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4:20 AM Thu, Nov. 22nd

Give grilling season a memorable send-off

With Labor Day just days away and it being the official end of summer, many like to grill and enjoy a last camping trip or family cookout. Kabobs are easy to do and versatile to suit your individual tastes. It may be a good way to get kids to eat some vegetables (maybe you can promise S'mores!) Beef or chicken are both good choices for the meat portion. Then add some of these suggestions as you wish. A variety of glazes are offered for different tastes.

HONEY GLAZED CHICKEN KABOBS

I picked this since it can be grilled outdoors or in your oven making it even more versatile for future use. This makes 4 servings.

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 large yellow squash

1 large zucchini squash

1 bell pepper (red, green, yellow or combination of all three)

2 medium-size mushrooms

4 oz. medium size mushrooms

Honey-mustard glaze:

3/4 cup honey

1/3 cup prepared spicy mustard

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. cider vinegar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

Heat coals; place grill rack 6 inches from heat source. Or heat oven to 450. Cut chicken, squash, zucchini and peppers into bite-size pieces; cut mushrooms in half. Thread chicken and vegetables onto four 12-inch skewers; set aside.

Prepare glaze: In 2 quart saucepan on grill rack over hot coals, or over medium high heat on stove, bring honey, mustard, soy sauce, and vinegar to a boil. In cup, blend cornstarch with 1/4 cup water until smooth. Gradually add to honey mixture. Bring to boil; boil 1 minute; stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.

To cook on grill outdoors: Grill kabobs over hot coals 8-10 minutes, turning often. Brush with glaze; continue grilling 5 minutes until glazed and cooked through. Indoor cooking method: Prepare as above. Bake 15-20, turning often, until chicken and vegetables are tender. Continue baking 5 minutes, brushing frequently on all sides with glaze, until well glazed and cooked through.

KABOB NOTES: If using wooden skewers they must be soaked first in water to prevent scorching. Some people like to include small pieces of corn on the cob with the other vegetables. Some recipes say to lightly cook the corn first and finish on the grill and others say to grill it raw with husks removed. I think it is a trial and error for tenderness of the corn and personal preference, but to be sure it is cooked thoroughly a few minutes parboil is probably the method of choice (not cooked all the way). Kabobs served with either a green salad and/or fresh fruit is a quick and satisfying meal for these warm days. Or, try the Rice Pilaf for an extra treat.

RICE PILAF

(This can be cooked on grill top along with kabobs for preparation ease).

About 2 1/2 cups

chicken broth (homemade, carton or canned)

dash salt, opt.

few dried herbs of choice, opt.

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 cup long grain rice

Any finely diced vegetables such as celery, onion, bell peppers, etc. opt. If using, sauté and add with other ingredients. Gives some nice color and added crunch. May also add few sliced almonds.

Combine chicken stock, lemon juice, spices if using bay leaf and butter in saucepan. Heat to boiling. Place rice in 8-inch square aluminum baking pan. Add boiling mixture; cook on low heat about 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid absorbed. Remove bay leaf before serving.

About 6 servings. Watch Pilaf if doing on the grill and stir if needed to prevent sticking to pan.

BEEF FAJITAS ON A STICK

1 pound boneless beef tip sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick

1/3 cup prepared Italian dressing

3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 green or red bell peppers, each cut into quarters

2 medium onions, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices

8 medium flour tortillas, warmed

Prepared salsa or homemade

Trim fat from steak. Cut lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/2 inch strips. Thread an equal amount of beef, weaving back and forth onto each skewer.

In small bowl, combine dressing and lime juice; brush onto bell peppers, onions and beef. Place vegetables on grid over medium ash-covered coals. Grill vegetables 12-15 minutes or until tender, turning once. About 10 minutes before vegetables are done, place beef kebabs on grid with vegetables. Grill meat sticks 7-9 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once. Serve by removing from skewers and place in tortillas with vegetables. Serve salsa on side.

Serves 4.

SKEWERED STEAK AND VEGETABLES

(Here is a different marinade taste)

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz.) frozen

concentrated orange juice, thawed

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. salad oil

1 tsp. salt

1/ 1 /2 pound beef flank steak

1 pint box cherry tomatoes

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, halved

Combine tomato sauce, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, oil and salt.

Remove 1 cup and set aside. Refrigerate remaining in tightly covered container for later use as barbecue sauce.

Thinly slice flank steak on diagonal. Place in a snug-fitting bowl. Pour reserved 1 cup sauce over meat, stirring to coat all pieces. Cover and refrigerate one hour. On skewers, thread a slice of meat alternately with tomato, mushroom, zucchini. Repeat until all are used.

Brush any sauce remaining in bowl over vegetables. Grill over hot coals or broil under preheated hot broiler until cooked as desired, about 3-4 minutes on each side, brushing with any remaining marinade. Makes 4-6 servings and two cups barbecue sauce.