New Stars of the Barbecue

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(Family Features) Nothing says summer quite like a barbecue. While the grill might be the main attraction, it’s deliciously simple to put a personal spin on classic summer dishes and desserts.

From Same-Old Salads to Inspired Surprises

There are a number of quick and easy ways to add your signature touch to the standard summer barbecue fare. First, trade in the predictable potato salad for a refreshing pasta sensation. Build a delicious, personalized creation your family will enjoy with easy mixes such as Suddenly Salad mixes by Betty Crocker. “Each pasta salad mix comes with pasta, special seasoning and vegetables — only oil or mayonnaise needs to be added,” said Karen Schiemo of the Betty Crocker Kitchens. “Throw in a little culinary creativity and your favorite ingredients, such as additional fresh vegetables or diced meat, and you can even create your own recipe that’s sure to be in high-demand for seconds.”

Sweet Summer Barbecue Endings

Deliver a sweet ending to the perfect barbecue. With a few ingredients, such as sprinkles, marshmallows and nuts, you can add your own twist to brownies and transform them into a customized confection. Not only are they easy to make ahead of time, but a pan of brownies is easy to carry to the festive affair, requiring only one dish from baking to the barbecue. With no utensils necessary, they score huge “brownie points” with adults and kids alike.

Between the perfect main course and delectable side dishes, barbecues will surely be a family favorite. For more ideas to make your barbecue sizzle, go to BettyCrocker.com.

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S’more Brownies

Makes 24 brownies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 4 graham crackers, broken into small pieces
  • 2 bars (1.55 ounces each) milk chocolate candy, broken into 1-inch squares
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs.
  2. Set oven to broil. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows and graham crackers over warm brownies. Broil about 4 to 5 inches from heat 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are golden brown. (Watch carefully — marshmallows and graham crackers will brown quickly.) Sprinkle with chocolate candy. To serve warm, cool about 30 minutes. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

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Stars and Stripes Brownies

Makes 24 brownies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 2 hours

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • 1 container (12 ounces) whipped fluffy white frosting
  • 1 tube (0.68 ounce) red decorating gel
  • 1 tube (0.68 ounce) blue decorating gel
  • 1 tube (0.68 ounce) white decorator icing
  • Decorating Decors stars
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9-inch pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies. Continue as desired with options below.
  3. Flag Brownies: Frost brownies. Using red decorating gel, pipe stripes onto frosted brownie. Add decors in upper left corner of brownie.
  4. Fire Cracker Brownies: Using 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out brownie rounds. Stack 2 brownie rounds together, spreading frosting between rounds and on top. Garnish with decors.
  5. Star Brownies: Using 2 1/2-inch, star-shaped cookie cutter, cut brownies. Place frosting in resealable food-storage bag; cut off one bottom corner of bag. Pipe frosting on star-shaped brownies. Sprinkle with decors.

 

Fresh Vegetable Pasta Salad

15 servings (1/2 cup each)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta salad mix
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 cups small fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion cut into thin wedges
  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on box. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water, oil and vinegar.
  2. Stir drained pasta and remaining ingredients into seasoning mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

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Greek Tossed Pasta Salad

Makes 12 servings (1 cup each)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Caesar pasta salad mix
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, slices cut in half
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (1 cup)
  • 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on box. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water and oil.
  2. Add drained pasta and remaining ingredients to seasoning mixture. Toss with croutons and Parmesan topping (from salad mix). Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Source: Betty Crocker

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