Memorial Day serves as a day of remembrance for the men and women of our armed services that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It’s a day we don’t take lightly at my house and the importance and meaning are not forgotten. Like many, the first weekend of summer is spent with our friends and family gathering together and cooking out. These are some of my favorite patriotic recipes that will hopefully help you prepare for the holiday weekend.

Red, White and Berry Parfaits

These are the perfect portion, easy to serve, and a hit every time we make them. This recipe comes from Mountain Momma Cooks


  • 1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 3oz package red Jell-O (I used strawberry-lemonade)
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 7- 1/2 pint mason jars
    1. Divide the diced strawberries evenly among the 7 mason jars; set aside while you prepare the Jell-O.
    2. Prepare the Jell-O according to the manufacturer’s directions on the back of the box. Pour it evenly among the 7 mason jars. Let the Jell-O set in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. (Can be made a day in advance.)
    3. When ready to serve, remove from fridge and make the whipped cream.
    4. Using a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream in a medium-size bowl until it’s stiff but not over whipped. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.
    5. Add the whipped cream to the top of the Jell-O in each container using the back of a spoon or your finger to even the whipped cream out and get it all the way to the sides of the jar.
    6. Garnish the whipped cream with fresh blueberries and blackberries.
    7. Serve immediately.

Firecracker Cake

  • 1 box (15.25 oz.) white cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix
  • Red food coloring (see note)
  • Blue food coloring (see note)
  • 1 container (12 oz.) white frosting
  • Red, white and blue sprinkles, optional
1. Preheat oven according to cake mix directions. Generously grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan; set aside.
2. Make cake batter as directed on box, using water, oil and egg whites. Pour 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl; stir in red food coloring until well mixed. Pour another cup of the batter into a separate bowl; stir in blue food color until well mixed.
3. Pour red cake batter into bottom of pan. Carefully pour the white batter over red batter in pan. Carefully pour blue batter over white batter. (The blue batter does not need to cover the white batter completely). When you add the batter to the pan, do not mix with a spoon. Just pour it in so the colors don’t mix but rather, just rest on top of each other in the pan.
4. Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place cooling rack over cookie sheet. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack. Cool cake completely, about 30-45  minutes.
5. When cake is cool, divide the frosting evenly into 3 microwavable bowls. Microwave 1 bowl of frosting uncovered on HIGH a few seconds until smooth enough to drizzle over cake. With spoon, drizzle all of the 1st bowl of microwaved frosting all over the cake, back and forth around the cake in a striping pattern. Repeat microwaving second bowl of frosting until smooth. Stir in a few drops of the blue food coloring until well blended. Drizzle over cake, scattering back and forth. Repeat with remaining frosting and red food coloring, making sure red, white and blue can be seen on the cake. Sprinkle with red, white and blue sprinkles, if desired. Let cake stand at room temperature until frosting is set before serving.
Store loosely covered at room temperature.

    4th of July Snack Mix

    Mix and match your favorite sweet and crunchy snacks to create a delicious mix!


    (mix options)
    mini pretzels
    popcorn (air-popped)
    cereal (chex, cherrios, or your choice)
    peanuts (or a nut of your choice)
    M&Ms or other candies

    white chocolate or white candy melts


    In a large roasting pan, or large casserole dish, mix all ingredients except the M&M’s, sprinkles, and candy melts. Do not over fill your dish, you will need room to toss the ingredients together.

    Melt white chocolate (or candy melts) in a microwave safe dish (at 50% power) in 30 second intervals until almost melted. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the dish of snacks. Mix as needed to coat. It’s up to you if you want the mix to be totally coated, or lightly coated (depending on the amount of melted chocolate you use). As soon as you’ve mix up the snack mix, but the coating is still warm and melty, add sprinkles of your choice, and M&M’s to the mix. Stir to combine.

