No-Fuss July 4th Cookout

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs Meal

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs Meal

Ah, summer! As children, we longed for it because summer meant we were free from school. As adults, my husband, Stuart, and I crave the warm weather, the beauty of flowers blooming and the opportunity to get together with friends and family.

We always look forward to the Fourth of July, as do our children—Bethany, Thomas, and Gabe—and our crazy English springer spaniel puppy, “Lady.”

We meet at my in-laws’ for a good old-fashioned cookout. On the menu are Pineapple Chicken Kabobs, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Dilly Potato Salad and Black Forest Dream Dessert.

Grilling out means less time in a hot kitchen, less mess to clean up and more time for volleyball games, relaxation and fun!

Skewer a Tasty Medley

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs resulted when I combined a couple of different recipes. The marinade does a terrific job of making the chicken and vegetables tasty and tender.

Our family loves this meal-on-a-stick, but it is also nice enough to serve when entertaining guests. I like to do all the prep work the night before. It’s a pleasure to have the main course all ready for the grill. 

Is there anything better than fresh corn on the cob grilled to perfection? Last summer, my sister-in-law served it with a herb butter that made it even more delectable. Now, I don’t want my corn any other way.

To me, Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same without potato salad. I’ve made Dilly Potato Salad over the years more times than I can count. It’s definitely one of our best-liked hot-weather foods. 

You probably have your own favorite potato salad, but I hope you will be adventurous and give this recipe a try. 

I do not have a large vegetable garden—just a few tomato plants—but I do like to grow herbs in a pot. It’s not expensive, and I’ve been amazed at how fresh herbs add that extra-special touch to so many dishes.

End on a Refreshing Note

Black Forest Dream Dessert will bring you raves…I promise! This rich, chilled dessert is a wonderful end to a summertime feast. The recipe makes a large panful, but I don’t think you will have any complaints if there happen to be leftovers.

“I’ve been amazed at how fresh herbs add that extra-special touch to so many dishes.”

Angela Leinenbach

Field Editor:
Angela Leinenbach
Mechanicsville, Virginia

Family: Angela and Stuart have three children. He works as a human resources consultant.

Job: Angela is a part-time youth fitness coach. “I teach exercise classes for children, which is great fun.”

Activities: Volunteering at church and school.

Hobbies: Reading and gardening.

This summer promises to be especially exciting for us. We are planning a trip to South Dakota. We’ve lived most of our lives in Virginia. But Stuart was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota when we were first married, 26 years ago. We thought it would be a fun vacation to show the children Mt. Rushmore and the beautiful countryside from Virginia to the Great Plains.

Still another highlight of the season is our town’s annual Tomato Festival in July. We absolutely pride ourselves on growing the most delicious tomatoes in the area.

Beloved Kitchen Mentors

Ripe tomatoes always bring back memories of when I was learning to cook. I can almost hear my grandmother as she taught me to make spaghetti sauce and meatballs, and my mother’s laughter as we concocted recipes to try to win cooking contests.

Both were wonderful, loving women and fantastic cooks. Although they have passed away, I think of them so often when I am in the kitchen. 

My grandmother bought me my first subscription to Taste of Home when you all first started the magazine. How thrilled she would have been to see this article. 

I am honored to be a Taste of Home field editor and to share recipes for my favorite meal. I hope you will enjoy it—on the Fourth or another fine summer day.

Angela's Family