Eat. Drink. Love.

4th of July Recipe Roundup

The 4th of July is this Friday and while I would typically have been posting new recipes for you all, our trip kind of messed up my blogging grove! But, that certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t already have a lot of great recipes on this blog that you might find helpful for planning your 4th of July menu!

So one thing I realized while searching recipes is that I really need to get more burger recipes on here, like STAT! Expect to see a few before the summer is over! The other thing I realized is that I have a lot of appetizers, side dishes, desserts, and drink recipes. So given my lack of good BBQ main dishes, this round up is for all of the other stuff! Whether you will be having burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, steaks (or whatever!), I’ve got you covered on apps, sides, desserts, and drinks!

Appetizers:

4th of July Recipe Roundup, Appetizers

Homemade Refried Beans

Homemade Refried Beans

Refried beans. The name always sounds kind of gross to me. And I would say that the majority of the time, they kind of gross me out. Some restaurants make them too…liquidy…or they just lack flavor. At Mexican restaurants, I tend to just ask for extra rice instead or for some black beans.

Then there is the canned stuff. Ugh. First, the sound it makes when you squeeze them out of the can and the way they stay in the shape of the can…ahhhhhh! Can’t even talk about it, it freaks me out. Also, do I really want to eat beans cooked in lard? Yeah, that’s a no. So see, I’ve had a weird relationship with refried beans.

Nibblies

Nibblies

1. Today I wanted to share some of the details from our Florida trip with you all! As I mentioned, we went to Florida to meet up with family to celebrate my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. It was really special and I was so happy to be a part of such an occasion! While we spent a lot of our visit at my mom’s in Orlando, we drove up to my uncle’s house on Amelia Island (near Jacksonville) for the actual celebration. We spent time on the beach and just hanging out with everyone.

2. For the actual celebration, we first went out to a really nice Italian place for dinner. Afterwards, we all went back to my uncle’s house for more celebration fun! My aunt and uncle got a picture of the cake from my grandparent’s wedding and then worked with a pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton on the island to make a replica. This was the final product:

Pina Colada Smoothie

Pina Colada Smoothie

I think my husband and I have officially reached our limit with the cross-country road trips. It must be our old age. We’ve spent three long days on the road and still have a bit more to go today until we get finally get home. It’s been a long month being away and while I already really miss my family, I am so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed and laying on the couch doing nothing. I always feel like I need a vacation from my vacation.

Pina Colada Smoothie

What I really want right now is a huge pitcher of this pina colada smoothie. I want one every day for all of the days. Always and forever. I love a good pina colada, but they are obviously not healthy when made with amazing and delicious coconut cream and lots of sugary pineapple juice. Oh and of course then there is the rum, which means you can’t really drink them whenever you want.

Flashback Friday: Dad’s Potato Salad

Dad's Potato Salad

The 4th is coming up fast and I am still trying to figure out where the month of June has gone. We are finally back on the road this weekend to get back to Arizona. I hate leaving family, but it’s been a long month and we are definitely ready to get back to our routine.

Summer is the season of potato salad and this one is my favorite because it’s my dad’s recipe and he has been making it this way for years. It’s really actually a very simple recipe. I love this potato salad is because, first, it has big chunks of potato. I hate potato salads that have really little chunks of over-cooked potatoes. Not cool. Cooking the potatoes just right is really key to a good potato salad of any kind and I would be totally lying if I said that I never overcooked the potatoes anymore, it’s not easy, so keep a close eye while cooking your potatoes. The other thing I love about this potato salad is that it is not swimming in mayo or dressing. I also despise (yes, despise) over-dressed potato salads. This recipe uses mayo, but you could also swap it out for Greek yogurt or do a combo of the two!

Happy Summer!

Toasty Tomatoes

Toasty Tomatoes

The end of our Florida trip is near. We’re gearing up to head back for the long drive back to Arizona on Friday so this is a quick post so I can get back to family. Side dishes are always tough for me. I always do kale or broccoli, but really have been needing some better ideas. I spotted these toasty tomatoes in a recent issues of Cooking Light and decided that I needed to make them ASAP. I never think of tomatoes as a side dish. They usually just get thrown into a salad. I’m so boring.

First, they are insanely easy. Just mix up the crispy topping and spoon it on top of tomatoes and then broil until perfectly toasty. I always forget just how wonderful tomatoes are and then they become even more wonderful when you put them in the oven. The topping is obviously the best part. It’s crispy, cheesy, garlicky, and lemony. All good things. In about 15 minutes or less, you can have these yummy tomatoes on your table which for me, is the perfect side dish, especially during the week when I am frantically trying to get dinner on the table.

Toasty Tomatoes