Tag Archives: 4th of July recipes

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce

a strawberry rhubarb crumble 014


Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce

Serves 4-6



3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 cups fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

½ cup fine sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt



½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup flour

½ cup quick cooking oats

½ cup unsalted butter, chilled

1 vanilla pod, add just the seeds

¼ cup ground almonds


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x13 pan. In a bowl add the rhubarb, strawberries and Grand Marnier , let sit ten minutes. Then add the sugar , cornstarch and salt. Mix and pour into the greased pan. In a medium bowl ,mix together the brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut butter into mixture with pastry blender until crumbs are pea size. Spread across the fruit mixture. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Serve with ice cream , whipped cream or vanilla custard sauce.


Vanilla Custard Sauce

Makes 1 cup

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup fine sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla


Whisk yolks in a bowl until blended. In a medium sauce pan bring milk and sugar to a boil without stirring. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into the bowl with the egg yolks. Return the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and place the bowl into another large bowl with ice and cold water. Stir in vanilla and whisk occasionally until custard is cool. Once cooled , cover the custard with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs. before serving with Rhubarb Raspberry Crumble.




Great American side dishes

Article first published as Great American Side Dishes on Technorati

OK, why side dishes?  When I’m planning  the menu for an all american  barbecue that menu will include one of these classic side dishes:  macaroni salad , potato salad or coleslaw. I think it’s essential to have favorite versions of each at the ready to prepare. They need to be delicious, yet simple. My first 4th of July on the Bay was such a meal. Coleslaw was not a problem, I fortuantely had my grandmother’s coleslaw recipe, which I have enhanced along the way with additional herbs and lemon juice. I developed a great potato salad recipe one day, really by accident when I had leftover roasted baby yukon potatoes. I have been serving it ever since with raves from all my family and friends. For me, macaroni salad was the side that I didn’t have my go to recipe.  I spent hours looking for the perfect macaroni salad recipe. It sounds silly but so many had too many extra ingredients : ham, relish , eggs etc.   So many versions but none really appealed to me, so I needed to come up with my own. This recipe is light on the mayonnaise and refreshing with the lemon juice, celery and dill. Hope you will make these your great american side dishes too!

From by the bay wishing you great american food memories! Maryann blog coleslaw lemon

Lemon Cilantro Coleslaw

Serves 6-8

1 head cabbage finely shredded

1 carrot finely shredded 1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fine sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro and Italian parsley , finely chopped

2 large scallions finely chopped


In a large bowl place all ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours. This can be served cold or at room temperature.


Summer Dill Coleslaw

1 head cabbage finely shredded

1 carrot finely shredded

½ cup white vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped


In a large bowl place all ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours. This can be served cold or at room temperature.

Hint: Use a mandolin when shredding your cabbage, the thinner the cabbage is the better the coleslaw will taste.

blog potato salad

Roasted  Potato Salad with Mixed Herbs

Serves 4

2  pounds baby Yukon Gold Potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 sour cream

1/2 chop mixed chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, mint, cilantro)

3 scallions chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Additional salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400F. Toss potatoes in bowl with salt , pepper and olive oil. Arrange potatoes into single layer in an ovenproof baking dish. Roast approximately 1 hour, until golden brown on outside and tender when pierced by a knife. Cool completely. Sliced potatoes ½ inch thick and place into bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, scallions, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerator until ready to serve.

Variation: Roasted Dill Potato Salad

The mixed chop herbs should be parsley and dill about half of each. Remove from the above recipe mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice. In it’s place make a dressing with ½ cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon grainy mustard. Whisk together and pour over the potatoes and herbs. Garnish with crumbled bacon from three cooked slices.

blog mac salad
Dill Macaroni Salad

Serves 6

1 pound cooked elbow macaroni

3/4 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

4 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 celery ribs, chopped finely

1/2 onion ,chopped finely

3 tablespoons dill, chopped

2 tablespoon fine sugar

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon hot paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 3-4 tablespoons water


In a large bowl add all ingredients. Combine well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready for use. Before serving from the refrigerator  add 3-4 tablespoons of water to add a little moisture. Garnish with additional paprika and dill leaves.

Star Spangled Desserts

blog 4th table

Article first published as Star-Spangled Desserts on Technorati.

I love holidays! The 4th of July is no exception. I enjoy creating wonderful memories with my friends and family gathered together by the bay for a special celebration! We gather in early evening , sitting out of doors sharing a meal focused on food made on the grill. When dusk arrives, we have dessert and watch fireworks from the deck over the bay, as each town adds some spectacular colors to the sky. The desserts need to be as special as the firework displays in the sky. Here are a few of my favorite star spangled desserts to try for your own celebration.

From by the bay wishing you the happiest 4th of July food memories!

blog berry crisp

Red and Blue Berry Firework Crisp
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 cup  unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup crushed store bought oatmeal cookies
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups mixed berries – raspberries and blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon raspberry liquor

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place all ingredients for topping in a bowl and mix well. In a a shallow baking dish add the berries , cornstarch, sugar and liquor. Mix well. Cover the berries with topping. Place dish on a baking
sheet in to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Serve at room temperature as is or serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

blog red velevet cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake
2 cups chocolate wafers
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

20 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons melted chocolate
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fine sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon red food coloring


Preheat the oven to 350F. Take a 9 inch spring form pan and line with aluminum foil wrapping the outside twice. It’s important to keep water out when cooking with bain marie. To make crust use food processor to finely grind the wafers, then add  sugar and melted butter and process until moist. Take out and place in bottom of spring form pan. Press down with fingertips to cover the bottom of pan. Bake the crust until set about 12 minutes. Cool crust.

To make the filling : Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and sugar. Make sure to scrape down the mixture with a spatula from the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and continue to beat. Next add the vanilla until all is well blended. Take a bow and add 1/3 of the batter. To the batter add the melted chocolate and food coloring.

Pour the chocolate cheese mixture onto the cooled crust in the spring form pan. Next pour on top the remaining batter.  Place the pan into a roasting pan add hot water to the roasting pan until it’s half the height of the spring form pan. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes. In themeantime, make sour cream topping by combining the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. After the cheesecake has baked for 50 minutes remove from oven and spread the sour cream topping evenly across the top. Place back into the oven for another 10 minutes,. At this point the cheesecake should be set. Take out of the oven. Remove carefully from the bath. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cover with foil and place in refrigerator over night to set.

Peach Almond Crostata

blog peach crostada

Peach Almond Crostata
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 stick butter diced and chilled
4- 5 tablespoons ice water (approx.)
2 peaches stoned and sliced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons peach jam
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
To make pastry place into a food processor the flour, almond flour , salt and sugar. Pulse to blend. Add the chilled butter and pulse until the texture is grainy . With the motor running add the water slowly, stop just when the dough comes together.  Remove dough onto parchment paper, flatten into a disk and cover. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. While the dough is chilling place remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Once the dough is chilled, remove  from the refrigerator and  keep dough on parchment paper and lightly flour top of the dough. Quickly roll out into a circle approximately 10 inch diameter. Transfer parchment paper with dough onto a baking sheet. Place peach mixture in the center , leaving a 2 ” border. Fold border over the peaches making a circle. Place in the over and bake foe approximately 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.