Many of the recipes today are perfect for these hot summer days and others are real treats that have been sent in.

Remember that it is always nice to be able to pass along your recipes and search for your requests, so be sure to let me hear from you.

School is back in full swing now, so please be mindful of school zones, children waiting for busses, and be sure to observe the traffic laws concerning busses! Let’s all do all we can to stay safe and to keep our children safe! Happy cooking!

Back-To-School Tip: Freezing Sandwiches.

Why not make up several in advance for those packed lunches?

Sandwiches can be made ahead, wrapped in foil or placed in freezer bags, and stored in the freezer for two to three weeks. Allow about three hours for sandwiches to thaw to room temperature in a picnic basket or brown bag lunch. To prevent soggy bread, use a firm or coarse-textured bread and spread butter or cream cheese to the edges of the bread. Fillings that freeze well are made with cream cheese, peanut butter, nuts, pickles, hard-cooked egg yolk, meat, poultry and fish. Foods that do not freeze well in sandwiches are hard-cooked egg whites, mayonnaise and fresh vegetables such as lettuce, celery and tomato. When making a lot of sandwiches at one time, use the assembly-line method and wrap individually to retain moisture and flavor.

And Speaking of Tips, quite by accident I discovered that the best laundry spot remover on my shelf is Dollar Store Carpet Cleaner! It seems to take out every thing, even “set” stains! If you try it, be sure to test for color fastness first!

California Chicken Salad

1 (12 oz.) can chunk breast of chicken, drained (2 cups)

1 cup celery sliced

3/4 cup red seedless grape seedless halved, or pineapple tidbits, drained

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup buttermilk salad dressing purchased

1/2 cup almonds, toasted, slivered

Lettuce leaves

1 tomato cut in wedges, or additional fruit such as kiwifruit slices, avocado wedges or cantaloupe spears

In a medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, grapes or pineapple, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least one hour or no longer than eight hours. To serve, stir dressing and almonds into chicken mixture. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Garnish with tomato or additional fruit. Serves four.

Shrimp and Grits Stuffed Peppers

2 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 & 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup yellow corn grits

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbs. olive oil

12 oz. (31-40 ct.) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if necessary

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Cayenne pepper hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Place bell peppers, cut side up, on large microwave-safe plate. Heat in microwave oven on high three minutes or until slightly tender; transfer to rimmed baking pan, cut side up. In medium saucepan, heat one and one-half cups broth and milk to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and whisk in grits. Cook five minutes or until slightly creamy, whisking occasionally; whisk in black pepper. Fill bell peppers with grits. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add shrimp and cook two minutes, turning once. Top grits with shrimp and cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque throughout. In same skillet, cook butter, Cajun seasoning and remaining one-fourth cup broth three minutes or until reduced by half, whisking constantly. Drizzle peppers with broth mixture and sprinkle with green onion; serve with hot sauce, if desired. Serves four.

Asparagus Shrimp Salad

Richard’s Note: When I make this, I never used canned or frozen asparagus. Instead, I buy fresh and lightly steam it so that it is still crisp crunchy.

1 (10 oz. pkg. frozen asparagus spears

1 lb. shrimp cooked medium, thawed if frozen and drained

1 to 2 Tbs. lemon juice

1/4 cup thousand island salad dressing

1/4 cup green onion thinly sliced

Leaf lettuce

Tomato wedges

Lemon wedges

2 Tbs. parsley chopped

Cook asparagus according to package directions. Drain and cool. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sprinkle shrimp with lemon juice. Let stand for two minutes; drain well. Add one-fourth cup of the dressing and green onions. Chill for 20 minutes. To assemble each salad, line salad bowls with lettuce. Arrange asparagus in a fan shape. Spoon shrimp mixture over base of asparagus. Garnish with tomato, lemon and parsley. Pass additional dressing. Serves four.

Perfect for Dieters Fruit Salad

Lettuce leaves

1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese lowfat (2 cups)

4 cups assorted fresh fruit such as strawberry halves, melon balls, blueberries and sliced peaches

Lemon juice (optional)

1 (7 oz.) container raspberry lowfat yogurt

1 Tbs. raspberry preserves

1/2 cup sunflower seed

Line salad bowls with lettuce. Scoop one-half cup of the cottage cheese into each. Prepare fruit. Sprinkle with lemon juice if needed to prevent darkening. Arrange fruit around cottage cheese. In a small bowl, stir yogurt and jam until blended. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Serves: 4 (Note: Other flavors of yogurt and jam can be used.)

