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JULY 4th: Recipes For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks & Snacks

July 4th is the one holiday where you can make everything (except meat) red, white and blue.

Our collection of recipes follows, starting with a new one:

Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1½ parts vodka
  • 1 part watermelon schnapps
  • ½ part cranberry juice
  • ½ part fresh lemon juice
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • ¼ part blue Curaçao
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: 3 watermelon cubes

    1. BUILD the drink in a rocks glass. Create the red layer by adding watermelon schnapps and cranberry juice over ice (or no ice, if a shot).

    2. CREATE the white layer: Carefully add the lemon juice, simple syrup and vodka.

    3. CREATE the blue layer. Very carefully layer the blue Curaçao to create the color separation, and gently top with soda.

    4. GARNISH with fresh watermelon cubes on a cocktail pick.

  • Red Velvet Pancakes (recipe)
  • Red, White & Blueberry Muffins (recipe)
  • Poached Eggs or Egg White Omelet With A Side Of Red & Blue Berries
  • Super Easy Waffles
  • Yogurt Parfait With Star-Shaped Toast (recipe)

  • Apple Ginger Cole Slaw (recipe)
  • Blue Cheese & Red Vegetables (recipes)
  • Chilled Raspberry Soup With Blueberries(recipe)
  • Firecracker Macaroni & Cheese (recipe)
  • Hot Dog Firecrackers
  • Patriotic Cheeseburger (recipe)
  • Red, White & Blue Potato Salad (recipe
  • Star-Shaped Sandwich Skewers (recipe)
  • Tomato & Mozzarella Skewers (recipe)

  • American Flag Crudité Plate (recipe)
  • American Flag Fruit Skewers (photo)
  • Bacon Flag Pizza (recipe)
  • Bald Eagle Cheese Ball
  • Cheese American Flag (recipe)
  • Marshmallow Pops (recipe)
  • Red, White & Blue Ice Pops (recipe)
  • Red, White & Blue Popcorn (recipe)
  • Star-Shaped Tortilla Chips & Salsa
  • Stuffed Celery (recipe)
  • Super Easy Charcuterie Plate

  • American Flag Cookies
  • American Flag Brownie Ice Cream Cake)
  • American Flag Pie
  • Blueberry Cherry Pie With Stars & Stripes Top
  • Blueberry & Strawberry Yogurt Pops
  • Ice Cream With Holiday Sprinkles
  • Oreo Cookie Balls
  • Mixed Berries With Cheese Stars
  • Red, White & Blue Cheesecake
  • Red, White & Blue Frosted Layer Cake
  • Red, White & Blueberry Layer Cake
  • Pavlova Meringue
  • Red, White & Blue Grilled Angel Food Cake
  • Red, White & Blue Angel Food Cupcakes
  • Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Cones
  • Red, White & Blue Jell-O Firecrackers
  • Red, White & Blue Parfaits
  • Red, White & Blue Shortcake
  • Red, White & Blue Tartlets
  • Red, White & Blue Whoopie Pies
  • Triple Berry Biscuit Shortcake
  • Stars & Stripes Toll House Cookies
  • Strawberry & Blueberry Parfait
  • Red Velvet, White & Blue Cupcakes

  • Lady Liberty Sangria
  • Red, White & Blue Frozen Drink Cocktail
  • Red, White & Blue Ice Cubes
  • Red, White & Blue Layered Cocktail
  • Red, White & Blue Layered Pousse Cafe
  • Red, White & Blue Striped Cocktail
  • Red, White & Blue Shots
  • Red, White & Blue Soft Drinks & Cocktails
  • Star-Shaped Ice Cubes
  • Red, White & Blue Tall Tequila

  • Homemade Lemonade With Red & Blue Berries
  • Lady Liberty Lemonade

    [1] Layered cocktail or shot. The recipe is at left (photo © Svedka Vodka).

    Red, White & Blue Yogurt Parfait
    [2] Yogurt breakfast parfait with star-shaped toast. Here’s the recipe from Smuckers (photo © Smucker’s).

    [3] Red, white and blue potato salad. Here’s the recipe from U.S. Potato Board (photo © USA Potato Board).

