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A twist on some traditional summer favorites

Family Features The Spokesman-Review

Grilling season means entertaining that’s casual, fun and no-sweat. Gather friends and family for easy, convenient and delicious meals enjoyed al fresco.

Whether you’re soaking up rays, visiting in the shade or playing lawn games, make the most of summer with memorable outdoor gatherings. Easy, breezy meals help you make the most of summer.

“Summer grilling is as much about enjoying the company of family and friends as it is about the great food you serve,” said Pam Kohn, Wal-Mart senior vice president of grocery. “We’ve seen a trend toward combining ‘take and bake’ or ‘heat and eat’ selections with delicious homemade recipes to create a memorable menu that provides plenty of time to enjoy your guests.”

These recipes provide a new, flavorful twist on traditional summer favorites. And you’ll be a grill star by offering 1/2 -pound Black Angus beef burgers, brats, chicken breasts and/or the ever-popular hot dog. And don’t forget the toppings. Your guests will enjoy creating their own “gourmet” sandwiches loaded with their favorites — relish, onion, mustard, ketchup, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, barbeque sauce, mayo, pickles, cheese, slaw and sauerkraut.

Perfect mates for a grilling menu include a hearty Antipasto with Pasta salad — easy to make ahead — and Wild West Coleslaw, loaded with flavors and colors. All-American Strawberry Shortcake with seasonal berries is the standout dessert. Make your own shortcake or pick one up at your favorite bakery.

Summer Stage: Use reusable, colorful plastic tablecloths and festive paper napkins. Pick up fresh cut flowers for the table, or use a flower pot from the yard. Don’t forget the citronella candles.

Light Up the Night: Add tube lights or twinkle lights to your deck to enjoy all summer and encourage late night gathering. Bring out a portable CD player to play favorite tunes. Have your digital or disposable camera handy to record the fun.

Stay Quenched and Cool: Bring a cooler outside to keep cold drinks handy. Have a variety of hand-held fans and straw hats available.

Work Up an Appetite: Badminton, croquet or good, old-fashioned horseshoes are favorite summer games. For the lawn-chair crowd, pull out checkers or chess.

Make the most of summer days and evenings by planning plenty of outdoor fun! Additional recipes and tips are available at by clicking on In Stores Now/Ideas Center/Food & Recipes.

Antipasto with Pasta

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Chill time: 30 minutes

1/2 (16-ounce) package fusilli pasta, uncooked

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons capers

1 clove garlic, minced

6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

1/2 pound sliced hard salami or prosciutto, cut into thin strips

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 (14-ounce) jar pepperoncini peppers, drained

1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained

1/3 cup pitted black olives

Focaccia bread (optional)

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and let cool. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil. Cover and refrigerate.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 4 tablespoons oil, basil, capers, and garlic; set aside. Combine fresh mozzarella, salami, beans, peppers and olives in large bowl. Drizzle with reserved oil mixture, tossing well. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

3. Arrange pasta and vegetable mixture on large serving platter. Serve cold with focaccia bread, if desired.

Wild West Coleslaw

Serves 10

Prep time: 15 minutes

Chill time: 2 to 6 hours

4 cups shredded cabbage

2 medium Red Delicious apples, cored and chopped

1 cup halved seedless red and/or green grapes

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup raisins (optional)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

3 large dill pickles, chopped (optional)

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons coarse-grain brown mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1. In large bowl combine cabbage, apples, grapes and onion. Add raisins, walnuts and/or pickles, if desired.

2. In small bowl use wire whisk to combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Add to cabbage mixture. Lightly toss until coated.

3. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 6 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Chill time: 1 hour

1 cup self-rising flour

2 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup milk

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups whipping cream

1 cup sugar

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.

2. In medium mixing bowl combine flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Stir in milk, eggs, and vanilla just until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

4. Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl combine whipping cream and 1 cup sugar. Beat with electric mixer on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form.

5. Cut cake into 16 squares. Split each square, horizontally, into 2 layers. Spoon some whipped cream and strawberries over bottom layer. Replace top layer. Top with remaining whipped cream and strawberries. Place shortcakes on large serving platter. Cover and chill up to 1 hour before serving.

Find hundreds of printer-friendly recipes at

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