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Labor Day Recipes
With the Labor Day weekend fast approaching I thought we'd talk about picnic recipes again. Parties are just too boring with the same old potato salad and hamburgers. And in this heat you want to stay away from anything mayonnaise based unless the food is indoors.

Good bets this year are cool light, dishes like fruit salads and vegetable dishes. If you happen to be hosting a party and are providing the main meat dish try something lighter than hamburgers and hotdogs. Of course if you have a die-hard barbequer in your family who insists in cooking over the pit in the heat, let him. The rest of you can stay inside in the air conditioning.


4 medium Golden Delicious apples, diced
4 medium Red Delicious apples, diced
2 C. seedless green grapes, halved
2 C. seedless red grapes, halved
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sugar

Combine all the fruit in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat dressing ingredients until smooth. Pour over fruit; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Yields 16 to 20 servings. A good way to keep this salad cool is to place the bowl in a larger bowl if ice. And make sure you keep it covered if it is outside.


2 C. thinly sliced, pared cucumbers
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. thinly sliced onions
1/4 C. vinegar
1 T. water
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper

Place cucumber slices in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Refrigerate 30 minutes; drain well. Add onions. Combine vinegar, the 1 tablespoon water, sugar, dill weed, cracked black pepper and red pepper. Pour over cucumbers and onions; toss lightly. Chill 1 hour or longer, tossing occasionally, before serving. Serves 4.


3 lb. boneless pork loin (not tenderloin)
Cajun seasoning
1/2 C. light brown sugar
1/4 C. honey
1 C. Brandy
4 C. apple juice or cider
1 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

Season pork with Cajun seasoning. Combine the GLAZE ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, in a saucepan and bring to simmer and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk together the cornstarch and water. Add to the hot glaze mix and continue cooking for another minute. Let this cool COMPLETELY. Place the pork in a large Zip-loc bag and add marinade and let sit overnight. Remove pork, reserving the marinade, and allow to come to room temp. Preheat your grill to 450ºF.
Place the pork on the grill and sear for 5 minutes. Turn over and sear for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to 400ºF and cook for another 30-40 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 145-155ºF, basting every 15 minutes using the reserved marinade. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. You can use any remaining marinade to serve with the meat. If you do this, boil the marinade first.

1 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 C. milk
1 1/4 C. pecan pieces, divided
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 (10 oz.) pkg. peanut butter chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract; beat well. Add flour, cocoa and milk; beat until blended. Stir in 1 cup pecans. Pour into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or just until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt 1/2 cup butter and peanut butter chips, stirring constantly. Stir in sweetened condensed milk until smooth; pour over baked layer. Place chocolate chips in a self-sealing plastic bag. Place in hot water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds or until chips are melted when bag is pinched with fingers. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate; sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Cut into bars. Yields 2 dozen.