The Fourth of July is a wonderful holiday where Americans celebrate their freedom. It was on July 4, 1776, that the Continental Congress approved the Declaration Of Independence after they finally agreed on some editing and changes and thus, Independence Day was born. However, it did not become a national holiday until nearly 100 years later.
Americans celebrate the Fourth in many different ways including concerts, parades, picnics, firework shows, and get togethers with family and friends. Food is almost always an element of the celebrations and includes everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to apple pie and homemade ice cream.
For me, the Fourth of July is a fun day to be with my family and this year, friends too. Another family is going to spend the evening with us and we intend on having a fun and festive meal. I wanted to take the opportunity to share some quick easy ideas for meal planning that will get you out of the kitchen quickly so that you can enjoy some quality time. Most of these ideas are make ahead so that when it comes time to eat, your meal comes together in a snap and still looks patriotic.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Oreo Pops
Grab some semisweet chocolate morsels (1 cup) and a medium microwave bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals and stir. Chocolate should melt on high power in about a minute. Make sure your strawberries are washed and dried and dip into chocolate. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with patriotic sprinkles. Allow chocolate to set in the refrigerator. Repeat with Oreos and add a colorful paper straw or lollipop stick to make lollipops.
Chili Cheese Dogs Topped with Cheese Stars
For a quick garnish, add some stars cut with a cookie cutter from cheese slices to your best grilled dog topped with chili sauce. Yummy and fun!
The Best Potato Salad a.k.a. Bacon Dill Potato Salad
6 medium red potatoes
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 slices cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup pickle relish (optional)
1. In an electric pressure cooker, add potatoes and eggs (leave shells on), and 1 cup of water.
2. Close and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Once cooked remove potatoes and eggs from water. Peel eggs. Place potatoes and eggs in medium bowl.
4. Use a knife and fork to chop potatoes and eggs.
5. Add mayonnaise, mustard, dill, salt, pepper, bacon, and relish (if desired). Stir thoroughly.
6. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve and enjoy!
Peaches and Cream Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fresh peaches with skins removed
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl or in a stand mixer.
2. Run ice cream through an electric ice cream machine for 20 minutes.
3. Place in freezer for at least two hours. Enjoy!