Easy Fourth of July Recipes and Ideas-incase you didn’t see this last year- here it is again just in time for the 4th!

Fourth Of July Easy and Super Cute Recipe Ideas:

  • Some of these should be pretty self-explanatory (like the American Flag tooth pick) for the ones that are not see below for recipes and ideas:Fruit Kabob:
    • Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana or Marshmallow or Pound Cake or Cream Cheese for the “white”.
    • Place on a kabob stick

Patriotic Strawberries:

  • Strawberries (dipped in the below)
  • The “White” area can be White Chocolate melted (dip strawberry in it), or White Frosting
  • The “Blue” area is Blue sprinkles

Fourth of July Drinks:

  • Red Wine Sangria can look patriotic with the below fruit:
  • Red Rum Punch can also be made patriotic with the below fruits:
  • Blueberries
  • pineapple, use a cookie cutter to cut star shapes
  • Watermellon, a cookie cutter to cut star shapes
  • Strawberries or Raspberries

Blue Pop Rock Rimmed Glasses (or Blue Sugar if you can find it. Party City or Michael’s are good places to look)

  • Trim any RED drink with the Blue Pop Rocks or Blue Sugar and voila a 4th of July Drink
  • Rum Punch or Vodka with Cranberry Juice are good choices

Fruit Plate: (you can probably figure this one out from the picture but just incase)

  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon cut into star shapes with a cookie cutter
  • You can also add other red fruits to the mix (Raspberry or Strawberry)

Flag Cake: (I make this every year) again I think you can figure it out by the photo but just incase.

  • This can be put on top of any cake (home-made or store-bought as long as the icing is white)
  • Blueberries for the “BLUE” area
  • Strawberries (or Raspberries) for the “Red” area

M&M Cupcakes: if these are in too much sun or heat the color of the M&Ms might bleed so better to keep inside until dessert time:

  • You can make the cupcakes or buy them
  • White Icing
  • Red and Blue M&Ms
  • If you want to add “White” into your design…(white M&Ms if you can find them or Mini Marshmallows)

Cake Pops: This is the Easiest way to make a Cake Pop

  • Buy Popems or Munchkins (Popems are less $)
  • Ice them with White Icing
  • Dip them in Red, White and Blue sprinkles (you can also buy the Red, White and Blue sprinkles pre mixed for multi colored cake pops)

Enjoy & Happy Fourth of July!

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St. Patrick’s Day inspired Drinks

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Sparkling Shamrock Cocktail

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Green Smoothie

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Green Beer

Make one of these Green Drinks to get you in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day!

The Sparkling Shamrock-

  • 1 bottle of your favorite Prosecco, Sparkling Wine or Champagne
  • 12 ounces of Melon liqueur (Midouri makes one)
  • Honey Dew for decoration (or any Green fruit-Kiwi’s would work)
  • Sugar for the rim of the glass (optional) do this step first if using sugar

Pour 2 ounces of Melon Liqueur into champagne glass then fill the rest with the bubbly. Garnish with fruit & enjoy

Healthy Green Smoothie-

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange, peeled and halved
  • 5 fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • Mix all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

How to make your Beer GREEN….?

The easiest way to turn your Beer Green is to use a light colored beer (an IPA, pilsner or light beer)

  • Squirt 4-6 drops of Green food coloring at the bottom of the beer mug
  • Pour in light colored beer
  • Don’t stir the beer- it should turn green on its own

Enjoy!!

Cap’N Crunch Chicken Fingers!

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Cap’N Crunch & Corn Flakes mixed together sounds odd but tastes great!

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Ingredients for the dipping sauce

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Delicious alone or with the dipping sauce

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Where it all began…the first taste of the amazing chicken finger!

I discovered these in Cancun on Spring Break. My friend Dawn and I stayed across the street from a Planet Hollywood and had dinner there the first night. The waitress said we should try these and we were hooked. They are DELICIOUS! I hope you enjoy them! The recipe below is not exact to what they serve, I am sure they fry them, these are baked, and I am sure they use a lot of other ingredients but these are still tasty.

