July 4th Celebrations!
July 1, 2015
The holiday weekend is almost here, and it looks like we might actually get non-rainy weather in the Chicago area. The weather alone is very exciting to me. Today, I’ve decided to give you guys some ideas I’ve come across for food, cocktails, and decorations for your big weekend. I didn’t want to go with just your standard red, white, and blue traditionals (although I’ve included a couple), but some different twists on some of your classic favorites. Here’s what I’m planning to try:
Buzzed Cherry Bombs
Ok, technically this isn’t a drink, but I’m sure it packs a hefty liquor punch!
- Soak cherries in vanilla vodka overnight (you can use either real or maraschino cherries)
- Gently pat dry
- Dip in melted vanilla chips
- Dip in blue sprinkles/sugar
Spread the Pop Rocks candy on a clean cutting board or plate. Use the paint brush to brush light corn syrup around the rim of a shot glass, then dip the rim in the Pop Rocks, twisting to coat. Pour grenadine in the glass until it is 1/3 full.
In a creamer or a spouted mixing cup, mix one part half and half to two parts Maui® Blue Hawaiian Schnapps.
Slowly pour the creamy Schnapps mixture over a bar spoon or over the back of a spoon so that the dense mixture rests on top of the grenadine. Serve immediately.
TIP: For those of you who are skilled in “floating,” or layering drinks, omit mixing the half and half and Schnapps and simply layer the white and blue, too.
I’m far more of a red wine girl, but I can go with white to get in the spirit of the holiday!
- Strawberries, sliced
- Pineapple, cut into star shapes
- 2 bottles dry white wine
- 1 cup Triple Sec
- 1/2 Cup berry-flavored vodka
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup simple syrup
Combine the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir. Chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours.
Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy jicama?
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced jicama
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
Juice of 1 large lime
Salt, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, jicama, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips at room temperature or chilled.
Note-this salsa is also great with grilled fish or chicken. It is best eaten the day it is made.
I was thinking of modifying this one with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil – skip the pizza but keep the flag. I’ll keep you posted!
6 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese slices
1 Tbsp. Country Crock Spread or butter
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 cup prepared pizza sauce
2 plum tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into slices or 1 sliced red bell pepper or a mixture of the two
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Take two slices of mozzarella cheese and stack together. Use kitchen scissors or small knife to cut a few star shapes out of the cheese. Slice remaining cheese slices into 1-inch strips.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter or margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Stretch pizza dough to fit a rectangular pan. Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough. Sprinkle spinach over top left corner of dough. Place stars on the spinach. Lay tomatoes (or peppers) and cheese strips in alternating strips on rest of the pizza.
Bake 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to turn golden and crust is starting to brown. Remove from oven and serve with crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Serves 8.
OMG….this looks beyond delicious!!!!!
32 strawberries (2 pounds), hulled
2 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil
2 tablespoons honey
FOR THE CREAM:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
FOR THE GLAZE:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup blueberries, thawed if frozen
FOR THE SKEWERS:
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-low heat.
Slice the pound cake into slices, then cut each slice into cubes. In a small bowl combine the corn oil and honey until well combined.
Thread cake cubes and strawberries through skewers until they’re all gone. If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers in water for at least 1 hour before using. Lightly brush the oil and honey mixture all over the skewers.
Grill the skewers for about 2 minutes per side, or until the cake is toasted and golden and the strawberries are slightly softened.
FOR THE CREAM:
Beat the cream, sugar and zest in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to use.
FOR THE GLAZE:
In the pitcher of a blender, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Blend on high until everything is well combined and smooth. Drizzle over the skewers before serving alongside the cream.
1. Pour your rice into a Ziploc baggie. Then add your food coloring, zip real tight and shake away! Or you could also put the rice and food coloring into a separate mason jar, screw the lid on and let your kids shake away! It’s that easy to color rice. Add more food coloring if you want your rice to be a darker color.
2. Once your rice is ready, starting with the red rice, scoop the rice into your mason jars. I put about 1/2 to 2/3 cups of rice for each layer into the pint jars and about 1 to 1 1/2 cups into the quart jars. It’s all up to you!
3. Top with a tealight or votive candle and you are ready to go.
So I couldn’t actually find these when I clicked on the link for the website (even with some serious searching), but these are definitely doable on your own if you want to tap into your creative side (and how stinking cute are they?). Just grab some paints and clay pots and go to town! I am planning to do this myself in the next couple of days!
What events do you have planned for the 4th? What fun food or cocktails are you making?