Celebrate Flag Day with colorful holiday meals

Try red, white and blue potato chips or bring the colors of the day to desserts by using festive berries

    Today is Flag Day, a day to celebrate the origin of our American flag — and for area residents to take pride in Bernard Cigrand, the father of Flag Day,
    Cigrand, who was a longtime proponent of a day to celebrate the flag, taught at Stony Hill School in Waubeka and was said to have begun the annual celebration by placing a flag on his desk, teaching his students about it and assigning them essays to do on what the flag meant to them.
    Although Cigrand started his campaign in the 1880s, it was not until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing June 14 — the day the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag — as Flag Day.
     To celebrate, incorporate the colors of the flag in your meal.
    Try using red peppers in your pasta salad or make some patriotic potato chips using russet and purple potatoes and beets. Slice them thin and fry in a pot with 350-degree oil, then drain and salt them.
    Desserts are an even easier canvas for colorful Flag Day foods.
    Make a sheet cake, for example, and use white frosting. Decorate it with blueberries and either strawberries or raspberries to resemble the flag.
    Or layer a red velvet cake with white cake, then frost and top with blueberries or blackberries.
    Skewer cubes of red and blue gelatin separated with marshmallows, or make some patriotic ice pops.
    And if you want a unique “spirited” drink, here’s one from delish.com.
    Cut the bottoms off strawberries, taking care to keep the berries themselves intact. Hollow the inside with a paring knife, as if you plan to stuff them.
    Place 1 cup water in a medium saucepan, add a 3-ounce packet of blue berry-flavored gelatin and mix to combine the gelatin. Sprinkle a 1.4-ounce envelope of unflavored powdered gelatin on top and let sit for 60 seconds. Mix until combined, then heat over medium-high heat until it simmers, then remove from heat.
    Combine 1/2 cup gelatin with 1/2 cup vodka and set aside.
    Place 1/2 cup milk, cream or coconut milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with an envelope of unflavored gelatin. Let it sit for 60 seconds, mix to combine and  heat over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
    Pour the white gelatin mixture into 1/2 cup vodka. Set aside, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
    Using a spoon, carefully pour the blue gelatin into the strawberries, filling them halfway. Refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes, until the gelatin is firm but still sticky. Then fill the rest of the strawberry with the white gelatin mixture and refrigerate for three to four hours.
    When fully set, slowly slice each strawberry in half from the top down. Place them on mini sticks or skewers. Keep refrigerated until serving.
    Following are other red, white and blue recipes from marlameridith.com and geniuskitchen.com.



Red, White and Blue Appetizers

For mini fruit and cream cheese sandwiches:
4 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
About 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
For popcorn:
4 cups popcorn
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
For fruit and cheese skewers:
12 strawberries, halved
24 fresh blueberries
12 mini mozzarella balls, halved (packed in water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

    For the sandwiches, spread half the bread slices with cream cheese. Add sliced strawberries, then top with the other bread halves. Cut sandwiches into triangles, top with a blueberry and a toothpick and serve.
    For popcorn, pop the corn, then add butter and salt and stir to combine. Add dried cranberries and blueberries and stir to combine.
    For fruit and cheese skewers, place a strawberry half on a plate. Use a toothpick or skewer to add and secure a mozzarella slice and blueberry on top. Repeat until all the fruits and cheese balls are used. Serve on a platter with a bowl of balsamic vinegar for dipping.



Black Raspberry and Lemon Crush Ice Cream Cupcakes

1 box French vanilla cake mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup water
Rind of 1 large lemon, grated
Juice of 1 large lemon
Black raspberry ice cream, slightly softened
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups marshmallow cream
For garnish:
Lemon slices
Sprinkles to garnish

    Melt butter in the microwave. In large bowl, mix cake mix, eggs butter, water, lemon rind and lemon juice with an electric mixer on low for one minute, then on high for one minute.
    Fill cupcake tins lined with paper cups halfway full, then bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely
    For frosting, use an electric mixer and large bowl to mix whipping cream and marshmallow cream on low, then gradually move up to high as mixture thickens until stiff peaks form.
    Remove cupcakes from wrappers and slice in half. Place bottom half of cupcake in a nut cup. Spread ice cream over cupcakes, then place cupcake tops over ice cream. Place ice cream cupcakes on a pan and freeze for about 2 hours.
    Working quickly with a few cupcakes at a time, pipe frosting on cupcakes and garnish, then place back in the freezer. Freeze at least four hours before serving.
    Store in freezer in a plastic container. Will keep for one week.


Patriotic Panna Cotta Shooters

6 ounces grenadine syrup
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup half and half
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3 ounces blue curaçao
Gold star edible glitter or other star-shaped sprinkles

    Pour one ounce grenadine into six three-ounce clear glasses.  Freeze until grenadine is solid, and keep glasses in freezer until panna cotta portion is ready.
    In a small cup, sprinkle powdered gelatin over cold water and let stand until absorbed. Set aside.
    Combine coconut milk, half and half and sugar in a saucepan.  Heat until just boiling.  
    Microwave gelatin mixture for seven to 10 seconds, until melted and liquid.  Remove milk mixture from heat and whisk in melted gelatin. Add coconut extract. Allow mixture to cool significantly.
    Remove frozen grenadine from freezer and very slowly pour in 2 ounces cooled coconut panna cotta into each glass. A little red from the grenadine may bleed into the white panna cotta, but as it stands the red should settle to the bottom.
    Refrigerate glasses until panna cotta is set and grenadine layer has completely thawed. Just before serving, pour 1/2 ounce blue curaçao over top and sprinkle with edible star glitter.
    If serving these to chicken, blue Kool-Aid or fruit-flavored blue gelatin can be substituted for curaçao.
    Panna cotta can be made one day ahead, but the stars should be sprinkled on just before serving. They will completely dissolve after about 30 minutes.



Stars and Stripes Forever Dessert

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 to 2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon coarse sugar
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1-1⁄2 cups raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1⁄4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sour cream

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with floured star-shaped cookie cutters. Place one inch apart on parchment-paper lined baking sheets and bake in a 400-degree oven for eight to 10 minutes, until golden brown.
    Remove and place on wire racks. Brush lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar. Cool.
    In a large bowl, combine berries and 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
    In a small mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
    Place sour cream in a small serving bowl, then fold in whipped cream.
    Place bowl on a serving platter. Spoon berries onto platter and top with pastry stars.



Patriot S’Mores

1 sheet graham cracker, broken in half
2 pieces milk chocolate candy bars
1 marshmallows
6 to 8 fresh blueberries
2 thick strawberry slices

    Arrange the chocolate on half of the graham cracker. Set blueberries on top of the chocolate and melt over coals or in the microwave, being careful not to lose the berries.
    Roast marshmallow and place on top of the berries, being careful not to lose the berries.
    Top with strawberry slices and then the second graham cracker.
    Makes one s’more.


Red White and Blue Berry Salad
2 cups mixed salad greens
1⁄4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons candied or toasted walnuts
4 strawberries, sliced
1⁄4 cup blueberries
Raspberry vinaigrette dressing

    Lay the greens on the plate. Pile the feta and walnuts in the middle of the greens, then scatter strawberries and blueberries on top.    
    Serve with dressing on the side.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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