Fourth of July

sansabi.jpg There was a time when I CRAVED greens. I mean it.  CRAVED ‘em. Lambs tongue (mache) arugula, romaine, and kale (which I would stem, blanche, squeeze dry and then sauté in olive oil and garlic). Evan Kleiman has a terrific soup recipe that uses escarole and you can find it in the archives right here at One for the Table.

I used to eat salads all the time and for the life of me I wish those days would come back. But, you know the old saying; “A pickle can never become a cucumber again.”

I’m convinced it’s the secret to staying slim, even if you use decadent dressings.  Recently, I ate at Wabi Sabi on Abbot Kinney in Venice. They served an amazing salad there, which was actually a side to a scallop dish. It was a simple arugula with walnuts and goat cheese, but the dressing was completely unique. They were kind enough to give me the recipe. 

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Fourth of July CakeThis recipe is actually Ina Garten's recipe for her 4th of July Flag cake. It is one of the BEST tasting cakes and frostings out there.

It was my intention to make this into a flag cake but at the last minute could not find my large star tip for my pastry bag to make the stripes and stars so I improvised and just decorated the cake as is.  It turned out beautiful.

If you are having a large gathering this summer make this amazing cake, you can decorate it with anything you like and it feeds an army.

All my fruit came from local farm stands so it was extra delicious. Happy summer entertaining!

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smores-recipe-campfireCAMPFIRE MARTINI

3 parts Three Olives S'mores Vodka
Crushed graham crackers
Chocolate syrup
Marshmallows

Dip the rim of martini glass in chocolate syrup and coat with crushed graham crackers.

Pour Three Olives S'mores into martini shaker filled with ice.

Shake and strain into martini glass.

Garnish with a skewer of three toasted marshmallows!

 

roman candleROMAN CANDLE

3 oz. Three Olives Berry Vodka
1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice
Dash of Grenadine
1⁄2 oz. Blue Curacao

Shake vodka, cranberry juice and grenadine in a shaker with ice.

Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Pour blue curacao gently down the side of the glass so it settles on the bottom.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

 

- Recipes courtesy of Three Olives Vodka and Maestro Dobel Tequila

patrioticpotatoes.jpgGenerally I'm not one for "themed" food. But a girl's gotta have some fun. So for the 4th of July, I'd like to share a patriotic potato salad made with three kinds of spuds: old fashioned white russet, delicate red-skinned taters, and sassy All-Blue potatoes (which are sometimes labeled purple Peruvian).

This potato salad is just kitschy enough without being tacky. Though I recommend using red-white-and-blue checkered cloths, I don't think sticking sparklers or miniature American flags in the potatoes is necessary.

The potatoes you see here are called All-Blues. They are slightly starchier but the same color as purple Peruvians, which are technically fingerling potatoes -- smaller, thinner potatoes. Apparently, both get their brilliant color from iron. The color will fade when cooked, but try this trick to minimize the fading: add a couple of splashes of white vinegar to the cooking water.

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flagtrifleThe Fourth of July—or Independence Day as it is more officially known—has always been a celebratory day in my family. It's partly because my birthday is on the 2nd and the local Barnum Parade always takes place around that date. As a kid I remember getting up early and excitedly readying myself for the party and parade. My cousins would come over and we would spread a blanket on the sidewalk to watch the parade. My mother would stay home to prepare fried chicken and potato salad. My dad would grill hamburgers and hot dogs once we got back. And of course the celebration always ended with a great big birthday cake.



For me any celebration, party, or simple gathering cannot end properly without dessert. Dessert may come last in the succession of a meal, but it should never be considered the least important. Even after filling our bellies to the brim with wonderful food, there's always room for dessert. A sweet concoction like cake or ice cream is the ideal ending to an old-fashioned backyard barbecue. You don't want something heavy, but also not something too light. Still it should be rich yet refreshing.

I always take the opportunity to make a special dessert for a special occasion, such as this flag cake.



This recipe is a twist on trifle, the classic British no-bake dessert, but assembled like an Italian tiramisu. What could be funnier on a day that celebrates independence from Britain? I can't help but think about all the different cakes I ate every single birthday. This one is probably the most festive.

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