Festive Foodie Fourth

Positively patriotic snacks, main dishes, drinks, and desserts for July 4 fun

Summertime is gathering time! Whether you’re hosting a fabulous blowout or just hanging out and enjoying the weather with family and friends, nothing says summer fun more than celebrating the 4th of July. And no celebration, big or small, is complete without food! Why not try a few of these All-Star recipes at your festive Fourth gathering?

Meaty (and Meatless, too!) Main Dishes

Cheezy Dazzle Dogs

1 can refrigerated breadstick dough
16 hot dogs
16 thick slices colby cheese
16 skewers
Special Equipment
Small star-shaped cookie cutter
Wooden skewers

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Take a skewer and stick it all the way through the center of the hot dog length-wise, leaving about an inch and a half exposed out of the top of each hot dog. Take a piece of breadstick dough and wrap it around the hot dog in a spiral shape until you reach the top, leaving gaps in between each spiral. Repeat with the rest of the hot dogs and lay them on the baking sheet.

3. Bake hot dogs for about 20 minutes, or until the breadsticks are golden brown.

4. While the hot dogs are baking, use a star cookie cutter to cut out stars approximately an inch in diameter. Let the hot dogs cool and then place 1 cheese star at the top of each hot dog in the part of the skewer that's sticking out of the top.

Note: Display the hot dogs using a Styrofoam ball so they can stick straight up like firecrackers. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Adapted from handmadeintheheartland.com


Red, White, and Blueberry-Quinoa Superfood Salad

(Serves 4 as main dish; 8 as side salads)
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock 
10 ounces mixed salad greens
1 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts or roasted almonds
1 cup blueberries
Optional: Raspberries, strawberries, or other berries; crumbled feta cheese)
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
4 shallots, minced (You can also use 1 cup yellow or Vidalia onion)
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
2-4 tablespoons olive oil (or sub more
Pinch of salt and pinch of pepper
2/3 cup blueberries

1. Thoroughly rinse quinoa with cool water and then strain/drain. 

2. Place quinoa in small saucepan with stock and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy like rice. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

4. While quinoa is simmering, prepare dressing. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp of the grape seed oil and the shallots/onions. Sauté until tender and slightly caramelized (appx. 5 minutes), stirring often. Remove from heat to cool.

5. Add cooled shallots to a food processor or blender with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, 2/3 cup blueberries, syrup, and a pinch each salt and pepper. Puree, scraping down sides as needed. 

6. To plate, top the mixed greens with slightly cooled quinoa, nuts, and 1 cup blueberries (add additional berries and sprinkling of feta cheese, if desired). Serve with dressing. Best when fresh. 

Adapted from minimalistbaker.com

Super Sides

Berry Blast Watermelon Pizza

1/2 cup ricotta cheese
• 1/4 cup softened cream cheese
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• Watermelon slice, 1" thick
• Fresh berries, for garnish
• Fresh mint, for garnish
• Toasted coconut, for garnish
1. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, cream cheese, honey, and vanilla together until combined.

2. Spread mixture onto slice of watermelon and top with berries, mint, and toasted coconut. Serve immediately.

Patriotic Chia Pudding

(Serves 4)
5-6 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups coconut yogurt (or Greek yogurt if not vegan)
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
Mint for garnish (optional)
1. Pour the coconut milk into a large jar and add the chia seeds. Stir to combine and add the yogurt.

2. Stir very thoroughly (otherwise the chia seeds tend to form clumps). Give the jar a good shake.

3. Seal the jar and chill in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, preferably overnight.

4. Stir the chilled chia pudding, then add an even layer in little glasses. 

5. Top with fresh berries and garnish with a sprig of mint and serve immediately.

Cool-off Cocktails

All-Star Sangria

(8-12 servings)
1 bottle dry white wine
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup apple or white grape juice
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 bottle champagne or sparkling white wine
3-4 apples (or alternatives—suggested below)
Special equipment:
Small star-shaped cookie cutter (optional…but festive!)
1. Stir together non-sparkling wine, berries, and apple juice together in a large pitcher. 

2. Cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours, so that the flavors can meld. (Be aware, the longer it sits, the pinker the liquid will become from the berries)

3. Just prior to serving: slice apples into thick rounds; cut out stars with cookie cutter. Then, gradually stir in the champagne, apple stars, and ice. Serve immediately.

*Other options for the “white” fruit stars: pears, jicama, pineapple, or starfruit.

 Adapted from Gimmesomeoven.com


All-American Gelatin Shots

1/2 cup water
1 box instant red (strawberry, cherry, pomegranate, watermelon, etc.) Jell-O®
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup water, boiled
1 box instant blueberry Jell-O®
1/2 cup vodka
1 envelope gelatin
1 cup milk, divided
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vodka
1. In a small bowl, combine boiling water and cherry Jell-O® mix and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in vodka.

2. In a separate small bowl, repeat process with cherry Jell-O® mix. Let both mixtures cool.

3. Meanwhile, make white layer: In a medium bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring remaining 3/4 cup milk to a simmer. Turn off the heat then stir in sugar, vanilla, and vodka.

4. Pour heated mixture over plain gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool for 10 minutes.

5. Lightly spray 20 one-ounce plastic shot glasses with cooking spray. Spoon about 2 teaspoons berry Jell-O® mix into each. Refrigerate until set but not completely firm, about 15 minutes.

6. Top with about 2 teaspoons white gelatin mixture. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

7. Cover with about 2 teaspoons cherry Jell-O® mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Adapted from Delish.com


(Yankee Doodle) Dandy Desserts

Fireworks Cake Shake

(Makes one shake)
1½ cup vanilla ice cream
½ cup cold milk
2 Tablespoons yellow or white dry cake mix
2 Tablespoons red, white, and blue sprinkles or nonpareils
Toppings: Whatever you like! More sprinkles, whipped cream, extra scoop of ice cream, Marciano cherries…or ALL OF THE ABOVE!
1. In a blender, add the ice cream, milk, and cake mix. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the sprinkles and pulse once or twice just to combine. 

2. Pour into a glass and top with toppings. We used more ice cream (because who wouldn’t?) and sprinkles!

Adapted from Lil’ Luna

Star-Spangled Short Cakes

(Makes 6 cakes)
6 ounces frozen raspberries, defrosted
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 cups fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries)
6 individual sponge cake shells
1 can or tub whipped cream or whipped topping
1. Put raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest into blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Place spoonful of raspberry mixture in bottom of each cake shell.

3. Add heaping dollop of whipped topping to preserves.

4. Add fresh berries; top with additional whipped cream and/or extra raspberry preserve if desired.

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