Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, an enormous birthday celebration where family and friends come together from one end of the US to the other to commemorate the birth of our great country. And it's the perfect time for grilling and having fun in the sun! We had an early Independence Day celebration at my brother and sister-in-law's home yesterday. No one puts together a party like they do. Lots of good food and laughter. They served brats and little "slider" hamburgers with corn on the cob, potato salad, fresh fruit and my world famous coleslaw. Cupcakes, and brownies baked by my son-in-law Chris, for dessert. It was an awesome meal.



One of my favorite hot weather drinks is a margarita. My nephew Joe mixed up a batch of them yesterday. Refreshing and festive! I pass on the salted rim; I don't want the sodium!
Easy Margaritas
1 oz. Cuervo Especial Gold tequila
4 1/2 oz. Jose Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix
1 cup ice
lime wedges
Drink Recipe Preparation:
Rub rim of a chilled margarita glass with half a lime.
Dip into salt to coat.
In a shaker with ice, add tequila and Lime Margarita Mix. Shake vigorously. Strain into glass filled with ice.

You can also make your margaritas with frozen lime concentrate:
Makes 8 - 6 ounce drinks
2 quarts ice cubes
1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade
12 ounces white tequila (measure with empty limeade can)
1/4 cup Cointreau
Kosher salt for the rims
lime slices cut in half
1. Working in 2 batches, place 1 quart ice cubes in a blender. Add 1/2 can limeade, 6 ounces tequila and 2 tablespoons Cointreau. Blend at highest speed until drink is almost smooth. Pour into a pitcher and repeat with remaining ingredients. Store in the freezer.
2. To salt the margarita glasses, pour a single layer of salt on a salad plate. Moisten each glass rim with lime; dip rim in the salt. Pour margaritas into glasses and garnish with lime. Serve immediately.



My niece Teresa and her husband, Jason, brought these yummy strawberries to the party. I've seen them featured on several other blogs. They're a colorful and tasty treat!
Red, White and Blue Strawberries
12 ounces white chocolate chips
Blue sugar
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Pour blue sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
2. Melt white chocolate chips in microwave according to package directions.
3. Make sure the container and the berries are dry; even a little moisture can alter the texture of the candy. One at a time, dip strawberries into the chocolate and then into blue sugar.
4. Set them to harden on waxed paper. If necessary, put them in the refrigerator until set.
Makes 2 - 3 dozen, depending on the size of berries used.



Teresa and Jason also brought these Pretzel Sparklers. To make them, simply dip pretzel rods in melted white chocolate chips or almond bark. Before the white chocolate hardens, sprinkle with red, white and blue colored sugar sprinkles. Place in refrigerator 5 minutes to harden. Martha Stewart has a recipe for them. This makes for a delicious sweet and salty snack. And they look like sparklers!

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