July is here and that means it’s time for cookouts, picnics, and celebrating the Fourth of July! It also means that summer is now in full swing. This month our group of bloggers is sharing recipes that are full of patriotic themes of blue and red as well as many grilling and cookout recipes, and a lot of fun desserts and treats. Keep reading to help you plan out your meals for the month of July and your July 4th celebrations. Don’t forget to check back on the last day of each month to see each monthly recipe round-up.
I’ve been on a cookie kick for the last week or so. I mixed up batches of my favorites for a few parties last weekend so I wanted to try something new for this weekend’s festivities. These were super fun and super easy. You can make these with your favorite sugar cookie and buttercream recipes, or just use packages – whichever your schedule allows.
Adding pop rocks on top makes these firecrackers for your tongue but you want to add them right before serving or the moisture of the icing will activate all of the “popping” early.
Your favorite sugar cookies
Strawberry or Watermelon PopRocks
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles
Prepare your favorite sugar cookies. Once cook, frost and decorate with sanding sugar and sprinkles. Add Pop Rocks right before serving.
We just finished up our annual June celebrating marathon. It always seems like everything happens this month and we end up over-indulging in party food. Rather than keep the trend going, I’m planning to make some really fresh, seasonal meals for the July 4th weekend, including this salad.
We’ve had really beautiful berries in the stores lately so this will be a perfect accompaniment to any grilled meal we cook up this weekend.
Red, White & Blue Salad
(adapted slightly from Green Lite Bites)
Serves 4 as a side
8 oz. baby spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup quartered strawberries
1/4 cup feta cheese
3-4 Tbsp. poppyseed dressing
In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and dressing until evenly coated. Toss in the berries and transfer to serving bowl. Top with feta. Serve immediately.
I think holidays on Wednesdays are the worst. On Mondays or Fridays, they’re an instant long weekend. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you just need to take one day off to make a long weekend. But Wednesday holidays? They’re stuck in the middle of a busy week and end up just being awkward.
But still, today’s a holiday and I want to make something special to celebrate. This cake was the perfect option – it’s a dressed up box mix so it’s quick and easy. When you cut into it, the cake is layered red, white and blue so it’s really fun and festive. It looks like a lot more work than it actually is.
Impressive without a lot of effort – perfect for a Wednesday holiday!
Firecracker Bundt Cake
(from Cooking with Sugar)
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring
1 (12 oz.) can Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Generously grease a 12-cup tube cake pan.
Make cake batter as directed on box. Pour 1 cup of batter into a bowl and add the red food coloring, mix well. Pour another cup of the batter into a bowl and add the blue food coloring, mix well.
Pour the red cake mix into the bottom of the greased pan. Carefully pour the white batter over the red batter in pan. Then carefully pour the blue batter over the white batter.
Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack that is placed over a cookie sheet. Cool cake completely, about 30 minutes.
Once cake is cool, equally divide the frosting into 3 bowls. Microwave the white frosting for a few seconds on high until it is smooth enough to drizzle over the cake (about 8-10 seconds). With a spoon, drizzle the white frosting back and forth around the whole ring in a striping pattern until you use it all.
Then microwave one of the other bowls. Before drizzling, mix in a few drops of blue food coloring. Then drizzle over the cake, scattering back and forth. Repeat with the red food coloring, making sure you can see the red, white and blue colors. Top with sprinkles. Set cake aside to dry.
Store loosely covered and unrefrigerated.