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Serve more than hot dogs on July 4

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 7/3/21

Whether an early riser, lunch-time picnicker or planning to be out late on a date this July 4, we have some summer recipes (courtesy of The Dairy Alliance)to get you started. Serve with a drizzle of warmed milk or cream. Add toppings like fresh berries, dried fruits and chopped nuts...

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Serve more than hot dogs on July 4


Whether an early riser, lunch-time picnicker or planning to be out late on a date this July 4, we have some summer recipes (courtesy of The Dairy Alliance)to get you started.

**Ancient Grains Cereal

Serve with a drizzle of warmed milk or cream. Add toppings like fresh berries, dried fruits and chopped nuts.

Servings: 14

1 C. quinoa

1 C. steel cut oats

1 C. amaranth

1⁄2 C. flax seeds

8 C. milk

2 C. water

1⁄2 C. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1⁄2 tsp. nutmeg

Coat the bottom and sides of a 6-quart slow cooker with butter. Add quinoa through water into slow-cooker insert. Whisk together until well blended. Add sugar, butter and spices. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours. Remove lid and scoop one cup into bowls, pour warm cream or milk over top, add chopped nuts, fresh seasonal berries and a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.

**Banana Milk Coffee

It's easy to make banana milk coffee. Simply blend 1 banana, 1 cup of milk, and a small amount of simple syrup or honey until smooth. Pour the blended mixture over cold brew coffee. That's all it takes to make this delicious pick-me-up!

The real fun comes in experimenting with this milk recipe during the July 4 holiday. Swap out the banana for blueberries or add something sweet like strawberries. Thicken it with a dollop of peanut butter. Perhaps you want to add a dash of cinnamon or mix in vanilla. For those feeling adventurous, switch out the whole milk for chocolate milk.

Red, White & Bleu Spinach Salad

This refreshing summer salad is perfect for picnics and light lunches. Spinach, apples and bleu cheese provide much-needed vitamins and minerals, and the vibrant colors will lighten any table.

Servings: 4

1 (15-ounce) can of chickpeas rinsed and drained well (garbanzo beans)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1⁄4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (10-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed

1 Red Delicious apple, thinly sliced

1 cup sliced white button mushrooms

3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Toss chickpeas with 2 teaspoons oil; spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350˚ for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes.

Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar and next three ingredients (through black pepper) until well blended. Layer spinach and remaining ingredients in a bowl; top with roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat.

**Roasted Red Pepper-Feta Dip

Combine roasted red peppers, feta and yogurt for a low-fat, spicy dip.

Servings: 3

2 garlic bulbs

2 medium red bell peppers, roasted and peeled

1 C. plain yogurt

2 C. canned cannellini beans, drained

1⁄2 tsp. ground red pepper

1 C. (8 oz.) crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the tops of the garlic bulbs with a sharp knife to expose the cloves. Place the garlic on a square of aluminum foil. Fold foil to seal. Wrap entirely in more foil and bake 45 minutes. Unwrap and let cool. Squeeze the soft garlic cloves from their skins.

Cut bell peppers in half, lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place bell pepper in a zip-top, heavy-duty plastic bag and seal; let stand 10 minutes. Peel.

Combine roasted bell peppers, Greek yogurt, beans and ground red pepper in food processor; process until smooth. Add feta and pulse just until combined.

Serve with pita chips, crackers or sliced vegetables.

**BBQ Nachos with Carolina Slaw

Barbecue is serious business in the Carolinas. The slaw pays homage to eastern tastes. The sauces suggested for the nacho toppings are all-inclusive across the South-drizzle with your favorite regional-style sauce for a custom flavor.

BBQ Nachos

1 (11 oz.) bag tortilla chips

4 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalape?o peppers

1 lb. chopped barbecue pork

1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Toppings: Carolina Slaw, red onion, jalape?os, cilantro, Tangy White Barbecue Sauce, red barbecue sauce, mustard barbecue sauce

Carolina Slaw

1⁄4 C. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. yellow mustard

1⁄2 tsp. celery salt

1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper

1⁄4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 (10 oz.) package angel hair cole slaw mix

Tangy White Barbecue Sauce

1 C. plain whole milk Greek yogurt

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. sugar

1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper

1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder

1⁄4 tsp. celery salt

1⁄4 tsp. paprika

BBQ Nachos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide chips between two lightly greased parchment paper-lined half sheet pans. Layer each pan with 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese with jalape?o peppers, 1/2 pound pork, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake in batches, 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Top each pan with 1 cup Carolina Slaw and desired toppings.

