Appetizer – Bacon Stuffed Jalapeno

One of the best grilled appetizers is bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers. THIS CAN ALSO BE BROILED IN THE OVEN

This recipe is so easy to make and it only consist of 3 ingredients; fresh jalapenos peppers, cream cheese, and bacon.  The jalapeno peppers are first sliced in half then seeded, stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled.

Ingredients:
6 fresh jalapeno peppers (halved lengthwise and seeded)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
12 slices bacon

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Pre-heat an outdoor grill to high heat. OR BROIL in OVEN on HIGH

Spread the cream cheese into the jalapeno halves. Wrap bacon around the stuffed jalapenos and secure with a toothpick.

Step 2: Place onto the grill and cook until the bacon is crispy.
(Makes 6 Servings)

Patriotic Party Ideas and Menu

To me a theme makes the party so much more enjoyable for you and your guests.  Here are 10 ideas for your next patriotic themed party.

The first things guests usually grab is a drink when they arrive at your celebration, so in the drink category we have a recipe that can be either Virgin or Laced with a little Liquor for a kick.

patriotic drink

1)  Place a few strawberries, blueberries and chunks of pineapple in a glass.

2)  Muddle the fruit by mashing it with a wooden spoon or muddler (which is a fancy word for cut it or mash it a little so the flavor is released). THIS PART MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

3) Toss in some ice cubes and bits of the aforementioned fruits.

4) Pour in a favorite ginger ale or lemon lime soda.  (Add a shot of White Rum, Vodka, Gin or Tequila for that kick)

You can always go with a simply stand by of Lemonade served with some sliced strawberries and Blue Berries

patriotic lemonade

Next is the presentation!  There are really SO MANY things you can do with mason jars, I highly recommend you have one case of them stored in your home, they are VERY versatile and pretty in expensive.  For this we are going to make them our drink glasses.  GREAT for the environment instead of using those plastic cups.  To help everyone keep straight whose drink belongs to who try this trick.  Simply little key tags, you can buy these almost anywhere and red white and blue pony tail holders.  Again these are great to keep on hand and change up the glass themes.  Decorate the key tags and attach them to the pony tail holder then secure then on the neck of the glass,  Add Colorful Paper straws and WALLA a fun colorful accessory to your party, again it also protects the environment

patriotic drink glass idea

patriotic-glasses

Here is one other quick mason jar idea, this idea adds in the table setting and again is environmentally friendly.  In the mason jars include a colored bandanna for a napkin and the utensils.

OK Next we need some apps while wewait for our meal, snacky things sitting around for munching.

mason jar tble setting

Lets start with something easy, Patriotic Popcorn

Patriotic Popcorn

You will need:

1 bag of white candy meltsPatriotic Popcorn
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 bag white popcorn
patriotic sprinkles
red M&M’s

Combine cereal, pretzels, and popped popcorn in a large bowl.  Make sure you separate the popcorn from the unpopped kernels before pouring into the bowl.  Melt your candy melts and pour over mixture.  Stir gently until evenly coated.  Spread out onto a foil lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles and M&M’s.  Do not stir the sprinkles and M&M’s into the mixture or you will have white sprinkles and M&M’s.  Let cool then break apart.  To keep fresh, place in a gallon size Ziploc bag or store in a sealed container.

patriotic ptretzels

Firecracker pretzels

One bag large sized pretzels
1 tray Vanilla CandiQuik Coating
red, white and blue sprinkles

Melt CandiQuik according to package directions. Quickly dip pretzels or marshmallows in CandiQuik and place on parchment paper. Let CandiQuik set for one minute then sprinkle with sprinkles.

OK we need one last snack to serve.

Stuffed Cocktail Tomatoes

20 cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb bacon (cooked and crumbled)patriotic tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (snipped or dried)
Directions:

Cut a thin slice off of each tomato top.

Scoop out the insides and drain upside-down on a paper towel.

In a small bowl combine all other ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the tomatoes.

Chill and serve.

