Posts Tagged ‘4th of July’

Tasteful Tuesday: 4th of July Favorites

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

This week we have rounded up some variations of favorite recipes for your 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Since you’ll likely be on the go and socializing with friends and family, these dishes are easy to serve and easy to eat, and taste just as good the day (or days) after if you find yourself bringing leftovers home. Let us know if you try any of these recipes, and share with us your favorites for celebrating the 4th of July.

Honey Mustard Chicken Sliders - via ShutterbeanSliders
Sliders are an excellent option to have at any party or get-together. They don’t have to be served as a sit-down meal like a hamburger or sandwich, and they pair well with many other dishes that you serve or that your guests bring. We found a chicken slider recipe that is sure to please even the youngest or pickiest eaters at your barbecue. Prepare them just as this recipe instructs, or prepare the chicken the same and set out a variety of toppings for your guests to choose on their own.

Honey Mustard Fried Chicken Sliders – via Shutterbean

Pasta Salad
We can’t go all summer without having one or two different pasta salads – and the 4th of July is a perfect time to debut a new recipe or stick with your favorite. Crisp vegetables, creamy cheeses, flavorful dressings, endless pasta possibilites; it’s nearly impossible to end up with a pasta salad that isn’t delicious. We’ve featured a delectable BLT Pasta Salad recipe here on our blog that showcases our love for the classic BLT sandwich (with chicken), but if you want to stick with just vegetables we have the perfect suggestion for a flawlessly delicious pasta salad.

Colorful Spiral Pasta Salad – via Taste of Home

Pound CakeFor Dessert
There are many excellent red, white and blue themed desserts on various blogs and in cookbooks, but we’ve chosen to stay simple and classic with a pound cake recipe. Pound cakes are relatively versatile as far as toppings go, although for the 4th we recommend using strawberries and/or raspberries with blueberries on top of whipped cream. If you have a family or favorite recipe for whipped cream in your collection, combine it with our Caramel Pound Cake recipe (just skip the icing part) and add the berries last. Or, check out the following recipe for an all-inclusive pound cake with whipped cream.

Berry Pound Cake with Whipped Cream – via Delish; Martha Stewart

Red, White & Blue Sangria - via Noble PigTo Drink
This just may be our favorite category. We’ve featured many great drink recipes to keep you refreshed on a hot summer afternoon and during summer barbecues, and the 4th of July is no exception. Our Lemon Iced Tea and Strawberry Lemonade are perfect for guests of all ages, and complement most summertime barbecue foods. We’ve also compiled a list of three perfect summer coolers for all tastes and ages to add more variety to your beverage cart. We couldn’t forget about a red, white and blue beverage, though, so we found a perfect Sangria recipe that will fit in with your patriotic themed party this weekend. Enjoy!

Red, White & Blue Sangria – via Noble Pig

No Fuss Fourth of July Fruit Salad

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

With the 4th of July right around the corner, many of us are thinking of which red, white, and blue themed recipes we will be making.  And, if you are like me, you want a recipe that is simple to prep, and does not involve too much time in the kitchen.  Less time in prep mode equals more time spent with friends and family on this fun-filled holiday!  To aid you in your search, here is an extremely simple July 4th themed fruit salad for you to make and enjoy:

Bananas, Strawberries and Blueberries, oh MY!What you will need:

Note: this recipe can be scaled up or down to suit your needs

  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • A handful of raspberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bananas, peeled and thickly sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon or orange (optional)
  • 2 tsp. juice of 1 lemon or orange (optional)

To assemble the fruit salad, place all of your prepped fruit in a bowl to fit.  Next, sprinkle the zest and juice on top.  Using a serving spoon or rubber spatula, gently mix the fruit until well coated with the zest and juice.

Remember, it is always a good idea to wash fruit before chopping.  What better way to celebrate summer colors than with this bright colander?  And, when serving your Fourth of July treats this year, or any year, don’t forget to grab themed coasters!

