Tomorrow is the 4th of July, and I am wondering where the heck the first half of 2013 has gone.  Geez Louise.

Just in case you are feeling a little behind the eight ball too, I figured I’d share a few last minute Independence Day recipes with you.

I hope you will have a safe and happy holiday, celebrating with friends and family.

beet hummus

Beet Hummus

Preheat oven to 400°

2 large or 3 small beets, rinsed and wrapped in aluminum foil

1 can garbanzo beans, drain about 1/4 of the brine off into a bowl, then drain and rinse the beans

3- 4  cloves garlic

pinch red pepper flakes

juice of a lemon

2 T tahini (sesame paste)

olive oil, salt and pepper

Roast wrapped beets on a sheet pan until they are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.  It takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets.  Then, carefully unwrap the beets and let them cool.  Use your thumbs to nudge the skins off of the beets and cut them into chunks.  Place beets, brine from the beans, and all other ingredients (except olive oil) in a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  Then, scrape down the sides of the machine and whir the ingredients while drizzle in a couple tablespoons of oil.  Stop and taste.  Adjust seasoning to your liking.  Then, add a tablespoon or so of water at a time to thin the hummus to your desired consistency.

Serve this bright red, yummy hummus alongside some pretty light green cucumbers for an eye-catching appetizer.

roasted potato salad

We are going to make Ridiculous Potato Salad for the 4th, because it’s just too good not to.  This potato salad has been known to change lives.  And if you make it once for an occasion, expect to be heckled and chided if you do not make it a repeat performance.

Ridiculous Potato Salad

Preheat your oven to 475°.

1 1/2 lbs new potatoes, rinsed and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/4 Cup olive oil

Place potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and be sure the potatoes are covered by a couple of inches.  Bring your pot to a boil and then let the potatoes cook about 7 – 10 minutes, until they are just tender.  Then, drain the potatoes into a colander and heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium high.

Transfer the potatoes carefully to the skillet of hot oil.  Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat the potatoes well.  Then, transfer the pan to the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes, at which point, you will turn the potatoes and continue to roast them another 15 – 30 minutes- tossing occasionally, until they are crisp and brown.  While the potatoes are cooking, you have time to make your dressing.

For the dressing:

1/2 Cup mayonnaise

1 t whole grain mustard

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 rib celery, diced small

several sprigs dill- about a Tablespoon, chopped

2 green stalks of spring onion, chopped

splash of red wine vinegar

drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine your ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  When the potatoes are finished, pull them out of the oven and let them cool slightly.  (Try not to eat them all while they cool.)  When they’re not steaming anymore, go ahead and toss the potatoes in your dressing.

pots in bowl with dressing

You can totally serve the salad warm like this, or you can chill it for a while and let those flavors mingle…

Feel free to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe.  People scarf this salad down with a quickness.

cucumber salad

Cucumber Salad– We are also making this easy side dish to accompany burgers and dogs for the 4th.

2 Georgia cucumbers, rinsed well and striped with a vegetable peeler, sliced into thick rounds

1 container grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

1/2 Vidalia onion or one small fresh onion, sliced very thinly

3 radishes, sliced into half moons (optional)

5 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped off the stems


3 T red wine vinegar

a good squeeze of honey or 1 t sugar

couple good pinches salt and pepper

olive oil

Combine vinegar, honey or sugar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Slowly drizzle in a few tablespoons of olive oil while whisking vigorously.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  I like it to be pretty tangy- but add more sweetness if you prefer.

Toss cukes, tomatoes, et al in the dressing and allow it to sit for several hours.  I like to do this in a shallow dish or plastic container so that there’s plenty of surface area for the veggies/ tomatoes to sit in the dressing.  Toss the salad a few times during its soak, so all the components get thoroughly flavored.


And, if you’ve got your hands on some beautiful blueberries, here’s a non-traditional cobbler recipe to beat all cobblers in the Universe.  This is my Aunt Fran’s recipe and it is a winner.

Aunt Fran’s Heavenly Blueberry Cobbler

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray pyrex pie pan with nonstick spray.

To make the dough, mix the dry ingredients.

1 C flour

½ C sugar

1 t baking powder

¼ t salt

In another bowl, mix:

¼ C butter melted (half stick)

1 egg

1 t vanilla extract

For the berries, toss in a bowl:

3 generous C fresh, washed blueberries

¼ C sugar

¼ t cinnamon

**You will need 1 T butter to dot the top of the cobbler before baking.**


Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Pour in the wet mixture.  Stir to combine.

Pour the dough into the greased pie pan and pat it out.

Pour the berries on top of the dough.  Dot the top with 1 T butter.

Bake uncovered with a pan underneath it to catch any drippings for 45 – 50 minutes.

Serve warm.  Of course, it is even more delicious when served with vanilla ice cream.

Try with any combination of your favorite berries or fruit.


Happy Fourth of July to alllllllllllll of you!

fourth of july

Happy cooking and eating and floating and eating and laughing and eating and hugging and eating and ooohing and ahhhing at the fireworks!







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  1. […] was a lot like our Ridiculous Potato Salad, but without the pan-roasting part, which takes a lot of time, pans, and sweat.  (The result is […]


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