    Spread the snack mixture out onto a baking sheet (or two if needed). Allow to cool, then break apart as needed.
    If desired, add some of the melted white chocolate to a small plastic piping bag (or small ziplock bag), snip off the end and drizzle over the mix, then allow the chocolate to set before packaging up the mixture.

    Store snack mix in an airtight bag or container.

    Snack mix with popcorn in it will remain fresh tasting about 2-3 days, and a bit longer without popcorn

    Red, White and Blue Sliders


    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    • 2 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
    • 1 lb. ground beef {80/20}
    • salt & pepper, to taste
    • 1 cup sliced strawberries
    • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onions
    • lettuce
    • 16 slider rolls or sandwich bread cut out into circles


    Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients for the blue cheese sauce. Refrigerate. Divide ground beef into 16 even portions and form into mini burger patties the size of the slider rolls. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill about 1-2 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly. Rest 5 minutes then assemble sliders. To assemble, place lettuce on the bottom of the slider roll. Top with burger, strawberry slices, diced onion and blue cheese sauce. Top with another half of roll and repeat with the rest. Serve immediately.

    Lightening Bug Cocktail


    • 6 mint leaves
    • 12 blueberries
    • 1/2 can frozen BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix (thawed)
    • 1/2 cup BACARDI® Superior
    • 1/4 cup blueberries
    • 1 Tbsp Grade A maple syrup
    • 1 pinch cayenne or to taste


    1. Put three mint leaves and 6 blueberries in the bottom of double old fashioned glasses and mash them with a muddler or the back of a spoon.
    2. Put the frozen BACARDI® Mixers Margarita Mix, the BACARDI® Superior, blueberries, maple syrup and cayenne in a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly combine. Strain to remove any solids.
    3. Fill glasses with crushed ice; add the rum and blueberry mixture and garnish with more mint and blueberries.

    Blackberry, Strawberry, Basil and Brie Pizza Crisp


    • 1/2 pound recipe of [your favorite pizza dough 
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 16 leaves basil chopped + divided
    • 8-12 ounces brie sliced
    • 1 1/2 cups strawberries chopped
    • 3/4 cup blackberries
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons honey


    Prepare the dough 1-2 hours ahead of time. When the dough rises make the honey balsamic glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to small sauce pan and simmer until reduced by half. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.

    When ready to grill the pizzas preheat the grill the high heat.
    Add the blackberries to a bowl and add about half of the basil. Lightly mash the blackberries with a fork.
    Invert a baking sheet and generously dust with flour.
    Divide the pizza dough in half and roll each half as thin as you can, but make sure not to rip the dough. Cut the dough into 12 to 16 squares or circles (I did both). Add the olive oil to a small bowl and brush both sides of the pizza rounds with the olive oil and place on the baking sheet.
    Carefully add half of the pizza rounds to the hot grill and grill for no more than 2 minutes. The dough will bubble up, this is good! Remove the pizzas using tongs and repeat with the remaining pizza rounds. When all the pizzas are grilled, turn the heat on the grill down to medium.
    Top the grilled side of each of the pizzas with slices of brie, but make sure to leave a 1/2 inch border around the edges so the brie does not melt all over the grill. Then top with lightly mashed blackberries and the chopped strawberries. Carefully return the pizzas to the grill and grill another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the brie has melted and the pizzas are crisp. Top with the remaining fresh basil and drizzle on the honey balsamic glaze.


    To make the American flag pizza place the blackberries in the left-hand corner of a square pizza crisp and then push the strawberries into the brie in rows. Grill as directed above.


