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Tag Archive | "Independence Day"

Dazzle guests with a July 4th Feast


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Family Features

Celebrate warm weather, abundant outdoor activities and all the fun of July Fourth with a flavorful and festive gathering. Independence Day only comes once a year, so make it count and invite your favorite guests over for a memorable event. You’ll go out with a bang when you serve up these palate-pleasing dishes at your patriotic party.

Patriotic and Perfectly Sweet

This July Fourth, serve watermelon. This yummy fruit boasts sweetness and nutrition at a great value. Loaded with vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as antioxidants and heart-healthy amino acids, it’s a welcome addition to your summer spread. For more recipes, visit www.watermelon.org.

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Cake

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Cake

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Cake

Servings: 6–8

1 seedless watermelon

1 cup low or no fat natural vanilla flavored yogurt

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup blueberries

1 cup sliced strawberries

Place watermelon on side on cutting board.

Cut 3–5 inches off each end to create large center slice between 3–5 inches in depth. Trim off outer rind.

Cut watermelon slice into 6–8 pie-shaped wedges. Blot edges with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

Dip the back (curved) side of each slice in yogurt and then almonds, re-assembling pieces on serving platter as each piece is completed.

When finished, it will look like piecrust of almonds around watermelon slices. Frost top of reassembled watermelon with remaining yogurt and decorate top with berries. Serve cold.

Fresh Off the Grill

“For a red-white-and-blue burger that tastes as good as it looks, I use ground bison on a brioche bun, topped with Castello Burger Blue Cheese,” says celebrity chef Michael Symon. For more recipes, visit castellocheeseusa.com.

Bison Burger with Blue Cheese

Bison Burger with Blue Cheese

Bison Burger with Blue Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon

Servings: 4

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground bison, loosely packed into burger patties

4 slices Castello Burger Blue cheese

4 brioche-style soft hamburger buns, toasted

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rings

1 cup arugula

Heat your grill to medium-high heat.

Season burgers with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil, then place on grill.

Cook 3 minutes, then flip.

Add slices of blue cheese (1 slice per burger), and let cook another 1–2 minutes.

Remove burgers from grill and place patties on toasted buns.

Top each burger with slice of red onion and 1/4 of arugula.

Serve.

Star-Spangled Dessert

Add color and crunch to your cones with a dip in red, white or blue melted Candy Melts candy and a variety of patriotic sprinkles. The Cone Cakes baking rack holds the cones for drying and serving. For more recipes, visit www.wilton.com.

Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Yield: 12 ice cream cones

1 bag (12 ounces) Bright White

Candy Melts Candy

Sugar ice cream cones

Jimmies 6-Mix Sprinkle Assortment

Rainbow Jimmies

Melt candy in microwave safe bowl. Dip cones about 1 inch deep around opening of cone. Cut small hole in tip of bag and drizzle melted candy 1 inch deep around opening of cone. Tap cone lightly to smooth, and sprinkle with jimmies. Position cone in cone rack. Let chill, about 10–15 minutes.

Add ice cream scoops at party and serve in cone rack.

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Liberty and justice for all


Courtland-Oakfield-United-MethPastor Robert Eckert

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church

10295 Myers Lake Ave., Rockford

 

I’m still thinking about Independence Day. Celebrations of “liberty and justice for all” are still fresh in mind. Even though the nation was founded with some limitations on the word “all” (African slaves, women, non-landowners, for example, weren’t originally included), I am grateful that there have been courageous, visionary leaders along the way to push us toward a full realization of the ideals on which our country was founded.

“All” is a potent little word that is particularly challenging in world made up of such a diverse collection of people. Whether by age, race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic heritage, cultural affinities, or any of a number of other characteristics, each of us can be defined and categorized in ways such that no one is identical to anyone else.

I am a transplant to this area having grown up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and lived for more than 30 years in Grand Rapids. There are reminders of many aspects of our nation’s diversity that are more evident in most cities than one is likely to find in the town-and-country living of the Cedar Springs area.

There are, however, other reminders of the full diversity of all creation in this part of the world, diversity of a different sort than shows up in urban settings. House wrens and grackles are just about the only birds flying the skies of Grand Rapids, along with the occasional cardinal, blue jay, or mourning dove. Here there are hummingbirds, orioles, and red-breasted grosbeaks; woodpeckers, bluebirds, and indigo buntings; Canada geese, blue herons, and bald eagles.

The writer of Psalm 139 has this to say about all that God has knit together and our place in the diversity of creation: “I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful—I know that very well” (Psalm 139:14, CEV).

We often struggle with our differences; we let them breed discomfort, fear, and resentment, but they are evidence of God’s hand in all that is (there’s that word again) and all who are.

“Liberty and justice for all” is not only a promise for Americans in civic and political arenas, it is the promise of God for those parts of our lives that yearn for wholeness and spiritual peace. The apostle Paul put it this way: “Creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children” (Romans 8:21, CEV). That’s something to hope for, something to work for, something to grow toward, and that’s something for us to do together, all of us.

 

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