Lemonade Ice Tea
3 cups water
2 family-size tea bags
1 (1-oz.) package fresh mint leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups cold water
1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
Garnish: fresh citrus slices
1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and stir in fresh mint. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
2. Remove and discard tea bags and mint. Stir in sugar until dissolved.
3. Pour tea into a 3-qt. container, and stir in 4 cups cold water and lemonade concentrate. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
Bourbon-Lemonade Iced Tea: Prepare recipe as directed, and stir in 1 cup bourbon. Makes 9 cups.
Spiced Dark Rum-Lemonade Iced Tea: Prepare recipe as directed, and stir in 1 cup spiced dark rum. Makes 9 cups.
Sweet Liberty Fruit Wreath
12 inch flat-back Styrofoam wreath
15 inch platter
Lemon leaves, rose leaves or leaf lettuce
Small star cookie cutter
1/2 pint of blueberries
3 to 4 pints strawberries
15 large marshmallows
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 tablespoon milk
Wreath: Place Styrofoam wreath on the platter. Line top of wreath with leaves, overlapping to cover entire top and securing with picks.
Trim a thin slice from top and bottom of marshmallows to create two sticky surfaces. Arrange in five groups of three each around wreath, placing a sticky side down against leaves to hold marshmallows in place. Press a few blueberries on sticky top surface of each marshmallow.
Arrange strawberries, stem side down, around wreath until wreath is full. To attach strawberries, poke a pick into wreath, then push berry down on top of pick.
Sprinkle additional blueberries over the entire wreath to fill in large gaps.
Spoon fruit dip (recipe follows) into a small serving bowl, making sure bowl fits into center of wreath first.
If desired, cut additional strawberries into star shapes with cookie cutter to garnish dip. Serve immediately, or place damp paper towels over fruit and wreath and cover the entire platter with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator up to 4 hours.
Dip: In a bowl, combine all ingredients: beat until well blended and smooth. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.
All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon steak sauce
1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 pound ground beef
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
8 cooked bacon strips
Optional toppings: lettuce leaves and tomato, onion and pickle slices
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 3 in. from the heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Top with cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with bacon and toppings of your choice. Yield: 4 servings.
Patriotic Gelatin Salad
2 packages (3 ounces each) berry blue gelatin
2 packages (3 ounces each) strawberry gelatin
4 cups boiling water, divided
2-1/2 cups cold water, divided
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In four separate bowls, dissolve each package of gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water to each and stir. Pour one bowl of blue gelatin into a 10-in. fluted tube pan coated with cooking spray; chill until almost set, about 30 minutes.
Set other three bowls of gelatin aside at room temperature. Soften unflavored gelatin in remaining cold water; let stand 5 minutes.
Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat just below boiling. Stir in softened gelatin and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and vanilla until smooth. When blue gelatin in pan in almost set, carefully spoon 1-1/2 cups sour cream mixture over it. Chill until almost set, about 30 minutes.
Carefully spoon one bowl of strawberry gelatin over cream layer. Chill until almost set. Carefully spoon 1-1/2 cups cream mixture over the strawberry layer. Chill until almost set. Repeat, adding layers of blue gelatin, cream mixture and strawberry gelatin, chilling in between each. Chill several hours or overnight. Yield: 16 servings.
Now hit the grocery store and start cooking!