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Food find: Fourth of July

A red, white and blue snack is easy to make. Simply layer yogurt and colorful berries in a small glass for a festive and healthy treat. (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)1 / 4
Bright red raspberries add a pop of color to Fourth of July-themed foods. (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)2 / 4
Red, white and blue ingredients, such as raspberries, yogurt and blueberries, are an easy way to dress up a dish for Fourth of July. For a sweeter dessert, try using whipped cream or white cake bites instead of yogurt. (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)3 / 4
Blueberries are the perfect "blue" ingredient for Fourth of July treats. (Republican Eagle photo by Danielle Killey)4 / 4

Food is often an important part of Fourth of July celebrations, which often center on picnics or an outdoor meal.

Red, white and blue-themed appetizers and desserts can add a festive touch to the parties. Those can range from simple mixtures, such as berries and ice cream, to complicated layered cakes.

Blueberries and raspberries or strawberries are fun and sweet ingredients to help any dish match the colors of Old Glory. Just layer with ice cream, yogurt, whipped cream or white cake to make the match complete.

Or mix it up with an appetizer of blue corn tortilla chips, salsa and a creamy dip.

Fourth of July also is a time to feature classic summer fare, such as lemonade, grilled meats and corn on the cob.

Here are some recipe ideas to make your Independence Day celebration more festive.

Red, white and blue

Red, white and blueberry coleslaw:

Food Network


1 small or 1/2 large head green cabbage, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips (about 6 cups)

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

6 strips bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)

1/2 cup dried blueberries (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Mix cabbage, onion, bacon, blueberries, mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.

Stir in the pecans and season with salt and pepper just before serving. Sprinkle with reserved bacon, berries and nuts.

Red, white and blue dippers

Food Network


Red Pepper Salsa:

2 red bell peppers

1 ripe tomato on the vine, quartered

1/3 cup piquante peppers, such as peppadew, mild or sweet

1/4 of a large white onion, cut into large chunks

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Creamy Garlic Lime Dip:

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

2 small cloves garlic, finely grated

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blue corn tortilla chips, for serving

Preheat broiler. Place the bell peppers on a large baking sheet and broil, turning until the bell peppers have blackened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool.

In the meantime, for the creamy lime dip, stir the sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, coriander, zest, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to adjust the consistency.

Rub the skin off the bell peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Put in food processor. Add the tomato, piquante peppers, onion, lime juice, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix until chunky. Transfer to a serving bowl and season with hot sauce, salt and pepper.

Serve with blue corn tortilla chips.

Berry trifle

Better Homes and Gardens


1 4-serving-size package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 6-ounce container vanilla yogurt

1 10 3/4-ounce frozen loaf pound cake, thawed and cubed in 3/4 inch cubes

6 cups strawberries, quartered

2 cups blueberries and/or raspberries

Preparing pudding mix according to package directions; set aside.

In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and yogurt on medium until smooth. Stir in pudding.

In large glass bowl layer cake cubes, pudding mixture and berries. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

Classics and main dishes

Perfect lemonade


1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cup lemon juice

3 to 4 cups cold water

Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and 1 cup water in small saucepan until sugar is dissolved completely.

Juice 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

Mix the juice and syrup in a pitcher. Add the 3 to 4 cups cold water, depending on taste. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.

Grilled corn on the cob with chive butter

Good Housekeeping


12 ears corn, with husks

1 stick butter, softened

1/4 cup chives, snipped

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)

In large pot or kettle, place corn with husks and enough water to cover. Let soak for 15 minutes.

Drain well and place on hot grill rack over medium-high heat. Cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes or until kernels are tender, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix butter, chives, basil, salt and ground pepper in small bowl.

To serve, peel back or remove husks and silk from corn.

Grilled beer-brined chicken

Betty Crocker


Brine and chicken:

2 cups water

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

4 cans or 12-ounce bottles beer, chilled

2 cut up whole chickens

Barbecue rub:

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

In 6- or 8-quart pot, mix water, kosher salt and brown sugar, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in beer. Add chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.

Line 15-by-10-inch pan with foil. Remove chicken from brine, rinse under cool water and dry with paper towels. Place chicken in pan and refrigerate uncovered for one hour.

Meanwhile mix dry ingredients for rub in small bowl.

Heat grill for indirect cooking. Brush oil over chicken and sprinkle rub mixture.

Cook over low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes. Turn over, cover and grill for another 20 to 30 minutes longer, turning occasionally.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

(651) 459-4629