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Menu Plan for the week of June 28, 2013:  Sunday's Recipes

Cold Beef, Ham and Cheese Picnic Loaf
Classic Italian Pasta Salad
Cucumber Salad

Cooking time:  45 minutes hands on in 2 sessions for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       This is a do-ahead, cold picnic, with all the work being done early in the day. I've tweaked the schedule to get it done in 2 work sessions. It will serve 2 with leftovers for tomorrow or 4 or 6.  Any of the dishes would be a good contribution to a larger gathering. Split a small onion between the Loaf and the Cucumber Salad. You could do this on the 4th for a picnic, switching menus.

Cold Beef, Ham and Cheese Picnic Loaf

Total time: 75 minutes    60 baking
    The odd amount for the ham is because I buy pre-packaged. A little goes a long way, so 3 - 4 oz will be fine. Make this early in the day so that it can thoroughly chill before slicing and serving.

Cold Beef, Ham and Cheese Picnic Loaf Ingredients:


Italian Picnic Pasta Salad

Total time: 35 minutes
         This is the 'classic' or original (close to it, anyway) Pasta Salad.  The original called for bottled "Italian Dressing" but I prefer to make my own.  It's a great salad to take to a pot-luck picnic or to plan on leftovers.  For two I would simply cut everything in half. 

Italian Picnic Pasta Salad Ingredients:


Creamy Cucumber Salad

Total time: 16 minutes     divided: 8 minutes,  wait 4-10 hours, 8 minutes
    Another summer classic, this is loosely based on my mother's recipe - which was her mother's.  She used cream, I use yogurt but the taste is surprisingly similar.  I can't be real specific here - I never measure and it depends on how big the cukes are, etc. But this is an easy 'taste and adjust' salad.  Just play with it until you like it - you really can't screw it up (unless you try to hurry)

Creamy Cucumber Salad Ingredients:


This will keep a week, but it never lasts that long at our house.

Cooking Schedule: 75 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium bowl, baking dish or loaf pan, pot and
colander for pasta, large bowl, 2 medium bowls, slicer,
strainer, cling film
At least 4, preferably 6 hours before eating:
Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Put water on high heat for pasta
Mince 1/2 onion, garlic
Finely chop Prosciutto
Slice Cheddar
Mix all ingredients for meat loaf - in order
Assemble meat loaf, layering cheese
Bake Picnic Loaf
Stud 1/2 onion with cloves, put in bowl
Peel cucumbers
Start to cook pasta
Slice cucumbers
Layer cucumbers with salt
Put plate on cukes, add weight, set aside
Slice celery
Cut cherry tomatoes

Clean pepper, chop
Trim, clean mushrooms, slice
Peel, slice red onion
Cut salami, olives
Drain pasta
Put pasta in large bowl, toss with oil
Add tomatoes, pepper, celery to pasta
Toss pasta / veg, lightly, cover with film, set aside
Snip herbs
Make vinaigrette - squeeze fresh lemon for juice
Put mushrooms, onions, salami, olives in medium bowl
Add vinaigrette, stir well, cover with film, set aside
     Do something until time to put ketchup on loaf
Remove loaf, spread ketchup, return to oven
    15 minute break
Remove loaf, let rest
2 hours later:
Combine pasta and vegetables, refrigerate
Refrigerate meat loaf
Whenever you're ready:
Drain, rinse, squeeze cukes
Squeeze lemon, finish cucumber salad
Serve it all when you want.

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