Thursday, June 30, 2016

Getting Decked Out on July the 4th with Martha Stewart Recipes; Something for the Girls; Something for the Guys.

By Laura Medina

It ain't Summer unless, it's July the 4th when everything is hot and sweaty.

Let's start with something refreshing, Red, White, and Blue Sangria, courtesy of Noble Pig Wine.

Red, White and Blue Sangria

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 6


1 bottle (750 ml) Pinot Noir wine (I used Pinot Noir for its tartness) 
1-1/2 cups cranberry juice 
1 cup brandy 
juice from one large orange 
simple syrup* 
2 cups fresh blueberries 
6-8 ounces fresh red raspberries 
6 ounces blackberries 
1 large apple (I prefer Pink Lady), sliced very thin


To a large pitcher add wine, cranberry juice, brandy, orange juice and simple syrup.  
Add blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and apple. Chill overnight. 
Fill six glasses 1/2 full with ice and use a slotted spoon to add fruit from the pitcher to each glass. Pour liquid over ice and fruit and serve. 
*For the simple syrup, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

You can't go wrong with Martha Stewart's recipes.

For a Summer Holiday that's also an All-American Holiday, you gotta use casual, finger-friendly American meals that are All-American.

The simpler, the better, and let's start with something easy, Lobster Rolls...

Lobster Rolls

Top-split buns are the time-honored choice for lobster rolls, but side-split buns can be used instead. Some people like only mayonnaise or melted butter on their lobster meat, but we love the added flavor that fresh herbs provide.  Servings:


1 1/2 pounds cooked, shelled lobster meat (about four 1 1/2-pound lobsters), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or chervil (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
Coarse or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 top-split hot-dog buns
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for rolls

  1. Stir together lobster and mayonnaise. Stir in chives and tarragon (if desired), and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, while preparing rolls, or up to 2 hours.
  2. Heat a large heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. Lightly brush outside of buns with butter; transfer to skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  3. Spoon about 1/2 cup lobster mixture into each bun. Serve immediately.
July the 4th is all about using up all of the bounties of fruits and vegetables that are common to America, watermelons and oranges.  Not just refreshing and hydrating, the salty, creamy Feta Cheese counterbalance the over-bearing sweetness of the watermelon and oranges.

Not only are the ingredients plentiful, putting them together then tossing them is pretty easy, while you're sipping your sangria.

1/4 of a small (6-pound) seedless watermelon, rind removed, flesh cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large orange, peel and pith removed, flesh cut into segments
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 ounces feta cheese, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper


On a serving platter, arrange watermelon, orange, red onion, feta cheese, and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

What would this scribe do if throwing a 4th of July party, all in a last minute, let's start simple, easy, bountiful, affordable, ripest, and All-American.  We started the simplest of them all, Lobster Roll, using chilled lobster meat stuffed in an hot dog roll.  Then, we tossed tons of watermelon and oranges and sprinkled feta cheese and called it salad.  Thanks, Martha Stewart.

We can't have a 4th of July party without barbecue.  Hot but simple yet so worth it, especially on an All-American holiday.


For the Ribs

2 racks (2 to 2 1/2 pounds each) Saint Louis-style pork ribs
Vegetable oil, for grill rack

For the Rub

2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons hot paprika
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon celery seed

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup strained tomatoes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 


  1. Prepare the ribs: Place 1 rib rack, meat side down, on a work surface. With a knife, cut a small slit through the silvery membrane at 1 end of the rack. Using a paper towel, grip the cut portion of the membrane, gently peel it from the rack, and discard. Repeat with remaining rack.
  2. Make the rub: Combine sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder, and celery seed in a bowl. (If mixture is clumpy, pass through a medium sieve.) Rub mixture on both sides of each rack. Place ribs on a rimmed baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Make the sauce: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in bourbon, scraping the pan. Stir in tomatoes, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, water, and sugar, and cook, continuing to stir, until sugar dissolves.
  4. Simmer the sauce: Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by 1/3, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly. Puree in a blender until smooth. (You should have about 2 cups.) Use immediately, or let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  5. Set up the grill: Place a 9-by-13-inch disposable aluminum pan in the center of bottom grill rack. If using a charcoal grill, place a chimney starter on top grill rack, and fill with about 60 charcoal briquettes (about 4 pounds). Stuff newspaper under chimney, and ignite. Heat briquettes until just covered in ash. Wearing oven mitts, carefully lift chimney, remove top rack, and pour coals onto bottom rack along both sides of pan. Top coals with 1 to 2 chunks hardwood or 1 cup wood chips that have been soaked in water for 1 hour and drained. Fill pan halfway with hot water. Replace top rack. If using a gas grill, heat to medium-low.
  6. Grill the ribs: Let ribs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Fold a paper towel into a thick rectangle, and dip it in oil. Hold towel with tongs, and brush oil on top grill rack. Place both rib racks, bone side down, on top grill rack, directly over pan. Cover, keeping top grill vents halfway open and bottom vents completely open to maintain grill temperature of 275 degrees to 325 degrees. Cook ribs, without turning, until the meat is tender but not falling off bones, and has shrunk 1/2 inch from ends, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, adding 8 briquettes to each charcoal pile every hour.
  7. Baste the ribs: Transfer 1 cup sauce to a small serving bowl. Brush both sides of ribs with remaining 1 cup sauce. Cover, and grill until ribs are glistening and deep mahogany, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.

