dessert · Fourth of July · Main dish. · summertime

Fourth of July Favorite Foods

With Fourth of July coming up next weekend,  I thought I’d pull some of my favorite menu items from my blog and make a few suggestions for your cookout, just in case you’re looking for some new ideas!

Let’s start with the main course:

You can’t beat a hamburger on the grill, and this Herb and Cheese Stuffed Burger is one of the best!  It takes the term “Cheeseburger” to a whole new level!  The cheese is inside the burger, and it’s not just some cheese-flavored slab, this is an herb cream cheese, friends!

Herb & Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Ingredients
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
I1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
4 rolls, split

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon mustard; set aside.
In another bowl, combine the onions, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt, rosemary, sage and remaining mustard. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
Shape into eight thin patties. Spoon cheese mixture onto center of four patties; top with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Serve on rolls with lettuce and tomato if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Lettuce leaves and tomato slices, optional

If you’re going to grill steaks, use a great marinade to make them even more flavorful!  Here’s my go-to recipe:

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tbl molasses
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp dry mustard
3 cloves, garlic, minced

Mix well, then marinate meat at least one hour.

Oh, and if you need a side for either the burgers or the steak, the Onion Rings pictured above are some of the best!

Golden Onion Rings
Combine 1 cup plus 2 tbl all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 cup milk, and 2 tbl salad oil. Beat together just till dry ingredients are well moistened. Coat onion rings with batter. (I prefer a vidalia onion) Fry a few at a time in deep hot oil (375 degrees), stirring once to separate rings. when onions are golden, drain on paper towels. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt.

Now, let’s finish with a refreshing dessert!

Strawberry Pizza
Ingredients

Crust:
1 C flour
1/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 C butter

Filling:
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Topping;
1 C fresh strawberries, mashed
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
8 – 10 strawberries sliced.
Instructions

Crust:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter.
Form into a ball with hands and press into a 14 inch ungreased pizza pan (I used my Pampered Chef pizza stone) I floured my fingertips to keep it from sticking and I pressed it out with my hands.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

Filling:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and lemon juice.
Spread on cooled crust.
Topping:
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries, sugar and cornstarch.
Simmer until thick and glossy. Cool.

Spread on top of cream cheese filling.  Cut fresh strawberries crosswise to make rounds that resemble pepperoni, place on pizza and serve.

I hope that inspires you to plan ahead for a fun and delicious 4th Of July menu!  

Anyone have a traditional recipe that you always fix for your family cook-outs?

Happy Independence Day!

Cooking for Two · dessert · Fast dessert

Mocha Pudding Cakes for Two!

I love it when I can find a dessert that just enough for my husband and me. I don’t like making a whole cake or pie when it’s just the two of us. It will just go to waste. But then there are little gem recipes that only make two servings and are fast and super-yummy, like these Mocha Pudding Cakes from Taste of Home.

I made these during the time of our quarantine. It made the perfect sweet ending to a meal and there were no temptations leftovers!

Mocha Pudding Cake…makes two single servings!

Here’s the recipe…

Mocha Pudding Cakes for Two

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • TOPPING:
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • Whipped topping, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla until smooth. Spoon into two 4-oz. ramekins coated with cooking spray.
  • Combine brown sugar and cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Combine coffee and water; pour over topping. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped topping or ice cream, if desired.
Gooey and delicious!

When you make this you’re going to have two really happy people in your kitchen – you and the one with whom you’ll share it! Pin it and then make it soon!

With love from my country kitchen,

dessert · Main dish. · salad · Strawberries

Time for Strawberries!

strawberries

This is a  favorite season of mine – Strawberry Season!  I love Strawberries so much and I love to eat them plain, but I also love adding them to savory dishes as well as baked goods.  I thought I’d do a round-up of some of my favorite strawberry recipes to give you some ideas as to how to use your freshly picked berries!

Strawberries IN foods… Continue reading “Time for Strawberries!”

baking · dessert · Main dish. · Pasta · salad · Uncategorized

A Few Ina Garten Favorite Recipes

meatballs1a

I love the blessing of cooking food for other people.  When I recently made a meal for a family whom we love, I knew that they were fans (especially one of their daughters) of Ina Garten’s recipes. So I made up a menu of mostly all her recipes and set to work.  I made one BIG blunder..,read on to see what I did!

Here’s what I made:

Continue reading “A Few Ina Garten Favorite Recipes”