Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July Goodies

I hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July weekend! I also hope everyone remembered this weekend wasn’t only about lake, food, fireworks, etc. Brief history lesson: In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress thus setting the 13 colonies on their way to freedom. Basically, this is America’s birthday! Happy Birthday, America!

Last Thursday night we had a few friends join us to watch the fireworks show from Stephen's house. Luckily, we could see them perfectly from his front yard. So instead of piling out to the high school with everyone else in the town we decided to invite others to his house. I wanted to share this quick dip recipe that I used to put out for friends. It's as easy as it is quick and cheap! I got this from a dear friend's mother back in high school and have loved it every since.

No name dip
1 block cream cheese
1/2 jar of salsa dip

Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature. With hand mixer, mix the two together. Top with shredded cheese and refrigerate overnight for best results. Serve with tortilla chips.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to the lake with Stephen and his family. Of course, I didn’t want to show up empty handed, so I’m going to share the simple recipes (and tips) I took along with me.

The first recipe I decided to make was Rice Krispies Treats because everyone loves a Rice Krispies Treat! From past experience they can be a little difficult on the stove top. I can remember making them with my cousin years ago and having marshmallow fluff attached me to as if it were spider webs from all corners of my body! This time I used the microwave and my mama’s stirring arm and they were super simple! We used the recipe on the box and added just a few little touches.

Rice Krispies Treats
3 Tablespoons butter
1 package regular marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies

Variations on ingredients: I used about 4 Tablespoons of margarine, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

To melt your marshmallows in the microwave I took a large bowl (TIP: spray with cooking spray first!) and put the margarine, salt, and vanilla in the bottom followed by the marshmallows. I cooked it for 1 minute, 45 seconds, stirred then put back in for another 30 seconds.

Pour in Rice Krispies in two batches and stir. (TIP: spray your spoon with cooking spray as well!)

Next, I took a 9X13 baking dish and lined it with wax paper and then sprayed with cooking spray. Fill the baking dish with your treats and take another piece of wax paper (sprayed) and spread out the treats evenly. This is basically just pressing down and molding your treats into the shape of your baking dish. Allow to set. I allowed mine to set overnight then cut into small squares and placed little American flag toothpicks in them! Great treat! The biggest tip I can share is cooking spray is your friend!

The second treat my mom and I made was the stuff I discovered to be called Cornflake Candy. I never knew this stuff had a name but always loved it! It is another very simple yet satisfying recipe.
Cornflake Candy
3-4 cups Kellogg's Cornflakes
1 cup Sugar (white granulated)
1 cup Light Karo Syrup
1 cup Peanut Butter, I used creamy Jif

First heat your pan to medium, add sugar and syrup; stir for 2-3 minutes. Next, add your peanut butter and stir until it’s well incorporated.

After this has come together, mix in Cornflakes. I continuously added a handful at a time and found that I used about 3 ½ cups of Cornflakes.

Lastly, spoon out about a tablespoon size onto aluminum foil. Let cool.

I placed these on a red plastic platter and snipped a few zinnias from my mom’s garden, and I was off! Everyone enjoyed these treats, and they didn't break the bank or take up an entire afternoon. It goes to show that you don't have to be a gourmet chef or spend lots of time and money. Sometimes it is the littlest of gestures that make the biggest impact!

Happy July, and God bless you and America!

No comments: