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Potluck Stars

Q. I have lots of outdoor picnics and potlucks planned this summer. What’s your go-to potluck dish that keeps well outdoors?  –Thomas, Neenah

A. If at all possible, I try to bring items that can be prepared on-site and eaten immediately or maintained at the appropriate temperature, hot or cold, for the duration of the event. My go-to appetizer to make is a grilled gyro kebob which includes a lamb meatball, cherry tomato, black olive and a firm, high-temperature cheese that does not melt easily. My go-to salad to make is a crab pasta salad with surimi crab, pasta shells, onions, celery, mayonnaise, western dressing, hot sauce and pickle relish. My go-to entrée has to be something barbecued of course, such as pulled pork or smoked ribs. My go-to dessert would have to be my mom’s recipe peanut butter bars made with graham crackers, peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and chocolate. Food safety should always be a top priority in any outdoor or potluck event. Remember to keep hot foods hot using heated devices or chafing pans, cold foods cold using lots of ice, and the maximum length of time that any food product is available should be four hours or less.

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