We the People – The US Constitution

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Ben Franklin PrintThe “United States” was in turmoil. The states were hardly united. The Continental Congress printed paper money, which was so depreciated that it ceased to pass as currency, spawning the expression “not worth a continental.” Congress could not levy taxes and could only make requisitions upon the States.

John Adams went to London in 1785 as the first representative of the United States. But he failed to secure a treaty for unrestricted commerce with Britain. Demands were made for favors and there was no assurance that individual states would agree to a treaty. Adams stated it was necessary for the States to confer the power of passing navigation laws to Congress, or that the States themselves pass retaliatory acts against Great Britain. Congress had already requested and failed to get power over navigation laws. Meanwhile, each State acted individually against Great Britain to little effect. When other New England states closed their ports to British shipping, Connecticut hastened to profit by opening its ports.

Political unrest in several states and efforts by debtors to use popular government to erase their debts did not help. The apparent inability of the Congress to redeem debts incurred during the war, or to become a forum for productive cooperation among the states to encourage commerce and economic development, only aggravated a gloomy situation. In 1786-87 Shay’s Rebellion, an uprising of farmers in western Massachusetts against the state court system, threatened the stability of state government.

Ben Franklin PrintMost of Shay’s compatriots were poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes. They attempted to prevent the courts from seizing property from indebted farmers by forcing the closure of courts in western Massachusetts. The rebellion started on August 29, 1786, and by January 1787, over 1000 Shaysites had been arrested. A militia that had been raised as a private army defeated an attack on the federal Springfield Armory by the main Shaysite force on February 3, 1787. There was a lack of an institutional response to the uprising, which energized calls to reevaluate the Articles of Confederation.

The idea of a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation grew in favor. Alexander Hamilton believed a strong government was necessary to avoid foreign intervention and allay the frustrations due to an ineffectual Congress. Hamilton convened the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to petition Congress to call a constitutional convention to meet in Philadelphia to remedy the long-term crisis.

And so, twelve states, Rhode Island being the only exception, accepted this invitation and sent delegates to convene in May 1787. The resolution calling the Convention specified that its purpose was to propose amendments to the Articles, but through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention decided to propose a rewritten Constitution. The Philadelphia Convention decided to draft a new fundamental government design. Article VII of the proposed constitution stipulated that only nine of the thirteen states would have to ratify for the new government to go into effect.

Several ideas in the Constitution were new, and a large number were drawn from the literature of Republicanism in the United States, the experiences of the 13 states, and the British experience with mixed government. The most important influence from the European continent was from Montesquieu, who emphasized the need to have balanced forces pushing against each other to prevent tyranny. British political philosopher John Locke was a major influence, and the due process clause of the Constitution was partly based on common law stretching back to The Magna Carta (1215).

Presidents PrintThe US Constitution was born of two plans. The Virginia Plan was the unofficial agenda for the Convention, and was drafted chiefly by James Madison, considered to be “The Father of the Constitution” for his major contributions. It was weighted toward the interests of the larger states, and proposed among other points:

  • A powerful bicameral legislature with a House and a Senate
  • An executive chosen by the legislature
  • A judiciary, with life-terms of service and vague powers
  • The national legislature would be able to veto state laws

An alternative proposal, William Paterson’s New Jersey Plan, included the following points that countered the previous proposal that favored larger states, among others:

  • A unicameral legislature with all states represented in equal numbers in order to insure fairness
  • An executive branch appointed by the legislature
  • A judicial branch appointed by the executive

Roger Sherman of Connecticut brokered The Great Compromise whereby the House would represent the people, a Senate would represent the states, and electors would elect a president.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was completed. The Convention submitted the Constitution to the Congress of the Confederation, where it received approval according to Article 13 of the Articles of Confederation.

Once the Congress of the Confederation received word of New Hampshire’s ratification, it set a timetable for the start of operations under the new Constitution, and on March 4, 1789, the government began operations.

The United States Constitution is the shortest and oldest written constitution still in use by any nation in the world today.

George Washington PrintBetsy Ross Print