Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches, Mom’s Famous Cole Slaw, and Mini-Lemon Cakes

June 2012 marks the start of the summer and also the start of the “No Pressure Cooker”.  More importantly for me, this June marks the start of the COOKOUT season.   Cookouts are a joy for everyone.  They bring about fun, smiles, and of course, great food.  Here are three staple cookout items that will make your friends and family keep coming back for more!

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ c ketchup
½ c bbq sauce
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp hot sauce
½ tsp crushed red pepper
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Cut onion in half and slice into thin half rings.  Line bottom of crock-pot with onions.  Trim chicken breasts and place on top of bed of onions.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper.

Mix remaining ingredients together and pour on top of the chicken covering completely. 

Place a paper towel under the lid of the crock-pot to prevent the sauce from getting watery during cooking.  Cook chicken on high for 3 hours.

Take two forks and shred the chicken.  Serve on top of lightly toasted whole-wheat buns. 

Tip: Sauce can be made ahead.

Shredded (insert meat here) sandwiches are great paired with coleslaw.  Pick whatever meat you want!  The coleslaw can either be served on the side or on the sandwich itself.  This coleslaw is very special to me because it’s been made famous by my own mother.  And she’s going to KILL me when she finds out I’m giving away her secret ingredient…celery seed!

Mom’s Famous Cole slaw
24 oz packaged cole slaw mix
1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp celery seed
salt to taste
10-12oz Marzetti’s cole slaw dressing (because this is the BEST!)

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.  Ensure that cole slaw mixture is moistened just enough to coat cole slaw lightly.  The cabbage will reduce and continue to moisten as it sits.

Note: To make a more homemade version of this, refer to Sarah’s “Cilantro and Lime Cole Slaw” and use her mix of red and green cabbage with carrots.

Citrus with sugar is an amazing combination so I’m going to my all-time favorite cake for dessert.  The cake itself is from the Duncan Hines “Lemon Pound Cake” recipe.  But the glaze is what makes it!  The glaze has the perfect balance of sweet and sour.  Also, it’s very light so it completely soaks into the cake and leaves you looking forward to every glorious bite!  The mini-bundt pan just makes it all the more endearing (and adorable).

Mini Lemon Cakes
1 pkg lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg instant lemon pudding and pie filling mix
4 large eggs
1c water
1/3 c vegetable oil

1/3 c lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 c confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a mini-bundt cake pan.  Tip: Use a sandwich bag as a glove, dip into margarine, and spread generously throughout the pan.  Combine cake mix and pudding mix in an electric mixer bowl and stir on low to combine.

Lightly beat eggs and combine with water and oil.  Add wet mixture to dry mixture; beat at medium speed until well mixed. 

Pour cake mix into a large freezer bag.  Cut a dime-size hole in the bottom corner of the bag to allow for easy filling of the cake pan.  Fill each cavity until about half full.  Bake at 350F for 18-20 mins or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 

While cakes are baking, combine lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar using a hand mixer until smooth.  Place glaze in a small freezer bag and cut a tiny hold in the bottom corner of the bag to allow for drizzling of the glaze over the cakes.  Tip: Drizzle glaze over the bottom of the cakes prior to removing from the pan for added gooey heaven :)

Remove cakes from pan by inverting onto a cookie sheet.  Once cakes are successfully removed, pour glaze over each cake.  Garnish with lemon slices.


  1. Great recipe Nette, I will have to definitely try it ~Mo

  2. Just happen to have some shredded chicken - thanks for the ideal - cakes look great to - i just have a mini cupcake tin - maybe that will work

  3. Where's the 4th of July recipe that I can make and tell everyone I came up with it myself :-)