Fourth of July Food Fare!

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

Red, White and Blue Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package pasta
  • ½ cup roasted or sundried tomatoes
  • ½ cup artichoke hearts
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 1 packet Zesty Italian dressing mix

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
  2. 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

Ingredients

  • 4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • Olive oil (for grilling the chicken)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red & Blue(berry) Salsa:
  • ½ cups fresh blueberries, chopped
  • ½ cups fresh whole blueberries
  • ½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoon fresh minced mint (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch salt

Directions

  1. In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use
  2. 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).
  3. Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa along with couscous or rice.

Firecracker Cupcakes

(Lots of steps..but worth the effect!!)

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup rainbow candy sprinkles
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • About ¾ cup blueberries, to garnish
  • About ¾ cup raspberries, to garnish
  • Lots of Pop Rocks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffins tins with paper baking cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!!

Easy No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Bars

(Adapted from an Eating Well recipe)

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces graham crackers, broken into large pieces
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 8 ounce packages, cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed is best
  • 5 cups fresh berries, for the Holiday, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries

Directions

  1. Pulse graham crackers, pecans and salt in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, drizzle in oil, then pulse to combine. Press into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. Add cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice to the food processor. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Dollop the mixture over the crust, then gently spread into an even layer. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
  3. To serve, top with berries and cut into 16 squares.

Serves 16. Each serving contains Calories 245, Protein 6 g., Carbohydrates 23 g., Fat 15 g., Fiber 2.5 g., Sodium 224 mg.

American Flag Veggie Tray

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Cookie SheetSquare Container for Dip
  • Small star shaped cookie or fondant cutter, or a small star shaped serving
  • container
  • 3 Cucumbers
  • 10-15 Radishes
  • Cauliflower
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • For the Dip
  • ½ cup Fat Free Sour Cream
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 8 oz. Light Cream Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Dill, minced
  • 2 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Minced Onion
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 6-10 Drops of Blue Food Coloring

Directions

  1. Slice the vegetables and line them up on the cookie sheet in rows of white and red.
  2. Mix all ingredients of the dip together in a bowl. Gradually add a few drops of the food coloring until you get the desired blue.
  3. Add the dip to a low square container, like a plastic sandwich and place in the top left side of the cookie sheet. Thinly slice a radish and cut stars then place in rows on the dip. Or a simpler option might be to find a star shaped container and tint the dip blue, it would give a similar effect!!
  4. Serve with grilled pizza and fruit for a fun and simple 4th of July dinner!

Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad with Fresh Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 ounce balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 8 cups diced watermelon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup rough chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and diced red onion.
  2. Add the diced watermelon, blueberries, mint and feta cheese to bowl. Gently toss to coat.