FOURTH OF JULY IS PERFECT FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS FOOD AND FIREWORKS…


This year I am saying the Fourth of July instead of 4th of July…because I love the F in Fourth, Food, Family, Friends and Fireworks!  How perfect is that?

The Fourth of July is one of my Favorite holidays…It celebrates our country’s independence…our Freedom (again another word beginning with F) and if I try to push this a little bit Further I could say there is a certain Fashion in the Fourth!  Fun red, white and blue Flags, Festive decorations, Fabulous Food.

4th of July table with watermelon photo by Susan Scarborough

Ok enough!  Let’s celebrate with some great recipes.

With loads of summer squash in the garden and at your local farmers markets, a squash casserole is a must.  I have several recipes on my website, but this one from The Blackberry Farm Cookbook is probably my favorite.  The combination of Parmesan Cheese and Manchego Cheese (one of my favorites) is really special.

Summer Squash Casserole without bread crumbs

Summer squash casserole without the breadcrumbs

Summer Squash Casserole with Bread Crumbs

Squash Casserole with bread crumbs photo by Kathy Miller

Summer Squash Casserole serving photo by Kathy Miller

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium yellow squash, cut in fourths lengthwise then cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated Manchego cheese
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter or spray with Pam a 8 x 8  baking dish. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter over medium high heat. Spoon off 2 tablespoons melted butter and set aside.
  4. Add chopped onions and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add squash, stir well, cover  and cook 8 minutes, stirring often until the squash is tender but not browned.
  6. Transfer the squash to a large bowl.  Let it cool for a few minutes.
  7. Stir in Parmesan, 3/4 cup of the Manchego cheese, and 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
  8. Stir in eggs, salt and pepper
  9. Transfer the squash mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  10.  In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup Manchego and the remaining 1/2 cup bread crumbs.  Drizzle with the reserved melted butter and toss.
  11. Scatter the crumb mixture over the casserole.
  12. Bake 30 minutes, until the crumbs are golden brown.  Serve hot.

Notes

Several tips... Recipe says serves 8...but I think 1 1/2 times or doubling it is a better idea...using a larger casserole dish. I think to cut down on the butter you could sauté the onions in olive oil and still use 2 tablespoons melted butter for the bread crumbs. Also I like to have a little more color....could use half yellow summer squash and half zucchini squash. In their cookbook, Blackberry Farms suggests that to do ahead....make it 1-2 days in advance, including baking.   To make ahead, let baked casserole cool, then cover with foil and refrigerate.  Keep the foil in place when warming the casserole for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

By KathyMillerTime
The Blackberry Farm Cookbook

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

The Fourth of July always evokes memories of eating watermelon as a child. Watermelon is the perfect summer food because of its coolness and hydrating freshness.

To this day whenever I eat a watermelon slice, I am transported back to my grandparents’ south Georgia home, vividly recalling those hot summer days spent speed spitting the watermelon seeds off the back porch steps.

These days I don’t sit around spitting the seeds out, but I do still love a good cold watermelon.  For summer suppers, I make several versions of watermelon salad.

Here’s a new recipe for me from Georgia friend Penny Giles.  She served this at a summer supper…love the watermelon tomato combination…I also tried this with no sugar.  It was still delicious.  If the shallots are too strong, could use thin slices of sweet vidalia onions, especially in the summer time when vidalias are readily available.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Watermelon Tomato Salad with Mozzarella photo by Kathy Miller

Watermelon Tomato Salad with Mozzarella Balls

Ingredients

  • 4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cube
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 12 ounces yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 shallot sliced into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into 1 inch pieces (or small mozzarella balls)

Instructions

  1. Gently comnine watermelon and sugar in a large bowl.  Transfer watermelon to colander and set colander in now-empty bowl.  Cover colander with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Toss tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Whisk oil, vinegar, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl.
  4. Add shallot, basil, drained watermelon, and tomatoes and toss gently to combine.
  5. Transfer to a platter and evenly scatter mozzarella over top.  Drizzle with extra olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Kathy's Comments...I also tried this with no sugar.  It was still delicious.  If the shallots are too strong, could use thin slices of sweet vidalia onions, especially in the summer time when vidalias are readily available.

Penny Giles via KathyMillerTime

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Another great appetizer for those hot summer Fourth of July picnics (and tailgating) is from my Tennessee Fan and Friend, Ann Bodie.

MARINATED CHEESE

Fourth of July version on white plate

Marinated Cheese photo by James Miller

Tennesse version on orange and white checkerboard plate. Go Vols

Marinated Cheese on orange and white checkerboard plate

Ingredients

  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 block sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar (can use red wine vinegar)
  • 1 2oz jar pimentos, drained
  • 3T chopped fresh parsley
  • 3T minced green onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1t sugar
  • ¾ t dried basil
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • Triscuits for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut cheeses in half lengthwise, then cut into ¼” slices.
  2. The cream cheese cuts best if placed in the freezer to harden a little.
  3. Line cheeses up, alternating colors into serving dish.
  4. Combine marinade and pour over cheese.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It will have hardened up a little, but will liquify again fairly quickly.
  6. Serve with Triscuits.

Notes

A great Tennessee game day appetizer. From Ann Bodie via Joy McCabe

By Ann Bodie via Joy McCabe
Via KathyMillerTime

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

And Finally a Fabulous Fourth of July Cheesecake recipe from Frances Stone.

Blueberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry Cheesedake photo by Kathy Miller

Blueberry, Raspberry and Strawberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake with blueberry, raspberries and strawberries

Cheesecake slice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup crushed strawberries
  • 1 cup crushed blueberries
  • Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries for top
  • Fresh mint and basil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and lemon peel.
  2. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  3. Whisk egg yolks and vanilla; add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  4. Press onto the bottom and 3 inches up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned. \
  6. Cool on a wire rack.

For Filling

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Beat in the cream, flour, lemon peel, salt and vanilla.
  3. Add eggs and yolk; beat on low speed until just combined.
  4. Divide batter in half. Fold crushed strawberries and blueberries into half of the batter.
  5. Pour into crust.
  6. Top with remaining batter. Return pan to baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 60-70 minutes longer or until center is almost set.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer
  10. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. Remove sides of pan.
  12. Garnish with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

By Frances Stone via KathyMillerTime

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

What is your Favorite Fourth of July recipe?

Watch for upcoming Fouth of July decorations.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the picnic table!

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