30 Jun 2017

3 Dishes For Your Fourth of July

Fourth of July is right around the corner and even though your plans may already be set in stone, there is always room for more ideas when it comes to what you should serve. Whether you’re going for a traditional grill out this year or switching it up with a seafood steam pot, these dishes pair well with everything!

The first recipe I’m sharing are these super fun firecracker hotdogs. I’ve always been a huge fan of pigs in a blanket, and they were something we had at almost every family party when I was younger! There’s just something so pleasing about a hotdog wrapped in crispy crescent dough with melted gooey cheese! Also firecrackers are a must have for our Fourth of July parties! I remember a few years ago my sister saw a picture of someone who spelled out USA with firecrackers. So she, my friend and I decided we had to recreate it. We used two boxes of firecrackers and still couldn’t get the picture to work. I remember my sister being so upset and begging my mom to run to the grocery store at 10:00pm to see if they had more firecrackers. Of course my mom being the sweet person she is agreed and 15 minutes later came back with another box. After a few more tries we finally got it. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget! So this recipe is like a combination of the two memories, this is sure to please the child in everyone at your party! And the best part is that they’re so simple to make! You really have to try these out for yourself!

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Firecraker Hotdogs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
14 mins
Total Time
29 mins
 

A Modern twist on pigs in a blanket, and a perfect side for your Fourth of July party!

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 12
Ingredients
  • 12 hotdogs
  • 1 can breadstick dough
  • 12 1/4 in thick slices cheddar cheese
  • 12 skewers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Insert skewers through all the hotdogs leaving about an inch and a half for the stars.

  2. Take a piece of breadstick dough and roll diagonally around the hotdog, starting at the bottom. Repeat for the remaining hotdogs.

  3. Place the wrapped hotdogs on the baking sheet, and brush with a beaten egg.

  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden. Let cool for 10 minutes.

  5. Take a small star cookie cutter and cut out stars in the cheddar cheese. If you don't have a star cookie cutter, trace a star onto a piece of paper, then cut out the paper star. This can be used as a template to cut the cheddar stars.

  6. Stick a cheese star on top of each skewer.

 

The next dish is this super yummy pasta salad! Normally I’m not a fan of pasta salads because I find the traditional mayo dressing a bit heavy, so in this recipe I swapped out the mayo for a simple lemon and olive oil dressing which keeps this pasta salad light and refreshing! I was hoping to use stelle pasta, since it has a cute star shape perfect for the Fourth of July. I checked three different grocery stores and none of them had it! So I used bowtie instead, if you’re able to find it, definitely use it in place of the bowtie pasta!

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Summer Pasta Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

A light and refreshing pasta salad, perfect for any summer get together!

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 cups bowtie or stelle pasta
  • 1 cup asparagus chopped in 1in pieces cooked
  • 1/2 cup baby tomatoes cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup kalmata olives cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 handful basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta, then transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Then pour over the pasta and mix well.

  3. Add the cooked pieces of asparagus, cut baby tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and basil leaves to the pasta. Gently toss the salad and serve.

Recipe Notes

Use stelle pasta for an even more festive dish, as they have a unique star shape.

 

The Last dish I’m sharing today are these adorable mason jar red velvet cups. When I was younger I had a phase where I was obsessed with red velvet cake, and needless to say this dessert brought back all the memories! I love how cute these are, and I think they make such a statement compared to other desserts. They are also great as party favors for those days when everyone’s ate a little too much and have no room left for dessert. They do take a bit of extra time to assemble, but trust me it’s so worth it! Of course I had to make them from scratch but if you’re in a pinch you can totally use a boxed mix! Though definitely use this frosting recipe, as it’s so simple and tastes incredible! You may notice I didn’t call for sugar in the frosting recipe and being honest that’s because I was in a rush when making these and forgot lol. But it was one of those things which ended up turning out incredible. Having a frosting that isn’t super sweet allows the flavor in the red velvet cake to come through, and with the sweetness in the jam it balances everything out. The only reason I realized was because my sister loved the frosting and asked me what I put in it. When I finished listing the ingredients, she asked me questioningly, “No sugar?” And that’s when I started laughing at myself being so rushed, that I forgot an ingredient as obvious as sugar in my frosting.

 

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Mini Red Velvet and Bueberry Cake Cups
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

Mini cake cups are fun to make, look adorable, and make great party favors. These cups have layers of delicate sponge cake, decadent creamcheese frosting and bright berry jam in every spoonful.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 10
Ingredients
For the cake
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp red food coloring paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
For decorating
  • 1.25 cups blueberry jam
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup red velvet cake crumbs
  • 3 tbsp pistachios finely chopped, unsalted and skinned
Special Equipment
  • 9x13in jelly roll pan
  • 10 4oz glass jars
  • 1 large disposable piping bag
  • 2.5 in round cutter
  • 2 in round cutter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13in jelly roll pan with butter and sprinkle a little bit of flour overtop. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and whisk together.

