Fourth of July Food Fare!

— Written By and last updated by

Celebrate the birth of our great nation this week with food that reflects the Red, White and Blue!!

Red, White and Blue Pasta Salad

1 (8 ounce) package pasta

1/2 cup roasted or sundried tomatoes

1/2 cup artichoke hearts

1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 cup light olive oil

1 tablespoon honey or sugar

1 packet Zesty Italian dressing mix


In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Stir together until well mixed, then toss over pasta. Serve immediately.

Ideal paired with grilled chicken, pork, or shrimp.

Grilled Chicken with Red & Blue(berry) Salsa 

4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness

Olive oil (for grilling the chicken)

Salt and pepper


Red & Blue(berry) Salsa:

1/2 c fresh blueberries, chopped

1/2 c fresh whole blueberries

1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced

1/4 red onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

3 TB fresh minced parsley

2 TB fresh minced mint (optional)

1 TB lemon juice

Pinch salt


In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use

Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breast, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until fully cooked (there should not be any pink).

Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa along with couscous or rice.



Firecracker Cupcakes

(Lots of steps..but worth the effect!!)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
8 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 cup milk
1/2 cup rainbow candy sprinkles
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
About 3/4 cup blueberries, to garnish
About 3/4 cup raspberries, to garnish
Lots of Pop Rocks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 muffins tins with paper baking cups.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy, substantially increased in volume and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.  In another large bowl, use an electric mixer with clean beaters to beat the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla until thickened and pale in color, about four minutes.  Add the beaten egg yolks to the butter-sugar mixture and mix to combine. With the mixer on low, add a third of the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Once mixed, add half of the milk, followed by another third of the flour. When well mixed, add the remaining milk, mix, then add the remaining flour.

Use a silicon spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are mixed in. Gently fold in the sprinkles.  Fill the prepared muffin tins with batter. Cook until a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Do not over bake. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Just before serving, in a large bowl combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar and remaining vanilla. Use an electric mixer to beat until thick.  Dollop or pipe whipped cream over each cupcake, then garnish with blueberries and raspberries.

Sprinkle each cupcake GENEROUSLY with POP ROCKS. This one gives the groups lots of fun!!