I hope you guys have some fun plans for the 4th. If you’re not going to someone’s party, chances are you’ve got your own bbq or picnic planned.

Still not sure what to make? I’ve got you covered for both the main meal and the dessert!

If you want something savory, these first recipes will make you the hit of any 4th of July party:

Brad’s Salsa– seriously so good you don’t even need chips



Tomato Corn Salad – sweet summer corn steals the show in this one.

Corn and tomato salad with basil


Veggie TexMex Pasta Salad– I brought this to last year’s 4th festivities! It’s got no mayo so it can sit out without worries of food poisoning.

Tex mex pasta salad


Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Feta, Capers and Chickpeas– a great cold pasta salad to serve alongside burgers and hotdogs.

Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Feta, Capers,and Chickpeas 2 ~ ElephantEats.com


Wheatberry Salad– something a little different and healthier for your 4th. Great served warm or cold.Warm Wheatberry, Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta and Crispy Tofu ~ ElephantEats.com


Marinated Broccoli Salad – best made the day before, so get on it!Broccoli Salad


Tabouli – classic summer salad taking advantage of all the fresh veggies available!



Cilantro Lime Hummus– the most refreshing hummus you’ve ever tasted, and a recipe that gets pinned ALL the time.

Cilantro Lime Hummus


Now, if you’re looking for something sweet, I’ve totally got you covered:

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp– with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s summer dessert perfection!

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp


Toffee Blondies– Sturdy and perfectly portable for whever you need to bring them. Also, have you seen the photo below?! I wish I had one now.

Toffee Blondies ~ ElephantEats.com


Cookies ‘n Cream Bars – this recipe is crazy good. Tastes like Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream in a convenient little bar.

Cookies and Cream Bars


No-Bake Chocolate-covered Peanut Butter Crispy Bars  – a great recipe for when it’s too hot to turn on the oven. Though these are best served indoors in the A/C so the chocolate doesn’t get too melty.

Crispy Peanut Butter Bars


and finally for a little something to liven up your party while keeping you cool:

Frozen Lemon Mojito– SOOOO good and so refreshing! Can easily be made without the alcohol. Just add more water.

Frozen Lemon Mojito


Happy 4th everyone!!!


Pasta Salad with Broccoli, Feta, Capers and Chickpeas

Cheesy  Herb Breadsticks

Sorry I’m late in sharing recipes for Thanksgiving. Since you’ve probably already got your main meal covered (if you’re anything like my family, the menu is NOT ALLOWED to change from year to year. We like our traditions!), I thought I’d bring you some ideas for appetizers and drinks.

Cheddar Herb Twists

Several weeks ago, we made plans to celebrate after the NY Marathon. Nate’s mom was going to be in the city and so we invited a few friends to join us later in the day after the marathon for some drinks and appetizers before we all headed to dinner.

Polenta with Tomato Tapenade

Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy came and went and destroyed many things in it’s wake, including any prospect of Nate getting to run a marathon this year.

But, on a positivie note, my mother-in-law (I think that’s the first time I’ve gotten to say that!) and our friends still came over. We just decided to celebrate good friends instead of marathon-finishing.

Polenta with Tomato Tapenade

I wasn’t feeling well and I just wanted a couple easy appetizers to make. I did some searching and came across what I thought were two simple recipes.

The polenta triangles were totally delicious and TOTALLY simple. The polenta is pre-made and you can buy it in a tube at the market. I suppose you could make your own if you wanted to, but that would make it way harder. The accompanying tapenade can get quickly whipped up in a mini food precessor.

Polenta with Tomato Tapenade

*as a side note, the plate I served the polenta on was the plate I made at my bachelorette party! We went to one of those pottery painting places, then to a nice dinner and then came back to my apt for a chick flick! A perfect day :) I painted a leaf and wrote the date of the wedding on the plate. 

Cheddar Herb Twist

The breadsticks were more labor intensive, but according to my guests were totally worth it. Easy for them to say, right? It was quite a pain to twist every stick, but in the end I think I could have halved the recipe because it made A LOT.

Cheddar Herb Twists

I’m just linking to the recipes below since I didn’t change them at all:

Polenta wedges with tomato tapenade

Cheddar Herb Twists

I also made the Cider Sangria from HowSweetEats, but I made a couple changes. I subbed ginger ale for the club soda and regular brandy for ginger brandy. It was delicious!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow (if you celebrate it)!!!! We’re headed to my parents house in Florida. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

16. June 2012 · 14 comments · Categories: Drinks, recipes · Tags: , , ,

Frozen Lemon Mojito

If you’ve been searching for an alcoholic summer drink that’s perfect for sipping by the pool, look no further.

As you know I had a couple people over to dinner the other day and I wanted to make something fun and refreshing for them to sip on while I was busy in the kitchen making the rest of the meal.

I don’t drink at all, and Nate only likes wine, so we didn’t have much in the way of hard liquor in the apt. I did have a bottle of Absolut Vodka I had gotten as a gift a while ago, so I was determined to use it.

Frozen Lemon Mojito

I knew the drink would be great with lemon or lime, and I really wanted something frozen since I love using by awesome Blendtec Blender. I was thinking along the lines of a frozen mojito since I couldn’t get the flavor out of my head after seeing this post from Kelly.

After a bit of searching, I came across this recipe for Frozen Lemon Vodka Mint Mojitos. I didn’t have Lemon Vodka but it didn’t make much of a difference. It was basically a Lemon Mojito Slushie. It doesn’t have enough alcohol to make you too tispy and even I couldn’t really taste it, so depending on how strong you like your drinks you might want to up the alcohol content.

That being said you could easily leave out the alcohol and have an amazing Mint Lemonade Slushie. I think I might do that soon because this drink is perfect for the hot and humid weather that’s about to hit us.

I may not have a pool, but at least I can sip this drink and pretend I’m sunbathing :)

Frozen Lemon Mojito

Frozen Lemon Mojito

Very slightly adapted from Salt and Serenity

Print this recipe!

Serves 3-4

4 cups ice cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ***check amount on rewritten recipe
2/3 cup vodka
1 1/2 cup, loosely packed mint leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into tumbler glasses, garnish with a lemon slice and
mint sprig.

Simple syrup:
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool and pour into a covered jar. Will keep in the fridge for several weeks.