Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. This month is a time for picnics, get togethers, family reunions, etc. I'm sharing a variety of recipes and they are great for everything. I love eating outdoors, at the beach, mountains or a rodeo! For some reason the food seems to just taste better. We usually eat a bit more than usual but that's the fun of potlucks - sharing with our friends and family and gathering great recipes. Take time to go on that picnic and have fun! If you really want to be a hit - make homemade ice cream.

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Rebbie Whimpey gave me this recipe many years ago at a family gathering in Utah. I have made these many times since.

Rebbie's Blonde Brownies
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar; packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons cocoa (heaping)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Beat together butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla; set aside. Combine flour, salt, baking soda and oatmeal; mix with sugar mixture and set aside.

On low heat, combine the following, until warm: sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, butter (2 tablespoons) and walnuts.

Spray a cake pan with cooking spray and pour 2/3 of batter into pan. Spread evenly to ensure there are no holes in batter. Pour 3/4 of chocolate mixture on top (the more you use, the richer it is). Crumble the remaining batter on top of the chocolate.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not over bake.

As good as food is, nothing tastes better than being fit and looking good - Harley Chapman, my friend since Jr. High School, who lives in Lake Tahoe, California
This cake topping is from La Wanna Packard. It's great for picnics and everyone will want seconds. The frosting is the three ingredients that you sprinkle over the cake.

La Wanna's Picnic Cake Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup nuts, chopped
3/4 to 1 cup chocolate chips (or flavored chips of choice)

Sprinkle sugar, then nuts, then chips over a ready-to-bake cake (cake can be made from scratch or cake mix of your choice) in a 9 x 13 pan. Follow baking instructions on cake mix or your own recipe.

There are no gains without pains - Benjamin Franklin
Vicki Skinner gave me this recipe many years ago and it is wonderful. Larry and Vicki lived in Hesperia but now live in Victorville. Thanks Vicki!

Vicki's Lemon Bisque
1 large package lemon jell-o
2 cups hot water
Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons (about 3 tablespoons juice)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large cans evaporated milk; chilled
8 to 10 graham crackers; crushed

Dissolve jell-o in the water; add lemon juice, rind and sugar. Chill till partially set. Whip the evaporated milk till set and fold into jell-o mixture. Spread into a 9 x 13 pan. A layer of graham crackers may be added on the bottom and top of the dessert, or just on top.

An empty stomach is not a good political advisor - Albert Einstein
I have been making these for many years in fact, I made them this week for family and friends.

Old Time Cinnamon Jumbles
1/2 cup shortening (part margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix thoroughly and stir in:
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together and stir in:
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all together; chill dough. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon (1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon). Bake in a 400-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until set but not brown.

Under promise and over deliver - Harley Chapman
Thank you, Doug and La Wanna Packard, for sharing this recipe. Martha, is Doug's mother and everyone loved her macaroni salad.

There are two tricks to this salad. One is the size of the ingredients - all pieces should be very small. The second trick is the pickles - they have to be sweet dills, and are hard to find, so I have included a recipe for them.

Martha's Macaroni Salad
1/2 pound salad macaroni; cooked
6 hard boiled eggs; chopped in small pieces
1 bunch green onions; thinly sliced
1 cup sweet dill pickles; chopped (see recipe below)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese; cubed (optional)
1/4 cup black olives; sliced (optional)
1 1/2 cups tomatoes; chopped, without seeds
2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni and drain. Add next six ingredients and set aside. Mix mayonnaise and mustard together; add to salad mix. If too dry, add more mayonnaise. Then add your salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Dill Pickles: 1 quart Vlasic dill pickles; drained and sliced in half-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water

Heat vinegar, water and sugar to a boil. Pour over sliced pickles and let stand until cool. Put in refrigerator in original jar. You can use these in other recipes since you will only need one cup for the salad recipe.

Your relationship can rise no higher than your level of communication - Harley Chapman
Squash Casserole
1 quart squash; diced and cooked in 2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup onion; chopped and sautéed in margarine
1 small can canned milk
3 tablespoons yellow corn meal
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 eggs; slightly beaten
1 small can Ortega chilies
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Top with 1-cup breadcrumbs, with 4 tablespoons melted butter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. You can bake this in a 2-quart casserole dish. I do not cover it.

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous - Aristotle
This casserole is only 314 calories per serving!

Ground Beef Casserole
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion; diced
2 stalks celery; diced
1 tablespoon parsley; chopped
1 small can mushrooms
3/4 cup rice; cooked
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup tomato juice

Brown beef in nonstick pan or use cooking spray. Add onion, celery and parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes. Place in casserole dish and add remaining ingredients; mix together. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.

Take a child by the hand and you take a parent by the heart - Author Unknown
This is my Mom's recipe and it is wonderful. I have made this for many years. Thanks Mom, and hope your birthday on July 8th, was wonderful!

Mom's Lemon Ice Cream
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 to 3 cups sugar
Dash salt
1 pint whipping cream
1 quart half-and-half
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Milk

Add the ingredients to a 4-quart ice cream freeze. Fill rest with milk.

The best thing to spend on children is your time - Arnold Glasow
This is a wonderful recipe that Janice Durrant gave to me. I have made this for years.

Janice's Orange Sherbet
1 large package orange jell-o
2 package Kool Aid; unsweetened, orange flavored
2 cups boiling water
3 cups sugar
3 to 4 pints whipping cream or half-and-half
3 tablespoons vanilla
Milk

Boil together jell-o, Kool Aid, water and sugar for 1 minute or until dissolved. Cool. Add whipping cream or half-and-half and vanilla. Put in ice cream freezer and fill rest with milk.

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds - Norman Vincent Peale
Nancy Brown, gave this recipe to me over 35 years ago and it's great. She lives in Grand Terrace.

Nancy's Strawberry Ice Cream
3 1/8 cups sugar for a 4-quart freezer or 5 cups sugar to a 6 quart freezer
1 raw egg
1 quart half-and-half
1 package frozen strawberries
1 - 3 drops red food coloring
Milk

Put ingredients in a 4 or 6-quart ice cream freezer and fill rest with milk. For richer ice cream add more half-and-half or a half-pint of whipping cream.