Cherry Pie & Fourth of July

Summer has arrived and now it’s time for some serious chillin’ and grillin’ on the backyard BBQ and celebrating the nation’s birthday.

Here are some bang-up ideas from décor to desserts to get you started:


  1. Use an array of baskets and platters to present serving implements and food buffet style. Line wire and/or wood baskets with craft paper and gingham cloth napkins for a country look!
  2. Serve refreshing white sangria using frozen fresh strawberries and blueberries to keep your sangria cool.
  3. Wrap red, white and blue bandanas around your outdoor chair seats and knot them in the back for easy and fun pillow décor.
  4. Fill small mason jars with colored water using red and blue food coloring, add white daisies and set them on tables as centerpieces.
  5. Make fruit kabob hors d’oeuvres using strawberry, banana, and berries arranged on a white platter in keeping with the star-spangled holiday.
  6. Make watermelon stars by cutting a large seedless watermelon in rounds and using a star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and serve on platter.
  7. Serve BBQ sauces for ribs in mason jars with brushes.
  8. Get creative with the toppings bar for Burgers & Dogs adding caramelized onions, jalapenos, artisan cheese slices, bacon bits, mushrooms, avocados, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and chili.
  9. Set up an Ice Cream Float Station inside a camping grill!  Pre- scoop vanilla ice cream into mason jars and pair them with root beer and different sodas so guests can make their own floats. Set the jars into the grill packed with ice and they will stay cold all day!
  10. Make red velvet cupcakes with a blueberry on top or decorated cake pops in red, white & blue.
  11. Grill corn on the cob & make different butters ahead like chipotle lime butter.  Have different seasoned salts and gourmet rubs on hand for sprinkling them on the corn.


Star Spangled Cherry Pie



4 cups cherries, pitted

1 cup sugar (1 1/4 cups for sour cherries)

1⁄4  cup Flour

1⁄2 tsp.  Cinnamon

1 tsp. Vanilla

Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie (store-bought) or make your own.  I DO!…



Mix ingredients for filling

Place in pastry-lined pie pan

Cut star shapes into pastry with cookie cutter and decorate on top for Star Spangled effect

Brush with egg whites and sprinkle with raw sugar

Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 25-30 minutes more.

TIP: Put sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla in a large zip-lock bag. Add the cherries and toss to coat evenly.  This is better than mixing it in a bowl and the filling is firmer.



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