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Fourth of July Fun

I typically don’t do a lot for the Fourth of July, since my son’s birthday is just a few days later and I usually spend the holiday time frantically preparing getting everything ready for his party.

But when I saw this great idea from Family Fun and realized I already had all the ingredients, I determined I had a few extra minutes to fit these in:

And since we had to eat breakfast anyway, I decided to make these strawberry and blueberry star scones:

And, simply using red and blue food coloring, these fun pancakes:

Also, since two boy scouts live on our cul-de-sac and we buy popcorn by the ton, I made this to take to my in-laws house:

Click here for recipe from Our Best Bites

Have a wonderful holiday!  And, to all of the service men and women out there, thank you for keeping this country the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Red, White and Blue Scones (click to print)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • white chocolate chips

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Mix Bisquick, sugar, fruit and lemon zest.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk mild and egg together in a separate bowl.  Using a fork, mix into the dry mixture gently.  Press onto a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  4. Let cool slightly, then drizzle with melted white chocolate chips

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Carbs are not my friend.  Well, actually they are; just maybe a little too much.  I could probably live off of bowls of steaming hot pasta, warm bread straight from the oven, and my own personal downfall, tortilla chips and salsa.  In fact, I’ve found myself begging my husband to remove the chip bowl from the table at Abuelo’s, or asking him to throw his used, wadded up napkin into the bowl at the end of the meal so I didn’t keep eating them.


Embarrassingly enough, sometimes even that doesn’t stop me.


But not all carbs are bad, and certainly not in moderation.  Especially when you add a lot of vegetables, right?  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


We have the best mediterranean restaurant near our house, and besides their hummus, my favorite menu item is their pasta salad.  While my recipe isn’t exact, it’s still pretty darn tasty.  Also, this is a great summer salad recipe; you can take it to picnics or barbeques and not worry about it sitting around wilting.

Greek Pasta Salad (printable recipe)

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 3 dill pickle spears, chopped
  • 1 small jar arthichoke hearts, marinated and quartered
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • feta cheese, to taste
  • your favorite Greek dressing

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil.  Make sure to salt your water; it helps ensure your pasta does not turn out too bland.  While your pasta is cooking, grab your ingredients:

As soon as your pasta is done, run it under cold water to cool off:

Add your chopped pickles, tomatoes, artichokes, capers and olives.

Then mix with your favorite Greek dressing.  I used this recipe:

Greek dressing, from Our Best Bites

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. white vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (this will not make the dressing spicy, just flavorful)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 c. canola oil (or other salad oil)
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. dry oregano

In the jar of a blender, combine all the ingredients through the garlic. Blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and add the feta and pulse the blender a few times (more if you want a creamier consistency). Whisk in the herbs.

If possible, allow salad to set for 1 to 2 hours before serving, to allow flavors to meld.

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Who am I kidding?  Madness pretty much meets our house every day.  Runs it, actually.  With a full-time job and a 4-year old boy, I usually consider it a success if we manage to eat by 8:00 and don’t destroy the kitchen and/or dining room.  But sometimes the thought of tackling the whirlwind messes we create is more than I can bear on a Monday.


So, despite the horrendous temperatures here, we try to eat outside as much as we can this time of year.  The Doodlebug can run and play, and I can enjoy a glass of wine without wondering how (why??) spaghetti sauce is smeared on top of (underneath, on the side of) the kitchen table.

 

Tonight I made a quick rub for steaks and threw that on while the grill was warming.  Shucked some corn, and mixed together these ingredients:

 

 


Smeared the mixture over hot corn, and ended up with this:

 

 

 

And this:

 

 

Mexican Corn on the Cob (printable recipe)

 

1 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons mayonniase

2 tablespoons sour cream

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

dash of kosher salt

 

Mix together mayonnaise and sour cream.  Add zest and juice, and mix in remaining spices.  Spread mixture on hot corn and roll in shredded cheese.

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