It is that time of year once again here in the Garden State, time to get outdoors and enjoy time in our backyards. Your outdoor living space is your beautiful space where you can enjoy fresh air and sunshine, the sounds of birds, the smell of the BBQ, and time with friends and family. So it's time to start thinking of some delicious recipes that you can enjoy this season.


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There are many different types of foods that we need at our backyard bbq. Burgers, dogs, chops, chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, watermelon, potato salad, macaroni salad, etc. In a recent article by Taste of Home, the publication listed the best "picnic salads" in America. The feature gives the best "salad" recipes in each state including for us right here in New Jersey. Maybe you have tried this recipe, or maybe not? Melissa Walker Horn Melissa Walker Horn


According to Taste of Home, "New Jersey is home to some of the greatest Italian-American delis in the nation, and you'll find a version of this picnic pasta salad—full of cured meats, cheese, olives, tomatoes and more—at just about all of them."

I enjoy a good antipasto, delicious, and on a hot day a cold antipasto is a delicious part of a picnic or backyard bbq. I do like all kinds of salads for a backyard bbq including potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, and a good old tossed salad. As mentioned they are always delicious on a hot summer day.

Here is the recipe for "Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad"


  • 1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium sweet red or green pepper, julienned
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, julienned
  • 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, julienned
  • 4 ounces brick or provolone cheese, julienned
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced hard salami, julienned
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • basil vinaigrette:
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, beans, vegetables, cheeses, meats, olives and chives.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Toss before serving.


LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.


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