Thursday, July 3, 2014

Recipes for your 4th of July Spread

Tomorrow is July 4th; a day to celebrate our freedom as well as a day to pay gratitude to all the men and women in our armed forces.  Without them and their sacrifices we would not have the freedom that we enjoy today.  So, while we're celebrating let's also take time to remember what this day truly means and thank the men and women who have so selflessly served our country.  Thanks to you and your families and God Bless you all.
For many of us that means a well-needed 3 day weekend, grill-outs and backyard bbq's, trips to the lake or a weekend vacation.  No matter what festivities are planned for this weekend, food is definitely a top priority on everyone's list.  So, if you are still looking for the perfect appetizer, burger, cocktail or dessert I have compiled a list of delicious recipes you and your guests will thoroughly enjoy.

Cocktails-A celebration wouldn't be complete without a delicious cocktail to sip on, so I've compiled a list of cocktails that are light and refreshing and everyone will enjoy!

Berry Basil Hard Lemonade- Sweetened by a mixed berry basil syrup, this spiked lemonade has all the refreshing elements of traditional lemonade with a grown-up twist.

Fresh Cherry Margaritas- Josie, at Pink Parsley, has a cocktail that is perfect for pretty much any occasion.  Like these fresh cherry margaritas; loaded with in-season fresh cherries, a splash of orange liqueur and a squeeze of fresh lime.  My mouth was watering with the title alone.  This cocktail is ideal to sip on while trying to beat the summer sun.  

Jalapeno-Mango Peach Freeze- Lauren, at Climbing Grier Mountain, is a genius when it comes to cocktails.  And she had my mouth watering with this jalapeno-mango peach freeze; a frozen margarita that isn't overly sweet, full of fruit flavor and followed by a little heat.  Make a pitcher, or two, of these to enjoy while your sitting outside enjoying the fireworks.

Watermelon Lemonade- This watermelon lemonade from Confections of a Foodie Bride looks so perfectly refreshing.  A large batch of this lemonade could be made then separated, part for the little ones and then spike the other half for the adults.

Appetizers-Everyone brings their appetites with them to a cookout, but we all know we need some goods to munch on while we wait for the main course.

Cajun Corn Poblano Queso-no party is complete without cheese dip, and this cajun corn poblano queso is the ultimate in cheese dips.  Cheesy deliciousness packed with corn, poblanos and jalapenos.  It doesn't get much better than this folks!

Easy Salsa Verde-Chips and dip are the iconic "go to" when it comes to a delicious and crowd pleasing snack.  This salsa verde is full of flavor, so easy to make and is definitely a winner with my family and friends.

Goat Cheese Jalapeno Poppers with Honey and Bacon- jalapeno poppers are always a winner, but instead of the basic poppers try stuffing them with goat cheese, honey and bacon.  The whole sweet, spicy, and salty combo I'm crazy about.

Teedo's Famous Salsa- This is salsa, on crack.  Fire roasted tomatoes, lime, cilantro, avocados (yes, avocados are actually blended in the salsa), onion and garlic.  One of the best (and easiest) salsa recipes, and the longer it sits the better it gets!

Main Dishes-Regardless what festivities are taking place today, when it comes to the food the grill is taking center stage.  So here are some mouthwatering dishes that are sure to make your guests and your grill smile with pleasure!
Burgers with Bourbon and Peach Chutney-It's hard to beat a deliciously juicy burger, but topping it with cheese and a bourbon and peach chutney just might do it.  This is just one of the many mouth-watering burger confections that Shawnda over at Confections of a Foodie Bride has created.

Chicken Andouille Brats with Avocados and Jalapenos- If you want hot dogs on your menu, then look no further.  These brats will have the crowd stopping and your taste buds jumping.  A hot dog like no other.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Flatbread- One of the simplest, yet most satisfying meals.  Juicy and flavorful grilled chicked on top of a grilled flat bread and caesar salad.

The Texican Burger-In Spencer's opinion, everything is truly better with a fried egg slapped on top.  When it comes to this burger, I couldn't agree more.  A delicious burger topped with salsa, avocado, cheese and a fried egg.

Sides- Sides are typically an afterthought with any meal, but don't make them second at your cookout.  Here are some easy and delicious sides that will be just as memorable as the main course.
Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad-this is one of my all-time favorite salads.  It's packed full of fresh flavors and produce and it's perfect for a hot summer day.

Creamy Potato Salad- This, folks, is my new favorite potato salad.  It's chunky potatoes tossed with cider vinegar, a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream, hard boiled eggs, dill, celery and chives.  I look for any and every excuse to make this stuff, it's amazing!

Grilled Corn with Spicy Cilantro Butter-I love grilled vegetables, it just adds a whole new layer of flavor.  This grilled corn is delicious, but it's the cilantro butter that truly puts it over the top.

Oven Fried Guinness Onion Rings with Stout Gravy- beer and grilling out go hand in hand, but why not add some of the hoppy goodness to your food.  Lauren, at Climbing Grier Mountain, has done just that with this delicious spin on the classic onion ring.

Desserts-A celebration isn't quite complete without dessert.  From grilled peaches to drunken cherry galettes, you are bound to find something that you and your guests can't quite live without.
Caramel Corn Ice Cream-Caramel corn.  Ice cream.  It doesn't get much more all-American than that.  Dorothy, of Crazy for Crust, has combined those two goodies to make one truly American dessert, caramel corn ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Heath Cookie Dough Dip- I'm not gonna lie, there's nothing much better than a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough.  But this chocolate chip heath cookie dough dip is pretty darn good and you and your guests will be going back for seconds, thirds and fourths.  Another plus, like you need one since we're talking about cookie dough dip, is it's so quick and easy to make and can be made ahead of time!

Drunken Cherry Galette- Galettes are all the deliciousness of a pie without all the work of forming the perfect pie dough.  These galettes from Foodie Bride are perfect, not only because they are individual pies for easy serving and they are packed with drunken cherries.  To put this dessert over the top, place a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream right int he center.

Fudgy Tar Heel Pie-You can't have a cookout without having at least one pie present.  This fudgy tar heel pie is delicious; it's like a brownie on top of a bed of walnuts all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust!

Grilled Peaches and Cream- This is exactly what it sounds like, sweet juicy peaches are grilled to release those natural sugars and then they are topped with some fresh whipped cream and drizzled with a bit of honey.  A dessert that is so simple but so satisfying.

Have a safe, happy and delicious 4th!  God Bless the USA!

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