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We had a 'So long Summer' potluck in the office this week
and are still munching on leftovers. We had such a variety
of things from a chicken chili, baked cheesy sandwiches with
a sweet and savory seasoning, a taco ring fave from the
Pampered Chef days plus all things dips, spread and salads...

to sweets like brookies (brownies that fell in love with cookies
and has a baby), trifles, assorted yummy bars and a key lime
pie made with avocados. It's always interesting since we just
have the microwave here and a single fridge to see how creative
we can get with containers and serving ideas. Crock pot never
fails!

I decided to avoid the heat and round out the list with a
chopped salad. We're pretty big fans of Portillos out here
and their chopped salad can't be beat. This is a basic
recipe you can play with to your own liking and leave out
the bacon or chicken, add dried cranberries or other chopped
veggies, add any soft cheese in place of gorgonzola or leave
it out completely. You can even use whatever dressing you
like or leave it off completely! I'm a fan of recipes like
this and I probably even make it a little bit different each
time.

Enjoy!
Marzee

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RECIPE: PARTY SIZED CHOPPED SALAD LIKE PORTILLOS

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INGREDIENTS:
3 hearts romaine chopped
Half head iceberg chopped
1/4 small head red cabbage chopped
1 each red & yellow pepper chopped
1 small container grape tomatoes, cut in thirds
1 bunch green onions (or 1/2 small red onion) chopped
1 pound ditalini pasta, cooked al dente and cooled
1 pounds cooked bacon, crumbled
About 2/3 of a 15oz jar Marzetti Sweet Onion Salad Dressing
or other sweet vidalia or other vinaigrette dressing.
Small container crumbled gorgonzola or other soft cheese
3 large cooked chicken breasts, chopped.

PREPARATION
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or foil pan and
just before serving toss with enough dressing to lightly
coat completely. Serve remaining dressing on the side.

* Makes enough to serves 20 depending on serving size



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* MARZEE's CORNER *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Though coolers are often used to transport cold foods,
they can also be used to transport hot foods. Whether
you're bringing hot food to a picnic or simply packing
a hot lunch, a cooler might be the best way to transport
it. To keep foods hot in a cooler, you will need foil
and towels.


Rinse the empty cooler with hot water to warm it. Unroll
foil on a flat surface. Place food in the center of the
foil. Fold the sides of the foil across the food until
covered completely. Wrap a second layer of foil around
the food in this same manner. Fold a towel in half twice
and place it in the bottom of the cooler. Place food on
top of towel. Fold another towel in half two times and
place it on top of the food. Close the cooler, that's it!

In a pinch you can cover your dish with foil, then wrap
in a beach towl and put in an insulated bag. If you
have a Sams Club or similar store by you they usually
have great deals on the thermal bags and that's something
I always leave in my car just in case and works great
for trips to the store too.

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