Independence Day Recipes

These recipes and more are available at justapinch.com.

Posted: July 4, 2014 at 6 a.m.

July 4th Tart

12 oz. butter shortbread cookies

⅓ cup real butter, very soft

¼ cup powdered sugar

½ tsp. almond or vanilla extract

8 oz. neufchatel cheese, softened

¾ cup Greek yogurt

2 tbsp. butter, softened

½ cup sifted powdered sugar

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract or a few drops of orange oil

2 cups strawberries, fresh or other fresh fruit of choice

For crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cookies in blender, half a bag at a time. Grind cookies into crumbs and then pour into a bowl. The cookie crumbs should measure 2½ cups of crumbs. Add ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Add ⅓ cup of very soft butter and mix well. Finally, add the ½ teaspoon of extract. Mix together well, and then pour into greased, 10-inch pie plate and press into the bottom and sides of the plate.

Bake in preheated oven 10-14 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Cool crust completely.

Tart filling: With electric mixer, blend together very soft neufchatel cheese with Greek yogurt, softened butter and powdered sugar. Once it's completely mixed, add vanilla extract or orange oil and mix. With spatula, spoon and scrape filling into cooled crust. Refrigerate.

Fruit topping: Use fresh, ripe fruit (strawberries, peaches, kiwi, blueberries). Cut strawberries in half and topped the whole tart. Chill until serving. The flavors become even better later in the day.

-- Courtesy of Kathleen Hagood

All-American Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, room temperature

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 cup milk, room temperature

½ cup canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 tbsp. whiskey or bourbon

⅔ cup blueberries frozen

⅔ cup frozen raspberries

⅓ cup shredded coconut

coarse sugar for sprinkling

Preheat over to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, gently mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Mix in milk, oil, whiskey and extracts.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix by hand, avoiding over mixing which will produce dry, tough muffins. Fold in coconut and then berries.

Pour batter into the muffin tins, filling until just below the top edge of the tin. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 25 minutes until golden brown. The initial burst of heat to an almost totally filled muffin tin is what's going to gives us those nice, high, gourmet bakeshop-type muffin tops. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

-- Courtesy of Chris Elizondo

Grilled Sweet Corn

Corn on the cob, husked

Heavy duty aluminum foil

Honey

Salt

Remove husks and silk from ears of corn.

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil, enough to completely cover one ear of corn, and lay it flat. Drizzle about 1½ tsp. of honey down the middle of the foil. Sprinkle salt on top of honey.

Lay one corn cob on top of the honey and salt. Roll the cob to spread the honey.

Wrap thoroughly, place on grill over indirect heat and grill for about 25 minutes. Remove from the grill, unwrap carefully and serve with butter.

-- Courtesy of Didi Dalaba

Papa's Grilled Chicken (with a twist)

1 medium chicken

1 stick butter, unsalted

½ cup margarine

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

½ cup A-1 steak sauce

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 clove fresh garlic, smashed

1 large chipotle pepper

Wash and pat dry the chicken, cut into pieces and set aside.

In a small sauce pan melt together one stick of butter and ½ cup of margarine. Add Worcestershire sauce, A-1 sauce, garlic powder, fresh garlic and chipotle pepper to the butter mixture.

Bring this mixture to a boil and quickly reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens.

Preheat the grill to a medium heat.

Put the chicken pieces on the grill, skin side up. Baste the chicken with the sauce throughout cooking, rotating and flipping chicken until done.

-- Courtesy of Denny Keller

Loaded Potatoes,

Grill Style

8-10 medium potatoes, diced

1/4 cup butter, cold

6 slices bacon, cooked

½ cup green onion, chopped

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Combine potatoes, butter and bacon in foil pouch and seal.

Grill over medium-high, indirect heat for 15-20 minutes until done.

Add green onions and shredded cheese to cooked potatoes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a scoop of sour cream.

-- Courtesy of Kyle Fugate

NAN Dining Guide Kitchen Talk on 07/04/2014

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