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DIANE’S DELIGHTS: In the good ol’ salad time

When summer heat turns the kitchen into an oven like we have been experiencing the last few days, that’s when I do not want to cook. 

It brings to mind the clever phrase, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” and for me, the last place I want to be is dripping over the stove on a hot day. That’s when we have summer meals that are a breeze to make along with chilled fruit and cold salads. 

This week’s recipe for Special Cabbage Salad is one that I make quite often and it keeps well throughout the week. Despite the unusual combination of ingredients, this salad is wonderful! Served with fresh fruit kabobs and crusty rolls, it’s a wonderful fresh summer meal.

Fresh Fruit Kabobs

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup orange juice

2 apples, unpeeled

2 pears, unpeeled

1 8-1/4 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

 Mix sugar, water, lemon juice and orange juice in a large bowl. Combine apples and pears. Cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Add to marinade. Toss gently to coat fruit. Add pineapple chunks and orange segments. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. To serve kabobs, drain fruit and thread onto wooden skewers. Berries, peaches or melons may be substituted.  If using berries, do not marinade. 

Special Cabbage Salad

2 ounce cooked chicken breasts, cut into small pieces.

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 head small cabbage

1 small onion, diced

1 package ramen noodles including the chicken flavor


2 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 cup oil

3/4 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and add the chicken flavoring while the noodles are hot. Set noodles aside. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Shred the cabbage. Mix the chicken breast pieces, sesame seeds, the sliced almonds, cabbage, onion and drained noodles. Pour dressing over the top and mix well. Chill and serve.

Shoestring Salad

1 cup salad dressing

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon mustard

2 cans tuna fish, drained

1 cup carrots, shredded

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 green, red or yellow pepper, diced

1 teaspoon onion chopped fine or more to taste

8 ounce can shoestring potatoes

Mix all ingredients except shoestring potatoes and chill. Just before serving, add 1-8 ounce can shoestring potatoes.

GARY’S TIP: When buying cucumbers, select those that are well shaped, firm and of deep green color. Any yellow color indicates over-maturity.  Avoid large cucumbers and those appearing puffy, shriveled or withered. At home, keep cucumbers cool and humid and use within a few days.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Most parents are convinced if their children have talent, it’s inherited; but if they have any meanness, it’s picked up from the neighbor kids.