Recipes for bringing your party to the patio

If you’re on the hunt for an excuse to spend more time outside, we’ve got the perfect reason. Host a patio party! Invite friends and family to enjoy your outdoor space with you and whip up delicious fare for sharing.

Here are some favorite summertime recipes contributed by each of the staff at Pine Landscape Center. We chose delectable dishes perfect for a summer gathering. Some of them take time to come together, which gives you a chance for togetherness with your guests.

We know first hand that tasty food and peaceful outdoor spaces are the perfect ingredients for a fun and memorable gathering with people you love!


The Katharita
Shared by Kathy Pine 

For my most recent birthday celebration, my husband surprised me with a weekend getaway in Manhattan with my mom and sisters. We stayed at Prairiewood’s StoneHouse and had an amazing meal prepared for us, including this special margarita named just for me!

1 cup Sauza Silver tequila
1 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
1⁄2 cup Triple sec
1⁄2 cup cranberry juice

* double or triple, as needed ??

Mix, Chill, and Enjoy!


Strawberry & Orange Spinach Salad
Shared by Brian Pine 

A family favorite!

8 cups torn fresh spinach
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
1⁄4 cup julienned red onion
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1⁄2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon paprika

On salad plates, arrange the spinach, strawberries, oranges, and onion. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients; shake well. Drizzle over salad; serve immediately. Yield: 6-8 servings.


Old Settlers/”Lindsay” Beans
Shared by Lindsay Erhart 

Old Settlers Beans have had many different names in my family over the years. These beans were first introduced to my family in the ‘80s when my Aunt Kathy acquired the recipe at a potluck for Alco in Dodge City, which my Uncle Russ managed at the time. My mom has made this recipe many times for many different events and it is one of my all-time favorite things to eat. They are known to me as “Debbie beans” since I have so many memories of my mom making them. They also make me think of my late Uncle Russ because I know the origin of where this recipe was brought into my family. I have made this recipe many times for different events as well, including for the Pines, which has now earned them the name “Lindsay beans”. I hope you try this recipe for yourself and enjoy the Old Settlers/Debbie/Uncle Russ/Lindsay beans and rename them what you will!

1 31 oz can pork n beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 15 oz can butter beans
1 lb bacon, cut up
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, cut up
1⁄2 cup (up to 3⁄4 cup) brown sugar
1⁄2 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Brown bacon, hamburger, and onion in skillet. Drain kidney and butter beans. Combine all three cans of beans with browned ingredients. Add brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, and salt. Pour into 8 cup baking dish and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. A crockpot may also be used.

Patti Labelle’s Macaroni and Cheese
Shared by Diane Haist 

A dear friend of mine shared this recipe with me quite a few years back when we would host impromptu garage parties for our neighborhood friends. When I really want to step up my game and make a richer, more robust tasting side dish, I always use this recipe. It is sure to win the hearts of all mac n cheese lovers!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb macaroni
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon butter
1⁄2 cup muenster cheese, shredded
1⁄2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1⁄2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1⁄2 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cups half-and-half 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter deep 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil. Add macaroni and the oil. Cook for 7 minutes, or until somewhat tender. Drain well, and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 8 TB of the butter. Stir into macaroni. In a large bowl, combine all of the shredded cheeses. To the macaroni, add 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheeses, half and half, the cubed cheese and the eggs, and the seasoned salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Dot with remaining 1 TB of the butter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot.

G’s Cheese
Shared by Garrett Prescott

One of my favorite dishes that my mom makes!

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (7 oz)
¼ cup butter or stick margarine
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni as directed on package. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring consistently. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into the cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Main Courses

Campfire Chicken Fried Steak
Shared by Rodger Wolfram 

I like this recipe because it takes time to prep a campfire and that allows time to relax with friends.

4 cube steaks (Top Sirloin)
2 eggs
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Package of Saltines
Oil, to coat bottom of the pan

Tenderize meat. Dip in egg. Coat in crushed crackers. Fry in oil in cast iron pan over a campfire.

3-2-1 BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Shared by Jerrid “Delbert” Ryan 

This recipe is one of my favorites. Since it takes a while, it allows me time to enjoy hanging out with friends and family.

2 racks Baby Back Pork Ribs
1/3 cup Yellow Mustard
1/2 cup Apple Juice, Divided
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Traeger ‘Que Sauce
1/3 cup Honey, warmed
Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, 1/4 cup of apple juice (reserve the rest), and the Worcestershire sauce. Spread the mixture thinly on both sides of the ribs and season with Traeger Pork & Poultry rub. When ready to cook, set temperature to 180°F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. Smoke the ribs, meat-side up for 3 hours. Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet and increase the grill temperature to 225°F. Tear off four long sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top with a rack of ribs and pull up the sides to keep the liquid enclosed.

Sprinkle half the brown sugar on the rack, then top with half the honey and half of the remaining apple juice. Use a bit more apple juice if you want more tender ribs. Lay another piece of foil on top and tightly crimp the edges so there is no leakage. Repeat with the remaining rack of ribs. Return the foiled ribs to the grill and cook for an additional two hours. Carefully remove the foil from the ribs and brush the ribs on both sides with Traeger ‘Que Sauce. Discard the foil. Arrange the ribs directly on the grill grate and continue to grill until the sauce tightens, 30 minutes to 60 minutes more. Let the ribs rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

*Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.


Ky Cakes
Shared by Kylee Wiggins

Everybody loves cupcakes! My family has passed down the love for cupcake making from generation to generation. It all started with my great grandma passing down her love for cupcake making to my grandma. I remember always walking into the kitchen and every ingredient being set out waiting for the fun to begin. The smell of cupcakes baking is now a constant throughout my house from my mom baking. She has become quite the baker, and loves it so much that she has turned her hobby into a small business called “Baby Cakes.” I recently started helping her out and learning the tips that have been passed down from generation to generation. Nobody can have a patio party without a little sweetness!


1 (18.25 ounce) package Duncan Hines cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup of shortening
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 degrees C). Stir together white cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed. Pour in water, sour cream, vegetable oil, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg whites, and beat with an electric mixer on low until all ingredients are mixed and moistened but some lumps still remain (4 minutes). Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Place butter and shortening together in mixer bowl. Mix together on medium speed until nice and creamy. Turn the mixer down to lowest setting and slowly incorporate powdered sugar into shortening mixture. Once all sugar added, pour in hot water and vanilla. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and continue mixing for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. You can switch up the flavor by using a different flavored extract like almond extract or peppermint extract instead of the vanilla extract.

The buttercream can be stored at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you bring it out of the refrigerator let it sit at room temperature for two hours. Then re-whip it for ten minutes to bring it back to life.

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
Shared by Hayden Pine

No bake cookies are a family favorite treat! I have great memories of eating them while hanging out with my cousins at my grandma’s house.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil for one full minute. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter (optional), vanilla and oatmeal. Drop by the spoonful onto wax paper. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Squares
Shared by Dawn Honarvar

These are so easy to make and very popular when sharing!

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread over the crescent layer. Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and lay them on top of the cream cheese layer. Do not press down. Pour the melted margarine over the entire pan. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is crisp and golden.