Speedy Summer Calls For Speedy Recipes

Two-thirds of summer have gone by. Egad! How did that happen?

There were so many things I wanted to check off on my summer to-do list, and so far not much has been accomplished.

I blame it on the heat. I’m much more of a hot-weather person than a cold-weather person, but this year the heat has been a bit too much, even for me, and now we are dealing with a lack of air conditioning in the office for the foreseeable future.

I keep envisioning the anti-drug TV commercial with the egg being cracked into a pan: Here’s your brain. Here’s your brain on drugs. But my version goes like this: Here’s Beth’s brain. Here’s Beth’s brain being slowly fried by the heat.

One of the usual summer things I realized I haven’t done is make potato salad. I generally attempt several batches, trying to emulate what Dot Mom used to concoct. But this year, I haven’t even made one. That’s partly because Bryan and I are still sticking to our low-carb diet, so there have been very few potatoes in the house. But it’s also been too warm to boil up the necessary ingredients.

I did, however, try out a purchased potato-salad makeover method shared by Facebook friend Kevin Feit. I became acquainted with Kevin, the son of Tom and Karen Feit of rural Reading, last year while doing promotions for the first King Turkey Day Smokin’ Gobbler BBQ contest.  Kevin has turned his barbecue hobby into a business, Swinestone Cowboys BBQ & Catering, in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and helped to get the sanctioned barbecue event going in Worthington.

Sometime around the Fourth of July, I read Kevin’s Facebook post about whipping up a batch of Buffalo Bleu Cheese Potato Salad. My interest was immediately piqued, and I asked if he was willing to share the recipe. The quantities he provided are for catering, of course, but can easily be reduced to more manageable amounts for home consumption.

Buffalo Bleu Cheese Potato Salad

Start with 1 four-pound bucket Reser’s Red Skin Potato Salad (Stonemill Kitchens is another brand that Kevin mentioned, or look for something similar in your favorite grocery store). Mix in 1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped yellow onion, 1 cup chopped cooked bacon, 1 cup crumbled Maytag bleu cheese and 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce.

“If you want to spice it up even more, mix in about a tablespoon of cayenne pepper,” adds Kevin.

At long last, I have secured the recipe for the bars that Myra Palmer served to the men’s golf league at Prairie View Golf Links. She credits the recipe to the Taste of Home website, and because it uses purchased cookie dough, it’s an easy-to-throw together dessert for summer. (Although I guess you will have to start the oven! There’s no getting around that.)

“I doubled this recipe for a 9- by 13- size pan,” notes Myra. “The 8- by 8- pan just isn’t big enough because they are so good you just can’t stop eating them.”

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bars

Start with one 18-ounce tube refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough. Cut dough in half, and press half the dough into the bottom of a greased 8-inch square pan.

In a large bowl, beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened, with ½ cup sugar and 1 egg until smooth. Spread over crust.

Crumble remaining cookie dough on top of cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 12-16 servings.