Happy July 4th!

Happy Independence Day!!  To all who have served and to those still serving, thank you for defending our freedom, thank you for preserving the rights and privileges that I enjoy daily.

Red, White and Blue....with Fireworks!

Red, White and Blue….with Fireworks!

Today we are celebrating our freedom with not one but TWO picnics.  Our first picnic is at my sister in laws house, who thank goodness has a pool!  It is supposed to be 90 degrees today with 90% humidity.  The pool will be a welcome relief.

I am bringing a traditional picnic dish to her house, deviled eggs.  Does anyone still make deviled eggs for picnics?  We love them and every time I make them, they are a huge hit, but I rarely see them on picnic buffets anymore, why is that? Anyway, should you decide that today is the day you make deviled eggs, I will give you one of the best transport tips – if you don’t have an egg dish, the one with divots that lovingly hold your egg halves in place, try putting down a layer of shredded lettuce or cabbage on your serving plate.   Then nestle your egg halves into the shredded vegetables.  It gives them a nice base to stand on and they won’t slide around on the plate.

What do you use as a filling for your deviled eggs?  I like to stay with the classic, cooked egg yolk, French’s  Yellow Mustard, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, a little finely diced white onion, salt and pepper.  There are so many recipes out there and they sound so appetizing, but I haven’t ever tried anything else.  Do any of you have a favorite addition?

Picnic number two will be at our neighbors house this evening.   Since I wasn’t sure we would be on time, due to picnic number one, I opted for bringing dessert.  Since the heat will be so oppressive today I pulled out my trusty ice cream maker last night and made homemade vanilla ice cream.   I prefer the Philadelphia style ice cream, made without eggs, so mine is just cream, milk, sugar, seeds from a vanilla bean pod, and a splash of vanilla extract.  Simple, cool, and delicious!  Ice cream is always a welcome addition but I decided this morning to make a Toll House Pie to go along with it, because seriously, who doesn’t need chocolate on a holiday weekend? Heck, I need chocolate daily, but that is another blog post!

While the vanilla ice cream with churning away, I boiled water and sugar together and made simple syrup.  I let that cool, zested two lemons, juiced twelve lemons and combined them with the simple syrup.   After the ice cream was done, I cleaned the bowl to the ice cream maker, refroze it, and early this morning, I poured my cooled lemon mixture into it and made lemon sorbet.

Lemon sorbet on its own is certainly cold and refreshing but it can also be scooped into a glass and topped with vodka for an icy cold summer drink. If you have kids around, you can use club soda instead, instant lemon soda!

Hopefully everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July!  I would love to hear what your plans are for the day…..

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