Happy 4th and Patriotic Desserts!

boston pops

Today is July 4th – a big Day here in Boston! Craig Ferguson and Toby Keith are set to go on at 10 pm EST on CBS. The 4th of July in Boston is not only a great family day, but can be completely budget friendly. All of the concerts and displays are free, and if you don’t fall into the pitfalls of paying for parking, buying those silly glow necklaces, and purchasing your meals from a variety of fried dough and hot dog vendors, then the day can cost practically nothing, while providing priceless memories.

Top Row: New York Cheesecake With Blackberry Coulis, Patriotic Parfaits,
Bottom Row: Blueberry Napoleons With Creme Fraiche, Berry Pudding Cakes, Summer Shortcake

4th-desserts-fancy-collage

But, of course if your staying home and having a crowd over for BBQ……Here are a few crowd pleasers fancied up just a bit. The Napoleon and Cheesecake recipes come from two fabulous food bloggers. Martha gets credit for the parfaits and shortcake, and Better Home and Gardens shares their berry pudding cake in a 4th of July slideshow. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’m leaning towards the Cheesecake of course!
Enjoy the 4th, we will be BBQ and watching the Boston Fireworks from the hillside in town. It’s way too crowded to go into Boston today….:)

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Corn Chowder on a Chilly Day!

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We’re off for the week, and it’s windy and chilly. We need something warm after a day of skiing. So I thought I would throw together a quick easy meal that everyone will eat…My Famous Corn Chowder! Even all the kids love it!
I had some roasted Chicken pieces in the freezer left over, and precooked bacon, that I do up and freeze. That is the key to easy cooking is pre-cook items and store in freezer, when you have the chance or leftovers from something you made before. It makes for quick easy meals.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER
Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 red pepper , minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
5 strips Turkey Bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn

Preparation
**Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.

** Add onion, celery, and bacon; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

**Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

**Stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 15 minutes).

NOTE: You can throw everything into a crock pot and forget about it for 4 to 6 hours. Great for ski weekends at the lodge………

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The Baking Fiesta continues….

2383384789_ebee55c674_mWe all love sugar cookies here at our house, and usually I do them around each holiday, in shapes and decorate them. This time I decided to try without frosting. I chose a recipe from one of my new favorite books, America’s Best Lost Recipes“. Check out this book it has great old fashioned recipes from days gone by.

They are very soft, and not too sugary. Nice to have with tea. So give it a try…

Iola’s White Sugar Cookies


1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. buttermilk
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1. In your mixing bowl, cream together until fluffy the butter and sugar. Reduce speed and add egg and vanilla, until combined.
2. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. NOTE: If you have no buttermilk, take 1/2 c. of milk and add in 1/2 tsp white vinegar.
3. Wrap the finished dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled. At least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough about 1/4 inch thick and cut with 2 1/2 inch circle cutter. Space them an inch apart on baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12 to 14 minutes , let cool 20 minutes before storing. You can reroll any scraps you have and cut. Store in air tight container and they will stay moist for awhile.

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