Enjoy our country’s Fourth of July!


Our country is now 240 years old!

Today is a very nice, sunny July day – temp. 75, High today 81 – great for a holiday! Do you have any special plans for the day? Here we’re just ‘hangin’ out & chillin’ – the boys are on the video games, husband is happily playing his 1940’s battleship game on his computer and I’m here writing to you. Am now working on the last plain white square for the pink & white baby blanket; if I feel like it today I’ll begin sewing them altogether then all that’s left is crocheting a border and that one is done. I’m thinking of taking a wee break from baby blankets and knitting some baby headbands (for the Detroit Vets baby shower) – they’re well received and quick to make.

Food-wise, we’ve still got enough leftovers for tonight’s dinner: country BBQ ribs, baked beans, red potato salad & coleslaw (MORE than enough of everything but the ribs – but these ribs are HUGE, so one is more than enough per person – even husband asked me where I got the dinosaur ribs!)


Summer Berry Icebox Cake

19 oz. graham crackers
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 (3.4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
2 1/2 C. cold milk
1 (12 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
3 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 C. fresh blueberries
2 oz. white chocolate chips

Beat cream cheese & dry pudding
mixes in large bowl using elec. mixer
until blended; gradually blend in
milk. Gently stir in Cool Whip,
reserving 1/2 C. Spread a thin layer
of Cool Whip in a 9 X 13″ pan just to
coat the bottom. Layer 5 graham
crackers across center of pan, then 2
more, breaking as needed to fit around
top & bottom edges. Spread a layer of
pudding mixture over crackers & top with
a layer of blueberries & sliced straw-
berries. Place graham crackers on top
of berries then pudding mixture, then
layer of berries again. Repeat graham/
pudding/berries 1 more time (3 times
total). Refrigerate at least 4 hours or
overnight until gram crackers have
softened completely. When ready to
serve, melt white chocolate chips in
a bowl as directed on pkg. & drizzle
over top of dessert. (You can use a
spoon to drizzle over tops of berries
or put in small zip-lock bag & snip
bottom corner of bag to use as a
easy piping bag. Serves 12-16

(recipe: cakescottage.com)

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
Grill & oven methods

2 C. cooked spiral pasta, drained/rinsed
1 medium zucchini sliced about 1/4″ thick
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4″
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 baby eggplant sliced into 1/4″ slices
2-3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
(Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing – below)

Heat grill to medium-high heat. (if using oven
350 degrees F.)

In large bowl toss vegetables with olive oil.

Oven roasting: line a large baking sheet with
parchment paper. Spread veggies in single
layer on pan; roast 30 minutes until veggies
begin to brown. Toss roasted veggies with
pasta to combine; add dressing & toss to

Grill:Place veggies in single layer on grill &
cook about 10 minutes, turning veggies half
way through cook time. Toss roasted veggies
& pasta to combine; add dressing & toss to
Serve either room temp. or chill 1 hour to
serve cold. Store leftovers in fridge.
Serves 4-6
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 C. frozen lemonade concentrate,
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2/3 C. vegetable oil (do not use
extra virgin)
1 T. poppy seeds

Place lemonade concentrate & mustard
in blender; pulse to combine. Add oil
in a slow, steady stream & blend at highest
speed-takes about 60 seconds for mixture
to emulsify – pulse in poppy seeds.
Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1 C.

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)

Grilled BBQ Bacon-Chicken Skewers

15 bamboo skewers – 6 inches each
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 lb)
4 large green onions
1 (2.1 oz) pkg. refrigerated fully cooked
(15 pieces)
1/2 C. BBQ sauce

Soak skewers in water at least 30 minutes
to prevent burning. Cut each chicken
breast in half lengthwise, then cut
crosswise to make 10 (about 1″) pieces.
Cut onions in 2″ pieces (30 pieces total)
Cut bacon slices in half crosswise. Heat gas
or charcoal grill.
Push 1 skewer through end of 1 bacon
piece, then through middle of 1 chicken
piece & back through other end of bacon
piece. Add 2 onions pieces, then repeat
with another bacon & chicken piece. Place
on large tray or plate; repeat with remaining
ingredients. Place skewers on grill over medium
heat. Cover grill; cook 5 minutes. Turn skewers;
brush with half BBQ sauce. Cover, cook 5
minutes; turn – brush with remaining sauce.
Cover & cook 1 minute longer until chicken is
no longer pink in center. Serve with additional
BBQ sauce for dipping, if desired. Makes 15

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Watermelon/Cucumber/Feta Salad

6 C. seedless 1-inch watermelon cubes
1 C. sliced, quartered cucumber
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced &
1 C. crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)

2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 T. chopped fresh mint leaves

