What Was Cooking In The SBK For The Fourth?

Where do I even start?  There's just so much ground to cover!  Last night was a picture perfect 4th of July.  There was good company, ice cold beverages and of course, plenty of food.  Cooking in the summer time just makes me happy.  Okay, cooking anytime makes me happy but in the summer it's a different kind of giddy/happy and yesterday was no exception.  Since there's so much to share, I'm just gonna hop to it.

For starters, we kicked off the party with one of my favorite summertime cocktails.  I created this a couple summers ago and it tastes kind of like summer in a glass.  It's just so refreshing and perfect for a steamy summer evening.  To make it, I pureed down some watermelon and strained out any pulp.  Then I poured it into glasses and then came some champagne.  To top it all off, I tossed in some lime juice and then the best part, fresh blueberries that just seemed to playfully bob around in the glass.

Once the drinks were taken care of, we moved on to some snacks.  All great parties start with snacks, right? I made up a simple little cheese and cracker plate with some smoky Gouda cheese.  I also made a bruschetta out of some blueberry pesto (yes, blueberry pesto) from Pestos With Panache.  The pesto itself was an interesting combination of blueberry, hints of lemon and then a surprising heated finish.  I liked the change up in flavors, however, the color the pesto itself wasn't too eye-catching.  Maybe it's because when I got it, I froze it instead of using right away?

In addition to my party starters, my friend Fiona, from A Boston Food Diary, brought along some yummy little snacks.  One was a delicious bean and pulled chicken dip that was SO addictive as was THE most amazing French Onion Dip I've ever tasted.  (No joke.) I immediately asked for the recipe.  I love having foodie friends and sharing recipes!

Once we had our share of snacks, it was onto the main meal.  I had intended to make pulled pork sliders with a homemade hard cider mustard sauce but at the last minute, something went awry with my pork it came out way overcooked.  I'm still not exactly sure what happened to it, I cooked it low and slow like a thick cut of pork butt should be cooked, but for whatever reason, it just didn't cooperate.  After an emergency run to Trader Joe's, pulled pork sliders morphed into pulled chicken sliders with a hard cider mustard sauce and extra sharp cheddar cheese.  (Special SBK tip: always have Plan B and don't worry if things don't turn out how you planned.  Just improvise and pretend like that's the way you meant it to be all along. No one will know!)  These were mighty tasty if I do say so myself.  The sauce provided hints of sweet apple, tangy mustard and a touch of cinnamon that paired nicely with a extra sharp cheese and crusty whole wheat miniature rolls.

To compliment the pulled chicken sliders, I made a corn, tomato, fresh mozzarella, shallot and basil salad (seriously, that and some rice wine vinegar, a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper was all that was in it.  Does it get any easier than that?).  It wasn't fussy or fancy, it was just simple, fresh and very delicious.  The fact that it also takes about 5 minutes to put together, this salad is a sure winner.  And doesn't it just look pretty?  I mean look at those beautiful colors!
After dinner we all had great plans of walking over to the Charles to watch the fireworks, but in all honesty, we all agreed that it was more fun to relax in the air conditioning, play some card games and just catch the fireworks on tv.  So fun!  Happy 4th and happy, happy summer!


Sara.S said...

That salad looks so good I want to eat it off the screen. I'm trolling your site for recipes to take to our beach vacation next week! Watermelon drinks are a must as well. Wish I was at the party!!!

A Bluebonnet in Beantown said...

Yum! The watermelon cocktail looks especially interesting. I wanted to try a nonalcoholic watermelon lemonade recipe I saw on epicurious, but I think I like your version better. Everything is better with champagne!


Boston Food Diary said...

That salad was incredible!! I'm still dreaming about it...

Nancy said...

The corn, tomato, fresh mozzarella, shallot and basil salad is fresh, simple and seriously delicious. My husband and I can't stop eating it.

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