Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July Weekend!!

As the Fourth of July approaches us, some of you may be entertaining for guests or may be just attending other parties but I found some great recipes that you could serve to your guests or even bring as a gift! These recipes look colorful, fun, and delicious and this holiday is all about celebrating with friends, enjoying delicious vibrant food, and just having fun!

Berry Spritzer


  • 3 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup white grape juice
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice, for serving (optional)
  • Seltzer or sparkling wine, chilled
  • Patriotic fruit skewers, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place blackberries, raspberries, simple syrup, grape juice, and lemon juice in the jar of a blender; puree until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids.
  2. Fill 8 Collins glasses with ice, if using. Divide mixture evenly between glasses; top with seltzer or wine and serve immediately garnished with fruit skewers, if desired.

    Mini Lobster Rolls

    • 3 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat (from 4 boiled 1-pound lobsters), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
    • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (optional)
    • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) salted butter
    • 8 top-split hot dog buns (1 package), halved crosswise


    1. Combine lobster, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, salt, and Old Bay, and cayenne if desired, in a small bowl.
    2. Heat butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, toast buns until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, transferring to a paper-towel-lined plate as you work. Fill each bun with 1/4 cup lobster salad.

      • BBQ Baby Back Ribs

      • Ingredients
      • 6 racks baby-back ribs
      • 4 stalks celery coarsely chopped
      • 2 medium carrots coarsely chopped
      • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
      • 1 clove garlic halved
      • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
      • BBQ Sauce


      1. Divide ribs between 2 large pots. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Drain; rinse under cold water. Cover ribs with cold water again.
      2. Divide celery, carrots, onion, and garlic between pots; add 1 tablespoon salt to each pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until ribs are tender, about 1 hour. Drain; discard vegetables.
      3. Preheat grill to medium (if you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 5 to 6 seconds). Season ribs generously with salt and pepper; brush with barbecue sauce. Grill, turning frequently and brushing with sauce occasionally, until heated through and marked by grill, about 15 minutes. Cut into servings of about 3 ribs each; brush with more sauce. Serve immediately.

        Grilled Chicken Breasts with BBQ Sauce


        1. Heat grill to medium-high. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Clean and lightly oil hot grates. Place chicken on grill (if using skin-on chicken, place skin side down on grill).
        2. Grill chicken, without turning, 6 to 10 minutes for boneless chicken and 10 to 14 minutes for bone-in. Flip and grill until cooked through, or a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of meat (avoiding bone) registers 160 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes more.
        3. About 1 minute before chicken is done, brush with barbecue sauce.

        Red Bliss Potato Salad with Blue Cheese, Bacon, and 

        • 1 1/2 pounds Red Bliss potatoes
        • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
        • 1 1/2 ounces Danish blue cheese, plus more for garnish
        • 1/2 cup buttermilk
        • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
        • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
        • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
        • 8 bacon strips, cooked until crisp and crumbled


        1. Place potatoes and the salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Cook until a knife pierces through potatoes with little resistance, about 12 minutes. Drain, and let cool slightly. Halve potatoes.
        2. Meanwhile, mix blue cheese, buttermilk, vinegar, and mustard in a bowl until well combined.
        3. Combine potatoes, dressing, chives, and almost all of the bacon in a large bowl. Garnish with blue cheese, chives, and remaining bacon.

          Chopped Tomato Salad with Toasted Garlic

          • 1/2 pound ripe beefsteak tomatoes
          • 1/2 pound ripe cherry tomatoes
          • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
          • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
          • 3 sprigs oregano, leaves picked from stems
          • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
          • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
          • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
          • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and cut into small pieces


          1. Core beefsteak tomatoes, and cut into small bite-size chunks. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Transfer tomatoes to a serving dish, and set aside.
          2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook just until it is golden brown. Remove from heat; let cool slightly, and add oregano.
          3. Season tomatoes with the salt and pepper. Pour warm garlic mixture, including olive oil, over the top. Add vinegar and olives; toss well to combine. Serve.

      Firecracker Ice Pops

      • 1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 1/2 cups)
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1/2 pound blueberries (1 1/2 cups)
      • 1 1/4 cups low-fat plain yogurt


      1. In a food processor, puree strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar. Transfer to a small bowl. In processor, puree blueberries with 1 tablespoon sugar. In another small bowl, whisk together yogurt and 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour the 3 mixtures, alternating, into ten 3-ounce ice-pop molds, making 3 to 5 layers in each. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl mixtures together in an up-and-down motion. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or up to 1 week).

        Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle
        • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
        • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
        • 1 store-bought pound cake (12 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
        • 1 bar (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
        • 1 cup heavy cream
        • 3 cups fresh blueberries (three 1/2-pint containers), rinsed and dried
        • 3 cups fresh raspberries (two 6-ounce containers)


        1. Make lemon syrup: In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool completely, then brush over both sides of cake slices. Quarter each slice.
        2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese with remaining 1/3 cup sugar on high speed until lightened. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add heavy cream in a steady stream; continue beating until mixture is light and airy (mixture will be like a very soft whipped cream).
        3. Arrange half the cake pieces in the bottom of a 2-quart serving dish. Spoon half the cream-cheese mixture over cake in dollops; spread to sides of dish. Scatter half the blueberries and raspberries on top. Repeat layering with remaining cake, cream-cheese mixture, and berries, piling berries in the center.
        4. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
          *Recipes and Images via

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