    It ain't July the 4th nor a picnic nor All-American, unless you got friend chicken.  Ask any novice, they'll soon learn that frying chicken is an art and a science unto itself.

    Thank God for Martha Stewart for inventing a quick and easy fried chicken.


    2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8)
    Coarse salt and pepper
    1 clove garlic, minced and crushed into a paste with the flat side of a chef's knife
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1/3 cup peanut oil, plus more if needed 


    1. Season chicken with coarse salt and pepper, then rub with garlic. Let sit 15 minutes. In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, paprika, cayenne, and fine salt. In batches, add chicken and shake well until evenly coated. If you have time, let chicken sit 15 minutes.
    2. In a 10-inch heavy skillet, heat oil over medium until it reaches 365 degrees. The oil is ready when a little flour dropped in bubbles and sizzles steadily.
    3. Shake excess flour off a piece of chicken, then carefully place in oil, skin side down. Repeat, adding just a few more pieces to skillet (do not crowd pan). Adjust heat to keep a steady sizzle and maintain 365 degrees. Cover and cook until chicken is browned on bottom, about 7 minutes. Carefully flip each piece, then cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
    4. Drain chicken on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken, replenishing and reheating oil between batches, if necessary.
    Yes, British yet so appropriate for right now.  It's hot.  It's bursting with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries.  You can use store-bought pound cake and anglefood cake that your local supermarket does all the hot baking for you.  Shoot, you can even add layers of ice cream.  Just use Martha Stewart's Red, White, and Blue Berry Trifle recipe as your basic dessert.
    This dessert would be right at home at a Fourth of July barbecue. Strawberries can be substituted for raspberries.
    1 1/2 pounds raspberries (5 cups)
    3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
    10 ounces mascarpone cheese (1 1/3 cups)
    1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Fine salt
    20 to 24 ladyfingers (from a 7-ounce package), broken into 1-inch piece
    3/4 pound blueberries (2 1/2 cups)


  1. In a medium bowl, combine raspberries with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and orange juice. With the back of a fork, lightly mash berries to release their juices and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together mascarpone and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Whisk in cream, vanilla, and pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.
  2. Cut 1 or 2 pieces parchment 1 inch taller than side of an 8-inch springform pan and line inside of pan. Place half the ladyfingers in pan and top with half the raspberry mixture. With a small offset or rubber spatula, spread half the whipped cream over berries. Tap pan gently on counter to remove air bubbles. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, raspberry mixture, and whipped cream.
  3. Top with blueberries and refrigerate until whipped cream is stiff and cookies have softened, about 3 hours (or, tightly covered with plastic, up to 3 days). To serve, unmold trifle and peel away parchment.

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    What to wear that will go beyond the 4th of July pool party, stylish not skanky.

    Fourth of July is near, along with the Summer Olympics, so it’s time to bump up our team USA spirit. Whether you plan on spending the holiday weekend sweating it out at that yoga retreat or bbq-ing locally and watching beach-side fireworks, athleisure duds are a mandatory must. Luxury activewear boutique Sweat NSK has set us up with a curated selection of Independence Day looks that scream "Team USA" without compromising our fashion integrity. 

    Guys are cool as they are more practical.  They want easy-going, not sloppy, casual yet stylish wear that going to carry them from poolside to the sidewalk.  Okay, think Malibu to Sunset Strip.

    Frank + Oak offers summer styles for men that are perfect for all summer festivities. Frank + Oak is Canada-based, but has stores across the nation. From the variety of on-trend clothing to the stylish accessories, Frank + Oak is the one-stop shop for men this summer.

    Embarrassed to be seen with grubby flip-flops but don't want to ruin your nice sandals by splashing friends?

    FLEEPS has got you covered for the sunny days ahead. These cute and colorful sandals offers a unique design featuring an adjustable cross-ankle strap, smooth-finish toe thong and a lightweight shock-absorbent sole, perfect for strolling on the boardwalk after a long day in the waves.

    Most importantly when you buy a pair of FLEEPS, you change a life. Founded in 2015 by Kael Robinson, global good curator and CEO of Brazilets and Live Worldly, the Denver-based company is dedicated to creating a sustainable yet stylish product that changes the course of poverty through education. FLEEPS’ goal is to sell over one million pairs to send over 10,000 girls to school by 2019. Ten percent of every pair of FLEEPS sold goes to the FLEEPS Foundation providing funding to its non-profit partners committed to the education of girls, including Shining Hope for Communities and Starfish Impact. FLEEPS uniquely designed sandals are classic, versatile, fun and allow women to step into their best selves.



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