The Fourth of July is just around the corner, so it’s time to plan your special holiday gathering. Local communities provide the parades and fireworks and you can provide some great food for your guests. What better time to plan a picnic or potluck to celebrate freedom?
Here are three steps to a fantastic red, white and blue meal:
- 1. Plan ahead and allow plenty of time for preparation. This will cut down on stress and allow you to join in the festivities .
- 2. Keep in local. Visit a local farmers market to find the freshest of ingredients. Whatever you need, remember that Ohio has it all – food, beverages, even flags that are made in the Buckeye State.
3. Search for quick, easy and delicious meals like those below, provided by Jennifer Ruple, Ohio food columnist and blogger at The Someday Cowgirl. Her recipes add a festive and patriotic touch of red, white and blue to accompany any 4th of July grill out.
Jen’s 4th of July Recipes
Cherry and Blueberry Cheesecake Jars
Ignite a star-spangled 4th of July with fruity, creamy cheesecake served in mini canning jars. The eight-ounce size makes them perfect for little fingers and big ones too! Great for picnics – just pop them into the cooler and they’ll stay nice and chilled until it’s time for dessert, if they last that long…
Eight 8-ounce canning jars
Two 3.4-ounce boxes of cheesecake flavored pudding
2 cups cold milk
⅔ cup graham cracker crumbs
⅛ cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Cherry and blueberry pie filling
In a medium bowl, whisk pudding and milk together for two minutes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Spoon even amounts of crumb mixture into canning jars. Add a layer of pudding. Top half the jars with cherry pie filling and the other half with blueberry pie filling.
Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad
Keep it light and healthy with a colorful and tangy fruit salad. A coating of this sweet and tart dressing enhances the salad by helping to keep the apples from browning, and the fresh mint adds a burst of cool to the fruit.
1 pound strawberries, sliced
6 ounces blueberries
3 cups watermelon, cubed
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.
In a large bowl, add fruit and dressing. Stir gently to combine. Chill until serving.
Iced Fruit Cubes
Keep your beverages chilled with iced fruit cubes. Fill ice cube trays with an assortment of fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – any combo will do. Freeze, and then add to individual water glasses. The fruit not only looks pretty, but it adds a nice infusion of berry flavor into your H20.
Need more recipes? Find it here at OhioProud.
To plan your road trip, go to Ohio.org.
Wishing everyone a fun holiday with family and friends!
All recipes and photos courtesy of Jennifer Ruble, the Someday Cowgirl.