OK Next lets move on to the Meal

Let’s start with an easy little salad

patriotic watermelonfeta blue berry-flag

Flag Salad

This is really simply it is simply the following ingredients cubed

Feta Cheese or any white cheese you prefer

Watermelon, seeds removed

Blue Berries

(Alternatives could be tomatoes or raspberries)

For a fruity addition to dinner simply cut watermelon into wedges and use popscicle sticks or tongue depressors to eat them on

Watermelon Popsicle patriotic watermelon

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

Yes there are Blue Potatoes too,  This recipe is VERY simple, and if you cannot find the blue potatoes it is still great with red and white potatoes served in a blue bowl.patriotic potato salad

This is a German-style potato salad. That means it gets its great flavor from herbs and vinegar instead of mayo, make it easier to bring along and safe to make ahead, even on the hottest days. Two things to note about this recipe: (1) you’ll want to bake or microwave the potatoes instead of boiling them, which will help them retain their color. And (2) even if you cook the potatoes ahead of time, you’ll want to “dress” them with the vinegar while their warm, so they absorb more flavor.

Simply add some diced Garlic, onions, bell peppers and ham (Omit the ham for a vegan delight) make it exciting, and a touch of walnut oil and your choice of sherry or white balsamic vinegar round it out to perfection. We promise you’ve never had a potato salad quite like this, and each bite will feel like a celebration of flavor in your mouth!

Patriotic Taco Salad

Serve with Red, White and Blue Tortilla Chips

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped

patriotic taco salad1-1/2 cups water

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 envelope taco seasoning
6 cups tortilla or corn chips
4 to 5 cups shredded lettuce
9 to 10 pitted large olives, sliced lengthwise
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Place chips in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish. Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.

OK on to a main course now

These chicken Kabobs are really VERY simple.

Chicken Kabob Blasts

patriotic chicken kabobSome cubed chicken

Cherry Tomatoes

White Onion (White Potatoes will work if you are using purple onions below.

Blue Potato -Purple Onion will also give you the color you want)

You can grill them or bake them at 375

When they are done simple drizzle a mixture of Olive Oil (Extra Virgin), garlic, salt and pepper or what ever flavors your prefer

You can not get more patriotic than hot dogs so how about simply grilling some hot dogs and serving them with some colorful toppings.

hot dog grilledHot Dogs Patriotic Style

Simply serve your hot dogs with the following toppings

Purple Onions, White Corn Salsa and Red Bell Peppers

White Corn Salsa Recipepatriotic corn salsa

Strip the kernels from 2-3 ears of white corn into a large bowl, add a half cup or more of diced onion, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Uncover and add diced jalapeno pepper,  one half cup or more of diced red pepper. A sprinkling of salt, some chopped cilantro if you wish, and the juice of a small lime or lemon (or try a few tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar instead) complete the salsa. Mix well and chill.

And of Course deserts

Popcorn Cake

This would also work using Rice Crispies

1 package (16 ounces) miniature marshmallows
20 caramels
patriotic popcorn or rice crispy cake1/4 cup butter, cubed
10 cups popped popcorn
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup red, white and blue milk chocolate M&M’s

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the marshmallows, caramels and butter. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 minutes or until melted, stirring occasionally. Place the popcorn in a large bowl; pour caramel mixture over popcorn and mix well.
Stir in peanuts and M&M’s. Press into a well-greased 10-in. tube pan. Cool until firm. Remove from pan; cut with a serrated knife

Red White and Blue Ice Cream Sandwich

Simply cut regular Ice Cream Sandwiches in half

Roll in colored (Red, White and Blue) Sprinklespatriotic ice cream sandwich

Insert Popsicle stick and Walla Dessert!

This would also work as an Ice Cream Sandwich Bar

Supply the Popsicle Sticks

Patriotic Sprinkles

Chopped, Strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, Black berries

Chocolate chips etc

And let your guests create their own delectable dessert.

Looking for more patriotic Dessert Ideas?

Well there you have it you Patriotic Menu, everything you will need to Celebrate with your Red White and Blue Theme.

Dessert – 10 Amazing Patriotic Desserts- Many No-Cook Recipes

flag cake balls

What a great idea for simple cake balls, it is all in how they are arranged

patriotic pie

Yum M and M’s Cream Cheese and Pie, Check out this recipe 

patriotic pop cupHome Made Popsicle s, easy and fun

straw 2

Simple strawberries Hulled and filled with whipped cream and a Blueberry

strawberries

Simple Strawberries dipped in icing and colored sugar.

cake

Red, White and Blue Cake Recipe 

cupcakes one

It is all in how you arrange simple colored cupcakes,  This makes the American Flag

patriotic cupcakes fruit

More simple icing and some blueberries and strawberries, light, fresh and patriotic

fruit kabobs

How about Fruit KaBobs?  Just takes a little Marshmallow and Strawberries and Blue Berries

layered jello

Layered Jello always LOOKS amazing if you have the patience to make it look even, I never could manage this trick.

