|It's 4th of July EVE!!!!|
Today, the fireworks are starting here in Judiland.
From this moment forward, it's going to all-party, all-the-time.
Until the sun goes down on Sunday July 7.
Well, except for when I have to go to work today.
But, let's not bother our pretty little heads about a thing called WORK.
Now that I'm safely tucked back into Judiland--after a whirlwind, exhausting but oh-so-fun little road trip that I will tell you about later---it's time to put on my party shoes and get this party started.
Of course, no 4 day weekend party is without it's prepare-till-you-drop and cook-till-you-can't-cook-no-more way of life. Which is exactly what has been happening here since my key went into the door when we returned home from our trip.
No. No. No. It all started even before that......
If truth be told--I plotted and planned and made lists and more lists as we drove the highways and biways home. Thank God for my GPS. I didn't have the presence of mind to figure out directions.
I was completely consumed by recipes and cocktails and red, white and blue linens and dishes and platters and clean bathrooms and having enough guest towels and schedules and fashions and.....so, yeah, you get the picture.
Anyway, just in case you haven't planned your Independence Day menus and you are looking for a few sizzling recipes to fire-cracker-up your weekend, I'm sharing just a few of the things that will be hitting the tables here this 4th of July Weekend!
Here ya go.....all of them are taste tested and loved!
Plus, most of them won't have you even breaking a sweat!
Tomato Watermelon Salad .....trust me on this one.....it is a pretty, pretty salad and it is just outstanding! And, it screams SUMMER! You better trust me on this one....no matter how odd the combo sounds!
Grilled Corn Salsa.......hey, I've had people ask if they could drink the dressing that was left in the bottom of the bowl. It's that yummy! I've yet to pour it into a martini glass with a splash of gin or vodka or tequila. But, hey....it might be pretty good. Let me know if you happen to do that....
Grilled Fennel Salad.....OMG! OMG! OMG! This is a recipe to die for. Forgive me if I shared this recently (I don't remember if I did or not!) but it's so so so good, I want to make sure you don't pass this one up! It's impressive and pretty and delish....just like everything from the Proud Italian Cook.
Penne with Brown Butter, Arugula and Pine Nuts. Okay, okay....for those of who are avid Food Network watchers, you may have seen Giada make this about a week or so ago. At the time, I had a bag of arugula in my fridge that needed to be used. And, since I had all the other ingredients, I figured why not? We had a few last minute mildly hung over sorority girl house guests that I needed to feed on a hot and steamy Sunday. So, I whipped it up and served it room temp with some marinated chicken on the grill. This dish was the HIT of the mid day meal and evidently cured their hang overs. Those sorority girls were tweeting about it! So, yeah, this recipe is so good it cures hangovers and it's TWEET WORTHY!
Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs. A few years back, my spirited gal pals and I hosted a luau going away party for a friend who was moving to Atlanta. Not sure why we chose a luau when she was moving to Atlanta but oh well....maybe we wanted to wear coconut bras and grass skirts. Anyway, not having an arsenal of Hawaiian recipes in my bag of tricks, I dug up this recipe and without any taste testing, I threw it into the menu. Thankfully, it didn't ruin my reputation for being a good menu planner. I even got extra leis for it! Since then, I've served it many times and it's always hit. And, it always brings me back to that summer night when a bunch of 50+ year old women did the hula in my backyard in our grass skirts and coconut bras!
Italian Potato Salad with Green Beans and Pancetta. One of my spirited gal pals is hosting a big blow out mega fantastic party this weekend. She demanded that I bring this recipe. As the snow fell outside--way back in the winter--she literally pounded her fist on the bar on one of our girls-nights-out....."YOU HAVE TO MAKE THAT POTATO SALAD FOR MY BIG BLOW OUT MEGA FANTASTIC PARTY IN JULY!"
Me: "What potato salad? What big blow out mega fantastic party in July?" I'm pretty sure this is the one she was referring to.....it's big blow out mega fantastic party worthy.
Fuzzy Melbas. I am using this as a brunch drink this time around. Last time I made these, I guess I decided they would be the perfect summer brunch drink....that's what I wrote in my hardly readable notes in my menu planner (which I must have wrote after I consumed a few of these). Why did I decide it was a perfect summer brunch drink? Because.... well........um....there's peaches in it?.....ah, yeah, let's go with that.
Italian Brunch Casserole Yep, I also had to come up with some breakfast ideas that didn't have me standing at the stove flipping eggs or pancakes like a short order cook. This is make-ahead and hearty and happens to be one of my son the doctor's and my husband the Italian's favorite! Win. Win. Win.
When we aren't eating or drinking any of that, we'll be having hot dogs, hamburgers, my son's home brewed summer beer, a few martinis, lots of this wine, some Mexican food from this place, whatever else is served at my spirited gal pals big blow out mega fantastic party and whatever I pick up at Trader Joe's or at our newest neighborhood supermarket (it's opening TODAY....can't wait to go there tonight!).