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Swap Shop: Liven up party with signature drink, salads

The Javatini courtesy Nestle.

The Javatini, courtesy of Nestle.

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Updated: August 3, 2011 6:05PM

End of June and Fourth of July gatherings are the ideal time to break out unique salads and desserts or special drinks, such as this Javatini from Nestle for A.B. of Schaumburg, who requested a coffee-flavored martini recipe.

The tasty combination of grapes, tortellini, hazelnuts and spinach is from the California Table Grape Commission, and Dilled Potato Salad comes courtesy of Paulette Davies of Chicago for L.T. of Aurora.

Butterfinger Bars and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars are from Paula Sabo of Skokie for C.J. of Chicago.

To make 6 servings of Dilled Potato Salad:

In (2-quart) microwaveable casserole, place 1¼ pounds (12 to 15) small red potatoes (cut in half) and ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high for 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender; stirring once. Drain and cool. Stir in 1 cup shredded carrots and 2 thinly sliced scallions with tops; set aside.

In small bowl, combine ¾ cup mayonnaise, ¾ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper; fold into potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavors before serving.

To make Butterfinger Bars:

In large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Add 4 cups quick oats; mix well. Press mixture into (9-by-13-inch) cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

In small pan, melt ¾ cup creamy peanut butter and 6 ounces chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread mixture over still-warmcrust. Cool before cutting.

To make Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line (13-by-9-inch) cake pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Mix together 1 package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix, 1 (3.9-ounce) package chocolate instant pudding, 1 stick butter (melted) and ½ cup cold milk. Mixture will be thick.

Press half of cake-pudding mixture into prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle with 3 squares chopped semisweet chocolate and ½ cup dry roasted peanuts; top with 1 cup creamy peanut butter. Cover with layers of remaining cake-pudding mixture, additional 3 squares chopped semisweet chocolate and additional ½ cup dry roasted peanuts. Press gently with spatula.

Bake 15 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours before cutting into bars.


Does anyone have a recipe for a hot fruit compote with vanilla pudding and brandy?

C.F., Placida, Fla.

I would appreciate a recipe for a thick homemade Coney Island-type sauce for hot dogs.

M.J.A., Chicago

Please print a recipe for making slushy drinks for my grandkids.

B.T., Chicago

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