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Hopefully, the warm weather is here to stay; no more surprise snowflakes in May! We need to start up that grill and begin to think about the summer months ahead. Here are some great recipes that will help you plan your summertime meals. Enjoy!

Juicy Griled Burgers

1 pound lean ground beef

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup grated carrot

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 egg

5 slices Cheddar cheese (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Shape into 5 patties. To grill: place rack 3 inches from coals. Grill over medium-high coals for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, for rare 5 to 7 minutes, and 8 to 10 minutes for well-done. Turn only once. If desired, add a slice of cheese to each burger and let cheese melt. Remove burger from grill and serve. Yield: 5 burgers.

Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

(Simmer beef ribs until tender, then transfer to the grill for that smoky flavor.)

10 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 5-inch pieces

1 cup vinegar

1 cup catsup

1 (4-ounce) bottle liquid smoke

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

3 tablespoons prepared mustard

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 tablespoon paprika

4 bay leaves

Combine ribs and salted water to cover in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour. Drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside. Place ribs on grill over slow coals. Grill 10 minutes, turning as needed. Brush ribs with sauce and cook an additional 20 minutes, basting and turning frequently. Serve remaining sauce with ribs. Yield: 10 servings.

Pesto Potato Salad

8 pounds small red potatoes

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups mayonnaise

Pesto Sauce (recipe follows)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Scrub potatoes; cook in boiling salted water 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Peel potatoes; cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Place potatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, wine and olive oil; toss lightly. Combine mayonnaise and Pesto Sauce. Pour over potatoes; toss lightly. Chill thoroughly. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Yield: 20 servings.

To make pesto sauce:

1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed tightly

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Combine first 6 ingredients in container of electric blender; process until smooth. Add cheese and process until smooth and creamy. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

Grilled Corn in the Husk

4 large ears fresh corn

String for tying corn husks

Prepare outdoor grill for barbecuing. Peel corn husks back; remove as much corn silk as possible. Replace husks and tie tops of husks with string. Place corn in 13x 9-inch pan filled half-way with water. Soak corn 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Place ears of corn on grill and cook 25 minutes or until kernels are tender when pierced with a fork, turning corn occasionally. To serve, remove string and peel back husks. Yield: 4 servings.

Peaches and Cream Crumble

3/4 cup sugar

1 beaten egg

1-1/2 cups milk

1package instant vanilla pudding

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

1 cup sour cream

1 cup freshly diced peaches

Combine sugar, nuts and egg. Line a 9-inch pan with foil. Spread nuts in pan and bake at 350˚ for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Coarsely crumble baked nuts and divide half of this mixture among 6 glasses. Combine pudding, sour cream and milk; beat on low speed of electric mixer or with a rotary beater for 1 to 2 minutes until well blended. Fold in peaches. Spoon mixture over nut crumbs n glasses. Top with remaining nuts. Chill several hours before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Fig Preserve Cake

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fig preserves

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Buttermilk glaze (recipe follows)

Combine sugar and vegetable oil; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla and add fig preserves and chopped pecans, folding gently and thoroughly. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake at 350˚ for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; place on wire rack. Pour glaze over cake. Yield: One 10-inch cake.

For buttermilk glaze:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup buttermilk

1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil and boil 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Yield: 1 cup.

Sweet and Sour Fruit Mix

1 cup cottage cheese

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup milk

1 small cabbage, coarsely shredded

1 medium-size Red Delicious apple, unpeeled and chopped

1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

1/4 cup raisins

Garnish: Red Delicious Apple wedges

Combine cottage cheese and next 4 ingredients in container of an electric blender or food processor; process until smooth. Set aside. Place cabbage and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Pour cottage cheese mixture over cabbage mixture; toss gently to combine. Cover and chill thoroughly. Garnish, if you wish. Yield: 12 servings.

Snacktime Carrot Sticks

1 pound (6 medium) carrots

2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or dillweed

Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 425˚. Peel carrots; cut into strips 3 inches long and 1/2-inch wide. Combine olive oil and snipped herbs in a large bowl. Add carrots and toss to coat. Spread carrots in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, until just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once. Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired. Yield: 6 snack servings.

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