Festive Food for the 4th

There's something delicious for everyone with these grilled favorites

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!

Ina's All-American Flag Cake

For the cake:
• 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
• 3 cups sugar
• 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
• 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 3 cups flour
• 1/3 cup cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
• 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
• 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the toppings:
• 2 half-pints blueberries
• 3 half-pints raspberries
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
4. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
5. For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.
6. Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place a row of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a row of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.
Adapted from Food Network


Firework Daiquiris

• 1 cup frozen strawberries
• 1 cup watermelon chunks, frozen
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
• 2 tablespoons white rum
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 cup ice cubes
• 1 cup coconut sorbet
• 1/4 cup rum
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
• 1 cup ice cubes

• 1/3 cup blue passion fruit liqueur, such as Hpnotiq or Alize
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
• 2 tablespoons blue curacao liqueur
• 2 tablespoons white rum
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 2 cups ice cubes

1. Begin by making the red layer: Put the frozen strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, rum, sugar and ice in the carafe of a blender. Blend until thick and smooth. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water if the consistency is too thick. Transfer to a large measuring cup or small bowl and place in the freezer while you make the next layer.

2. For the white layer: Rinse out the blender and add the coconut sorbet, rum, lime juice and ice. Blend until thick and smooth. Transfer to another large measuring cup or small bowl and place in the freezer while you make the final layer.
3. For the blue layer: Rinse out the blender and add the passion fruit liqueur, lime juice, blue curacao, rum, sugar and ice cubes. Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of ice left.
4. Pour the red layer into the bottom of six 8-ounce glasses, about 1/3 cup each. Gently spoon 1/3 cup of the white layer over the red layer so they stay separate. Finish by spooning 1/3 cup of the blue layer over the second layer in each glass.

Adapted from Food Network



Ginger Berry Crunch Parfait

• 3/4 cup granola your favorite kind
• 1/4 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
• 1/3 cup raspberries
• 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
• 1/3 cup blueberries
• 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
• 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1. In a small bowl, mix the granola and crushed gingersnap cookies.
2. Mix the agave and yogurt.
3. Put a layer of yogurt mixture in the bottom of two small glasses or bowls.
4. Add a layer of granola mixture; followed by a layer of berries.
5. Add another layer of yogurt.
6. Top with remaining berries and granola.
7. Mix (or serve as is) and enjoy!  
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck



Berry Beautiful Ice Cream Cake

For the crust:
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

For the filling:
• 2 cups vanilla ice cream
• 1/4 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.
(Serves 4 as main dish; 8 as side salads)


Red, White, and Blueberry Quinoa Superfood Salad

For the salad:
• 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)

For the dressing:
• 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 Minimalist Baker



Patriotic Potato Salad

• 1 pound mixed red, white and blue new potatoes
• 1 medium jarred roasted red pepper, drained and patted dry
• 1/2 cup fresh mint, chiffonade
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to cover by an inch. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes before checking for doneness. Using a paring knife, pierce the smallest potatoes first, and when the knife enters easily transfer the potato to a colander to drain. Continue checking the potatoes every few minutes. When all the potatoes are done, drain and let cool. Slice the potatoes in half, or quarters if large, and place in a large bowl.
2. Chop the pepper and add to the bowl, then add the mint. In a cup, whisk the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, then add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Pour over the potatoes and toss to mix. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to three days before serving.

Recipe adapted from and image from Co+op, Welcome to the Table

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