Tag Archives: salads

fourthofjulyGFS

9 Amazing Recipes For Your Fourth of July Menu

fourthofjulyGFSOUR FOURTH OF JULY MENU!

Fourth of July is all about celebrating America and the great culinary traditions of this incredible country. But it’s also about summer, that bright, hot and sunny season that always seems to just fly us by entirely too quickly. This Independence Day, we’re making the most of the weather and taking our celebration outside – be it poolside or backyard, beach or park, rooftop or balcony, our 4th of July menu is simple, fresh and delicious. The plan: elevated versions of Americana food classics, like grilled cheese, burgers, corn on the cob, slaw, and more. Plus, a show-stopping perfectly-grilled pork tenderloin, and to finish off, a centerpiece worthy patriotic cake. America rocks!

 

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

grilled pork tenderloin

Photo credit: Bev Cooks

This mouthwatering pork tenderloin recipe by Bev of Bev Cooks is the stuff of grilling dreams. It all starts with a spicy (but not mouth-melting) chipotle pepper, brown sugar and lime marinade, and a succulent pork tenderloin (we suggest the buttery Berkshire Pork Tenderloin by Steaks & Game). The trick is to marinade the pork in advance, so all the flavors will soak right into the meat. We love that this only looks like a time-consuming recipe – the pork actually grills in 45 minutes. Which leaves you plenty of time for cocktails and fireworks. Get the Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin Recipe >

 

Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie

gourmet burgers

Photo credit: Confections of a Foodie Bride

You’ve invited all your friends and family over and planned everything to the last red-white-and-blue napkin:  now’s the time to dazzle their tastebuds with a super-fancy burger that will leave your neighbors talking about your Fourth of July menu all sumer long. These elegant and delicious sliders (try out our Australian Wagyu sliders) by Confections of A Foodie Bride are just the thing. Topped with brie and craft brew-glazed caramelized onions, you’ll want to make sure you have enough of these to go around – they’re guaranteed to disappear as soon as you set them out.  Get the Sliders with Beer-Glazed Onions and Brie Recipe

 

Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese

4th of july grilled cheese recipe

Photo credit: Foodie Crush

We absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this grilled cheese recipe by Foodie Crush. It’s sophisticated yet super simple, and there’s something about a grilled cheese that just takes us back to our summers at camp. But there’s nothing childish about this sandwich! It has meaty pieces of sweet snow crab and thick slices of avocado, all topped with melted Havarti cheese. It’s also a perfect vegetarian option to your Fourth of July menu. We might suggest adding a flavored mayo, and you can switch up the Havarti for any of your favorites (like Swiss, Gouda, or even Comte) – but just make sure the cheese you pick melts well (see our great selection of melting cheeses). Get the Crab and Avocado Grilled Cheese Recipe >

 

Fruit & Nuts Blue Cheese Slaw

fruit and nut slaw

Photo credit: Tidymom.net

This coleslaw recipe is a far cry from the traditional mayo-soaked slaw of picnics of yore. First of all, it’s loaded not with mayo but with delicious fruits like strawberries, mandarin oranges and grapes, then sprinkled with meaty pecans and topped with crumbled blue cheese. It’s also really simple to put together (you can even make it ahead the day before your party) AND it’s vegetarian. A great way to class up classic picnic fare! Get the Fruit and Nut Slaw Recipe by Tidy Mom > 

 

Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad

shrimp and avocado salad

Photo credit: Dine and Dish

The riot of colors and flavors in this salad by Dine and Dish completely grabbed us. It combines fabulous (and healthy!) seasonal summer ingredients like juicy tomatoes, meaty avocados and sweet corn, but it goes a step further with the zesty addition of Sriracha grilled shrimp. The contrast of the crisp lettuce, the creamy avocado and the hot shrimp is festive, delicious and hearty.  A drizzle of a great quality olive oil and some good balsamic vinegar, and you’ve got a side dish for your Fourth of July menu that can easily serve as a main course for your vegetarian and/or health conscious guests.  Get the Spicy Sriracha Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe >

 

Smoky Parmesan Corn On The Cob

parmsancorn_endlessmeal

Photo credit: The Endless Meal

Corn on the cob and summer go together, no question about it. Add Parmesan and a hint of smoked paprika to the equation, and you’ve got a dish worthy of your fireworks! This corn on the cob recipe by The Endless Meal will be your go-to summer staple, guaranteed.  Just brush the butter and parmigiano mix on the corn and wrap in foil (you can do all this and refrigerate up to two days in advance) and then throw on the grill alongside your burgers.  The perfect summer gourmet side dish for your Fourth of July menu! Get the Parmesan Corn on The Cob Recipe >

 