Recipe for the chicken fingers…serves 2-4 (pan fry then bake)

  • Chicken Cutlet tenders (1 packet is good for 2-4 people)
  • 2 cups Cap’N Crunch
  • 1.5 cups Corn Flakes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of pepper

Heat oven to 325 degrees…

Mix together the Captain Crunch and the Corn Flakes in a mixer until crushed (like bread crumbs) add in the onion powder, garlic powder and pepper-put all this in 1 dish. Combine the egg and milk and put in another dish. Dip the chicken in the egg/milk mixture then coat in the cereal mixture.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan (just enough to coat the pan and make the chicken a bit brown on the outside) place chicken in pan and heat on each side for roughly 1 minute until the coating is a bit brown. Then transfer to a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Dipping Sauce: mix the below together and use as a dip…I played around with the ingredients, the below is not too strong or too mayonnaise tasting. I suggest tasting it as you go along and find what you like best.

These would also be good in a ranch or honey mustard dip or with no sauce

  • 6 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 9 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 3 Teaspoon creamy style horseradish
  • 3 Teaspoon honey
  • 3 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
  • I like to add a dash of hot sauce

Enjoy!

 

Chicken Marbella…Full of Flavor and Easy to Prepare!

  Chicken Marbella is a simple yet delicious recipe that is easy to prepare. It can be made ahead of time so it is great to serve when guests are over. This goes well with fettuccine alfredo, cous cous, rice, potatoes…or a salad.

This is Betsy’s version…. (serves 6-8)

  • 6-8 pounds chicken (I use the thick chicken breasts cut in half) but this can be made with chicken thighs, legs etc…
  • 12 oz bite size Pitted Prunes (if they are large cut them in half)
  • 3.5 ounce jar of capers (drain the liquid before adding it)
  • .5 ounce bottle of oregano (I only had 1/2 bottle and it worked)
  • 6 bay leafs (can use more for decoration)
  • 1 garlic bulb minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup stuffed Pimento Olives (drain before adding)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine (cooking wine is ok to use)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (optional)
  • 1 table spoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 table spoon pepper

Combine all (except brown sugar, white wine and parsley) in a baking dish and marinade for 8 hours or overnight. Before baking add the white wine, brown sugar and parsley. I had to use 2 baking dishes and I added more red wine, olive oil, white wine and sugar as it did not look as juicy as my moms. I doubled the amount of each…(make sure to add equal amounts to balance the flavor. So 1 cup oil to 1 cup red wine vinegar etc…)

Bring to room temperature and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until chicken is done… enjoy!

PUMPKINS…Fun to decorate & Fun to Cook with!!!

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Pumpkin’s…It’s that time of year again

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Simple Pumpkin Bread or Muffins

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Pumpkin Soup with Curry

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Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice

Pumpkins are a symbol of Autumn they are great to decorate and fun to cook with this time of year…

Easy Pumpkin Bread (or muffins)

Preheat oven to 350°F. (bake 50-60 minutes for loaf or 20-25 minutes for muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of each (cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice)
  • walnuts (optional)
    Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
    In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
    Combine all the ingredients but, do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in 1/2 cup walnuts (optional).
    Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan or in muffin cups & bake.

Curried Pumpkin Soup- serves 6-8

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (29 ounce can) pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (optional)

Melt butter over medium heat, stir in curry & flour and stir until smooth & bubbling. slowly whisk in broth and cook until soup thickens. Stir in pumpkin & half and half. Season with soy sauce, sugar, salt & pepper.

if adding the pumpkin seeds- Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until brown then sprinkle over soup

Roasted Pumpkin and Wild Rice-serves 6

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

  • 3 cups peeled, seeded and diced pumpkin cubes
  • 12 small red onions peeled or 6 large ones
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a baking sheet toss the above ingredients & roast for about 45 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Set aside to cool.

  • Wild Rice- make 2 cups according to package & mix in pumpkin and onions

The Dressing- put the below in a food processor & blend then pour over rice & pumpkins & serve warm

  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Enjoy!!

Apples!! Going APPLE Picking???…Recipes to help you use them up!!!