    [4] You can fill these mini-sandwiches with anything from PB&J to chicken liver mousse and fig jam. Here’s the recipe (photo © Smucker’s).

    [5] Red, white and blue angel food cupcakes. Here’s the recipe (photo © Go Bold With Butter).

    [6] Red, White & Blueberry Shortcake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Driscoll’s).

  • Lemonade With A Blueberry & Raspberry Cocktail Pick
  • Red, White & Blue Iced Tea
  • Red, White & Blueberry Lemonade
  • Spicy Hot Lemonade


    JULY 4TH: Star-shaped Tortilla Chips With Red, White & Blue Salsa

    We’ve made a lot of red, white and blue recipes for July 4th, and have cut out cake and pie decorations, cheese and cookies and with a star-shaped cookie cutter.

    But this recipe, from Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, raises the bar:

    Using that cookie cutter to make star-shaped tortilla chips.

    It’s paired with a red, white and blue salsa made with Wisconsin mozzarella cheese from Burnett Dairy.

    Ready to roll up your sleeves and make your own tortilla chips?

    Ingredients For The Star-Spangled Salsa (3 Cups)

  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, finely diced (about 1 cup—substitute perlini [photo #3])
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet red bell pepper
  • 1 medium jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 medium lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For The Star-Shape Tortilla Chips

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) yellow and red corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: paprika
  • 2-inch-diameter star cookie cutter

    1. MAKE the salsa. Coarsely chop 1 cup of the blueberries.

    2. COMBINE the chopped and whole blueberries with the next six ingredients in a medium bowl.

    3. SEASON with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until serving.

    4. MAKE the tortilla chips. Heat the oven to 350°F.

    5. CUT the tortillas with star cookie cutters, about 2 inches. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush the stars on both sides with olive oil; season with salt to taste and paprika if desired.

    6. BAKE for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Serve the chips with the salsa.


    On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence from England.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and on July 4th, 1776, it was adopted by delegates from the 13 colonies.

    Independence Day—popularly called July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941.

    But long before Congress made it official, celebrations began in the 18th century—during the Revolutionary War (April 19, 1775 –to September 3, 1783).

    Shortly after the signing, festivities began: concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets, along with the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.

    Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war.

    Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

    However, John Adams of Massachusetts, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence.

    He would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest [source].


    [1] A great July 4th snack: star-shaped tortilla chips with red, white and blue salsa (photo © Wisconsin Dairy Farmers).

    [2] Blueberries add sweetness to the spicy salsa (photo © Good Eggs).

    [3] If you can find tiny mozzarella perlini (“pearls”), they’re more decorative than diced mozzarella (photo © The Nibble | Melody Lan).

    [4] This recipe substitutes roasted red peppers for the traditional tomatoes (photo © Monjardin.




    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Blooming Tea, Hot Or Iced

    [1] Serve blooming tea iced in a wine glass or a Collins glass (photo © LWXLJMJZC | Amazon).

    [2] A glass teapot is the way to showcase hot blooming tea. You can typically buy them where you buy the tea (photo © Davidson’s).

    [3] If you don’t have a glass pot for hot tea, unfurl the blossom in a glass mug (photo © Teasenz).

    [4] We prefer the appeal of a wine glass, but you can use any tall glass for iced blooming tea (photo © Joy Buy).

    [4] A gift box of blooming teas from Blooming Tea Garden.


    June is National Iced Tea Month. How about something different?

    We love to serve our guests blooming tea, hot or iced.

    Blooming tea is not just a beverage. It’s a feast for the senses, and a treat that no one will soon forget.

    Blooming teas, also known as flowering teas and presentation teas, are hand-crafted balls of white tea leaves (sometimes green tea leaves), arranged to blossom into a beautiful flower.

    The magic comes when you place the ball into hot water. Over a few minutes, it unfurls its leaves into a floral presentation.

    The tea balls (photo #1) comprise the leaves that infuse in the hot water, as well as flower blossoms that add floral notes to the tea.

    Many flowers, since each artisan company has its own flower designs and flavor combinations.

    The teas, typically green or white tea, are fragrant in addition to eye-appealing.

    Blooming teas are hand-sewn balls of tea leaves and flower petals, cleverly stitched together with thread by Chinese artisans.

