Monday, June 29, 2009

4th of July Menu

This year we'll be celebrating the 4th of July at my in-laws home about 40 miles away. But before we get to and grill out - we have to go to a Spider Man Pancake Breakfast!! Yep, our local science museum, known around here as "COSI", is hosting a 4th of July Breakfast with Spiderman. How cool is that for a three year old? (Not very cool for my 12 and 14 year olds - but I enjoy watching them squirm!!). Anyway, here is a list, with recipes or links to recipes, for what I will be serving this holiday weekend.
4th of July Menu
Homemade Lemonade (recipe follows)
White and Blue Chips with (Red) Salsa (my favorite store bought)
South Street Tortilla Roll-Ups with Salsa and Guacamole (recipes follow)
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs (supplied by my in-laws)
Four Bean Salad (Costco - sorry - I really like their brand!)
Paula Deen's Fruit Bowl (recipe follows)
Barbecue Macaroni Salad (recipe follows)
Jazzed Up Baked Beans (recipe link)
Potato-Egg Salad (recipe link)
Barefoot Contessa's Flag Cake (recipe link)
Sorry I don't have a photo of my lemonade, but I'm sure you know what it looks like!! :) I love fresh lemonade, but I only make this a couple of times a summer. The price of lemons is just way too high. This is a slight modification of a recipe I got from a few summers ago.
Homemade Lemonade
1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
cherries with stems still attached
ice cube tray
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil ans stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refigerate until chilled.
Meanwhile, rinse cherries, keeping stems still attached. Place one cherry in each compartment of an ice cube tray. Fill about 1/2 - 3/4 full with water and partially freeze. Cherries will "float" to the top. When frozen, add a little more water to cover cherries, leaving stems sticking out.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In a pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.
When serving, fill glass with regular ice cubes, but add one "cherry" ice cube at the top. Fill with lemonade and serve.
South Street Tortilla Roll - Ups
I like to make these for special occasions, like birthday parties and get-togethers. They are very simple to make, but taste fantastic!! Make sure you "pat dry" your chopped tomatoes so the roll-ups don't get soggy. Also, it's best to make these either early in the day or the day before, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. The cream cheese is much easier to cut.
8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 lg. onion, chopped
8 oz sour cream
1 1 /4 oz pkg. taco seasoning
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
4 1/2 oz can chopped green chillies, well drained (and "patted" dry)
2 tomatoes, chopped and drained (and "patted" dry)
hot pepper sauce to taste (I like about 1/4 t)
10 flour tortillas
Garnish: salsa and guacamole
Combine cream cheese, onion, sour cream and taco seasoning until smooth. Fold in cheese, chillies, tomatoes and hot sauce, blending well. Spread mixture on tortillas, the roll tortillas. Refrigerate until cream cheese mixture is firm. Slice and serve cold with salsa and guacamole.

Isn't this picture a hoot!?! No, I didn't make it (I'm not THAT creative!!), but I don't have a photo of my homemade guacamole, and I ran across this one on the internet. Guess you really can find just about anything on the 'net!!

It's pretty easy nowadays to find good guacamole, but that wasn't always the case. I do like guacamole with the South Street Tortilla Roll-Ups. If you want a great recipe, heres one for you:

Homemade Guacamole

2 c (2 lg) avocadoes, mashed

2 T lemon juice

1 tomato, diced

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1/4 t Kosher salt

1/4 t chili powder

1 T onion, grated or finely chopped

1/8 t garlic powder

Combine all ingredients, chill, and serve.

Paul Deen's Fruit Bowl

This recipe is for this upcoming week's My Girl Paula recipe. I'm really happy it was chosen. I'm just wondering what I'm going to do with all the extra Tang!! ;)

3 T orange Tang drink mix

1 - 15 1/2 oz can pineapple chunks, drained, juice reserved

1 - 3.4 oz box instant lemon pudding mix

1 - 16 oz can chunky mixed fruit, drined

1 - 11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained

1 - 6 oz jar maraschino cherries

3 large bananas

Stir the Tang into the pineapple juice. Add the lemon pudding mix and stir well. Combine the pineapple, mixed fruit, oranges and cherries, then mix the fruit and pudding mixtures together; toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before servign, slice and add the bananas.

Barbeque Macaroni Salad

In the Summer Grilling edition of Cook's Illustrated I found an interesting recipe for Barbeque Macaroni Salad. It's a new twist on an old favorite, by adding barbeque sauce to a traditional macaroni salad. I especially like Cook's Illustrated because they test so many different brands of products to let you know which one "works" better than the rest. For this recipe, they highly recommend (drumroll please......)

Yep, good ol' Bull's Eye original for it's smokey flavor. I used it in this recipe and thought it was quite good. I've never heard of a barbeque macaroni salad before, and thought it was really, really good (so good I had to raid the fridge after everyone went to bed for a little more!!)

Barbeque Macaroni Salad

Table salt

1 lb elbow macaroni

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine

1 celery rib, chopped fine

4 scallions, sliced thin (I used green onion)

2 T cider vinegar

1 t hot sauce

1 t chili powder

1/8 t garlic powder

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Ground black pepper

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 T salt and macaroni and cook until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water until cool, then drain once more, briefly, so that pasta is still moist; transfer to a large bowl.

Stir in bell pepper, celery, scallions, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne and let sit until flavors are absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in mayonnaise and barbecue sauce and let sit untl salad is no longer water, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve. (Salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Check seasonings before serving.) As the salad sits, it can become dry; just before serving, sir in a few tablespoons of warm water to bring back its creamy texture.

The remainder of my recipes are links (thank goodness - I'm getting carpal tunnel typing all this!!). For my baked beans, I'm going with Cookin' Mimi's Jazzed Up Baked Beans. For my potato salad I decided on Love at First Bite's Potato-Egg Salad. And (finally!!) for the dessert we are going with Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa's) Flag Cake.

Now if that isn't enough to keep you all busy - check out a great craft website that I just LOVE. Skip to My Lou is doing 4th of July crafts all week to get your table (and home) ready for the 4th!! But remember, if you run out of time (or energy!) you can always make a run to the Dollar store!


  1. Wow! Everything sounds so good. Can I come?

  2. Your macaroni salad looks yummy! I'll be making the fruit bowl for the 4th too. I didn't realize it had Tang in it... I'm not sure what I'll do with my extra either. Maybe my son will drink it. At any rate, everything sounds delicious!