Posted: Jul 27, 2012 11:00 AM
Summer is one of the best times of the year for entertaining. You can host an amazing barbecue with great food and still stick to your budget. Take it outdoors with these great recipes that will have your friends begging for a second invitation.

pork and veggie skewers

Pork and veggie skewers with Ranch barbecue sauce recipe

Serves 8

Timing^ Prep: 20 minutes -- Cook: 32 minutes -- Total: 52 minutes


  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle honey barbecue sauce
  • 1 packet dry Ranch seasoning and dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 bell peppers (any color), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 small red onions, cut into wedges


  1. To make barbecue sauce, combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Simmer it, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Thread the pork and veggies onto skewers.
  6. Brush them with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Grill the skewers over direct heat for 12 to 14 minutes, turning to brown evenly.
  8. Brush with the Ranch barbecue sauce during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking.
  9. Serve with the additional Ranch barbecue sauce for dipping.

veggie pasta salad

Easy veggie pasta salad recipe

Serves 10

Timing^ Prep: 15 minutes -- Cook: 7 minutes -- Total: 22 minutes


  • 1 (16 ounce) box corkscrew pasta
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle zesty Italian-style salad dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the vegetables.
  3. Drizzle it with the salad dressing, and toss it gently to combine.
  4. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste.

No fuss banana pudding recipe

banana pudding

Serves 18

: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes


  • 1 (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1-3/4 cup milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 box vanilla wafer cookies
  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding and milk for 2 minutes, or until it has slightly thickened.
  2. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk until it is combined.
  3. Add the whipping cream and whisk it until it is thick.
  4. Reserve 10 to 12 cookies for the garnish.
  5. Layer about one-third of the banana slices and the remaining cookies in the bottom of a serving dish.
  6. Cover with one-third of the pudding mixture.
  7. Repeat the layers twice.
  8. Spread the thawed whipped topping over top (if using).
  9. Crumble the reserved cookies and sprinkle on top.

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