An Old Fashioned 4th of July:  Summertime Classics Remodeled

Happy America Day! I must admit, I love seeing all the red, white, and blue, watching fireworks, and spending a long summer day with my family. Over our brief history, The USA has undergone many changes, and this week has left me a bit nastaglic about the pride, honor, and dedication of so many Americans in that history. We are so thankful for our military and their families, and so blessed to live in a country that offers so many freedoms and liberties. Let us never lose sight of that.

Speaking of patriotism, try this amazing cute & informative book out with the kids.

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Now…on to food. Cause we all know that’s most important. Wink, wink. Sometimes even the classics need a little tune up.

Blueberry Thyme Lemonade
My basic lemonade recipe with bouncing berries floating along side thyme sprigs.

Watermelon Cooler
Gather:
3 cups watermelon, puréed in blender and ran through seive
Bunch of clean mint, leaves torn from stems & stems discarded
2 large scoops of ice
optional: splash of ginger ale, sparkling water, your fave vodka or rum.
Blend, pour into glass & sip lazily.

Roasted Potato Salad With Crispy Garlic and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
20140510-213334.jpgI fiddled with this version from The Cozy Apron and oh, goodness it’s good. In family of Germans, warm potato salad with a vinegary kick is nothing new, but the crispy garlic and lack of sometimes overpowering mustard make this version stellar.
Gather:
6 red skinned potatoes, medium dice
6 strips uncured bacon, ribboned, fried until crisp & 3T drippings reserved
1 medium red onion, quartered & thinly sliced
4 substantial cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 heaping Tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

20140525-005815.jpgRoasted Broccoli Salad

A healthy spin on a BBQ favorite.  Roasting the ingredients offers a super punch of taste in this simple recipe.
Gather:
1 bunch of seedless red grapes, removed from stem
1 large crown of broccoli, cleaned and trimmed into florets
4-6 slices of bacon
1/4 red onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
To Make:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two sheet pans with foil.  On one, line up four to six slices of bacon.  On the other, mound broccoli and grapes, drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper. For extra flavor, toss on some garlic and chopped red onion to roast with broccoli.  Roast for about 20 min, turning bacon about halfway through cooking.  Remove bacon, drain, and crumble. Cool other components briefly on pan, toss all together, and add shards of sharp white cheddar or parmesan cheese.  Dress with additional oil and s&p if desired. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.20140525-005854.jpg

Macaroni Salad
A hold over from my younger days, this macaroni salad is made without mayonnaise — making it pleasing to almost everyone.
Gather:
1 # uncooked small elbow macaroni
3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt and pepper grill seasoning
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn (if you have time, roast or grill for added flavor)
1 cup diced sharp cheddar cheese
3 whole green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
small bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced
plash spicy pickle juice
To Make:
Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse briefly.
Puree the cottage cheese until smooth. Add in the vinegar, yogurt, oil, herbs (except basil), salt and pepper, and pickle juice and mix thoroughly.
In a large bowl, combine macaroni with dressing. Allow to refrigerate a couple of hours. Add in corn, tomatoes, green onion, basil, and cubed cheese before serving.

Round out the meal with a summer classic, the cherry pie. We made mini ones so everyone could grab & go.

  

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