before, but it's super easy and always a hit.  So, I'll share it again!

1 Can of Refried Beans
16 oz. sour cream
1 packet of taco seasoning
shredded lettuce
2 Cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato, diced

Mix the sour cream and taco seasoning.  Layer in a 9X13 pan: Refried beans, sour cream mixture, shredded lettuce, cheese and diced tomatoes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

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5.  Ranch Pasta Salad!  I like a Pasta Salad with Italian dressing as much as the next gal.  But my mom made this ranch version and it has become a favorite, too.

1 16 oz. box of macaroni noodles, (or any pasta!), cooked and drained
2-3 carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 cucumber, chopped
1 packet of ranch dressing mix, prepared.
1 Cup of shredded cheddar

Mix all the ingredients together and allow it to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.  Note: You can get REALLY creative with this and add any veggies you like!  Sometimes we have added frozen peas, red or green peppers, ham, etc.  And if you want a southwestern flair, try adding corn and black beans.

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4.  Pulled Pork!  If you're going to a gathering where a heartier dish would be appreciated, try this slow cooker recipe.  It is my go-to pulled pork recipe and the whole family enjoys it!

2-1/4- to 3-pound pork shoulder roast
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder
3 cups bottled barbecue sauce
12 to 16 hamburger buns
Trim the fat from the roast. Cut roast, if necessary, to fit in your slow cooker. Add water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and cumin or chili powder. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
Remove meat from the cooker; discard cooking liquid. Using two forks, pull the meat apart and return it to the cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 30 to 45 minutes or until heated through. Transport in slow cooker and serve within 2 hours.  Makes 12 to 16 sandwiches.

3.  Corn on The Cob!  I haven't tried this method yet, but I certainly am going to as soon as I get a chance!

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2.  Loaded Potato Salad!  This is the recipe that my husband always requests. 

4-5 baking potatoes, diced and boiled until semi-soft
16 oz. sour cream
1/4 cup of mayo
1/2 lb. of bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 cup of diced green onion. (or you could use red onion...or none at all.  Your call!)
1 TBSP of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and chill at least two hours.

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1.  Coleslaw!  I am NOT a fan of traditional coleslaw, so I would opt for this Crunchy Asian version!

I will be linking up with Many Little Blessings for Top Ten Tuesday!  Be sure to check them out!

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