4th of July Watermelon-Mint Coolers

Photo by Better Homes & Gardens©

Enjoy this refreshing beverage during your 4th of July picnic! (Photo by Better Homes & Gardens©)

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 lbs.seedless watermelon, chopped (5 cups)
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2c .fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon aromatic bitters
  • 4-5c. ginger ale, chilled
  • Mint sprigs

 

 

Directions

  1. In a blender container place watermelon; puree until smooth. In a small heatproof bowl, use a wooden spoon to mash mint leaves and 1/4 cup of the sugar; add 1/4 cup of the water. Microwave on high until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mint leaves to blender, leaving sugar in bowl. Blend until chopped.
  2. To bowl of sugar mixture add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Microwave until sugar dissolves into a syrup, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and chill.
  3. To serve, strain watermelon mixture into an ice-filled pitcher or jar. Stir in syrup, lime juice, and bitters. Divide watermelon mixture among ice-filled glasses; top with ginger ale. garnish with mint sprigs.

Nutrition Facts (Watermelon-Mint Coolers)

Per serving: 125 kcal cal.,0 g fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g monounsatured fat), 0 mg chol., 12 mg sodium, 32 g carb., 1 g fiber, 29 g sugar,1 g pro.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

From the Test Kitchen

ALCOHOLIC VERSION:

Add 2 cups white rum with the mint before chilling for 8 hours. Add club soda or sparkling water in place of ginger ale.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 212 calories, 1 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 19 g total sugar, 11% Vitamin A, 21% Vitamin C, 28 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 4% iron

 

Potato-Cauliflower Salad

Yield: 8 Servings

Potato-Cauliflower Salad.

Photo by Better Homes & Gardens™

Ingredients:

  • 12 small fingerling or round new potatoes, scrubbed
  • medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • tablespoons water
  • small onion, chopped
  • stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/3cup sour cream and chives dip
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • tablespoons salad oil
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 2s lices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
  • crisp breadsticks, broken
  • Sea salt or salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on clean white paper towels in the microwave. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 5 minutes. Turn potatoes; microwave on high about 3 minutes more or until tender.
  2. Place cauliflower and the water in a 1-1/2-quart microwave-safe casserole. Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring once. Drain. Cool slightly.
  3. In a large serving bowl combine potatoes, cauliflower, onion, and celery. In a small bowl stir together dip, lemon juice, and salad oil; gently toss with potato mixture and fold in blue cheese. Chill for 1 to 24 hours. Just before serving, top with parsley, bacon, breadsticks, sea salt, and pepper.

 

Watch this video on How to Make Potato Salad

 

Nutrition Facts (Potato-Cauliflower Salad)

Per serving: 152 kcal cal., 7 g fat (2 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat,3 g monounsatured fat), 12 mg chol., 299 mg sodium, 18 g carb., 3 g fiber,3 g sugar, 5 g pro.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Hawaiian Burger from BH&G™

Recipe by Better Homes and Gardens

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2pounds lean ground beef
  • 1cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1cup finely chopped onion
  • 18 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 12.8 ounce package cooked bacon pieces
  • teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder
  • slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • hamburger buns or plain bagel thins
  • Leaf lettuce (optional)
  • medium tomatoes, sliced (optional)
  • medium sweet onion, sliced (optional)

Directions

  1. In a very large bowl combine beef, blue cheese, onion, pineapple, ham, bacon pieces, pepper, and garlic powder; mix well. Shape meat mixture into eight 1-inch-thick patties.
  2. For a charcoal grill, place patties on the grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill, covered, for 12 to 14 minutes or until done (160 degrees F to 165 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling. Top burgers with cheddar cheese. Continue to grill, covered, for 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as directed.) Serve burgers on buns. If desired, top with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

 

Nutrition Facts (Hawaiian Burger)

Per serving: 596 kcal cal., 32 g fat (15 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 8 g monounsatured fat), 137 mg chol., 951 mg sodium, 27 g carb.,2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 46 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Deviled Egg Chicks

Recipe by Better Homes & Gardens™

Yield: 12 Servings

  • hard-cooked eggs*
  • 1/4cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • teaspoon prepared mustard
  • teaspoon vinegar
  • Capers, carrots pieces and fresh herbs

Directions

  1. Halve hard-cooked eggs crosswise and remove yolks. Set whites aside. Place yolks in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar; mix well. If desired, season with salt and black pepper. Place yolk mixture into a resealable plastic bag and close bag while removing excess air. Snip off a small corner of the bag and pipe the filling into the bottom half of the egg white. Place other half of egg on top to form the “chick”. Add capers for eyes and pieces of carrots for the beak. Add fresh herbs, as desired.
  2. Cover and chill until serving time (up to 24 hours).