  2. In a separate bowl beat the butter until smooth. Add in the eggs and milk, and continue beating. Add in the dry ingredients in two batches and continue beating until the batter is well combined.

  3. Sift in the cocoa powder. Add food coloring and vanilla extract. Then fold it all together until no streaks remain.

  4. Pour the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a clean dish towel or cutting board. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Use the 2.5in cutter to cut out 10 rounds from each slice (20 in total) and the 2in cutter to cut out 5 rounds from each slice (10 in total).

  5. For the frosting, beat all ingredients together until light and creamy. Transfer to a piping bag, snipping off the end.

  6. To assemble the cake cups, place a 2in round at the bottom of the jar. Pipe a little of the frosting on top. Add 2 tsp of jam, and put a 2.5in round overtop. Add another layer of frosting and jam and close with another 2.5in round. Add a little frosting on top and top with blueberries, crushed pistachios, and crumbs from the leftover scraps of cake. Let chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

 

I hope you guys try these out at your Fourth of July celebration! Let me know what your plans are this Fourth of July, and your favorite dishes to serve!

Posted on June 30, in Food

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  • Found the cutest black sweater and it's on sale! This morning I went to Church with a good friend and got brunch afterwards! I'm about to go take some blog photos and then hopefully do some meal prep for the week! I love meal prepping because it helps me have quick options to snack on and makes me more likely to eat in rather than be tempted to go out. Especially during Whole30 meal prep has been a life saver! What do you do on Sunday's to make your week easier? (Ps: remember you can now shop my Instagram on the blog!)
  • The cutest sweatshirt dress under $35!! Y'all today I finally finished (well almost) the new blog! After being tired of the way my blog looked I decided to give it a makeover! Now you can shop my Instagram including this dress! So go take a look, and tell me what y'all think!
  • Hands up for snow days!! Yesterday we got almost a foot of snow which is incredibly unusual for Raleigh! I've been curled up on the couch by our fireplace, watching Hulu and working on the blog! I need a good show to binge on Netflix or Hulu, what's your favorite? (Also the blog may or may not be getting a major facelift!)
  • I feel like I haven't gotten to introduce myself, I'm Sasha! I love Jesus and sharing the gospel. I really want to like reading but I don't unless I'm at the beach with a mojito, or reading my bible with a highlighter and pen. I love breakfast, and poached eggs are my go to at brunch! But my eyes are always bigger than my stomach and I probably change my order about five times because I'm so indecisive. I'm a perfectionist at heart, I try to do everything and I mean everything (high school, jewelry business, blog, youth group three times a week, and a job) until I'm exhausted. I love learning unless it's physics, then I'm just confused. But I love math and solving problems. I am constantly trying to prove myself to myself, and make it a game to see how much I can accomplish in a day. I am a creature of habit, I go to the same coffee shop at least three times a week and I've made friends with all the baristas lol. I'm an introverted extrovert and love talking (a lot)! I love traveling and dream of moving somewhere like London or New York. Oh and I'm a twin (it's so much fun)! Ps: this outfit is all linked in today's blog post, so go give it a read!
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  • Happy Friday Eve! I'm so excited about the long weekend ahead! This week was my first full week back at school and it's been pretty hard adjusting back from having so much free time. But I'm also kinda loving it because I'm sort of in my element when I have a bunch of stuff to do, all about the #hustle lol! I wanted to share a few thoughts on our identity. So last week I applied to a style company for a space in their influencer community. And today I saw an email in my inbox and my stomach dropped to the floor. I had a hunch when I applied that I didn't have a very high chance to get in, but thought what's the worst thing that can happen, they say no and I move on and try again later down the road. But for some reason all afternoon there's been a weight on my chest and a voice in my head saying I'm not good enough! And holy moly, that's so far from the truth. You see our identity is in Jesus, who says we are enough! And at times it can be hard to remember when things you had such high hopes for fall through. I keep reminding myself of Genesis 1:27 and Isaiah 25:1. It's so easy to lose sight of what God has planned for your life by little moments that take away your attention from the big picture. Whatever challenge, rejection, or pain you're facing, Jesus is so much bigger than it and so is his plan for you! (Ps: this sweater is on major sale, linked on the blog)
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  • I think I'm pretty late on the otk boot trend, but since I've got these I've been wearing them everywhere! These were the only shoes I wore on my trip to Paris and they were surprisingly comfortable for walking around Paris all day. I'm currently lusting over the Stuart Weitzman pair, but if you're not wanting to splurge these are the perfect option!

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