    • 4 egg whites at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 2 cups fresh fruit, sliced or chopped
    • mint for garnish (optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 400º.
    2. Line baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
    3. Beat egg whites until stiff.
    4. Continue to beat and gradually add sugar.
    5. Add vinegar and vanilla.
    6. Beat for 5 more minutes then add cornstarch.
    7. Beat until well-combined.
    8. Pour meringue into a large mound in the center of parchment paper.
    9. Spread the meringue into the shape of disc using the back of a spoon or rubber scraper.
    10. As spreading, indent the center about ½ inch lower than sides.
    11. Reduce heat on the oven to 250º.
    12. Place meringue in the oven and bake for 1½ hours.
    13. Leave the door of the oven propped open for the last ½ hour.
    14. Remove from the oven and cool.
    15. Beat heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar until peaks have formed.
    16. Place fruit in the indention of the pavlova, top with cream and garnish with fresh mint

    Make at Home Rock Candy


    • 6 cups extra fine granulated sugar
    • 2 cups water
    • Food coloring , if desired
    • 12 to 15 bamboo skewers , cut down to preferred length
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar , or more as needed
    • 1 Foam block (example linked)

    In a large pan over medium high heat, stir the water and 6 cups extra fine sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add food coloring, if desired, then bring to a full boil while stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and ladle 1/2 cup of the syrup into a large coffee mug. Set aside and let it cool. Leave the rest of the syrup in the pan, removed from the heat, and allow to cool covered with plastic wrap overnight.

    Meanwhile, spread the 1/4 cup granulated sugar onto a small plate. Dip one edge of each skewer into the cooled 1/2 cup reserved syrup, then roll the dipped side of the skewer in the granulated sugar. Place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Repeat for all skewers and add more sugar as needed. Allow the dipped skewers to dry also overnight.


    The next day, stick the un-dipped side of the skewers into a foam block, about 1-inch spaced from each other. Place upside down into the pan with the sugar syrup so that the sugar-coated edges are now dipped into the syrup. Be careful to not place any sticks too close to the bottom or edge of the pan. Allow to rest for 7 days for the crystals to form and grow. Do not move the pan.
    On the 7th day, remove the skewers from the pan. You may need to gently wiggle the sticks to release them from the partially hardened syrup. Some skewers might not turn out as well as others, especially if they were too close to each other or too close to the bottom or edge of the pan.
    Transfer to wax paper, plastic wrap or parchment paper to dry for one day. (Turn them every few hours so each side can completely dry.) Wrap the dried rock candy in plastic wrap. Use the leftover syrup to make another batch! (Just repeat the process above starting with dipping and rolling the skewers in the thanp then sugar.)

    Red, White and Blue Salad


    • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
    • 1 cup jicama, peeled and cubed
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • pinch of chili powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
    • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled


    1. Mix watermelon, jicama and blueberries in a large bowl. Mix the lim juice, honey, chili powder and salt in a small bowl and pour over the watermelon mixture. Add mint and more salt to taste and top with feta cheese crumbles. Chill for 30-60 minutes before serving.

    Lemon Curd Berry Trifle


    • 6 large egg yolks
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 lemons, zested and juiced *If you don’t want it as tart (it’s not ridiculously tart to begin with, but it is tart) don’t use as much zest. Maybe
    • 2 or 3 lemons
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
    • 1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved lengthwise
    • 1 pint fresh blueberries (We use raspberries)
    • 1 pint fresh blackberries
    • 2 cups sweetened whipped cream
    • 1 prepared lemon pound cake, sliced
    • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish


    Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat.

    Combine the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth.

    Set the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the bottom touch, and continue to whisk.

    Keep working-out that arm and whisk it vigorously for a good 10-15 minutes, until the curd has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow. Don’t let it boil.

    Remove the bowl from heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until melted.

    Refrigerate until the custard is cold and firm.

    Put the berries in a mixing bowl and toss them together so they are evenly distributed.

    Fold the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd to lighten it up into a mousse.

    Line a glass trifle bowl with pieces of pound cake to fit.

    Spoon a layer of the lemon curd over the cake, and then a layer of mixed berries.

    Repeat the layers until the ingredients are used up, the last layer looks best if it’s the berries.

    Chill before serving.

    Garnish with fresh mint.

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