Midday Fix: Fourth of July celebration ideas from Carol Mackey

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Carol Mackey



Edible Flower Goat Cheese Log

1 10-ounce goat cheese log
1 smaller sized zucchini very thinly sliced with a peeler
Chives chopped into 1-inch pieces (optional)
Edible flowers (i.e.: violets, marigolds, lavender, rose, nasturtium, pansy)

Lay plastic wrap on board and place goat cheese log in center. Arrange zucchini, chives and edible flowers over goat cheese log. Lift plastic wrap from board to wrap cheese log, securing sides. Refrigerate for several hours.  Optional: drizzle with truffle honey.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw

1/2 small head Napa cabbage
1/2 small head red cabbage
1/2 of a thinly sliced red pepper
about 2 cups mayonnaise
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
celery salt and fresh ground pepper
about 3/4 cups blue cheese
crumbled bacon for the top

Cut the cabbages in half and then cut out the cores. Slice the cabbages thin, julienne the red pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, celery salt and pepper. Pour enough mayonnaise dressing over the grated vegetables and toss to moisten well. Add crumbled blue cheese and toss together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to meld, sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese. For a pretty and practical presentation serve in a covered glass storage jar and layer watermelon radishes in the glass jar before adding slaw.

Low Country Boil

1 pound kielbasa cut in 1 inch pieces
2 1/2 pounds raw large shrimp deveined and in shell
1 pound small new potatoes (per person)
2 pounds of mussels; rinsed and debearded
4 ears of corn cut into 3” pieces
4-6 garlic cloves sliced
1 1/2 cups small cipollini onions peeled and left whole
2-3 quarts chicken stock
1 can beer
4 Tbs old bay seasoning
2 small onions (per person)

Heat a little olive oil in a large pot and add garlic cook gently without browning, add chicken stock, beer and Old Bay seasoning, bring to a boil and add potatoes cook about 5 minutes. Next add corn and onions cook another 5 minutes. Lastly add the mussels, shrimp and sausage cook about 5 more minutes or until shrimp are just cooked and mussels are open. Drain cooking liquid and pour contents into a large serving bowl or platter. Serve with lemon wedges and sauces. Makes about 6 servings.


1 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbs chili sauce (can use ketchup)
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp garlic
2 tsp horseradish
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs capers
1 Tbs Italian flat leaf parsley

Mix together above ingredients.

Sriracha Sauce

1 cup of your favorite hummus
1-3 Tbs sriracha (to taste)
1 Tbs lemon juice
pinch of salt and garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tsp maple syrup

Mix together above ingredients.

Garlic Butter

Melted butter simmered with finely minced garlic.

Festive Hand Pies

4 cups (2 pints) blueberries (same quantities for strawberries but omit cinnamon)
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbs cold butter, cut in small pieces
egg wash

Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold & ease into pan without stretching it and pat firmly into pan. Place berries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries & toss to distribute evenly. Immediately transfer to the dough lined pan. Dot with butter. Place on top layer of dough. Trim, fold and crimp the edges. Vent the top. Refrigerate the pie until the dough is firm, 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely to set. Serve at room or rewarm in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes just before serving.

Butter And Lard Pie Crust

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs granulated sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz or 1 ½ stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup (6 oz) lard, chilled and cubed
4-5 Tbs (1/3 cup) iced water

This crust is based on one I found elsewhere, except the original did not use lard. Try making 2 pies, one with lard and the other with shortening. You’ll notice the difference then, and will be a lover of lard. The best way I have found to make a perfect pie crust is with a food processor. Put the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Add the chunks of chilled butter and lard on top and pulse the food processor until it looks like coarse meal. Do not overmix this, and make sure the fats are cold ! Dump this into another bowl. It should still have large chunks of fat in it, ranging in size from the size of a pea to the size of shelled walnuts. Add the water and mix it with a fork until it comes together. Stir with a fork until it gathers together. It should still be crumbly. Divide this in two and dump it onto a piece of waxed or parchment paper (or plastic wrap) and flatten it to a disk, about 4-6 inches in diameter. Divide into two piles, and dump each onto some parchment or waxed paper (or plastic wrap) Gather the pile together gently with your hands. DO NOT KNEAD THE DOUGH! Wrap the dough in the parchment, waxed paper, or plastic wrap and flatten it. Chill in the refrigerator, or freeze for later use. Cover the disks well and let them chill until very cold. The dough should not be wet at all. In fact, it should be somewhat dry and crumbly and difficult to work with at this point. As it cools in the refrigerator, the flour will absorb the water, and solidify. You do not want to knead this at all. Kneading this will form gluten, which makes a pie crust very tough. Once your crust is very cold, it is time to roll. Flour your work surface and take out the crust. Place it on the flour and roll it gently from the center outward. Roll it a bit larger than the pie tin you will be using. If you made this correctly, you will see the chunks of fat in the dough, and as you roll the dough these will flatten, and THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE FLAKES. Gently press this into your pie tin, and proceed with your pie of choice. If you want to bake this “blind” (empty), chill the finished crust in the pie tin and then poke holes in the bottom with a fork. Place some baking parchment paper or foil inside the crust and add some beans or rice to weigh down the crust. Bake this at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Let the crust cool and remove the beans or rice. Bake the crust again for another 10 minutes, or until a nice golden brown. If you bake the crust without the beans or rice in it, the crust may shrink while it bakes. If you bake the crust completely with the beans or rice in it, then the inside of the crust will not bake. Remember, when baking a pie where the filling is cooked in the crust, set the oven rack low and start with a high temperature (around 400 Fahrenheit) and then turn the temperature down after about 10-15 minutes. This will assure the bottom crust does not end up raw and soggy.

Note this is my award winning pie recipe, for the hand pies I simply used the exact recipe cut out 2 circles per hand pie about 5 inches and used a tiny star cuter for the top. It will make approximately 16-18 hand pies. The hand pies will take about 14 minutes in the oven.


Craft Sources:

Galvanized tub - Walmart
Galvanized Dessert Stand - World Market
Galvanized Chargers, decals, nautical rope, washi tape, pom poms and colored sand - Michaels Craft Store
Galvanized small cups - Crate and Barrel
Firecracker candles - Tag (check on line where you can purchase near you)

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