    In addition to the tea leaves, the flowers used include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, hibiscus, jasmine, lily and osmanthus, among others. They add flavor and aroma as well as beauty.

    Here’s how the tea balls are made.

    If you don’t want to see how the tea is grown and picked, just fast-forward to the middle of the video, when the tea has been picked and is about to be made into balls.

    The tea blossom can be re-brewed twice more within 24 hours, so don’t throw it away after a single brewing.

    The second and third brewings taste much more delicate, but are still worthy of enjoying.

    The number of times the blossoms deliver flavor depends on the particular tea. Keep trying until there’s no more flavor.

    Refrigerate brewed blossoms in a sealed container for up to 48 hours (remove water prior to storage).

    If the bloom is still in good shape after three brews, you can add it to a cup or glass of regularly-brewed green or white tea.

    We also use blooms that no longer have tea flavor in a glass or pitcher of iced water. The blooms will keep for a couple of weeks.

    To enjoy the beauty of flowering teas, prepare them in glass—a mug, a glass or a teapot like the ones in the photos.

    If you want hot tea, the loveliest way to serve it is in a glass teapot, or individual glass mugs (photos #2 and #3).

    For iced tea, a tall glass or a wine glass is the way to go.

    You’ll have to brew the tea in hot water to open the blossom; then ice it in the fridge.

    Guests miss out on the unfurling, but the presentation is nevertheless impressive.

    (If you use a glass pitcher for brewing, make sure it is heat-proof.)

    You can find blooming tea at dozens of online merchants.

    Just look for “blooming tea” in Google Images, to see the variety of styles available from different merchants.

    Flavored teas work especially well when iced.

    One merchant, Tea Bloom, has a flavored tea ball set that includes Açaí, Blueberry, Cranberry, Jasmine, Litchi, Orange, Peach, Pineapple and Strawberry.

    Blooming teas are great for gifting, and can be purchased in individual packets for party favors and stocking stuffers.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Green Beans On The Grill

    Summer beans like green beans, yellow wax beans and specialty beans like purple green beans and romanos, are some of the best veggies to grill.

    Yet, few people think of them for grilling—perhaps because they seem like they’d fall through the grill.

    They will: But a grill basket, grill pan or aluminum foil packet is the solution.

    Grill the beans in a grill basket or a grill pan.

    If you don’t have either, you can make packets with heavy-duty foil placed directly on the grill grate. Tip: Instead of oil, you can add a strip of bacon to each packet to provide the fat.


  • Beans of choice (mixed colors are nice, as in photo #1)
  • Oil of choice
  • Seasonings of choice

    1. WASH the beans and trim the stem ends. Pat dry.

    2. TOSS the beans in your oil of choice. We like flavored olive oil (basil, chile, garlic, rosemary, etc.).

    3. ADD seasonings: salt and pepper; and optionally, your favorite spices (how about cumin, garlic powder, minced fresh garlic, onion powder, paprika or blends [e.g., Cajun, Italian, Old Bay or steak seasoning]).

    The best way to add spices is to blend them with the oil in the bowl, and then toss the beans.

    4. PREHEAT the grill basket or grilling pan on a hot grill. Add the green beans and cook for 6-7 minutes, shaking the basket/pan twice. They should turn bright green and have some grill marks.

    5. SERVE them as is, or as a grilled green bean salad (below).

    Toss these ingredients together and serve the salad warm or chilled.


  • Grilled green beans
  • Dijon or balsamic vinaigrette
  • Nuts: chopped pecans, slivered almonds, toasted walnuts
  • Fresh herbs: dill
  • Optional: chopped scallions, red or sweet onions


    These Italian flat beans are a farmers market favorite (photo #2).


    Multicolored Green Beans
    [1] Mix them up for fun: green beans, purple green beans and wax beans (photo © The Pines | Brooklyn).

    [2] Romano beans, flat green beans, are an Italian variety. There’s more about them below (photo © Good Eggs).

    [3] Rosemary-infused olive oil is one of a number of flavored olive oils that can add herb flavor (photo © Caviar Russe).

    They are also known as flat beans, helda beans, and gavar fhali in some states of India.

