Tuesday, June 30

Recipes for Fourth of July

Celebrate our country with classic American comfort food and fresh summer recipes

Recipes for 4th of July

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays of the year. We always go up to Lake Sylvan, Minnesota, to spend time with my husband's side of the family. It's a trip that we look forward to every year and one of our favorite places to visit. Our days are spent boating, swimming, eating, drinking, and relaxing. I love coming in from a long day in the sun to sit around the table with the family for a good meal, followed by a friendly game of cards or dice. My husband and I are in charge of dinner one night and are going to grill up a bunch of steaks with homemade steak sauce and a big dish of mac and cheese. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate America and have suggested some additional recipes below to make your celebration just as special.

P.S. Follow my Pinterest board for even more ideas!

Fourth of July Recipes:
  • Grilled Beer Brats - Classic beer-braised brats are finished on a hot grill and served on toasted buns with sautéed peppers and onions and the condiments of your choice.
  • Herbed Potato Salad - This mayo-free version is light and tangy with a ton of fresh greens herbs.
  • BBQ Tri Tip Sandwiches - Grill up a big piece of tri tip over the weekend and turn leftovers into delicious BBQ sandwiches the next day.
  • Homemade Lemonade - The perfect drink to quench your thirst from a hot day in the sun. Kids will love it, and adults will love it if you put booze in it.
  • Nectarine & Blackberry Pie - A free-form galette that showcases all the best summer fruits. Serve it with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, June 22

Pineapple Margaritas

A sweet and tropical spin on a margarita cocktail

Pineapple Margaritas

I've gotten to be much more of a wine drinker in recent years, a big departure from my cocktail-loving early twenties where a night out wasn't complete without vodka. I still love to try specialty drinks at fancy bars and restaurants, but when I entertain at home it's usually wine, beer, and spontaneous Fireball shots. The exception is margaritas - they are so easy to make and I like the fresh homemade versions much better than the sweet-and-sour mix ones you find at most Mexican restaurants. I've been tweaking this pineapple margarita recipe since Cinco de Mayo and have settled on my ideal balance of sweet, sour, and boozy. This margarita is sweeter than the classic due to the pineapple juice, but still has some sour thanks to the fresh lime. I like to serve it with a salt and sugar rim, which looks impressive but couldn't be easier to do. Make a pitcher for your next party and your guests will go crazy!

More Cocktail Recipes:
- Grapefruit Tequila Palomas
- Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas
- Pineapple Mango Rum Slushie

Pineapple Margaritas:
  • Combine 1 c. freshly-squeezed lime juice, 2 c. pineapple juice, 1 c. tequila blanco, and 1 c. triple sec in a pitcher.
  • Refrigerate until cold.
  • Meanwhile, combine 2 tbsp. white sugar with 2 tbsp. kosher salt in a shallow bowl or plate.
  • Wipe a wedge of lime on the rim of 4 glasses and immediately dip the wet rims in the sugar-salt mixture.
  • Fill the glasses with ice and carefully pour in the margaritas. Garnish each glass with a wedge of pineapple if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves four

Thursday, June 18

Tacuba Style Chicken Enchiladas

Decadent chicken enchiladas in a luscious poblano cream sauce

Rick Bayless Enchildas Especiales Tacuba Style

I usually make enchiladas out of store-bought salsa verde and leftover rotisserie chicken for weeknight-friendly entertaining, but these tacuba style enchiladas from Rick Bayless are worthy of a Sunday night dinner or special occasion. The star of the dish is the poblano cream sauce, which is basically a rich bechamel that's blended with spinach, garlic, and roasted poblano peppers. Some of the sauce gets tossed with shredded chicken to form the filling and the remaining amount gets poured on top of the enchiladas. If that's not decadent enough, the top is sprinkled with grated cheese before baking in the oven until bubbling. These are the best enchiladas I've ever eaten and my husband can't stop talking about them!

More Enchilada Recipes:
- Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
- Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Enchiladas
- Shrimp Enchiladas

Tacuba Style Chicken Enchiladas with Poblano Cream Sauce:
- 12 corn tortillas
- 3 c. cooked, shredded chicken (about 3 cooked chicken breasts or a small rotisserie chicken)
- 2 c. milk
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 1 c. grated cheese, such as Monterey Jack
- 1 c. baby spinach
- 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 6 tbsp. butter
- 2 poblano peppers
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- canola oil, for brushing tortillas
- kosher salt
- black pepper

  • Roast the poblano peppers on a gas flame, under the broiler, or on the grill for 5-10 minutes, or until skin are blackened all over. Seal in a plastic bag and let steam for 10 minutes, then rub off the skin, discard the stems and seeds, and rough chop.
  • Place the peppers in a blender or food processor with the spinach and quickly puree.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a sauce pot over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then whisk in the flour, stirring constantly so there are no lumps, for a minute or two.
  • Combine the milk and chicken broth and microwave until warm. Slowly add the mixture to the sauce pot, stirring so there are no lumps.
  • Add 1 1/2 tbsp. salt and a pinch of pepper and lower the heat to a simmer. Stir for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Pour the sauce into the blender with the poblano mixture and puree until smooth. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Heat the oven to 350F.
  • Combine 1 c. sauce with the the chicken in a bowl and set aside. Pour 1 c. sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.
  • Brush the tortillas with oil and lay on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 2 minutes, or until warm.
  • Working one at a time, fill a tortilla with some of the chicken and roll up tightly. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  • Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is starting to brown.
  • Let cool slightly, then divide onto plates and eat.

Serves four-six