In small bowl using wire whisk, mix
vinegar, oil, salt/pepper – stir in mint.
In large bowl combine watermelon,
cucumber, onion & 3/4 C. feta – Pour
dressing over mixture; toss gently to
combine. Sprinkle salad with remaining
feta. Garnish servings with additional
mint, if desired. Serves 6

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)

Crockpot Smoky Baked Beans

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (31 oz) can pork & beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (16 oz) can butter beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (15.5 oz) can navy beans,
1 (15 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed well
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
w/ green chilies, drained
1/2 C. hickory-smoke flavored
BBQ sauce
1/2 C. ketchup
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)

In large skillet cook sausage & onion
over medium heat until meat is no
longer pink; drain. Combine beans,
tomatoes & sausage mixture in crockpot.
In small bowl combine bbq sauce, ketchup,
brown sugar, mustard, steak seasoning &
liquid smoke (if using) – stir into bean
mixture. Cover & cook on Low 7-8 hours or
until heated through. Serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Louisiana Shrimp Bake

1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled/
1/3 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. dry red wine
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place shrimp in single layer in
9 X 13″ baking dish coated with
nonstick spray. In small bowl
combine remaining ingredients;
mix well & pour over shrimp.
Bake, uncovered, 7-8 minutes
until shrimp turn pink. Serves 4

NOTE: Serve these with plenty of
crusty bread to sop up the rich,
buttery sauce

(recipe: mrfood.com)

Layered Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef
1 small can green chilies, undrained
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 C. Ranch sour cream mayonnaise,
divided (recipe below)
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1/2 can sweet corn, drained very well
1/2 C. chopped purple or green onion
plus more for garnish
8 oz. salsa
8 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3.8 0z) can sliced black olives, drained
very well
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisp/crumbled
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 Roma tomato, seeds removed, chopped
ripe avocado chunks (optional)
tortilla chips, for topping

Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
spray. Cook ground beef, canned chiles &
taco seasoning mix in skillet until beef is
brown & liquid from chilies has evaporated.
Refrigerate mixture until completely cold.
Place an even layer of mixture on bottom
of prepared pan. Top with double layer of
iceberg lettuce leaves (half of head), 1/2 C.
Ranch /sour cream mixture (smoothed into
an even layer) beans, corn, onion, another
double layer of lettuce (press down gently
after placing lettuece), other /12 C. Ranch/
mayo mixture, salsa, cheese, olives, bacon,
jalapenos, tomato and a little more onion.
Cover & refrigerate 12-24 hours before
slicing into pieces. Before serving, crush
tortilla chips over top & top with avocado
chunks, extra tomato chunks & your
favorite hot sauce. Serves 8-12

Ranch/Sour Cream/Mayonnaise

3/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sour cream
3-6 T. dry buttermilk ranch salad
dressing mix

Mix well & chill until ready to use.

(recipe: chindeep.com)

Lemonade Squares

2 1/4 C. graham cracker crumbs*
1/2 C. melted unsalted butter
1/3 C. sugar

2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
room temp.
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant lemon
pudding mix
3/4 c. thawed/undiluted lemonade
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all crust ingredients in small
bowl & press into 9 X 9″ baking dish.
Bake 10-15 minutes until crust begins
to brown; remove from oven & cool
completely. In small bowl whisk
pudding mix & evap. milk 2 minutes;
let stand 2 minutes. Beat cream cheese
until light & fluffy. Gradually beat in
lemonade concentrate; stir in lemon
zest. Gradually beat in pudding
mixture, beating well then pour into
pan with cooled crust. Cover & chill
at least 4 hours – overnight is best.
Serves 9

*You may substitute a store- bought
graham cracker crust

(recipe: bakeatmidnite.com)


With this being the holiday weekend I’ve been using
my time to get some things done that I’ve kind of
let go ‘by the wayside’ – like folding 3 baskets of
laundry, getting all the emergency papers together for my special needs group/
filing alphabetically & putting into a new notebook
(the old one was was bursting at the seams!) – still
have to go through each sheet & note who, in the
group, I STILL don’t have an emergency contact sheet
on (I do this every year – never seems to amaze me
that on some people we STILL don’t have a sheet!). I have a bowl with some really BLACK bananas that need making into banana bread some time today.
Tomorrow is Knit Night – I’m not anticipating many
attending since it’s been the holiday – we’ll see.

Hope you have a great holiday – enjoy the
fireworks if you get to see any (around here last
night it was like we were living IN the 1812 battle-
people were STILL lighting them off around 11:30/
midnight! (and I’m not talking the tiny ones – these
sounded like MORTARS!) Glad I don’t have any pets
that would be freaking at the sounds.




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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. lovely recipes ! Have a great 4th.

  2. As I said before poor Brandy has been panting herself to death. Cindy said it won’t get any better for a while because the fireworks go to 75% off now.

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