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You can tell it is summer by taking a look at the thermometer.  Many of us celebrate with picnics and backyard barbecues. Whatever your tradition, if you’re anything like me, you are in desperate need of some new recipe ideas.  I just can’t bring myself to take the same old, tired potato salad to my family gathering this year.  So, I scoured the internet for fresh ideas; here are a few of the best.

Potluck Pasta Salad
What is a picnic without pasta salad?  I found this yummy recipe for pasta salad with an Italian twist.  Simple, fresh flavors in a quick and easy recipe.  Perfect.


3 cups Farfalle (Bowtie) Pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained.
2 cups Baby Spinach Leaves
1 cup Feta (crumbled)
1 cup Grape Tomatoes
¾ cups Canned Chickpeas, Rinsed and Drained
1 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Place everything in a large bowl; mix lightly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Sundaes
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with this festive red, white and blue ice cream sundae. Kids will love it!


1 1/2 cups strawberries or raspberries or both, plus extra for garnish
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1 1/2 cups blueberries or blackberries or both, plus extra for garnish
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream (optional), for garnish
Maraschino cherries and/or decorative sprinkles (optional), for garnish

Purée strawberries or raspberries (or both) in a blender. Sift 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar on top (depending on how sweet the berries are); blend until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Spoon a few tablespoons of the red berry sauce into each of 4 dessert glasses (set aside any extra sauce for garnish).

Purée blueberries or blackberries (or both) in a blender. Sift the remaining 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar on top (depending on how sweet the berries are); blend until smooth. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice.

Dollop 1 scoop of the ice cream on top of red berry sauce in each glass. Top with a few tablespoons of the blueberry sauce and another scoop of ice cream (or two!). Top with fresh berries and any extra sauce. Garnish with berries, whipped cream, maraschino cherries and/or sprinkles, if you like.