    They are cooked and eaten in the same ways as other green beans.

    With their delicious nutty green flavor and firm texture, romanos are excellent whether braised, grilled or steamed. In addition:

  • Try them raw with your favorite crudités dipping sauce.
  • Cut and add them to a green salad, macaroni salad, potato salad or protein salad (chicken, egg, tuna, seafood).
  • Add them to minestrone or other soup, or cut them as a soup garnish.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Vermouth

    [1] A Dry Martini, stylish served at Dante Restaurant in New York City. Here’s the classic Martini recipe (photo © Dante).

    [2] Add a splash to soups. Here’s the recipe for this Manhattan Clam Chowder from Eat To Love (photo © Eat To Love).

    [3] Homemade fig jam. Here’s the recipe from Set The Table (photo © Set The Table).

    [4] Spaghetti and lobster in a sweet vermouth sauce. Here’s the recipe from Cooking For Keeps (photo © Cooking For Keeps).


    June 19th is National Dry Martini Day.

    Both the original, with gin, or the modern, with vodka, have a second ingredient in common: dry vermouth.

    Vermouth is an aromatized white wine, fortified with distilled alcohol and infused with various botanicals (barks, flowers, herbs, roots, seeds, spices) chosen by the producer.

    Fortifying with a base spirit allows the opened bottle of wine to stay fresher, longer (keep it in the fridge).

    Even so, vermouth, though fortified, is still a wine and not a liquor. It has a shelf life. If refrigerated properly, it should keep anywhere from four to six weeks after opening.

    Serve if instead of wine: chilled or over ice with a lemon peel. Or, use it to cook, as illustrated below.

    Here’s the history of vermouth, which evolved from a use by apothecaries in Northern Italy and Germany, in the 16th century.

    To make bitter medicines more palatable, apothecaries would blend extracts of herbs and roots with wine and brandy*.

    Later, in the Italian city of Turin, vermouth became an apéritif, served at fashionable cafés.

    Two types of vermouth evolved—dry/white and sweet/red—with subsequent additional styles including extra-dry white, sweet white (blanc or bianco), red, amber (ambre or), and rosé.

    In the late 19th century, dry vermouth became popular with bartenders as a key ingredient in cocktails that are still popular today: the Manhattan, the Martini/Gibson†, the Rob Roy and the Negroni, among others.

    Sweet vermouth is typically served as a spritzer, with a bit of simple syrup and fresh lemon, lots of club soda, and a mint garnish.

    But you can also cook with vermouth.

    Dry Vermouth

    In addition to being consumed as an apéritif or cocktail ingredient, dry vermouth can be substituted for white wine in cooking.

    Vermouth is fortified so is a bit stronger; you can use a less if you’re concerned about too much wine flavor. Also be sure that the dish you’re making can stand up to the light flavors of the botanicals.

    If you open a bottle for cocktails, continue to use it in your recipes to:

  • Add dimension to sauces for chicken, fish/shellfish (including steamed mussels) and pork.
  • Add to cream sauces and soups, plus stock-based and puréed soups (photo #2).
  • Add to mushroom dishes.
  • Deglaze pans.
  • Make adult milkshakes.
  • Use as vinegar when the vermouth turns.
    Sweet Vermouth

    Not surprisingly, sweet vermouth works better than dry vermouth in sweet recipes.

    You can use it in place of other fortified red wines, such as madeira and marsala, port and sherry.

  • Add to chocolate sauce and cranberry sauce.
  • Add to homemade ice pops.
  • Add to sorbet or chocolate ice cream.
  • Make a pasta sauce for seafood (photo #4).
  • Marinate fruit for spiked fruit salad
  • Poach pears and other fruits.
  • Stir into jam or preserves (photo #3).

  • Black Pepper Dirty Martini
  • Black Olive Dirty Martini
  • Cornichon Martini Garnish
  • Olive Oil Martini
  • Peppadew Martini Garnish
  • Vodka Martini With Blue Cheese-Stuffed Olives

  • Martini History
  • ________________

    *Virtually all spirits—liquors and liqueurs—were first developed for medicinal purposes.

    †A Gibson is a Gin Martini served with cocktail onions instead of olives.



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