From flamingo cocktails to beach ball pizza, celebrate Fourth of July with coastal flair
On the Texas Gulf Coast, Fourth of July parties are casual and relaxed. All you need are a few festive touches to ready your backyard for a patriotic party. This no-stress menu makes entertaining a crowd easy peasy.
Pink Flamingo Cocktail
1 part vodka
2 parts ruby red grapefruit juice
1 part orange liqueur
Splash lemon juice
Mix vodka, ruby red grapefruit juice, orange liqueur and lemon juice together and pour in a glass over ice. Top with grenadine. Garnish with slices of citrus and maraschino cherries, if desired.
Note: This cocktail is easily multiplied and can be made in big batches. Serve it from a pitcher or drink dispenser at your next party.
3 pounds ground beef
6 teaspoons ketchup
6 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground
3 tablespoons extra virgin
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, sliced into 24 pieces
24 King’s Hawaiian brand bread rolls, split
Bourbon onion jam with bacon, see recipe
In a large bowl, mix together the beef, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 24 equal size patties.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown the patties in oil, about 4 to 6 minutes per side.
Remove from heat and top with a slice of cheese and bourbon onion jam. Sandwich between two halves of a King’s Hawaiian roll and secure with decorative pick.
Bourbon Onion Jam with Bacon
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 slices bacon, chopped
3 Vidalia or sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary,
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
Freshly cracked pepper
In a very large skillet or braising pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
Stir in sugar, rosemary and salt and continue cooking onions until they are very tender and golden.
Add bourbon, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Onion mixture will become thick and dark brown (not burned).
Season with freshly cracked pepper and remove from heat.
Backyard Banana Pudding
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces vanilla wafers
4 large ripe bananas, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
In a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool, stirring occasionally.
In 6 custard cups or ramekins, place a layer of vanilla wafers, add a layer of banana slices and top with pudding. Repeat layers. If making ahead, press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, combine heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until soft peaks form. Spoon on top of puddings and serve.
Slow-roasted Vegetable and Herb Pearl Couscous Salad
1½ pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
2½ cups uncooked pearl
1 cup pitted, roughly chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup finely chopped fresh mint
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
Juice of ½ lemon
5 ounces feta cheese
Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a large, rimmed baking pan with a Silpat mat or parchment paper. Place tomatoes, cut side up, and onion wedges on pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until caramelized, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, bring stock to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add couscous and simmer 6 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand until all of the stock is soaked up, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine olives, chopped herbs, cooled couscous and roasted onions and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and feta cheese. Gently toss to combine. Serve.
Beach Ball Fruit Pizza
1 (16.5-ounce) tube refrigerated sliceable sugar cookies, sliced
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
5 cups assorted fresh fruit
Heat oven to 375 F. Spray a 14-inch metal pizza pan with cooking spray. Arrange cookie dough slices in a single layer on the prepared pan and press together, leaving a 1-inch border. Bake for 14 minutes; cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer until well blended and spread mixture onto cookie crust with an offset spatula. Arrange fruit to resemble the stripes of a beach ball. Refrigerate 2 hours. Serve.
Do-it-yourself Bundt pan Beach Ball Door Décor
This beach ball Bundt pan wreath is a fun, whimsical and easy summer DIY project.
Metal Bundt pan
White spray paint
Craft paint — red, blue, yellow and green
Hot glue gun
Buy a metal Bundt pan from a thrift store or raid your cabinets. Try to select a Bundt pan with a simple pattern that makes it easy to paint equal sections, but any style of pan will work.
Spray paint the Bundt pan white and allow to dry completely. Mentally divide the pan into 8 equal sections. Paint four sections, one each color, alternating with a white section in between. Use painter’s tape if needed.
Let the paint dry completely. Using a hot glue gun, attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the pan. Hang on your door, backyard gate or wall.
Items from The Kitchen Chick, 528 23rd St. Galveston, featured in photos:
• Seafood paper table runner
• Patriotic basket liners
• USA Pan 14-inch pizza pan
• Galveston Island cutting board
• Le Creuset salt and pepper mills in cerise
• Le Creuset pitcher in marine
• Wine2Go silicone wine glasses