01 July 2017

Weekend Cooking: Celebrating the Fourth of July

Recipes for the Fourth of JulyHappy long holiday weekend to all my friends celebrating U.S. Independence Day. We're pretty traditional in our Fourth of July meal (read: meat, sweets, salt), so this week has been full of mostly vegetarian, ultra-nutritious dinners, and that theme will hold until Tuesday.

The only downside of this week's menus is that they didn't produce fodder for a Weekend Cooking post. I didn't try any new recipes, and what's more, I was working ahead so I could enjoy four full days off of work, thus I didn't read any new cookbooks or food-related novels.

Instead of tried-and-true, I thought I'd share a recipe I plan to make (so far untested), some ideas for a side dish, plus a fun link.

Recipes for the Fourth of JulyFor dessert on the Fourth, I plan to make a lime no-bake cheesecake from Martha Stewart. It looks simple, it won't heat up the kitchen, and I can make it the day before. The recipe calls for key limes, but I'm using regular limes. I know it's not quite the same, but my grocery store was out of key limes, and I was too lazy to go on a hunt for them.

Basically you beat the cream cheese with sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and zest and then fold in whipped cream. Spoon that over a graham cracker crust in a springform and let chill overnight. Super easy. YMMV, but I've always had good luck with Stewart's recipes. (The photo is from her website.)

Recipes for the Fourth of JulyAs for side dishes, I'm partial to potato salad, which I like better than macaroni salad and cole slaw, two other traditional Fourth of July sides. This year, Mr. BFR specifically asked for macaroni, so that's what I'm going to make. I don't have a go-to recipe, but I think I'll use Food.com's ingredients and the Pioneer Woman's dressing. Or I may go in another direction altogether. If you have a favorite macaroni salad that's not too heavy on the mayo, let me know. (The photo is from Food.com.)

For the grilling part of the dinner, we're serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and chorizos. We always buy Hebrew National dogs, and they seem to be the brand our guests like too. I was pleased to see that in the New York Times's "We Tasted 10 Hot Dogs. Here Are the Best" article published this week, the three testers rated Hebrew National as their second favorite grilled hot dog. The first is a brand sold only at Whole Foods, but we don't have a Whole Foods in our area.

Other items on our menu are homemade baked beans, a veggie platter, watermelon slices, and various munchies to go with drinks. We can see the local fireworks from our yard, so we won't have to travel to get all the fun of a traditional Fourth of July cookout and celebration.

What's on your holiday menu?
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


rhapsodyinbooks 7/1/17, 7:54 AM  

It's frustrating when you can't find ingredients. I wanted to make something with Meyer lemons, but they seem to be missing in action in all the stores around me. We don't like mayo at all. This site has some really interesting looking pasta salads with no mayo, especially with using feta instead. http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2016/07/battle-of-the-pasta-salads-mayo-vs-no-mayo/

Mae Travels 7/1/17, 7:58 AM  

Your cookout menu is really tempting. I agree that potato salad is better than macaroni salad -- a long time ago when pasta salads were popular I tried various recipes that used oil-vinegar dressing instead of mayo. One had broccoli and black olives with the pasta, and it was pretty good.

Thanks for reminding me to read that NYT review of hot dogs. I agree with them about Wellshire Farms being a good brand of cold cuts and sausages--didn't realize it was only at Whole Foods.

Enjoy the holiday! best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

bermudaonion 7/1/17, 7:59 AM  

Our street always has a block party for the 4th and I'm trying to decide if I should make broccoli salad or deviled eggs.

Tina 7/1/17, 8:05 AM  

It's pretty low key at our house, we will most likely grill something and enjoy sitting outside. Weather permitting. I think you will have success with Martha's recipe, she never lets me down. The macaroni salad sounds good but I'm with you, potato salad would be my pick :-)

Jackie McGuinness 7/1/17, 8:06 AM  

Getting an error message when trying to link up. So will check back later.

Happy fourth of July as we celebrate Canada Day today. No real plans, will see how the day develops.

I have been on a cheesecake kick lately but all done in the oven.

I prefer potato salad to macaroni as well. Somehow we are going with Asian food today, go figure.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 7/1/17, 11:15 AM  

We don't go all out but will see the fireworks display over the beach with the granddaughter, and that lime cheesecake sure sounds good!

Deb in Hawaii 7/1/17, 11:27 AM  

I too am most partial to potato salad--although as you know here, macaroni salad always rules the day or the combo mac & potato salad. The no-bake cheesecake sounds delicious--I can only find key limes when I am not looking for them. ;-)

Have a great and happy 4th weekend!

Katherine P 7/1/17, 11:43 AM  

Your menu sounds delicious! I'm a potato salad fan too but I'm one of the few in my house who is so I don't make it very often because I end up eating 75% of it! The lime cheesecake sounds amazing. I've used key limes a few times but really have found I prefer the flavor of regular limes. Plus, they're way easier to work with. Enjoy your long weekend and happy 4th!

Vicki 7/1/17, 1:01 PM  

Your 4th menu sounds so good! I love macaroni salad and my daughter in law makes the best I've ever had.

Carole 7/1/17, 4:17 PM  

Wishing you a lovely 4th July. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Greg 7/1/17, 6:15 PM  

This post is making me hungry! Looking forward to grilling out on the 4th, and sounds like you've got a good plan in place too. Hope it's a great day! :)

Sue Jackson 7/2/17, 5:32 PM  

Oh, yum! Your 4th of July plans sound great! I think it will just be my husband and I and my 92-year old father-in-law (our sons are out of town), so we will just go super-simple with burgers, sweet potato fries, and grilled zucchini (& watermelon, of course!).

You are SO lucky to be able to see the fireworks from your backyard. Our small town actually does an awesome fireworks display, and we have a tradition of driving into town, parking, and walking to our favorite spot for viewing (quite a long walk for me at night). Last year, though, with our sons away, neither my husband or I had the energy to get off the couch, so we stayed home and watched our favorite TV shows! There is a very good possibility that the same thing could happen this year with just the two of us...


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gluten Free A_Z Blog 7/2/17, 6:11 PM  

That lime cheesecake looks awesome! Have a happy 4th ..

Mary R. 7/4/17, 1:24 PM  

The cheesecake sounds delicious. My store (in New England) never has key limes, but I can usually find bottled key lime juice which is my go to for key lime pie.

Heidenkind 7/7/17, 2:09 AM  

I went with my patients to a party at their friend's house, and my fave food items were the homemade guacamole and the coleslaw (!). Normally I'm like you and not a fan of coleslaw, but this was not normal coleslaw. Idk what was in it but it was delish.

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