Fourth of July Party Fare

Fourth of July is another fun holiday for traditional fare. This year we are celebrating Independence Day with our friends, the Schultzes, and our parents. Everyone is contributing to our meal and we're eating poolside. A tradition in my family is making this Berry American Flag Cake. It's a fun project for kids of all ages! This year we're adding some homemade Chocolate Gelato for dessert made with Mom and Dad Lazo's new ice cream maker. If it's going to be a sizzlin' 105 degrees, we've got to incorporate something cool. Bon Appetito!

Here's Today's Menu:

Blackberry Lemonade

Blue Corn Tortilla Chips with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Tossed Green Salad with Farmer's Market Veggies

Mom's Famous Armenian Pilaf

Grilled Corn with Cilantro Butter

Grilled Salmon/Chicken with Tropical Salsa

Berry American Flag Cake

Chocolate Gelato

The Recipes:


7 oz. dried garbanzo beans or 1 15 oz. can
2 large garlic cloves
7 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seeds found in paste form in most grocery stores near the peanut butter or in the Middle Eastern food section)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 oz. of Fire Roasted Red Peppers (available at Trader Joe's in a jar)
paprika, cilantro, and/or salsa for garnish

1. If using dried garbanzo beans, boil for 45 minutes to soften. Then combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor except items for garnish. Whirl until smooth.
2. Add roasted red peppers to blender.
3. Serve with vegetables cut into sticks like carrots, celery or cucumber or even pita chips or blue tortilla chips. Top with a few whole marinated red peppers for garnish.


1. Coat 1 large salmon filet big enough for your family (We get it from Costco or Trader Joe's - You can substitute in the kind of fish of your choice. Mahi mahi is another one of our faves.) with olive oil.

2. Sprinkle with herbs, such as basil, oregano, coriander, garlic, lemon pepper and/or chili pepper.

3. Add sea salt and pepper.

4. Let salmon sit in a dish or on a platter and prepare the salsa in a small bowl.

5. Chop 1 red onion, 1 red pepper, 1 orange, 1 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro and 1 mango. Make sure everything is in bite-sized pieces or smaller and stir together. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. (You can make this salsa ahead of time and reserve in ziplock bag)

6. Grill the salmon approximately 10-15 minutes, depending on your grill and the size of your filet. Watch for when the white fat juices start to ooze out the top and the salmon meat is flaky at the touch of a fork. Then it's done. You only need to grill on one side.

7. Top with tropical salsa and serve with rice or potatoes for a colorful, fabulous summer dinner.
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