Happy Memorial Day, America.
The older I get, the more I appreciate our country and those who have sacrificed everything for us. Thank you.
This is one of my favorite holidays. I love the patriotism and am humbled that our entire nation takes a day off to say “thanks”. I also love that it’s the unofficial beginning of summer and we celebrate by cooking vast amounts of meat. Very fitting, in my opinion. Nothing says America quite like a BBQ.
Husband has been asking for brisket lately, which usually means our house will be filled with people. It’s weird to cook 15 lbs of meat for just two people, even if it does make fantastic leftovers. Thus, party! And, as usual, completely spontaneous and “planned” the night before. I quickly ran to the store for a brisket so I could let it marinade overnight.
Store number one: “We don’t have any but we can get some in two days.”
Store number two: “Sure, here you go”
What he gave me wasn’t a brisket. It was a tiny, dried-out, vacuum-packed, sorry excuse for a piece of meat.
Me: “What is this?”
Poor butcher clerk: “A brisket. It says so right here on the package.”
Me: “It may say that, but it’s not a brisket. I want actual meat, like from a cow. Do you even know what part of a cow a brisket is?”
Me: “I didn’t think so. Have you ever been to Texas?”
Clerk who, poor guy, looked very frightened by now: “No.”
Me: “I didn’t think so. Bless your heart.”
Store number three: “What’s a brisket?”
Are you kidding me?!
Store number four (which was 45 minutes away): Success. Finally.
Brisket procured, I got to work. My brisket recipe can be found here.
I decided healthiness didn’t need to happen and made mac and cheese, fruit pizza, and adults-only raspberry lemonade. America.
gluten-free mac and cheese
adapted from allrecipes.com
1 16-oz package gluten-free noodles
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
16-oz low-fat small curd cottage cheese
16-oz low-fat sour cream
3/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 C crushed corn flakes
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 C butter, melted
1. Prepare noodles according to package directions.
2. Preheat oven to 350°
3. In large casserole dish, combine cooked noodles, cheddar, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan, and salt and pepper.
4. In small bowl, mix crushed corn flakes, Italian seasoning, parsley, mozzarella and butter. Sprinkle mixture over the top of noodles.
5. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 additional minutes or until top is crispy.
6. Serve immediately.
adapted from allrecipes.com
baker’s note: if you wanted to be super high-speed, you can make your own sugar cookies. I prefer slice-and-bake
1 pkg refrigerated cookie dough
8 oz low-fat whipped topping, thawed
8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, room temperature
fruit of choice. I used kiwis, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranate seeds.
1/4 C white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch
1/3 C orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp orange zest
1. Bake cookies according to package directions. Let cool completely.
2. Whip together cream cheese and whipped topping until fluffy (about 3 minutes on high speed)
3. “Frost” cookies with mixture. You should have a pretty thick layer – you want enough to keep the fruit stable.
4. Arrange fruit as desired. Tips: (1) Dipping bananas in lemon juice keeps them from turning brown. (2) Placing fruit vertically creates more visual interest and looks fancier than laying fruit flat.
5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.
6. Stir in orange zest and allow to cool, but not completely. You don’t want to melt your fruit but the glaze will set up if left too long.
7. Drizzle over fruit and refrigerate until serving.
makes one gallon
baker’s note: I’ve made several variations of this and all have turned out wonderfully: strawberry, watermelon, cherry… Just substitute the fruit for your favorite and find a corresponding rum.
1 pkg frozen raspberries, thawed
1 C white sugar
1 C lemon juice
2 C Bacardi Limon. I usually just add the whole bottle but that can get dangerous…
lemons, for garnish
1. Puree raspberries and strain seeds. After trial and error, I think it is easiest to put raspberries and 1 C of water in Ninja, blend and pour slowly through a strainer into pitcher.
2. Add sugar, lemon juice, and rum. Whisk well until sugar is dissolved.
3. Fill remainder of pitcher with water and stir.
4. Serve chilled with lemon garnish.
5. Don’t drive home.