Recipes for easy summer snacks

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

Nothing says summer like food you can enjoy on the patio. It doesn’t matter if it’s family fun time or just time away from home with your favorite group of boys or girls.

Serve a sandwich with a twist and snack on a cheese dip that is so easy to fix you could put it in the Crock-Pot the night before your big day.

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Italian Sausage Sandwiches

1 pound of Italian sausage, sliced ¼ thick

½ an onion, sliced into rings

1 cup of bell peppers, sliced

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of oregano

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

6 large French rolls, toasted and cut open long ways

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 cup of Mozzarella, shredded

Lettuce, shredded

In a skillet, sauté the first 7 ingredients. Drain the grease and layer the mixture inside the bread with the remaining ingredients.

Turkey Rotini Pasta Salad

2 boxes of vegetable rotini pasta noodles

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 large tomato, chopped

1 bottle of ranch dressing, low fat is recommended

½ a bottle of Italian dressing

½ a pound of turkey, chopped

Cook the noodles according to cooking directions. Drain the noodles and cool with cold tap water. Drain the noodles, once more. Mix the remaining ingredients with the pasta and refrigerate for 24 hours, before serving.

Bar Brawl Queso Dip

6 stacks (2 packs) of the SAMS brand sliced

Pasteurized Processed Swiss and American Cheese, broken into chunks

6 cups of whole milk, more if needed

2 cans of Rotel

(Optional) ¼-½ a cup of canned jalapeno peppers, chopped

5 cups of mozzarella cheese

Place the ingredients in a Crock-Pot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Stir the dip ever so often to keep it from sticking. This queso also does well if you substitute 5 cups of mozzarella cheese for one package of the Swiss.

French Bread Pudding

1 pound of French bread, cut in chunks

1 quart of milk

3 eggs, beaten

1½ cups of sugar

1 cup of raisins

3 tablespoons of vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of margarine, melted

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together and pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. It should be firm. If needed bake longer.