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Apples

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Apple Bourbon Glaze over Grilled Pork Chops (can use over other meats as well)

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Apple, Goat Cheese & Arugula Pizza

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Apple Crisp

WE LOVE APPLES…if you have children chances are you have or will be going Apple Picking soon…

GRILLED PORK CHOPS WITH APPLE BOURBON GLAZE (this recipe can be used on other meats as well) serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground blk pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 12 oz pork chops (can use bone in or out)
  • Olive oil

In a bowl mix together the above ingredients. Brush pork chops with olive oil and press in this mixture to coat.  Place in a baking dish, cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours if possible so flavors sink in. (you do not need to wait this long if short on time- at least wait an hour)

Bring Chops to room temperature before cooking

Glaze…

  • 1 12oz can thawed Apple juice concentrate
  • 1 cup Bourbon
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1.2 teaspoon kosher salt

Make the glaze: In a medium saucepan add the above & bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer to reduce and thicken, about 15 minutes on a medium heat.  If you like it spicy add 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper once it is off the heat.

Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. (if cooking inside heat on High)  Spray with cooking oil so chops don’t stick.  Place chops on the grill and grill for about 5 minutes on each side with cover on.  Then brush both sides with glaze and grill another 4 minutes on each side until glaze thickens and chops are cooked.

We like to half and seed apples and grill them to serve with the pork chops

APPLE, GOAT CHEESE, ARUGULA AND PECAN PIZZA…makes 1 pizza (serves 2 as main or 4 with something else)

  • Pizza Dough (you can make it or use store bought)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Thinly sliced Granny Smith Apple (other Apple types would work)
  • 1/2 Cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup fig preserves
  • 6 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup toasted pecans (optional)

Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees. If using home made pizza crust bake the crust half way, about 5 minutes.

In a sauté pan heat olive oil and sauté the Apple and red onion until tender.

Spread fig preserves on the crust.  Top with Apple/onion mixture & goat cheese and bake.

  • if using homemade crust Bake another 5-8 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is slightly melted.
  • if using store bought crust follow instructions…usually 15 minutes

When Pizza is done top with 1 cup arugula and 1/2 chopped toasted pecans (optional)

APPLE CRISP

  • 4 Apples (peel, core and thinly slice should make about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashion oats
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional but very yummy!)

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease an 8 inch square pan.

Place apples in the pan.

In a separate bowl combine brown sugar, flour, old fashion oats, softened butter, cinnamon & nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes until top is golden brown and apples are fork tender. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Simple & Delicious Ways to Enjoy Butternut Squash…

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Butternut Squash Soup

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Walnuts

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar

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Butternut Squash is healthy and delicious!

Our favorite is roasted or puréed into a soup.  Here are a few recipes for you to try this fall.

Enjoy and keep it chic and carefree!

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CRANBERRIES AND WALNUTS (serves 4-6)

  • Pre heat the oven to 375
  • Butternut Squash (about 2 pounds)
  • Walnuts (1/2 cup chopped)
  • Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coat all the pieces and roast for about 30 minutes until the squash is fork tender.  Bigger pieces may take longer.

In a sauté pan melt 1 Tbsp butter and add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and cook for two minutes.  Remove from heat and toss in 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 2 Tbsp maple syrup.

Toss all all ingredients in a large bowl together…enjoy

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH THYME AND BROWN SUGAR (serves 4-6)

  • Preheat Oven to 375.
  • Butternut Squash (one large one cut into strips…you could also used cubed squash if easier to work with)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 8 Thyme Sprigs
  • Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Slice butternut squash down the center and seed.  Place in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Take the thyme sprigs and remove the leaves onto the squash, leave some whole sprigs because it looks so pretty.  Sprinkle brown sugar over the squash and roast for about 45 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (serves 4-6)

  • 4 cups Butternut Squash cubed
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 3/4 Cups diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 4 cups chicken stock (can use vegetarian stock if you are vegetarian…some flavor will be lost)
  • Parsley for garnish
  • optional marscarpone cheese

In a large soup pot heat 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Add diced butternut squash, carrots, celery & onion.  Toss to coat in the oil and cook until onions start to turn clear.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add 4 cups chicken stock and on a medium low heat, cook down until all the vegetables are tender enough to purée about 45 minutes.  With an emulsion blender puree the soup.  If you like a thicker soup use less stock.  Serve with a garnish of parsley and/or serve with a dollop of marscapone cheese if you want something creamy.

Enjoy!!