Tuesday, June 21, 2011

4th of July-Part One

Good afternoon everyone!  Today is the first day of summer!  And coming up really soon is one of my favorite days of the year…..the 4th of July!  I pretty much love any holiday, but I especially love the 4th.  When I was a kid it was pretty much the best day ever.  I love being outside the whole day, barbecuing, watching fireworks, etc.  This year, I have my bestie coming to stay with us with her family for the 4th.  I, of course, have already planned the menu…..
There it is….my menu, I mean.  Do you love the bulletin board?  I was feeling especially crafty and, patriotic apparently, last night so I made that.  Burlap and fabric covering a cork board.  Super easy.  I didn’t even use scissors.  I tore the fabric to give it rough edges…more rustic that way.
Here is a close-up of the menu…can you read it?  Isn’t the little girl adorbs?  I downloaded it from Freeprettythingsforyou.com.  That lady has great stuff;)  Anyhoo, back to the menu….I am going to split this post up into 3 different posts.  Today we will cover the apps, Thursday the burgers, corn and salad, and next Tuesday will be the desserts and drinks.
Of course, you don’t have to make the entire menu.  You can take from it what you want, especially if you are going to someone else’s house and just have to bring one thing.  I hope you get some inspiration from this!
So the name “Southern Hummus” might have you thinking…”what the heck is that?”  There is a good reason you have never hear of it….I made it up.  And no, I didn’t clear it with any southerners.  I just thought it was a cute name.  If you are southern, and it makes you mad…..sorry.  Call me a Yankee or maybe throw me a “Bless your heart” and get over it;)  Know that I do the things I do because I only wish I was southern.
Here is what I used…..(and what it is)
I used a can of baked beans, Gourmet Rooster BBQ Sauce, cheese and a baguette.  Not pictured, but also used is olive oil and salt & pepper.  So are you getting it yet?  As you know, hummus is garbanzo beans pureed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini.  My “Southern Hummus” is pureed baked beans with some BBQ sauce.  I know it sounds a bit weird, but you have to give it a chance.  It is delicious.
I pureed the beans in the food processor.  I used a 22 ounce can of Bourbon and brown sugar baked beans.  You can really use your favorite flavor, and if you have looked in the grocery store lately at the beans….you know there are a bazillion different kinds.  I also added about 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce.  Now here is where you can get creative…you can add onion, hot sauce, green chilies, a jalapeno (or as Peepers calls it a “hoppapeno"), etc.  You also get to decide if you want to serve it warm or room temperature.  I chose room temperature.
I served mine with sliced baguette that had been crisped up in the oven.
I brushed the slices with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt & pepper.  I put them in a 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes.
When they came out of the oven, I sprinkled them with cheddar cheese.  I popped them back in the oven for about 2 more minutes.
This really is the perfect appetizer for a BBQ.  What goes better with grilled meats then beans? 
The cheese toasts make an amazing dipper.  Tortilla chips would be great too!
I also drizzled extra BBQ sauce on the top of my dip.  I used Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple BBQ Sauce.  You can use your favorite….which better be Gourmet Rooster! ;)
This really is essentially just a bean dip, but the flavors of brown sugar, bacon, bourbon, etc. bring it to a whole ‘nother level. 
The fam loved it;)
My next appetizer isn’t a recipe at all, more of an idea.  Everyone loves veggies and ranch dip, but it is so hard not to double dip!  Especially if you are like me and the veggies are just a vehicle for your ranch dip.  I serve mine individually.  Everyone gets their own in a cup….with the dip at the bottom.  What is special about mine is the way I decorated the cups to make them fancy for the 4th!

I used disposable plastic cups, ribbon, little flags and my trusty hot glue gun.  I decorated the cups ahead of time…..
I put a couple of tablespoons of dip into the bottom each cup.  Double dip until you are blue in the face.
My kids loved having their own cup.  I think this is a great way to make veggies and dip a little bit different.  You should try this!  The cups were easy to decorate, and you can even buy the veggies pre-cut….could not be simpler.
Ok, apps done.  I can’t wait to show you my recipes for pimiento cheese stuffed burgers and corn on the cob.  You’ll have to come back on Thursday for that;)
Remember that Gourmet Rooster products are now in Truckee and Chico, CA!  If you are vacationing in Truckee and lucky enough to be in Chico, stop by and get some.  We are at The Cooking Gallery in Truckee which is right in the cute little downtown area, and at The Galley which is off Park Ave. in Chico.  Go, go, go!!!

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