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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Keeping the Memory Alive

By Sherrie Norris

Memorial Day ushers into the High Country a season of outdoor dining, when many families and friends gather for the year’s first “official” picnics and cookouts.

It’s a great weekend for food and fellowship, but more importantly, a time to reflect upon the supreme sacrifice that countless American soldiers gave for our freedom. Let’s not forget what it’s all about.


Zesty Grilled Chicken

4 chicken halves or 2 whole chickens, split

4 lemons, halved crosswise

Oregano sprigs (optional)


1 Tbs. grated lemon zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 Tbs. dried)

2 Tbs. olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, chopped oregano, oil, 2 tsp. coarse salt and 1 tsp. pepper.

Divide marinade between two large re-sealable plastic bags. Divide chicken between each bag; shake to coat well.

Let chicken marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Remove chicken from marinade; pat dry with paper towels.

Place chicken, skin side up, on grill. Cover and cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Turn chicken over; cover and cook until well browned, 10 -15 minutes

If chicken is browning too quickly, move to cooler parts of grill or turn grill to low heat.

Transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place lemon halves on grill, cut side down; cook until slightly charred, 8-10 minutes. Cut chicken into pieces if needed; serve with grilled lemon halves, and, if desired, garnish with oregano sprigs.


Mixed Vegetable Grill

3 med. red or green bell peppers, halved

Jumbo mushrooms

6 squash (yellow and/or zucchini) sliced

1 lg. onion, chunked

1 (8-oz.) bottle Italian salad dressing

Place vegetables and dressing in large re-sealable plastic bag, turning to coat all sides. Marinate at least one hour, turning frequently. Heat grill. Drain vegetables, reserving marinade. Place vegetables on grill, preferably in grill basket, over medium heat; cook for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp tender, turning occasionally and brushing frequently with marinade.


Simple Macaroni Salad

2 cups macaroni

4 cups water

½ tsp. salt (more to taste if needed)

1 cup mayonnaise, or more, for desired consistency

½ cup green pepper, chopped

2 boiled eggs

½ cup chopped pickle

1 small onion

Cook macaroni as directed on package until tender; drain. Add other ingredients and mix well. May double as necessary and use other chopped vegetables, such as carrots and cucumbers.


Easy Cheesy Breadsticks
1 (10 oz.) cans prepared pizza crust
1 Tbs. butter, melted
½ cup provolone cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 425.
Unroll pizza dough onto a greased cookie sheet and brush with butter. Sprinkle cheeses and spices evenly over the dough. With a pizza cutter, cut dough lengthwise into 12 long strips. Then cut those in half to make 24 strips. Do not separate strips.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Recut along each strip and remove from cooking sheet.
Serve sticks warm with marinara sauce


Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pie

1 chocolate graham cracker crust

1 cup peanut butter

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature

1 tub (12 oz.) Cool Whip, divided

1 jar (11.75 oz.) hot fudge topping, divided

½ cup sugar


2 Tbs. hot fudge

2 Tbs. peanut butter

In large bowl, beat peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Fold in 3 cups Cool Whip. Spoon mixture into crust and smooth to edges.

Remove 2 Tbs. hot fudge from jar and place in Ziploc plastic baggie for later. Heat remaining hot fudge according to pkg. directions. Spread on top of peanut butter layer. Refrigerate pie until serving time.

Before serving, carefully spread remaining Cool Whip on top of pie.

Knead hot fudge in baggie with hands; cut tiny hole in corner of baggie and pipe over pie. Repeat with 2 Tbs. peanut butter and pipe on pie in opposite direction.