Pet Care – 4th of July Safety Tips

Leo_America's Cat; Photo by A. Jones

Photo by A. Jones

For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.Puppy warns of Firework Safety
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.
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“A Capitol Fourth” Coloring Page

A Capitol Fourth is broadcast live on PBS and can also be heard live on NPR member stations nationwide and via the American Forces Network to our troops serving around the world.

The 2016 edition of A Capitol Fourth is hosted once again by Tom Bergeron and features performances by Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Alisan Porter, Gavin DeGraw, Cassadee Pope, Amber Riley, Jackie Evancho, Sutton Foster, the cast of “ON YOUR FEET!” and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. A Capitol Fourth airs Monday, July 4 at 8/7c on PBS.

Check your local listings for your PBS station to view "A Capitol Fourth" concert.

Check your local listings for your PBS station to view “A Capitol Fourth” concert.

Star-Spangled Red, White & Blue Slab Pie

Recipe provided by Pillsbury™

Pillsbury™ Star-Spangled Red, White and Blue pie

Photo by Pillsbury

Ingredients: 

  • 3 Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box (from 2 boxes)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original lemon burst yogurt
  • Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon peel)
  • 6 cups assorted berries (sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
  • 1 cup strawberry glaze (from 13.5-oz container)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Remove 2 of the pie crusts from pouches. Unroll and stack on lightly floured surface. Roll to 17×12-inch rectangle. Fit crust into ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing into corners. Fold crust even with edges of pan. Prick crust several times with fork.
  2. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, remove another pie crust from pouch. On lightly floured surface, unroll crust. Roll to 12-inch circle. Cut stars using 1-, 1 1/2- and 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on large ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with water; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
  4. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon juice and lemon peel with electric mixer on high speed until smooth and creamy. Spread evenly into crust-lined pan. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chilled.
  6. In large bowl, mix berries and glaze until well blended. Spoon berry mixture evenly on top of cream cheese-topped pie crust. Place pie crust stars on top of berry mixture.

Expert Tips

  • Strawberry glaze can be found in the produce section of your grocery store.
  • Take care in folding the berries and glaze. If using raspberries or blackberries, gently fold them in at the very end to avoid berries breaking apart.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Chef Eljesa Haxhiu of Gwinnett Tech’s Culinary Arts program

Chef Eljesa Haxhiu  (Photo: Gwinnett Technical College Culinary Arts)

Recipe Courtesy of Gwinnett Technical College Culinary Arts With the 4th of July right around the corner, Chef Eljesa Haxhiu and Chef Katherine Crean from the Culinary Arts program at Gwinnett Technical College offered some of their best recipes and tips to make the patriotic holiday a delicious one. Whether sharing a picnic with family and friends or grilling out in the backyard, food is always an important part of any 4th of July celebration. This sauce is great for Chicken or Ribs.  Plus, it is Gluten-free.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add blueberries, maple syrup, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, lemon juice, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper; stir to combine.
  2. Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce is slightly reduced and bubbling, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat; cool slightly. Pour sauce into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth.

Herbed Beer Can Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings

Herbed Beer Can Chicken

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 can (12 ounces) beer

Directions: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; stir in half of the minced garlic. Rub mixture over outside and inside of chicken. Tuck wings under chicken.
  2. Prepare grill for indirect heat. Completely cover all sides of an 8- or 9-in. round baking pan with foil. Place a beer-can chicken rack in pan. Remove 1/3 cup beer from can; save for another use. Using a can opener, make additional large holes in top of can. Insert rosemary and remaining garlic into can. Add beer can to rack.
  3. Place chicken vertically onto rack. Place pan on grill rack.
  4. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°.
  5. Remove pan from grill; tent chicken with foil. Let stand 15 minutes. Carefully remove chicken from rack.

Nutritional Facts:
6 ounces cooked chicken equals 474 calories, 28 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 412 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 42 g protein.

 

 

Originally published as Herbed Beer Can Chicken in Taste of Home June/July 2013

Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie Recipe

“Slab pie” is a pastry baked in a jelly-roll pan and cut in slabs like a bar cookie—or a pie bar, if you will. My grandfather was a professional baker and served pieces of slab pie to his customers back in the day. Here is my spin, featuring rhubarb and gorgeous red raspberries. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

Photo by Taste of Home©

Yield: 24 (2 dozen) Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained
  • 3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained

VANILLA ICING:

  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 teaspoons 2% milk

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Whisk 3/4 cup milk and egg yolk; gradually add to flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.
  2. Divide dough in two portions so that one is slightly larger than the other; wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out larger portion of dough between two large sheets of lightly floured waxed paper into an 18×13-in. rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Press onto the bottom and up sides of pan; trim pastry to edges of pan.
  4. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add raspberries and rhubarb; toss to coat. Spoon into pastry.
  5. Roll out remaining dough; place over filling. Fold bottom pastry over edge of top pastry; seal with a fork. Prick top with a fork.
  6. Bake 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. For icing, combine confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve a drizzling consistency; drizzle over pie. Cut pie into squares.

Editor’s Note: If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Nutritional Facts
1 piece equals 247 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 29 mg cholesterol, 159 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.
Originally published as Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie in Taste of Home April/May 2012, p40