Well those are our Top 10 Patriotic Desserts, I hope you find one to Adorn your table and Enjoy at your Holiday Party!

Looking for an entire Meal for the holiday?  Check this out!

Be Safe!  Drink Responsibly

Dessert – Cranberry Up-side Down Cake

cranberry upside down cakeIngredients:
Topping:
• Non-stick cooking spray
• 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 8 oz. fresh or frozen, thawed, cranberries (I used fresh)

Cake:
• 1 1/2 cups flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°.

For topping, lightly spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Heat brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into cake pan, tilting pan to coat bottom evenly. Arrange cranberries evenly over sugar mixture to cover entire bottom of the pan.

For the cake, mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Pour sugar and 1/2 cup butter in another bowl and mix until well blended and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. (Be sure to save the egg whites for later.) Add in vanilla. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with milk.

Mix egg whites with a whisk. Add egg whites into the batter. Pour the batter over the cranberries, spreading evenly.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan. When cake has cooled, use a thin spatula to loosen cake from the pan and then invert the cake into a large plate.

Side Dish – Mac and Cheese Bites

Mac and Cheese Bites

macandcheese

Makes: 36+ bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes + 10 minutes cool time
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
16 ounces elbow noodles
2 cups butter cracker crumbs (Ritz)
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (5.2 ounce) package Boursin garlic herb cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the box directions until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.  Drain.  Meanwhile, lightly grease several standard muffin tins with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and the melted butter with a fork.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into the bottom of each tin and press down with a fork or the bottom of a small glass.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large mixing bowl with the remaining cheese, boursin, and cold butter.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, and sour cream whisking to combine.  Add the liquid mixture to the pasta.  Stir in the salt and garlic powder.  Mix well.
  4. Divide the noodle mixture between the prepared muffin tins.  Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool in the tins at least 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Serve immediately.

Dessert – Chocolate Bar Cake

choc bar cakeBest Yellow Birthday Cake with Chocolate Icing

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Chocolate Icing

  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch; packed
  • 7 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 7 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanillachoc bar cake 2

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of two 8-inch round pans. Spray each of the pans with cooking spray and place parchment in the pans and spray the paper.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or other large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a cup glass measuring cup, then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1-1/3 cups. (Make sure this measurement is accurate as they are very close to each other.)
  • Add the milk mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixtu3 and beat on medium-high for two minutes. Add the eggs and beat another two minutes. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake cake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the pans edge to loosen cakes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
  • For the icing, in a large 10-12″ sauce pan, combine, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, 1 Tablespoon butter and salt. Pour 1-1/2 cups boiling water into pan and begin whisking.
  • Turn on med-low flame and continue to whisk until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in remaining 6 Tablespoons of butter and vanilla.
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely. This icing thickens as it cools as does best in the refrigerator when firming up.

Breakfast – On the Go Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffins

bacon muffins

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Muffins

Prep Time: 5 mins  Cooking Time: 20 to 25 mins

Ingredients:
1 package biscuit dough (10 biscuits)
3 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup of shredded cheddar
4 slices bacon (we used turkey bacon and veggie bacon)
salt and pepper

Cook the bacon in a pan or in the oven until it’s almost done. Chop into small bits and set aside. (Note: if using veggie bacon do not cook it ahead – simply defrosted it and chopped it up.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together eggs and milk, a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper to taste and set aside. Meanwhile, roll out each biscuit until it’s slightly bigger than the circumference of your muffin tin. Grease the muffin tin with cooking spray and push one biscuit into each muffin cup being sure to push it all the way down and to the sides. Leave the ridge hanging over the edge. Divide the cheese evenly in each of the biscuit cups and then pour egg in, filling each cup only 1/2 way. They will look empty but resist the urge to top them off. You must account for the biscuits puffing up – otherwise you’ll have a mess on your hands. Sprinkle bacon atop of the egg and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden and eggs are set. Use a butter knife to loosen each muffin and serve warm.

