Dinner Belle – Picnic Ideas

Written By: Jil Utterback - Mar• 12•14


It is the second issue of the Heart Beat of the Texas Hill Country magazine and time to look toward springtime recipes. I am curious to know if anyone tried any of the recipes in the Winter 2013 magazine: the chicken barley chili, quick and easy fruit salad or Julie’s polish sausage. You can let me know at jilu@indiancreek.net.

We are so lucky to live in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. We can pack up a picnic basket and head for the hills or we live close enough to San Antonio to enjoy all the festivities there.

From Thursday, April 17, through Sunday, April 27, is Fiesta in San Antonio. That being said, I thought I would include a fiesta potato salad recipe I like to make, because it not only tastes good but it is a very pretty salad and another potato salad recipe that I have used for years and always get rave reviews on it.

  • 8 potatoes peeled, coFiesta potato salad
  • 6 cups peeled, cooked and cubed potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • ½ cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped
  • Toss with dressing: ¾ cup ranch dressing, ½ cup salsa, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Marinated potato saladoked and sliced
  • 1 large chopped red onion
  • 1-24 ounce carton small curd cottage cheese
  • 32-ounce jar mayonnaise
  • Salt, pepper and paprika

Use a large bowl with a sealed lid. Layer: potatoes, onion, cottage cheese then seal with mayonnaise. Sprinkle salt and pepper then add a second layer of the same. Continue with layers ending with mayonnaise. Salt, pepper and sprinkle paprika on top. Refrigerate overnight. The red onion makes this dish. You can make this several days in advance and it only gets better.
Here is a recipe my grandmother gave me years ago. I have used this recipe many times over the years, especially for group dinners (I double the recipe and put this in large aluminum disposable pan). It is a great recipe to make to take for a potluck or when you want to take a dish to someone who has had a death in the family or of course just for your own family. Add a green salad and hot rolls and your meal is complete.

  • Hot chicken salad
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 6 chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 cups cooked rice (I use white rice but it is up to you)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Mix all and put in a buttered 9-inch by 13-inch pan — cover with crushed potato chips if desired. Bake 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Finally, here is a recipe I found years ago. We look forward to eating these sandwiches every spring and summer. It would be perfect to pack these sandwiches in that picnic basket (more like a cooler in Texas) along with some fresh fruit and cubed cheese when you head for the hills.

Honey chicken salad
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 celery ribs diced
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
½ cup chopped pecans
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup honey
¼ teaspoon sat and ¼ teaspoon pepper
Really great served on croissants.

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