Carolina Slaw

Makes 2 cups. Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 5 minutes; Chill: 1 hour

Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and whisk in next five ingredients; pour warm dressing over slaw mix tossing to coat. Chill 1 hour.

Tangy White Barbecue Sauce

A North Alabama classic gets a protein-packed update with Greek style yogurt. Makes 1 1/4 cups. Prep: 5 minutes.Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.

**Summer Cantaloupe Cooler

Summer is synonymous with many things. Vacations, warm weather and al fresco dining are part and parcel of many people's summertime routines.

Another beloved routine is enjoying a cold beverage on a warm summer evening. As summer breezes invite scores of people outside to relax on their patios, decks or balconies, a cold beverage can be just what's needed to take such relaxing nights one step further. The following recipe for "Summer Cantaloupe" from Andrew Schloss' "Homemade Liqueurs and Infused Spirits" (Storey Publishing) is easily whipped up and can go a long way toward making summer evenings especially sweet.

Servings: Makes about 1 quart

1 fifth (31⁄4 cups) 80-100 proof vodka

4 C. cantaloupe chunks

1 C. simple syrup (see below)

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

1. Muddle the vodka, cantaloupe and lemon zest with a wooden spoon in a half-gallon jar. Stir to moisten everything.

2. Seal the jar and put it in a cool, dark cabinet until the liquid smells and tastes strongly of melon, four to seven days.

3. Strain the mixture with a mesh strainer into a clean quart jar. Do not push on the solids to extract more


4. Stir in the Simple Syrup.

5. Seal and store in a cool, dark cabinet. Use within one year.

**Simple Syrup

Makes 3 cups

21⁄4 cups water

21⁄4 cups granulated cane sugar

Mix the water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is all moistened. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved, then remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate for up to three months. SL206017

**Patriotic Pops

1/2 C. granola

2 tsp. brown rice syrup

3/4 C. reduced-fat milk

6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt

1 C. whole strawberries, tops removed

1 1/4 C. blueberries, divided

4 Tbsp. water (optional)

Place granola and brown rice syrup in a small bowl and stir well until combined. Press approximately 3/4 tablespoon granola into each popsicle mold using the end of a wooden spoon. Granola should be packed tightly into the bottom of the mold.

In another small bowl, stir together milk and yogurt and set aside.

Using a small food processor or high-powered blender, puree the strawberries until smooth. Stir in a little bit of water into each puree so they are pourable, about 2 tablespoons, more if necessary.

Set aside 30 smaller blueberries and puree the remainder. Again, add water as needed to make it pourable.

For the cleanest lines between layers, use a small syringe, such as an infant medicine syringe. If you'll be pouring the milk and yogurt and purees into the mold, transfer each into small measuring cups with spouts. Store milk and yogurt mixture and purees in the refrigerator when not being used.

To layer the pops, start by pouring, piping or syringing 1 tablespoon (15mL) milk and yogurt mixture into each mold, covering the granola layer. Pouring will give you a more imperfect look whereas a syringe will make for cleaner lines between layers. Put the mold in the freezer and freeze until firm, at least one hour.

Next, layer 1 tablespoon strawberry puree on top of the frozen yogurt layer. Cover the top of the mold with foil, insert the popsicle sticks and freeze again until solid. Remove the foil, add another layer of yogurt and freeze again.

For the final layer, add 1 tablespoon blueberry puree and 3 blueberries to each mold. Freeze until solid. Keep the popsicles in the mold until ready to eat. Run each mold under lukewarm water for ~10 seconds to loosen and remove popsicles. Pops can be made 1 day in advance.

**Cheddar Puffs

Serving size 3 puffs

These easy cheese appetizers are perfect for parties and feature a pleasing combination of savory and sweet flavors. Aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, do not contain lactose and are fine for people with a sensitivity to lactose.

1 cup water

1⁄2 C. unsalted butter

1 C. flour

4 large eggs

8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1⁄8 tsp. black pepper

2⁄3 C. tomato jam

Preheat oven to 400?.

Combine water and butter in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until butter has melted and water is boiling. Once water is boiling, stir in flour. Continue to stir, still over high heat, until mixture comes together as a ball of dough, just about one minute. Transfer flour mixture to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn onto the lowest speed. Add one egg at a time, and then turn to high speed and whip until the dough is sticky. Incorporate cheese and black pepper and whip together another 30 seconds. Drop heaping teaspoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and poke a hole in each puff with a wooden pick. Allow puffs to cool enough to touch. Spoon about 1 teaspoon tomato jam into center of each puff. Serve warm.


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