Note: if your egg does overflow, just let it bake the rest of the way and then remove the extra egg when you are loosening the muffins. They’ll still taste terrific.

– See more at: http://www.cookingwithmykid.com/recipes/bacon-egg-cheese-biscuit-muffins-veggie-option/#sthash.wJ21HRRN.dpuf

Main Course – Cheesy Enchiladas (Vegetarian)

enchilada

Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins | Active Time: 50 mins | Makes: 24 enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

  • Chile Gravy or Enchilada Sauce
  • 3 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces)
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Evenly coat the bottom of two 13-by-9-inch baking dishes with 1 cup of the gravy each. Mix the cheeses together in a large bowl until evenly combined, and line a baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, about 5 minutes. Test the oil temperature by carefully dipping the edge of a tortilla in the oil—it should bubble vigorously. Once the oil is hot, use a metal spatula to carefully submerge the tortillas one at a time until bubbles form around each, about 5 to 10 seconds. Flip and fry an additional 5 seconds or until the edges of each tortilla are slightly crisp but not browned. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, separating the layers with paper towels.
  3. Blot the tortillas with paper towels to soak up any excess oil, then fill each with 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture and 2 teaspoons onion. Roll to enclose the filling and set the tortillas in the baking dishes, seam side down, placing 12 enchiladas in each dish. Evenly distribute the remaining 1 cup gravy over both baking dishes and top with the remaining 2 1/2 cups cheese.
  4. Bake until the enchiladas are hot and bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Dessert – Turtle Cheesecake Bars

turtle cheesecake

Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Packaged right these would be GREAT Gifts for the Holidays

Turtle Cheesecake
Crust
3 cups finely chopped pecans
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Filling
24 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 11-oz bag caramel candy, unwrapped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons milk, divided

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper, so that parchment extends over long side of pan.
In a bowl, mix crust ingredients together with a fork; press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
Bake crust for 20 minutes; while crust bakes, prepare filling.
Cream together cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
After crust bakes, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Pour filling over chocolate chips and return to oven; bake for 50 minutes.
Allow cheesecake to cool for about hour, then place in refrigerator to chill overnight.
When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from pan using parchment paper and place on serving platter, then prepare toppings:
Toast pecans in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl, along with 4 tablespoons milk.
Microwave in 30 second intervals until caramels have melted and sauce is smooth.
Pour caramel sauce over cheesecake and immediately sprinkle on toasted and chopped pecans.
Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, along with 2 tablespoons milk, and microwave in 30 second intervals, about 2 minutes total.
Stir until smooth and drizzle over caramel-pecan topping.
Allow chocolate to set before serving.

Main Course – Easy Stromboli

easy stromboli

This isn’t exactly a healthy recipe, but it is yummy and one that the family loves – though I’m sure I don’t make it for them as often as they like. To try and keep this recipe on the healthier side choose real, but lower calorie cheeses and more natural lunch-type meats without added preservatives, coloring’s, phosphates, etc. They will cost a little more, but it’s worth it. If you have children, this is a fun one (and less messy one) to let them help with!

Stromboli

  • Pre-made Pizza Dough
  • Cheese (Try: Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella) (6-8 oz)
  • Meat (Try: Ham, Hard Salami, Turkey) (6-8 oz)
  • 1 Beaten Egg Yolk
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Parsley

Note: I make two of these to feed my family and there is usually enough left for lunch for the kids the following day.

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375ᵒ. Get out your dough. If you are able to make your own dough that’s fantastic, but store bought is fine for this. Roll out your dough into a rectangular shape. Put a layer of meat over the entire surface, leaving about an inch of dough showing all the ends and maybe 1/2 an inch at the long sides. Put a layer of cheese over the meat, again leaving room all the way around.

Sprinkle a fine layer of each garlic powder, oregano and parsley, over the cheese.

Roll it up starting at one of the shorter ends. Pinch the ends closed and place it on an oiled baking sheet seam down. Use a brush to paint the entire exposed surface with the egg yolk. Sprinkle a little cheese and seasoning over the top and bake at 375ᵒ for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown all over. Let stand a few minutes before cutting to serve.

For a twist add a marinara sauce or greek yogurt ranch to dip it in!