July 4th Fun Fare Without Fanfare

Spend less time cooking and more time hanging out at the party! 

Throwing a backyard BBQ this July 4th? Maybe you’ve been tasked with “bringing a dish to share”? We’ve all been there—and we’ve got you covered. If you are ready to have a fabulous Fourth of July fete while spending less time cooking and more time hanging out around the pool/pavilion/picnic table/party games, check out these easy crowd pleasers for your summer picnic!



Slow Cooker Ribs

1 large rack baby back ribs (2 1/2 lb.), cut into pairs
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 c. teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Slaw, for serving
Sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Sprinkle baby back ribs with pepper; place in a slow cooker with 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce. Cover; cook on High 4 hours or Low 7 hours until tender.
2. Cut ribs apart. Simmer remaining teriyaki sauce, balsamic vinegar, and garlic uncovered on medium-high 5 minutes; brush onto cooked ribs.
3. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. 

Adapted from Good Housekeeping

Notes: Want to shake it up a little? For variation, top it with a variety of things like blanched peas, seared and sliced chicken breast, bacon pieces, or sautéed mushrooms. (Or…read on for some new takes on the classic dish!)



Corn Puppies

oil, for frying
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. beer
1 large egg
1 (12-oz.) package cocktail weiners(about 30)
Small skewers or lollipop sticks, for serving
Mustard and ketchup, for serving
1. Add enough oil to a small saucepan to come 2" up the sides and heat to 350 degrees F. Place a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and cayenne.
3. In a 1-cup measuring cup, whisk together the milk, beer and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Transfer the batter back to the measuring cup (it makes for easier dipping).
4. Working in batches (about 6 franks per batch), insert a skewer about 1⁄2" to 1⁄4" into one end of a frank and dip in the batter, twirling the skewer to coat the frank completely. Transfer to the oil, using a fork to slide it off the skewer. Cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared rack. Repeat with the remaining franks and batter.
5. If desired, stick a small skewer or lollipop stick into the end of each cooked frank. Serve with mustard and ketchup, if desired.

Adapted from Womens' Day 



Red, White, and Beautiful Berry Ice Cream Cake

We used a simple cookie crumb recipe for homemade, but you can use premade pie shell pastry or premade graham cracker crust for extra easy!
2 cups graham cracker cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups vanilla ice cream
¼ cup whipping cream
1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries, plus more for garnish
 1. While you make the crust, allow ice cream to soften at room temp for 5-10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. 
3. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 10-in. springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. 
4. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack.
5. While, crust cools completely, blend together softened ice cream, whipping cream and mixed berries by hand or with an electric mixer on low speed until thoroughly combined.
6. Pour ice cream filling into pie shell and freeze until firm.
7. Top with more berries prior to serving.


Simply Striking Greek Salad

Greek Salad Dressing
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 large clove)
1 1/2 Tbsp finely minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp honey
Salt, to taste
About 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered. You can also use 4 medium Roma tomatoes, diced.
1 medium English cucumber, peeled (optional), halved lengthwise, then sliced into half-moons
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced or diced (rinsed and drained, if you want to temper the bite)
1 small green or yellow bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
3/4 cup kalamata or black olives, sliced if you prefer
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup)
1 firm medium avocado, diced

1. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk well to blend, season with salt to taste and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, olives, avocado and feta to a salad bowl. 
3. Drizzle dressing over top and gently toss to evenly coat. Add dressing within a few minutes of serving for best results.


From Cooking Classy 


All-Star Sangria

• 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)
• Ice
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


In This Issue

Join The Conversation

consult button