June 30, 2011

Fun Facts & Hot Seasoning for July 4th, 2011!

HISTORY OF JULY 4th: Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Did You Know?  John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826--the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved June 30, 2011 from:  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-adopts-the-stars-and-stripes)

LET'S GET OUR GRILLS HEATED UP FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY:  Jerk seasoning is actually a delicious, tropical way to barbecue.  Use it to season either pork or poultry; simply rub it into the meat, marinate overnight in the refrigerator, grill or bake, and then enjoy!  This great recipe that we've selected is from "Too Many Chiles" by Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach and Jeff Gerlach.  Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

  • 1 tsp. dried ground HABANERO CHILE or substitute other hot powder such as cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp. ONION POWDER
  • 2 tsp. ground THYME
  • 2 tsp. ground ALLSPICE
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground BLACK PEPPER
  • 1/2 tsp. ground NUTMEG
  • 1/2 tsp. ground CINNAMON
  • 1/2 tsp. GARLIC POWDER
  • 1/4 tsp. ground CLOVES

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Store the seasoning in a glass jar.
Yield:  About 1/4 cup     Heat Scale:  Hot

June 10, 2011

Let's Get Ready to Celebrate both Flag Day & Father's Day

History of Flag Day - It was on June 14 in 1777 that Congress decided to adopt the Stars and Stripes. 
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved June 6, 2011 from:  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-adopts-the-stars-and-stripes)

Don't forget Dad on June 19th!
Father's Day is on June 19th this year. Celebrate with a fun dinner for Dad (or the main man in your life) that he will really enjoy! The recipes that we've selected are from the "The Tequila Cook Book" by Lynn Nusom. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

  • 1 lb. BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 WHITE ONIONS, cut into eighths
  • 1 RED BELL PEPPER, cut into wedges
  • 1 GREEN BELL PEPPER, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp. SESAME OIL
  • 2 tsp. LIGHT SOY SAUCE
  • ¼ cup TEQUILA
  • 1 cup WATER
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, cut in half
Thread the beef, onions, and bell pepper on skewers and place in a large plate or pan. Mix together oil, say sauce, tequila, garlic & water and pour over kabobs. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours turning at least twice.

Remove from the refrigerator and let stand until room temperature (about ½ hour). Grill over hot coals for 6 – 7 minutes or until beef is done to taste. Serve with rice or polenta and a green salad.  Serves 4.


  • ½ cup WALNUTS, ground
Melt the butter or margarine, mix with the chocolate wafer crumbs and ground walnuts and press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. 

  • ¼ cup LEMON JUICE
  • cup LIME JUICE
  • 1 Tbsp. TRIPLE SEC
  • 1 Tbsp. TEQUILA
  • ½ tsp. SALT
  • 1 can (14 oz.) CONDENSED MILK
  • 1 tsp. grated LIME PEEL
  • 1 container (8 oz.) WHIPPED TOPPING
Beat lemon juice, lime juice, triple sec, tequila and salt into the condensed milk. Stir in lime peel, fold in whipped topping and spoon into prepared chocolate crust. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with chocolate curls and serve.  Yield: 8 servings.