Easy meal ideas put more fun into summer at the lake

Place cooked burgers in a flavourful barbecue sauce to keep them hot, juicy and ready to serve to hungry swimmers or fishermen at the cabin. | Betty Ann Deobald photo

On the back deck or at the cabin, easy to prepare meals and treats are always welcome.

Reader Alice Eagle of Lloydminster was looking for a barbecue sauce that can be put in a crockpot to keep a quantity of barbecued burgers hot and ready to serve. The following recipe is ideal.

Bickleigh BBQ Burger Sauce

This sauce was developed, about 30 years ago, by Alice Martinson and Elaine Jardine for use at their Bickleigh, Sask., sports day.

The burgers can be barbecued, then kept hot and juicy in the sauce ready for a team’s ball players. This is a family favourite recipe as Alice was my daughter-in-law’s mom.

  • 1 lb. butter or margarine 500 g
  • 4 c. brown sugar 1 L
  • 1 1/2 c. vinegar 375 mL
  • 1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce 75 mL
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice 125 mL
  • 1 gallon (16 c.) fresh perked coffee 4 L
  • 2 – 1 gallon cans ketchup 4 – 8 L
  • 2 tbsp. butter 30 mL
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar 60 mL
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar 22 mL
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire 5 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice 7 mL
  • 1 c. coffee 250 mL
  • 1 – 2 c. ketchup 250-500 mL

Melt butter, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and coffee, heat to simmer. Stirring constantly to prevent burning, add ketchup and simmer for five minutes.

Put sauce in a roaster in the oven or in a crock pot. Add cooked hamburgers to the sauce to keep hot and ready to serve. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the burgers. If the sauce thickens too much add extra coffee.

Remember to keep hot food hot at 140 F (60 C) or higher and cold food cold at 40 F (4 C) or lower.

The Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence recommends that ground beef be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F (71 C). An instant-read food thermometer is the best indicator. Research results indicate that some ground beef may prematurely brown before a safe internal temperature has been reached. The colour of meat alone is not considered a reliable indicator.

Don’t allow the burgers to sit and just stay warm. It is best to place the burgers and sauce in a covered crockpot or covered roaster in a low oven of 300 F (150 C). If you add burgers to the sauce as they cook, rotate them so the ones that were cooked first are served first. Use separate utensils for the cooked meat and the raw or partially cooked meat.

Transfer leftover burgers to a container and refrigerate immediately. Do not keep cooked food unrefrigerated for more than two hours.

Transform this recipe into shredded beef by using a roast. Use the same sauce ingredients with the following method.

Place a four-pound (1.8 kilogram) roast of beef, thawed, and cut in half in a large roaster or a crock pot. To increase the flavour, sear the roast in a frying pan with a little oil or browned on a barbecue before cooking.

Combine sauce ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour over roast, cover, and bake for four or five hours at 325 F (160 C), turning beef occasionally.

Another option is to place the roast in a crock pot, add the sauce and cook on high for one hour, reduce heat to low and cook for another six hours.

When meat is very tender and has an internal temperature of 160 F (71 C) on an instant-read food thermometer, remove the meat from the sauce, shred with a fork, return to sauce, reheat and serve with fresh buns or refrigerate to serve the next day or freeze.

A family favourite deep fryer is the T-FAL EZ clean deep fryer. It has a unique oil filtration system that cleans and stores the oil for future use and it has a large basket.

Pinwheel cookies

These are a fun summer cookies.

Yield four dozen.

  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened 125 mL
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar 125 mL
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 3 tbsp. milk 45 mL
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour 425 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder 2 mL
  • 1/8 tsp. salt .5 mL
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa 30 mL
  • 1 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened 15 mL

Cream first amount of butter and sugar together. Add egg, vanilla and milk, beat until light and fluffy.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, stir to combine, add slowly to the butter sugar mixture. Form into a ball and divide into two equal portions.

To one portion add cocoa and remaining butter. Mix well.

Roll out each portion between sheets of wax paper to 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness and into the same size rectangular shape.

Remove top papers, invert white layer over chocolate, this will place the chocolate on the outside layer of the cookie.

Remove top paper starting with a long side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll style, removing bottom paper as dough is rolled.

Wrap in plastic, refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Unwrap and cut into quarter-inch slices.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 F (190 C) oven for about six minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Adapted from: Company’s Coming Cookies cookbook

Eat-more Summer Treat

This is a fun cool treat or dessert for a hot day.

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 – 52 g Eat-More bars (note: contains peanuts)
  • Cool Whip

Chop apples into small cubes. Cut each Eat-More bar in half lengthwise and then cube. Combine apple and Eat-More bar cubes in a medium bowl. Add two large scoops of Cool Whip. Stir well. Add additional Cool Whip until all cubes are well covered. Serve immediately. Source: Leanne Deobald

Soda Cracker Snack Bar

This family favourite recipe was included in a cookbook our sons, Ray and Mike, put together along with their Grade 4 classmates in 1991. This recipe was submitted by Jodi Russell of Rosetown, Sask. Mike’s daughters now like to make this sweet snack.

  • 48 soda crackers, or the number needed to fill a cookie sheet
  • 1 c. brown sugar 250 mL
  • 1 c. butter or margarine 250 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips 250 mL

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Line the sheet with soda crackers, placing them side by side.

Add sugar and butter to a saucepan, heat to melt and stir to combine, boil together for 30 seconds. Add vanilla and stir to combine.

Pour hot sugar syrup over the crackers. Put into preheated oven until the syrup bubbles, about five minutes. Watch carefully.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pop back into the oven to soften chips. Remove pan from oven and spread the melted chocolate chips over the whole surface. Cool, then break apart.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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