Happy Birthday America

Everyone knows that today in Independence Day – America’s Birthday. I’d like to think there will be backyard barbecues and families celebrating together. I hope children will write their names in the air with sparklers and that night sky will be filled with bursts of color. Happy Birthday! And after this year’s insanity, we deserve a celebration of our Nation’s Independence.

I’m not going to get into the political turmoil gripping our country these days. Is America perfect? Far from it, and even with it’s painful past, I am still proud to be an American. We’ve come a long way in our 244 year journey. There will be flag waving and red, white and blue everywhere in our home.

As insensitive as it sounds, if my love of country offends people, I will not apologize. To denounce the country of my birth would be to deny who I am. I’m just not willing to do that. I believe that America is a great place, filled with good and decent people. I believe that when the dust settles and the real conversations begin, good things will come of it. Growing pains are never easy. We just need to stop yelling and start speaking. Wow, I guess I did get into it.

As it turns out July 4th isn’t just America’s Independence Day. It’s also Caesar Salad Day and Barbecue Spare Ribs Day. If that isn’t the start for an awesome National Birthday Menu, I don’t know what is.

Happy Birthday Barbecue
Caesar Salad

Jack Daniel’s Saint Louis Spare Ribs
Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
Red Potato Skewers

French-Vanilla Patriotic Berry Trifle

Caesar Salad
The Dressing
2 Egg Yolks
1/2 Lemon, juiced
2 Garlic Cloves
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Fine Finishing Salt
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated

Separate the egg whites from yolks. Cut the lemon in half. Peel and finely mince the garlic.

Place egg yolks in a blender. Squeeze half a lemon over the yolks. Add mustard and garlic. Blend on medium speed. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Once added, pulse blender until dressing is thick and fully emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the dressing to the bottom of a large salad bowl. Stir in the cheese. Chill until ready to use.

The Salad
1 head Romaine Lettuce
Caesar Dressing (above)
Herbal Croutons as desired
Shaved Parmesan Cheese as desired
Fresh Black Pepper as desired

Slice the Romaine lettuce crosswise into 2-inch wide strips, cutting down to just above the root-end. Wash, spin try and place lettuce in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Place the chilled Romaine Lettuce on top of the Caesar Dressing in the salad bowl. Toss ribboned lettuce with dressing to coat well.

Scatter croutons over the salad. If desired, add shaved Parmesan and fresh black pepper just before serving.

Jack Daniels Ribs with Whiskey Barbecue Sauce
Whiskey Barbecue Sauce
1 head Garlic
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup Water
1 cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1-1/3 cups Dark Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
1 heaping tablespoon Crushed Pineapple
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup White Onion, finely minced

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Trim about 1/2-inch off the garlic head, remove the outer layers of papery skins. Place the garlic head in a small ramekin dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil, bake in the heated oven for 1 hour. Let roasted garlic head cool.

Meanwhile, begin preparing the ribs. While the ribs slow-roast, finish the barbecue sauce.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, pineapple juice, Teriyaki sauce, Soy sauce and dark brown sugar. Whisk to blend. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer.

Squeeze 2 teaspoons of soft garlic out of the roasted garlic head, add to the saucepan. Add lemon juice, whiskey, pineapple and cayenne pepper.

Peel and finely mince or grate the onion. Add to the sauce.

Let sauce simmer for 30 to 40 minutes for the flavors to blossom and the sauce to reduce by about half. Keep warm until ready to baste and serve.

Spice Rubbed Spare Ribs
1-1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Roasted Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 racks Saint Louis Spare Ribs, trimmed

In a small bowl, mix the paprika, salt, thyme, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Remove the silver membrane from the back of the ribs. Rub spice mixture deeply into the rib meat. Place ribs on a baking tray and place in the heated oven. Let ribs slow roast for about 2-1/2 hours.

Heat grill to high heat. Remove ribs from oven, place on the grill for about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Baste with sauce, grill 1 or 2 minutes per side once basted.

Serve with more sauce on the side.

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
6 ears Corn
1-1/4 cup Water

Clean corn of husks and silk. Rinse well to remove any remaining silk strands. Trim both ends of each ear.

Add water to the Instant Pot. Place a steamer basket into the pot.

Stack the corn in the steamer basket, close the lid and then set the Instant Pot for Custom Pressure Cook, HIGH setting for 2 minutes.

Once cooking has completed, release pressure valve. Transfer corn to a serving platter. Serve with plenty of butter, salt and pepper as desired.

Fire Roasted Red Potato Skewers
2 lbs Red Potatoes (about 6 medium)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

Scrub potatoes, cut into quarters. Place the potatoes and water in an ungreased microwave-safe 2-qt. dish. Cover and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes or until almost tender, stirring once; drain.

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, chicken stock, oregano, garlic salt and onion powder. Mix well; add potatoes, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove potatoes, reserving mayonnaise mixture. On six metal or soaked wooden skewers, thread potatoes.

Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 4 minutes on each side, brushing occasionally with reserved mayonnaise mixture or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

French Vanilla Patriotic Berry Trifle
2 (3 oz) packages Instant French Vanilla Pudding
3-3/4 cups cold Milk
4 cups Strawberries
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
2 cups Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 loaf Angel Food Cake
1 cup Blueberries

Chill a large mixing bowl for the pudding. Place stand-mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for the whipped cream.

Once the pudding bowl is chilled, empty the contents of the pudding packages into the bow. Add cold milk, whisk by hand to blend. Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes, until pudding is soft-set. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill well, at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Rinse strawberries, remove stem ends and slice in half or thirds depending upon size of the berries. Set aside 4 or 5 of the largest berries for garnish.

Place sliced berries in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4-cup of sugar and the lemon juice. Toss to coat, cover and place berries in the refrigerator.

When ready to assemble, make the whipped cream. Remove the stand-mixer bowl and whisk attachment from the freezer. Pour heave cream into the bowl. Sweeten with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Add vanilla extract and whip cream until firm peaks form. Set aside. Remove pudding and berries from the refrigerator, set aside.

Cut Angel Food Cake into 8 slices. Lay 3 slices of cake in the bottom of the trifle dish. Cut another slice into triangles pieces to fill in any empty spaces in the cake layer. Using a slotted spoon, spread half of the strawberries over the cake. Spread half of the pudding over the berries, then half of the whipped cream. Repeat with a second layer of cake, berries, pudding and whipped cream. Smooth whipped cream.

Remove stem end from the reserved strawberries. Slice 3 berries into thirds. Slice remaining berry into long, thin slivers.

Stack all but a few blueberries in the center of the trifle. Arrange strawberry thirds around the blueberries to create a “flower”. Add thin strips of strawberries between the sliced berries, with blueberries at the tip. Cover and chill at least an hour before serving.

Happy Independence Day! There’s always room at my table for more.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday America”

  1. Rosemarie, I wish I could “beam you up” to do my seasonal decorating and create holiday menus! But seriously, I think that most Americans feel the way you do, and that while we are a young (comparatively speaking) nation with many lessons to learn, somehow we will pull this all together and get to a better place. That is my fervent prayer for us as individuals and as a nation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my! It was sensational! I didn’t have roasted garlic powder, so I used regular, and unfortunately, we can’t do cayenne, so I used black pepper instead. But it was absolutely perfect on the pork loin, done on our Traeger. Best roast pork I’ve had in ages. Thank you!


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