Independence Day: The Recipe GuideFriday, July 04, 2008
Independence Day is a great holiday. We can celebrate the birth of our great nation, barbeque some burgers, and set off fireworks all in one night. If you're heading to a party this year, don't show up emptyhanded! Make something easy, festive, and already party approved:
Fruit Topped Cupcakes:
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
Creamy Olive Nut Spread:
This one is a recipe from my big sister in Houston. When she moved into her first apartment over a decade ago, she made this for me and I would snack on it for hours!
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. liquid from olives
dash of ground pepper
1/2 cup ground pecans
1 cup ground green olives
Combine all ingredients and enjoy!
California Couscous Salad:
This one comes from my healthy-eating sister in San Jose. You wouldn't expect to dig into this, but I eat this salad by the bowlful!
1-1/2 cups uncooked couscous (1-10 oz. box)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 tsp. curry
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup thin-sliced green onions
1/4 cup fresh basil
15-1/2 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
Combine first 4 ingredients and pour boiling water over. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and cool. Stir in rest of ingredients.
Combine in a jar and shake up:
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. water
1-1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. thawed orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 crushed garlic cloves
Pour over couscous and toss well to combine. Cover and chill 1 hour.