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Posts Tagged ‘Fourth of July’

Smart Choices for a 4th of July Picnic

Red, white and blue foods aren’t just patriotic, they confer health benefits. Plants get their colors from phytochemicals, which are health-promoting compounds. Red foods are filled with skin-protecting lycopene, some white foods have antibacterial allicin and blues are rich in circulation-enhancing anthocyanins.

Here are some foods featuring these colors to celebrate the 4th in good health.

Warm Sausage and Red Potato Salad: Swap in red potatoes as a healthy alternative to a classic potato salad.

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Hump Day Snack: Firecracker Cakelettes

Happy Birthday, America! Have we got a surprise for you. This recipe for Firecracker Cakelettes has three layers of red, white and blue cake and a festive little pop inside. Adding sour cream to the batter will give this cake the density to hold its cylindrical shape, with white icing as glue in between layers. To create the firecracker sensation, add popping candy to the center of the cakes about one hour before serving. The moisture in the cakes will cause the candy to sizzle and crackle inside of the firecracker, and a short black licorice rope peaking out looks like an unlit fuse. Cheers to sparklers in the sky and on the plate.

Celebrate the Fourth of July with more of Cooking Channel’s palate-pleasing patriotic recipes:

Thirsty Thursday: A Hawaiian Cocktail for the Fourth of July

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Meet Piña Colada’s playful, vibrant and positively patriotic cousin, the Lava Flow, a tropical treat hailing from Hawaii. Since a lot of red, white and blue eats have been happening lately, why not make a drink that will set off fireworks of full flavor while also keeping with the star-spangled color theme?

The trinity of Piña Colada flavors— pineapple, coconut and rum— take a whirl through the blender for a smoothie so thick and icy it hesitates to be sipped through a straw. Pour sweet strawberry puree around the frosty hillock (and I suggest popping a few blueberries on top) for a cocktail that will be the star of your Fourth of July celebrations.

Bottoms up, folks.

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Tips for Easy Entertaining from Chef Michelle Bernstein

Michelle Bernstein

Want to make sure your 4th of July bash goes off without a hitch? Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein, who knows a thing or two about cooking for a crowd, has four tips to make entertaining easier.

Michelle Bernstein’s Tips for Easy Entertaining:

  • Make dishes that sit well. “I want to hang out, too,” she says. “Make things in a thoughtful way beforehand, and then prepare fully the day of.” For instance, if you’re putting together a Greek salad, chop all of the cucumbers, tomatoes and seasonings the night before.
  • Let your kids join in on the fun. Give them prepared tasks like setting up the table so they feel like part of the action, too.
  • Use the freshest ingredients possible, especially for the finishing touch. If you prepare the salad a day or two ahead, add a pop of flavor with fresh cilantro and citrus. “It will taste like you made it that day,” Michelle says.
  • Taste everything before you serve it. Seriously, this one is a must. Get approval from yourself for each dish.

Michelle’s last tip? Mix up your menu.

“I like to change things up and play in the kitchen,” she says.

So skip the burgers this year and bring in some Latin flavors with Michelle’s recipe for chorizo tacos:

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Sifted: Yellow Cake Pie, Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and Patriotic Salad

Yellow Cake Pie with Chocolate Mousse by Foodie Crush

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1. Are you team cake or team pie? Filled with chocolate mousse and topped with whipped cream, Foodie Crush’s inventive yellow cake pie doesn’t make you decide.
  2. We love Grilled Cheese Social’s latest sandwich sensation: Broccoli, bacon, and ale cheddar cheese pressed between buttery focaccia.
  3. Make your pancakes extra special this weekend with Number 2 Pencil’s sour cream cinnamon roll pancakes. With a buttery cinnamon sugar swirl and a rich maple coffee glaze, this recipe is a winner.
  4. Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker had trouble sharing these ice cream cupcake peanut butter cups. With these dreamy chocolate treats, who wouldn’t?
  5. How do you make potato salad patriotic? Chez Us uses purple and red potatoes. Okay– it may not be the classic red, white and blue, but the bright colors and the vibrant flavors, make this a perfect side for next week’s celebration.

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Mascarpone-Stuffed Strawberries

marscarpone strawberries

It’s the fourth of July, a day for shorts, fireworks, burgers and red, white and blue desserts, all in the name of independence. That flag cake, the one with the stars and stripes represented by strawberries and blueberries, it’s a bit overdone, wouldn’t you say? And it kind of takes a long time to place all of those berries in perfect lines. Update your standard July 4 dessert this year with a super-fast, no-cook red-white-and-blue treat that you can make in about 7 minutes.

And if you’re loyal to the flag cake, these little berries play well with others, so serve them alongside.

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Red-White-and-Blue Bruschetta

berry bruschetta

10-minute red-white-and-blue appetizer: Our forefathers would approve.

Get ready for July Fourth entertaining with this easy recipe for red, white, and blue bruschetta. Or, red-white-and-blue-schetta. Bruschetta an ideal party snack or app because:

1) You can make it in minutes.

2) Everyone loves it (and is impressed by it).

3) Once you toast the bread, you can make endless variations of savory or sweet bruschetta.

And that’s not really all.

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