Summer Dinner Menu

Chicken Slider, Potato Salad and String Beans
Chicken Slider, Potato Salad and String Beans

I was so happy with this meal, I wanted to share the whole menu with you.

Happy cooking, hon!

Salad:  Escarole with green apple, celery root and toasted pecans

Main Dish:  Chicken Sliders with Herbed Mayo

Side Dish:  Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Veggie:  Steamed String Beans

Dessert:  Chocolate Chip Cookies


Escarole salad
Escarole Salad recipe found in Fine Cooking magazine.

Salad:  Escarole with Green Apple, Celery Toot and Toasted Pecans

According to Fine Cooking, the vinaigrette tastes better when made ahead. The recipe recommends preparing vinaigrette up to 2 days before serving and store in refrigerator, tightly covered. Bring vinaigrette to room temperature and whisk lightly before dressing salad.


2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon minced shallot

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium head escarole (about 1 lb.)

1 medium Granny Smith Apple (7-8 oz.)

1 small celery root (about 1/2 lb.)

1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted (I spread them out on a toaster tray and toasted them a few times.)

Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

optional:  1/4 lb. blue cheese, crumbled to yield about 1 cup (I didn’t add blue cheese to the salad above.)


1.  To make the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black petter. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes, then whisk in olive oil. (If adding blue cheese, add 2 Tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese and stir gently.)

2.  Remove any tough, discolored, or broken outer escarole leaves. Trim off root end and tear leaves in bite-size pieces.  Wash well.  (Estimated amt-6 lightly packed cups.) If you prepare the escarole ahead of time, store in a bowl covered with a slightly damp towel in the fridge until ready to toss.

3.  Up to 1 hour before serving the salad, peel, core, and dice apple into 1/4 inch cubes (about 1 1/4 cups). Slice the thick skin from celery root and dice it the same as the apple. (I didn’t have celery root, so I just diced a celery stalk.)

5.  Add celery to diced apple and toss with 2 Tablespoons of vinaigrette to prevent discoloration. Cover and refrigerate until ready to toss the salad.

6.  Ten minutes before serving salad, toss the escarole and apple/celery root mixture with remaining dressing. Break up pecans into salad and toss to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and petter. (If adding blue cheese, the magazine says the blue cheese will add a little saltiness, so don’t oversalt the salad. Crumble remaining blue cheese over salad just before serving.

Serves 6 to 8


Chicken Sliders with Herbed Mayo
Chicken Sliders with Herbed Mayo from blog Mamas Gotta Bake

Main Dish:  Chicken Sliders with Herbed Mayo

Slider Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, flattened and cut into approx. 2″ x 4″ pieces (I bought mine pre-flattened and used a little more chicken than the recipe called for.)

1 1/2 cups panko crumbs (or regular bread crumbs if you can’t find panko crumbs)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 Tablespoon milk (I used almond milk.)

vegetable or canola oil for frying

salt and pepper to taste

8 mini slider rolls (I found dairy-free Mini Pretzel Rolls at Whole Foods)

Extras–lettuce, tomato, onion

Herbed Mayo Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon finely minced parsley

1 teaspoon finely minced chives

1 teaspoon finely minced chervil (optional)

1/2 teaspoon mustard (dijon or brown)

1 teaspoon lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

(I used a combo of fresh and dried herbs.)


1.  Rinse chicken with cool water and pat dry.  Cut into approx. 2″ x 4″  pieces. LIghtly season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Make a “dredging station” by putting panko crumbs in one shallow bowl, the flour mixed with salt and pepper in another shallow bowl, and the 2 eggs beaten with 1 Tablespoon of milk (or dairy substitute) in a another shallow bowl.

3.  Using tongs or a fork, dip chicken into flour and gently shake off excess.  Next, dip it into egg mixture on both sides. Last, dip chicken into panko crumbs, pressing crumbs to adhere to chicken. Lay finished coated pieces on a wax paper covered baking sheet.

4.  In a large skillet, over medium heat, pour vegetable oil about 1/4″ deep. Fry chicken when oil has heated up (but not too hot, otherwise the outside coating will burn and the chicken inside won’t cook through.) Without crowding pan, fry chicken until pieces are golden brown. I always check doneness of chicken by making a small cut before removing from pan.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.

5.  To make the Herbed Mayo, place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to your own taste. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

6.  Assemble sandwiches, spread with Herbed Mayo.

Servings:  8 Slider Sandwiches


Old-Fashioned Potato Salad from cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home
Old-Fashioned Potato Salad from cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

Side Dish:  Old-Fashioned Potato Salad


3 pounds small red potatoes

kosher salt

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk, milk, or white wine (I used white wine in dish above.)

2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 Tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup medium-diced celery

1/2 cup small-diced red onion


1.  Place potatoes and 2 Tablespoons salt in large pot of water. Bring water to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are barely tender when pieced with a knife.  Drain potatoes in a colander, then place colander with potatoes over empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel.  Leave potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk (or wine), Dijon and whole-grain mustards, dill, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

3.  When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on their size.  Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and pour dressing over them to moisten.  (As the salad sits, you may need to add more dressing.) Add celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

4.  Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to blend.

Serves:  6 to 8


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tate’s Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Dessert:  Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (thin and crisp)


2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup unbleached flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup salted butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Either grease two cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.

3.  In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.  Add the water and vanilla.  Mix the ingredients until they are just combined.

4.  Add the eggs and mix them lightly.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Don’t overmix the dough.

5.  Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

6.  Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown.  Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Yield:  4 1/2 dozen three-inch cookies.

Unbaked cookie dough may be left in fridge for a few days and freezer for over a month.



Fine Cooking magazine

Mama’s Gotta Bake blog

Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten cookbook

Bon Appetit website


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