Friday Faves: 4th of July Recipes

I know, I know — I already did a 4th of July post BUT it didn’t include food! And remember guys, this is a cooking blog! So yeah. I’m totally going to beat a dead horse here and dedicate one more post to love of country and all things patriotic.


Here’s a roundup of all the recipes I’ve seen floating around the world wide web, and I’m thinking some of them just NEED to be at our annual 4th of July bash.

First up? Cucumber Cape Codders. Which is a cocktail. Not food. But GUYS. I love cocktails. And these look oh so refreshing.


Another perfectly festive cocktail? A red + white + blue daiquiri!


And naturally if I lead with cocktails, then you can bet your ass I’m doing dessert next. How about these Mini Summer Berry Pavlovas with Strawberry Sauce?

My mom makes a berry fruit pizza every year, similar to this one. But this one uses chocolate. And EVERYTHING is better with chocolate.


Um, let’s just pretend calories don’t count on the 4th of July. It’s un-patriotic, after all. I’m pretty sure. Anyway. Fried chicken, anyone?


Just as classic for a 4th of July BBQ? A burger. And when said burger is an imitation of In-N-Out’s double double, animal style? Drooooool.


Oh heyyyyy grilled corn on the cob with garlic butter, lime and cotija. I ate you in Mexico. And I’ll eat you again next Thursday. Maybe even twice. Side note: any sexual innuendos in the previous three sentences were entirely unintentional.


And of course, I have to finish with just one more dessert. Because it’s me. And that’s the sort of silliness that you’ve come to expect from me.

Mini s’mores? C’mon. Please stop with the cuteness.


Ok, that’s probably enough. Also, I’m getting hungry so I’m going to stop now.


Baking Therapy: {Healthier} Banana Bread

I know that many of you live in sunny, warm places where it actually feels like summer but up here in Seattle, mother nature still can’t make up her mind. It’s been a monsoon for the past week, and I gotta say, it’s getting a little old. Someone remind me again why I don’t live in San Diego?

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The only nice thing about the fall-like weather is that baking doesn’t seem so crazy when it’s not 80 degrees outside. And when you’re having a bad week, is there anything more therapeutic than baking a warm, comforting loaf of banana bread? Not to me, my friends.

Also, this is kinda a healthy version of banana bread. It may not be the BEST EVER (but when I find the BEST EVER banana bread recipe, I will most certainly share it), but because it’s healthy (kinda), I’m OK with that. Also, that makes it totally acceptable to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Right? Just say yes.

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  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. applesauce
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 tbs. vanilla

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  1. Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Lightly grease pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir in eggs, applesauce, bananas, and sugar.
  3. Bake approximately 45 minutes — don’t cook too long! Remember, it will continue to bake in the pan once removed from the oven and you want to keep it nice and moist. Also, does anyone else agree that “moist” is kind of a gross word?

Yields: Well, depends how big your loaf pan is. If you have a 9″x5″, then one loaf. If yours is a little smaller, like mine, then it will make one regular sized loaf and one baby loaf. I do this intentionally, because I always add chocolate chips to the baby loaf. Yeah. I like chocolate.

Recipe from: I wish I could tell you, but I scribbled it down on a piece of paper, lord knows from where, years ago and it’s lived in my recipe book ever since.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Remember how two weekends ago I went to a bachelorette party that may or may not have involved lots of food and adult beverages? And then the following weekend I went back east to Boston, which involved even more food and adult beverages?

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Yeah. I do. And so does my waistline. Which is why when I planned this week’s menu, lots of salads and healthy things made their way onto the list. And these lettuce wraps? Well, they’ve been in my repertoire for over a year now, and they never fail me. I loooove lettuce wraps (not even the tiniest bit ashamed to admit I owe this love to P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps) so I happily make these every couple months. They’re perfect as a heavy appetizer or light main dish, they’re healthy, and they’re surprisingly filling. Also, your bikini bod will thank me. So yeah, you’re welcome.

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  • 16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves (or just a head of iceberg lettuce)
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chile pepper sauce — this is optional, depending on whether or not you enjoy spicy food
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 3/4 c. chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

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Phew. Yeah, I know. It’s a lot of weird ingredients. But on the plus side, you can use most of these over and over again for any Asian recipe. Orrrr you can just keep making lettuce wraps. They’re that good.


  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground turkey in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked meat; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Yields: 4 servings

Recipe adapted from: Allrecipes