Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays! Not only the meaning but another reason is that it also happened to be my Grandmother’s birthday! So as a kid, I had wonderful memories of going up to her ranch in Sacramento, California every year and spending the whole weekend cooking and eating glorious foods! She and my Mother were gourmet cooks and loved nothing more than to entertain.
They’d feed a crowd every day. They had a blast trying out new recipes, drinks, card games, you name it! Whatever was “yummy and fun” they’d give a whirl! I’m not just talking about 4 or 5 items on the buffet counter - I mean she’d have a sea of platters on her dining room table. But those were the days! She’d serve her peaches, homemade pickles, three bean salad, pies. Everything was super fresh from her garden or things she’d canned! She made sure everything was special, from the party decor to even a fun and happy atmosphere! Everyone had a ball! Now that I’m writing this I can see that I did learn a thing or two from her! It’s no wonder why I spent two weeks preparing 18 dishes for my Super bowl Party! Ha!
Now that I’m a Mom, I try every year to pass along those same great memories! I don’t think there’s anything better than good food, family and friends!
Have a wonderful 4th! Hope you enjoy some of my old favs!
3-blue hydrangeas, 5-Red Zinnia’s, 5 stems of white spray roses, yellow sunflowers, yellow roses, and 10 stems of cornflowers.
- 1/2 oz. HPNOTIQ liqueur
- 1/2 oz. rum
- 1 1/2 oz. tequila
- 1 oz. coconut milk
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
- 1 oz. sweetened strawberry puree
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
Combine rum, coconut milk, lime juice, pineapple juice, and ice in blender. Pour HPNOTIQ liqueur into a margarita glass. Layer 2/3 of the blended mix over the HPNOTIQ. Blend remaining mix with strawberry puree, layer on top. Garnish with coconut or use salt-rimmed glass as a variation.
Grand Marnier Cream Filled Strawberries
It’s so easy that it’s not so much a recipe but more like tips!
Hull strawberries and cut bottoms for a flat edge.
Add 2 T. of Grand Marnier for each cup of whipped cream or I cheat sometimes and drop a teaspoon of Grand Marnier in each strawberry then fill them with Land O Lakes Canned Whipped Cream. Oops, I cheated again, I toss the blueberries in warmed apply jelly (microwaved) for a glossy, pretty finish. Top the creamed strawberry with a blueberry!
Roasted Red White and Blue Potato Salad
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 35.
2 T. Olive Oil
2 Cups small red potatoes, quartered
1 cup white fingerling potatoes, halved long ways
1 cup small blue potatoes, halved long ways
1/2 purple onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t. coarse salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
8-10 cooked crisp bacon slices, crumbled
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
3/4 c. Ranch dressing
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Place oil in a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan; add potatoes and next 4 ingredients, tossing to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer and bake at 425 for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Transfer to a large bowl.
Toss together potatoes, bacon, green onions, cheese, and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. Serves 4-6.
Adapted from Southern Living
Watermelon, Purple Basil, and Feta Salad
Recipe for Watermelon Salad:
1-inch thick sliced seedless watermelon, cut from center (1 to 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 cup pitted Nicoise or Kalamata olives
5 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup lightly packed small fresh purple basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the watermelon slice on a cutting board and cut around the outside to remove the green skin and white flesh. Cut the red flesh lengthwise and then crosswise forming 1″ cubes. Carefully slide the watermelon onto a platter, taking care to keep the shape of the slice intact. Sprinkle with the olives, feta, and basil leaves then drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends
If you are looking for some awesome last minute Ribs…Go to Costco and get their St. Louis Ribs, they are already marinaded with their St. Louis dry rub and are ready to go on the grill for about 60 minutes!
I served them to a crowd for my daughter’s graduation and everyone raved over them! They’re very meaty and super tender!
If you like BBQ sauce, I just used my favorite store bought, Bull’s eye’s original or Kansas City Style.
You can brush it over for the last couple of minutes while on the grill or put it in a dish for your guest to use as a dipping sauce.
To make the cake, you use three layers of white cake. Using food coloring, one layer is dyed blue, one red, and the last one is kept white. The three layers are leveled so they are the same height. Let’s say each layer is 2″ tall.
Using a serrated knife or cake leveler, slice the red and white layers horizontally in half. So you have a blue layer (2″), two red layers (each 1″) and two white layers (each 1″). Set one white and one red layer aside, those will be the bottom two stripes of the flag.
You only want a square of blue in each slice, not an entire layer. Stack the blue layer, white layer, and the red layer on top of each other. Using a serrated knife, cut a large circle through all three layers. I used a bowl as a guide. Now you have a ring of blue, a ring of white, a ring of red, and three inner circles in each color (the blue is 2″ and the other two are both 1″). Discard the inner circle of blue and the outer rings of red and white.
To assemble the cake, frost the bottom two layers together – set the uncut white layer on a plate and spread with frosting. Top with the uncut red layer. Spread the uncut red layer with frosting. Then set the blue ring on top. Use a spatula to spread in a very, very thin layer of frosting around the inside edge of the blue ring. This will help keep the blue layer and the two top stripes together.
Place the white inner circle on top of the uncut red layer, inside the ring of blue. Frost and top with the red inner circle. Frost the entire cake and voila, it’s a flag cake!
4th of July Bundt Cake