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  • by Kara Kimbrough

Turn to the Back of the Box for Delicious Memorial Day Recipes


Memorial Day, which officially begins Friday at 5 p.m., signals the start of outdoor grilling, eating, and entertaining season. Whether it’s at a backyard cookout, family reunion, beach vacation, neighborhood block party, or backyard cookout, food is the tie that will bind family and friends together until Labor Day. Finding the right recipes to celebrate summer’s memory-making and as well as ordinary times is as close as the box on the supermarket shelf.

Sure, we’ve all seen those “back of the box” cookbooks containing recipes from food companies on back or side of their product. It had been a while since I’d looked through mine and, to be honest, I wasn’t that interested. My interest rose when I read online that one of the best pound cake recipes is an “oldie but goodie” printed on the side of Duncan Hines’ Lemon Supreme Cake Mix.

After trying the lemon pound cake recipe, I can attest it’s every bit, if not better, than the review. As a result, I began scanning boxes for interesting recipes for Memorial Day weekend and summer entertaining.

I spent so much time in supermarket aisles reading boxes that store personnel began to give me strange looks. No matter, my supermarket-stalking uncovered several recipes that are now part of my summer recipes arsenal.

First, every Memorial Day weekend worth its salt includes a grilled burger. OK, even an oven-baked or pan-fried one is pretty good. If you’ve heard of anything that sounds better than French’s Crispy Onion Burger, I’d like to know about it. Yes, friends, those delectable little morsels are not just for topping Thanksgiving's green bean casserole.

Mix 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef with three tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce, two cups of crispy fried onions, three-fourths teaspoon of garlic powder. Form with six burgers, then grill, bake or fry until done. Here’s the best part: the box encourages us to top the juicy, crispy burger with even more crispy fried onions before adding the top bun.

It’s hard to find a more versatile, portable and delicious summer side dish than pasta salad. However, bubbling vats of hot water and vegetables that require chopping aren’t appealing mental pictures. I was delighted to learn one of my favorite go-to shortcuts, Suddenly Salad, can be transformed into two, possibly more, delicious pasta salads.

Combining my favorite sandwich with my favorite food group, pasta, is possible courtesy of Club Pasta Salad. Found on the back of Suddenly Salad’s Ranch and Bacon box, it’s a recipe that combines the box’s pasta and seasoning with chicken, cheese and tomatoes in the most delicious way.

Creamy BLT Pasta Salad, found on Suddenly Salad’s Creamy Macaroni box, is filled with crumbled bacon, chopped tomatoes and bits of spinach in addition to the ready-to-go pasta and seasoning in the familiar green box.

An easy, go-to summer dessert that can be baked without a lot of fuss when the last-minute decision to fire up the grill and invite the neighbors over is made is as valuable as an invitation to the boss’ beach condo. Duncan Hines’ Lemon Pound Cake might just revolutionize your summer. In my opinion, it should be moved from the side of the box and occupy a place of prominence on the front.

Happy Memorial Day!

Lemon Pound Cake, one of the best "back of the box" recipes I've found, covered with semi-homemade frosting, is the perfect end to any Memorial Day weekend gathering.

Lemon Pound Cake

1 package Duncan Hines® Signature Lemon Supreme Cake Mix

1 (3.4 oz.) package instant lemon pudding and pie filling

4 large eggs

1 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake on wire rack for 25 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.

Easy Baking Tip: I combined a teaspoon of lemon extract with a can of Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Creamy Home-Style Frosting. You can use vanilla flavor frosting if you prefer. Microwave on high 10 to 15 seconds; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Recipe from Duncan Hines

Crunchy Onion Cheeseburger

1-1/2 pounds ground beef

2 cups FRENCH'S® Crispy Fried Onions

3 tablespoons FRENCH'S® Classic Worcestershire Sauce

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

6 slices American cheese

Mix beef, 1 cup Crispy Fried Onions, Worcestershire, and garlic powder. Shape into 6 burgers.

Grill burgers about 10 min. until cooked through in center.

Top each with 1 slice cheese. Cook 1 min. until cheese melts.

Serve burgers on rolls with lettuce and tomatoes, if desired. Top each burger with remaining Crispy Fried Onions.

Recipe from French’s

Club Pasta Salad

1 package Betty Crocker™ Suddenly Salad® ranch & bacon pasta salad mix

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1-1/2 cups cut-up cooked turkey or chicken

1/2 cup cherry tomato, cut into fourths

1/2 cup julienne strips Cheddar cheese

4 cups bite-size pieces lettuce

Empty Pasta mix into 3-quart saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.

Stir seasoning mix and mayonnaise in large bowl. Stir in pasta and remaining ingredients except lettuce. Serve on lettuce. Refrigerate leftovers (if desired, moisten with a few teaspoons milk before serving).

Recipe from Betty Crocker

Creamy BLT Pasta Salad

1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Creamy Macaroni pasta salad mix

Mayonnaise and milk as called for on the box

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/4 cup cooked crumbled bacon

1/2 cup croutons, if desired

Cook and drain macaroni as directed on box. In medium bowl, stir together seasoning mix, mayonnaise and milk. Stir in macaroni, tomatoes, spinach and bacon. Cover, refrigerate at least 1 hour. Just before serving, top with croutons.

Recipe from Betty Crocker


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