From the Better Homes and Gardens™ Test Kitchen

*TO HARD COOK EGGS:

To hard-cook the eggs, place 6 large eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan (do not stack eggs). Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat (water will have large rapidly breaking bubbles). Remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Run cold water over the eggs or place them in ice water until cool enough to handle; drain. To peel eggs, gently tap each egg on the countertop. Roll the egg between the palms of your hands. Peel off the eggshell, starting at the large end.

 

Nutrition Facts (Deviled Egg Chicks)

Per serving: 72 kcal cal., 6 g fat,(1 g sat. fat, 109 mg chol., 62 mg sodium, 0 g carb., 0 g fiber,3 g pro., Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Grilled Hawaiian Burger

Yield: 8 Servings

Hawaiian Burger

Photo by BHG.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1-2.8 ounce package cooked bacon pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 hamburger buns or plain bagel thins
  • Leaf lettuce (optional)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced (optional)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. In a very large bowl combine beef, blue cheese, onion, pineapple, ham, bacon pieces, pepper, and garlic powder; mix well. Shape meat mixture into eight 1-inch-thick patties.
  2. For a charcoal grill, place patties on the grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill, covered, for 12 to 14 minutes or until done (160 degrees F to 165 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.
  3. Top burgers with cheddar cheese. Continue to grill, covered, for 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as directed.)
  4. Serve burgers on buns. If desired, top with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Nutrition Facts (Hawaiian Burger)
Per serving: 596 kcal cal., 32 g fat (15 g sat. fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 8 g monounsatured fat), 137 mg chol., 951 mg sodium, 27 g carb., 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 46 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

4th of July Party Decorating Ideas

Fruit Salad Sailboat

A simple sail is all you need to transform a watermelon fruit salad into a seaworthy centerpiece.

Fruit Salad sailboat

Photo by BHG.com

Cut a triangle from ticking fabric and fold it in half over a dowel. Hot-glue the fabric along the dowel to secure and along the loose edges for a stiff sail.

 

Decorative Utensil Jars

Don’t bother setting the table — guests can grab what they need from these adorable, no-fuss utensil jars.

Decorative Utensil Jars

Photo by BHG.com

Simply decorate containers, like empty oatmeal canisters, by wrapping them with festive paper and securing with tape. Add an adhesive chalkboard label to send a fun message.

 

Roll and Wrap Place Setting
Make picnic prep a breeze with an all-in-one utensil holder and place mat. Fold the long end of a dish towel up until it becomes the size of a place mat.

Roll and Wrap place setting

Photo by BHG.com

Stitch or hot-glue the outer edges together. Insert utensils into the pocket, roll up, and tie with a separate ribbon.

 

Fair-Style Berry Cones
Use food to decorate the picnic table.

Fair-style Berry Cones

Photo by BHG.com

Form sturdy waxed paper into cones, securing with transparent tape. Fill each cone with blue or red berries to create a sweet treat and dazzling display all in one.

 

For more ideas on how to create an American Patriotic Picnic, log on to the Better Homes and Gardens website.

 

3-Ingredient Holiday Appetizers from BH&G.com

Better Homes & Garden™ offers ideas on appetizers for your holiday party.  For additional recipes and more information, click here at BHG.com.

 

Honey and Goat Cheese Crackers

Ingredients: Crackers + Goat Cheese + Honey
Store-bought rosemary crackers get a party-time facelift with the sweet and tangy topping of honey and goat cheese. Try different cracker flavors to spice up this easy appetizer.

Honey, Goat Cheese crackers
Photo Source: BHG.com

Pear and Blue Cheese Baguette Slices

Ingredients: Blue Cheese + Baguette Slices + Pear Slices

Top grilled baguette slices with sweet pear slices and tangy blue cheese.

PearBlueCheeseBaguette.
Photo Source: BHG.com

Hummus & Cucumber Chips

Ingredients: Potato Chips, Cucumber Slices and Hummus

Replace the bowl of chips and dip with this twist.  Place cucumber and hummus atop salt-and-pepper kettle potato chips to add creamy flavor and a cooler crunch.

Hummus Cucumber Chips
Photo Source: BHG.com