July is bursting with juicy fruit and crisp vegetables. And, it happens to be picnic season (that’s a thing, right?). When contemplating your perfect 4th of July menu, multiple factors must be carefully considered: Will it taste summery and fresh? Will it be mess free on your star-spangled picnic blanket? Will everyone in the family love it? As you await your local fireworks display, perhaps perched on a neighborhood park bench or gathered amidst a roaring crowd, you and your loved ones are certainly going to want to chow down! (Don’t forget that Denver has some of the most impressive and picnic-friendly fireworks displays in the country.) But remember, just because you’re out and about doesn’t mean that your 4th of July menu can’t be fancy.
1-2 cartons of your favorite lemonade (save the carton)
A box or two of blueberries
Vodka (if you’d like to start some fireworks)
Pour yourself a glass of lemonade and enjoy as your prepare your picnic (you’ll need the carton space later).
Muddle ⅔ of the blueberries with a splash of your lemonade.
Add vodka (about 6 shots per carton) to the muddled berries.
Use a funnel to pour berry mixture back into lemonade carton with remaining lemonade.
Pack the lemonade carton and unused berries
Garnish lemonade with whole blueberries at your picnic destination!
Prosciutto and Peaches
1-2 packages Prosciutto
Salt and pepper
Remove pits from peaches and cut them into quarter wedges.
Wrap each peach quarter with one or two prosciutto slices and secure with a toothpick.
Toss them on the grill (turning often) until prosciutto is slightly crisp around the edges.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let cool, then pack in your favorite tupperware!
Red, White and Blue Salad
1 box Baby Spinach or your favorite salad green
1 container cherub tomatoes (sliced in half)
1 container mini mozzarella balls (in water, if available)
1 container blueberries
Fresh Basil (chopped)
Salt and pepper
Put lettuce directly into picnic basket… you don’t want it to get soggy by leaving toppings on it for hours! Toss your favorite balsamic vinaigrette and salad tongs into the basket while you’re at it.
Use a large tupperware to container to combine tomatoes, mozzarella, blueberries, basil, salt and pepper.
Once at your picnic location, use the box of lettuce as your salad bowl: add the topping mixture and dressing. Ready to serve and lettuce remains intact!
*Add chicken or steak for an extra filling entree
Jarred Red Velvet
Sheet of red velvet cake from your local grocery (no icing)
½ cup butter (room temperature)
1 pagkage (8 oz.) cream cheese (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mason Jars or clear plastic cups
Whip the butter and cream cheese until no lumps remain
Add powdered sugar until mixture is icing-texture
Add vanilla and continue to whip until incorporated
Use a cookie cutter or the lid of your mason jar to cut circles from the red velvet sheet
Add cake circles and icing alternately to create a layering effect (red, white, red, white, etc).
Top with icing
Screw the lid onto the mason jar or cover plastic cups with cellophane.
Don’t forget to bring spoons!
*May add blueberries on top of each icing layer to incorporate “blue”