Yesterday we talked about how much I love the 4th of July! I talked about how Independence Day is one of my family’s favorite holidays – we love the fireworks, the food, the parades, the camping, the picnics. There are so many fun things to do. We always pack as much fun as we can into the holiday. We always seem to be going to at least one picnic or party and we always bring something yummy to eat. Sometimes it seems that the same old recipes for side dishes are boring and over used. This sent me on the search for new recipes for 4th of July picnic food.
Sometimes I get so tired of taking the same old sides when we need to take 4th of July picnic food. Everybody has had them and everybody brings them. I set out to find two new recipes for 4th of July picnic food – a new recipe to make and a new recipe for an old favorite. I found a recipe for a BLT Pasta Salad. It sounds great! I also found a new recipe to make Boston Baked Beans. Yummy! We are making these two dishes and hopefully we’ll find yummy new 4th of July picnic food. Let us know if you try them too! We love hearing from you!
BLT Pasta Salad
Makes 10 servings
1 16 ounce package medium seashell pasta
1 pound sliced bacon
1 1/2 cups light Ranch-style salad dressing
1 small onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water to cool.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the Ranch dressing, onion, and tomatoes. Mix in the cooled pasta. The pasta will absorb some of the dressing, so don’t worry if it seems like too much.
4. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Crumble bacon over the top just before serving.
Boston Baked Beans
Makes 6 servings
2 cups navy beans
1/2 pound bacon
1 onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1. Soak beans overnight in cold water. Simmer the beans in the same water until tender, approximately 1 to 2 hours. Drain and reserve the liquid.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Arrange the beans in a 2 quart bean pot or casserole dish by placing a portion of the beans in the bottom of dish, and layering them with bacon and onion.
4. In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over beans. Pour in just enough of the reserved bean water to cover the beans. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
5. Bake for 3 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until beans are tender. Remove the lid about halfway through cooking, and add more liquid if necessary to prevent the beans from getting too dry.