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Cute 4th of July Food Ideas & Recipes

Posted by Rae Lynn on 6/11/2014 to Food
Make your Independence Day a little more special and memorable with some of these cute 4th of July food ideas and recipes. For cocktail bites or a backyard buffet, your guests will adore the small extra effort to make your event a lot more fun!

We've included 5 simple patriotic recipes:
  • Watermelon & Provolone Stars
  • Cherry Pepper Poppers
  • Patriotic Berry Cups
  • 
Star-Spangled Sausage Bites
  • Red, White, & Blue Trifle Sparkler
Watermelon & Provolone Stars
  • Just the right combination of sweet and smoky, these tasty fruit and cheese bites are perfect appetizers for a 4th of July celebration. 
  • This healthy, low-calorie option offers a pop of patriotic colors in a fun star shape that is great for guests of all ages. 
  • Don’t forget the American Flag food picks that will keep it all together in one clean bite.
Prep time 15 mins
Total time 15 mins
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 slices of watermelon
  • 5 slices provolone cheese
  • 20 blueberries
  • 10 toothpicks
  • 1 large star cookie cutter
  • 1 small star cookie cutter
Directions
  1. Cut the watermelon into 1-inch thick cross-sectional slices and remove the rinds.
  2. Use large star cookie cutter to cut out watermelon stars.
  3. Set out sliced cheese, and use the small star cookie cutter to cut out stars.
  4. Place cheese stars on top of the larger watermelon stars, thread 2 blueberries onto each toothpick, and skewer the watermelon and cheese pieces together.
Photo and modified from www.whatscookingwithruthie.com

Cherry Pepper Poppers
  • Also called pimento or Peppadew peppers. 
  • These savory veggie bites burst with fresh flavor offset by creamy herbed cheeses that will delight the most discerning palate while pleasing the rest of the crowd too. 
  • Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley and a patriotic food pick for an attractive and delicious hors d’oeuvre.
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 10 mins
Total time 20 mins
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 6-8 fresh cherry peppers 
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup skim-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chives, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh parsely, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Halve and seed cherry peppers lengthwise.
  3. Combine goat cheese and ricotta, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mound the mixture into pepper halves and arrange onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake the stuffed peppers for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese begins to turn golden brown.
  6. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until cheese bubbles.
  7. Top with patriotic American Flag Picks from PartySwizzle.com.
  8. NOTE: Choose any fresh herb to substitute for the basil and/or chives.
Photo and modified from party-wagon.com

Patriotic Berry Cups
  • Individual puff pastry shells filled with Brie cheese and berries lightly tossed in a honey-balsamic glaze make an impression that belies the simplicity of their preparation. 
  • A mouthful of red, white, and blue has never tasted so good.
Bake Time: 8 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Yield: 15 bites

Ingredients
  • 15 phyllo cups
  • 1 Brie cheese round (small)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
Directions
  1. Preheat oven and bake phyllo cups according to package directions. Allow to cool before using.
  2. Cut cheese into cubes, removing outer rind.
  3. Warm honey and vinegar in a pan until approximately 100 degrees F.
  4. Remove mixture from heat and fold in the berries.
  5. Add cheese cubes to the cooled pastry cups, then place glazed berries on the top.
Photo and modified from bluegirlpresents.weebly.com 

Star-Spangled Sausage Bites
  • This cute patriotic spinoff of the classic appetizer is a definite crowd pleaser best served warm. 
  • Skewer the pillowy star puffs to savory sausage bites with thematic food picks and they’ll disappear faster than you can say “More please!” Guaranteed.
Sausage Bites

Cook Time: 5 min
Bake Time: 20 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Yield: 38 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. sausage links
  • 1 puff pastry, thawed
  • 1  egg
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the sausage links into 36 half- inch slices and brown the meat on both sides over medium high heat.
  3. Place sausage slices on cookie sheets, spaced 2-inches apart.
  4. Break egg into small dish and scramble.
  5. Lay out thawed pastry and brush the surface with egg wash.
  6. Cut out 36 stars with a miniature star cookie cutter.
  7. Place pastry stars on top of the sausage bites and secure with a toothpick.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until pastries are golden brown.
Dijon Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions

Mix all ingredients into a serving bowl, stirring until color is even.


Red, White, & Blue Trifle Sparkler
  • For a truly spectacular finish, try out this lovely berry trifle with or without the cake sparklers (but we highly recommend!) 
  • No one will even notice the full serving of fruit all wrapped up in whipped cream and mascarpone perched atop dainty ladyfingers. 
  • We have included directs for a free-standing trifle, but it is equally as scrumptious in an attractive trifle bowl.
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours - overnight
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 5 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch + water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 10 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 24 ladyfingers, broken into chunks
Directions
  1. In a medium pan, mash 2 cups of strawberries (fresh or thawed) with a potato masher until chunky.
  2. Add granulated sugar, lemon juice, salt, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract and bring to a low simmer over medium heat.
  3. In a separate cup or bowl, add just enough cold water to the cornstarch to until it forms a cloudy liquid, stir all of the lumps out of it. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch liquid to the simmering strawberry mixture.
  4. Allow mixture to cook for 3-5 minutes until thickened, then remove from heat and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  5. After the mixture has cooled, stir in the 3 cups of fresh strawberries and mix until well coated.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, blend together mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add whipping cream and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, then beat for about 4 minutes until soft peaks form.
  7. Line the inside of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment cut to rise 1 inch above the side.
  8. Spread half of the ladyfinger pieces along the bottom; then add half of the strawberry filling in another layer; top with half of the whipped mixture, tapping as you go to remove air bubbles. Repeat with remaining ingredients, and place fresh blueberries on top.
  9. Refrigerate assembled trifle for 3 hours, or up to 3 days if tightly covered with plastic. 
  10. To serve, unmold the trifle and peel away parchment, topping with cake sparklers for dazzling effect.
NOTE: The strawberry glaze can be made up to 3 days in advance of putting together the other ingredients. Be sure not to cut the fresh strawberries until just before assembly so they don’t mold!

Photo and modified from www.marthastewart.com

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