Gloria’s 4th of July Eats: Grilled Corn, Pasta Salad and Patriotic Fruit Skewers

 

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and happy 4th of July!  We had friends and family over for a cookout and spent all afternoon hanging out in the yard together after the parade and before heading off to fireworks.  Since I was the hostess this year, I wanted to do something fun and creative.  This was the first time I received blueberries in my Brewer’s Organics produce box and it was perfect timing to do something red, white and blue!  We also cooked our corn on the grill and made pasta salad with my organic cherry tomatoes.

How to Grill Corn:  Leave husks on (but cut off the silks on the top) and soak in the sink or a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes.  Drain them and throw them right on the grill!  It usually takes about 15 minutes to cook.  I used a rectangular serving dish with a lip around it and put melted butter in it.  We just pulled back the husks, dipped in butter, sprinkled with salt and enjoyed!

corn

 

Gloria’s Pasta Salad: I prefer to use colored rotini noodles when I make my pasta salad.  I love adding things so it’s really colorful.  I do not actually measure the veggies when tossing this together, but just add enough to make it look even.  While the pasta is cooking (I used the whole box), prepare the veggies.  Drain the pasta in a colander and run under cold water until it is no longer hot.  Put in a large bowl; add Zesty Italian salad dressing and then veggies.  You may need to add more dressing at the end depending on how strong you like it.  To top it off, I add some grated parmesan cheese, basil leaves from my garden and a few whole cherry tomatoes.

Veggies I used in the pasta salad:  green pepper and cherry tomatoes (from my Brewers Organics box), yellow and orange peppers, onion, black olives, and a few chives (from my garden).  I also added some summer sausage.

pasta salad g

Red, White and Blue Skewers: This was my patriotic dessert this year.  I had a bunch of skewers and wanted to create something that resembled a flag (without having to bake a cake or turn the oven on!).  I cut strawberries in half (to look like triangles), had a bag of marshmallows and my Brewer’s Organics blueberries.  For the first few skewers, I put a strawberry on first, then marshmallow, strawberry, then topped it off with blueberries.  When I had enough to look like the blue stars section of the flag, I finished the rest with just strawberries and marshmallows.  You could substitute bananas for the marshmallows if you’d like to use all fruit, but we were outside all afternoon I didn’t think they’d stand up to the heat.  And who doesn’t love marshmallows in the summertime!

fruit skewers

4th of July Fruitworks! festive fireworks of watermelon stars and blueberry sparkles

4th of July Fruitworks

A guest blog from Michelle:

Here is a festive layout design for a patriotic picnic featuring a creatively carved watermelon and a scattering of blueberries. Cheerfully delicious, watermelons boast lots of vitamins A, C and Vitamin B6 while blueberries are one of the most antioxidant rich foods and offers manganese, fiber and vitamin C to name a few benefits.

A watermelon is a wonderful fruit to carve for those who love to be creative with beautiful produce from Brewers Organics. The red fruit can be cut easily with a star cookie cutter while the green rind can be carved with a sharp knife. The perfect solution for those who love to carve pumpkins but can’t wait until October! The watermelon is first cut into slices as usual, then the cookie cutter has all the fun making star shapes. The “fireworks” (or “watermelon fries” as my family called them) are tiny, thin sticks of watermelon for easy grabbing and eating! The rind took some careful cutting with a sharp knife to produce the letters “USA.” The rind letters can be used by itself or the hollow rind shapes can be filled with blueberries for an extra splash of patriotic color.

This is a fun project for kids to help design, too. Kids can easily cut watermelon shapes with any type of cookie cutter. They can load the fruit onto skewers or straws for an eye-catching table setting. They can create their own patriotic design of a flag with rows of red stars and a square of blueberries. They can venture out into other red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or cherries. Adults could carve kid-suggested shapes or letters into the watermelon’s rind and fill each shape with blue or red fruits. Great summer fun!

4th of July Watermelon Blueberries Flag 2

Fruit Kabobs! A fun cure for the picky eater

 

At some point every parent struggles to get his or her child to eat. Well for us we find that Mason doesn’t like trying “new” foods.

Mason (1)

 

I say “new” because most of the time he has tried before, but it takes him multiple tries to finally realize that he likes it.  Now that summer is finally here we have many more fruits available to us.  Last summer Mason loved watermelon and cantaloupe. We got cantaloupe in our box a few weeks ago and we cut it up and he wouldn’t touch it. So we came up with a clever idea to make it more fun and interesting to eat, fruit kabobs.

fruit kabob

 

Mason loves strawberries, blueberries and bananas (what kid doesn’t?). I want him to eat other fruits because I know he will love them too! You can use any fruits for the kabobs. We made kabobs with grapes, cantaloupe and bananas.  Rinse and slice your fruit.  Use wooden skewers; if you have smaller, less careful kids, you can give them the skewers without the pointy end. Your kids (if big enough) can help you skewer the fruit and they can make their favorite combinations. The fruit kabobs are an easy, quick snack and the presentation is much prettier.

Fruity Stegosaurus from our newest blogger Michelle

Hi! My name is Michelle Gagne.

I am a former Elementary Music teacher and symphony oboist from Michigan who uprooted to the city-life of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now my days are centered around my two lively children (ages 3 and 5), my Golden Retriever Louie, my cat Mozart and my husband. My evening life includes my Etsy shop where I create dog leashes for playful pups everywhere. The life of a stay-at-home-mom is fun and challenging and sparks creativity out of necessity. I would love to share my quest for raising kids on healthy fruit and vegetable snacks and meals with you!

 

 

 

“Here’s the Stegosaurus, the mighty Stegosaurus. Plates all up and down his back and spikes along his tail.”

I could sing that song all day. Not by choice, but by the fact that we listen to it every time we drive anywhere in the car or when the need to play with plastic dinosaurs at home is the only way to spend an afternoon. So, we came up with a healthy dessert called “Fruity Stegosaurus.” Lately, my kids are on a pear and strawberry kick, so this dinosaur emerged from the depths of my fruit bowl.

The body is a halved pear, with the seeds cut out. The head, legs and tail are banana pieces, cut to the kids’ shape-specifications (circle, half-circle and rectangle). The plates and spikes of this scary-looking dinosaur are made from strawberries (triangles, big and small). The eyes are raisins and the mouth is a creatively-cut strawberry. How to eat the dinosaur is completely up to you.

My daughter ingested the plates first while my son dove into the eyes.
Roaring while you eat seems to be a necessity. Enjoy!

Michelle Gagne