This coming week marks a big holiday for all  — July 4th is always the fun kick off to summer.  And now, we want to give you a head start with some great ideas to jazz it all up! These simple, delicious recipes will have anyone you are serving begging for seconds. Enjoy – have a safe and happy holiday!

Caprese Tomatoes

Caprese Tomatoes Recipe
Is there anything more perfectly fresh than a caprese salad during the summer? Not in our minds—but by the time August rolls around we’ve eaten so many we’re red in the face. This twist on the classic is genius in its presentation. The ‘hasselback’ cut seems fancy, but it’s actually super easy. Your friends will be amazed.
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into small rounds
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp.  sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 plum tomatoes
6 Fresh basil leaves, torn
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling


  1. Combine mozzarella, olive oil, Italian seasoning and salt in a small bowl. Season to taste with pepper and marinate while you prepare tomatoes.
  2. To create the ‘hasselback method’ – slice each tomato crosswise, like an accordion, making sure not to cut all the way through.
  3. Place cut tomatoes on a serving platter. Insert marinated cheese slices and pieces of torn basil into each slit.
  4. Drizzle tomatoes with balsamic glaze before serving.


BBQ Grilled Chicken
BBQ Grilled Chicken Recipe

Let’s be honest: grilled chicken breast may not seem like the most exciting meat out there, but it’s affordable, crowd-pleasing and a snap to cook. So why not skip the burgers at your next barbecue and try this super-easy recipe instead?  The sauce,  is a classic one all jazzed up by adding some honey and lime. It’s so flavorful, the chicken really doesn’t need a marinade—which means you get to eat it WAY sooner.

*When grilling, you want to get those grates ripping hot before starting to cook. To get gorgeous grill marks and avoid dried out food, preheat your grill (gas or charcoal) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Please note: The grill is hot, your chicken is prepped, but there’s one more thing you should know: to avoid getting sick, chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF. Insert a thermometer at the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate reading (and if you’re grilling bone-in chicken, don’t hit the bones when taking the temperature).

2 c. barbecue sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. hot sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts and drumsticks
Vegetable oil, for grill


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together barbecue sauce, lime juice, honey, and hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Set aside 1/2 cup for basting.
  2. Add chicken to bowl and toss until coated.
  3. Heat grill to high. Oil grates and grill chicken, basting with reserved marinade, until charred, 8 minutes per side for breasts, and 10 to 12 minutes per side for legs.


Watermelon Sangria
Watermelon Sangria Recipe
Looking for a festive cocktail to excite your guest? This Sangria is so refreshing and sweet! (Any bottle of white will work here, but we imagine a Moscato would be particularly good – that’s what we used!)

1 Large watermelon
1 (750-ml) bottle white wine, chilled
2 c. white rum
1 c. seltzer
1/3 c. lime juice (from about 6 limes)
2 limes, thinly sliced
2 c. assorted fresh or frozen fruit, such as pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries


  1. Slice off the top third of the watermelon lengthwise (save for later use) and score fruit with a knife. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out watermelon and transfer to blender.
  2. Blend watermelon until smooth. (If desired, strain seeds.)
  3. Add white wine, rum, seltzer, and lime juice and stir until combined, then add limes and fruit.
  4. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, then serve.


Flag Cake
Flag Cake Recipe
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. whole milk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
4 tsp. cold water
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. honey

quartered strawberries
1 c. raspberries
1/3 c. blueberries


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13×9 rectangular pan. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. Place butter and milk in large microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave until butter is melted, about 2 minutes; set aside.
  3. Place eggs in stand-mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until well combined.
  4. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk mixture, starting and ending with flour. Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. To make honey whipped cream: Place stand-mixer bowl in freezer to chill briefly.
  6. Place water in small microwave-safe shallow bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let stand until gelatin has bloomed (about 5 minutes; mixture will become solid).
  7. Place bowl in microwave and heat on low for 10 seconds or until mixture dissolves to syrup consistency. Set aside to cool slightly.
  8. Place heavy cream in chilled stand mixer bowl and on medium-high speed beat until thick, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Turn mixer to lowest setting and add in honey and beat until combined, about 1 minute.
  10. With the mixer still running, slowly add in gelatin mixture and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  11. To assemble cake: Frost cake with honey whipped cream. Create blue corner with blueberries. Stripe cake with strawberries and raspberries.

*Recipes reprinted from:

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