Red, White & Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas

fourth of july menu dessert

Photo credit: Mommy’s Kitchen

This patriotic dessert by Mommy’s Kitchen will please kids and adults alike! We’re big fans of adding fresh, seasonal produce to everything, and these “mini pizzas” (actually cookies) are the perfect vehicle to give kids a serving of fresh fruit (sneaky!). You can make your favorite cookie recipe, top it with a cream cheese filling and then add slices of fresh berries – just make sure you have blueberries for that red, white and blue theme. Or, instead of cookies and cream cheese, try some fresh blini and creme fraiche for a savory, grown-up alternative. Get the Red, White and Blue Mini Fruit Pizzas Recipe >

 

Summer Sangria

fourth of july menu sangria

Photo credit: Eat Drink Love

What’s a party without a signature cocktail? Our pick this year is this delish fruit-filled sangria by Eat Drink Love. It’s sweet, it’s filled with berries, and just like a punch, you can just make a big ol’ pitcher instead of laboring at the bar over individual drinks.  To keep with the patriotic theme, use blueberries and strawberries, and cut out some pineapples (it’s not white, but it’s close enough!) with a star-shaped cutter. Get the Summer Sangria Recipe >

 

Ombre Independence Day Cake

4th of july cake

Photo credit: Brit + Co.

Does this cake really need an introduction? Don’t you just want to run to the recipe just by looking at it? We did! This is the piece (of cake) de resistance for our Fourth of July menu. The crafty gals at Brit + Co. (their site is a treasure trove of all sorts of ideas – from food, to crafts to fashion – go get lost in the awesomeness!) made the executive decision to use cake mix and ready-made frosting to offset the time it takes to assemble the cake, but more enterprising and expert bakers can definitely use their favorite cake recipe and make their own frosting instead. This is the moment to go BIG, and this cake definitely fits the bill – just make sure you have enough height on your fridge to store it. Get the Ombre Independence Day Recipe > 

 

Happy Fourth of July!

 

A big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who let us share the amazing recipes that make up our Fourth of July menu. We encourage you to visit their blogs and sites for more incredible recipes, menu ideas and general awesomeness.

Which one of these yummy recipes is your favorites? Do you have any great recipes for the Fourth? Share them in the comments below or on Facebook

Labor Day Cookout Gourmet Feast!

Bye Bye Summertime! A Sophisticated Gourmet Labor Day Cookout Menu

Labor Day Cookout Gourmet Feast!

A Labor Day Cookout Feast! Left to Right: Bacon Scallops by Kate, Gourmet Chili Dogs by Bev, Succotash by Profiteroles & Ponytails, & Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts.

It’s… inevitable. Summer, with all it’s fun under the sun, is almost over. Labor Day weekend  is almost upon us, and with it, the unofficial close to the summer season. But before we unpack the sweaters and bring out the comforters, there’s still time for a last summer hurrah! Get ready for a Labor Day Cookout! Celebrate a fun-filled, warm and beautiful long weekend with family and friends… and great food, of course!

Labor Day weekend celebrations are all about barbeques and grilling, picnics and cookouts, so we’ve prepared a summery Labor Day Cookout Menu for you, with recipes as fresh as they’re unfussy, as down-to-earth as they’re sophisticated, with the freshest ingredients of the summer season.

  Labor Day Cookout Menu

Appetizer
Grilled Bacon Scallops by Kate
Salad
Summer Succotash by Profiteroles & Ponytails
Main
Gourmet Chili Dogs by Bev Cooks
Dessert
Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

 

Grilled Bacon Scallops by FramedCooks.com

Bacon Scallops for a Labor Day Cookout

Summer on a stick! Photo: Bacon Scallops by Kate of FramedCooks.com

Start off your meal with an easy, summer-ready appetizer.  Plump sea scallops wrapped with bacon, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled to perfection.  Add a squeeze of lemon and you have the most delicious start to a Labor Day cookout. Grilled Bacon Scallops Recipe

Summer Succotash Salad by Profiteroles & Ponytails

Colorful Labor Day Cookout Salad

The most colorful Labor Day yet! Ph: Saccutash by Profiteroles & Ponytails

An outdoor meal is never complete without a fresh, seasonal salad. This Succotash Summer Salad by Profiteroles & Ponytails could just as easily be a meal by itself. Sweet corn, juicy grape tomatoes, plump edamame, avocado, onions and sweet pepper. Drizzle with some lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and you’re done! Summer Saccutash Recipe

 

Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs by BevCooks.com

Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs For Labor Day Cookout

(Hot) Dog days of summer! Gourmet Chili Hot Dogs, Ph: Bevcooks.com

A stylish, sophisticated version of an American classic we all know and love? That’s what we’re talking about! There’s no need to get complicated, to get gourmet. Bev of Bevcooks.com made these barkin’ hot dogs with grilled Polish Kielbasa, slid those puppies into fresh baguettes, then ladled a generous portion of her amazing sweet and spicy chili and finished off with shredded cheddar, diced onion and cilantro. This recipe inspired our Labor Day Cookout Menu, so run for the recipe, now!  Gourmet Chili Dog Recipe

Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

Key Lime Pie For Labor Day Cookout Desesrt

A flourishing finish! Key Lime Pie by Galaxy Desserts

Our Labor Day Cookout dessert is the most labor-less of them all! These gourmet key lime tarts are made by Galaxy Desserts in California, featuring an all-butter shortbread crust and a filling made out of real Key limes. Just take out of the freezer and serve. Order here >

 

 

smoked salmon apsarragus

Summer Special: Fresh & Filling Smoked Salmon Salads!

smoked salmon apsarraguschopped salad1

top: Smoked Salmon, Egg & Asparagus Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing by The Everything Soap Blog.
bottom: Smoked Salmon Chopped Salad with Cilantro Caper Vinaigrette by curedbybacon.com

Hello, fellow foodies! Summer is now in full gear, which means your kitchen is probably filled with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s time for light fare and cool dishes that’ll help you battle the summer heat, and that means one thing: salads!

The trick to taking a salad from a boring side to a magnificent main dish? Protein. Chicken, beef, or, our favorite for summer, fish. Protein takes longer to digest, as opposed to fiber-rich vegetables that your body digests rather quickly, so adding it to your salad keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. Just add a nice portion of protein to a salad, and it becomes filling noon or evening meal that won’t leave you sweating in the heat.

This week we bring you two delicious summer salads with our favorite summer protein: smoked salmon. One of the best things about smoked salmon is that there’s no cooking involved (which we’re thankful for, since turning the oven on with 90-degree temperatures is nothing short of culinary torture). Salmon is also one of those super foods, incredibly healthy, filled with Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and can even help prevent cancer growth. Contrary to some popular belief, smoked salmon contains as much Omega 3s as raw salmon (this was supported by a study by Norway’s National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research- for more information on this, click here), so you’re getting all the benefits plus the smoky flavor.

The bottom line? A salad with delicious smoked salmon is both a simple summer meal solution AND a healthful powerhouse: you get delicious flavor, filling protein, healthy antioxidants, lots of veggies (of your choice, but we’ve got some suggestions below), and an all-around fresh, and cool, summer dish.

We picked our favorite two smoked salmon salad recipes to feature on our post today. We hope it helps you keep deliciously cool this summer!

Smoked Salmon Chopped Salad with Cilantro Caper Vinaigrette

chopped salad1

chopped salad2

Summer in a bowl! Smoked Salmon Summer Salad by CuredbyBacon.com

Our first pick is by CuredbyBacon.com (yes, we found the name of this blog hilarious as well). It’s a twist on a chopped salad, which combines the smoke of the smoked salmon with a rainbow of fresh seasonal veggies like refreshing cucumber, plump tomatoes and onions, mixed with flavor-packing ingredients like capers and cilantro.  There’s absolutely no cooking required for this one.

Ingredients

1 large cucumber diced into cubes
2 red round tomatoes diced into cubes
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
1/2 cup cubed smoked salmon
2 tbsp. non-pareil capers
1 tbsp. caper brine
1 tbsp. cilantro
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

For the full recipe, easy-to-follow instructions, and laugh-out-loud cooking posts, click here.

Smoked Salmon, Egg & Asparagus Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing

smoked salmon apsarragus ssalmonapsarragus2

Smoked Salmon, Egg and Asparagus Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing by TheEverythingSoapBlog.com

Our second pick requires a bit more preparation and minimal cooking, but it’s definitely worth it. Adding even more protein to the table, this Smoked Salmon, Egg and Asparagus Salad with Creamy Dill by The Everything Soap Blog is a four-ingredient masterpiece that is guaranteed to fill you up without leaving you lethargic. Asparagus is in season right now, so you’ll find it super fresh and cheap at your local supermarket or farmer’s market. The hard-boiled eggs add extra “meat” to the dish, and the creamy dill dressing marries fabulously with all the ingredients.

 Ingredients – the salad

12 ounces asparagus, trimmed
7 ounces sliced smoked salmon
4 hard boiled eggs, halved
1/3 cup creamy dill dressing

Ingredients – the dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
Click here to view the full recipe, along with gorgeous pictures.

Products from this post:

Norwegian & Scottish Smoked Salmon Selection
Capers Non-Pareil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Aged Red Wine Vinegar
Fine Sea Salt From Noirmoutier