Tuna Salad from the Riviera

2 cups red potato cubed, cooked, well drained and warm

1 cup Italian herb dressing zesty Italian salad dressing

1 (15 oz.) can green beans cut, well drained (about 2 cups)

1 head lettuce

1 (6 & 1/2 oz.) can tuna chunk white packed in water, well drained and

3 eggs hard-cooked, quartered

2 tomatoes cut in wedges

1/2 cup celery thinly sliced

1/2 cup red bell pepper julienne-cut or pimiento

1/2 cup green bell pepper julienne-cut

1/2 cup olive pitted

1 Tbs. parsley

1 lemon cut in wedges

In a medium bowl, place warm, drained potatoes. Add one-third cup of the dressing and toss gently. Let marinate at least one hour. In another medium bowl, place green beans. Add one-third cup of the dressing and stir. Let marinate at least one hour. Meanwhile, make lettuce cups or tear lettuce into bite-size pieces; arrange on a large serving platter or on individual plates. Mound potatoes in center. Arrange green beans, tuna, eggs, tomatoes, celery, red pepper, green pepper and olives in lettuce cups or on lettuce pieces around potatoes. Sprinkle tuna with parsley and garnish plate with lemon. Pass additional dressing. Serves six.

Recipe for Tres Leches Cake

Richard’s Note: The name of this cake in English means “three milks” because it uses three different milks. This cake is traditional in Hispanic cultures and legend says it was created in Mexico in honor of the visiting Viceroy from Spain during the early 1800s. This version, although it uses a mix, is truly delicious. In fact, I recently heard a woman say as she took another bite, “If the doctor was standing right here telling me if I took another bite of this cake I would die, I would just have to say, ‘O Pearly Gates, swing wide.’”

This cake needs to be baked in a large pan, either round or oblong and served from the pan. Leftovers, if you have any, should be stored in the fridge!

Bake one butter pecan cake mix as directed. Let cake cool, then poke holes into the top of the cake. Mix together one cup evaporated milk, one cup condensed milk, and one cup milk and pour over cake, allowing to soak in. Use pre-whipped topping or make heavy cream whipped topping by beating two cups heavy cream with one-fourth cup sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon. Spread over cake. Top with cinnamon and walnuts.

Southwestern Dip From Diane Mitchell

1 small jar mild salsa

1 small can bean dip (I use Frito-Lay)

1 (8 oz. carton sour cream

1 small pkg. ranch dip (I use Good Seasons)

Mix first three ingredients together until smooth, the add ranch dip. Stir until smooth. Let sit in refridgerator overnight to set. Can be served with chips, nachos, Fritos etc. (even veggies).

Strawberry Dip From Diane Fugate in Spring City

Note: I have never heard of it and they said on TV that your guests would get a welcome surprise when tasting it the first time.

2 Tbs. sugar

2 Tbs. cocoa

Mix together and then blend in a small carton of whipping cream. Then after it gets the consistency you want, add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Serve as a dip for strawberries.

Homemade Corn Dogs From Diane Fugate in Spring City

1 box Jiffy Cornbread Muffin Mix

1 egg

1 pkg. spaghetti seasoning

3/4 cup milk.

In a long pan or dish, put some self-rising flour and mix in another pkg. of spaghetti seasoning. Put the hot dogs on their sticks and roll in the flour mixture. Then dip in the above mixture and fry.

Sweet and Sour Meat Loaf

1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce

1.5 lbs. of ground beef

1 cup bread crumbs

2 Tbs. vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 eggs

1 tsp. minced onion

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbs. brown sugar

2 tsp. mustard

Mix together the ground beef, one-half can of tomato sauce, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, two beaten eggs and minced onion. Pat together to form the loaf and then bake until nearly done at 350°. Mix together the other one-half can of tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, brown sugar and mustard. Pour on top of the meat loaf and bake for another few minutes.

Snicker’s Salad From Jan Phillips

4 Snicker’s candy bars, chopped

8 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. cool whip

6 to 8 apples peeled and diced

Mix all together and enjoy.