It’s the 4th of July weekend…what are you going to cook? Melynn, TDS’ own resident foodie and kitchen Goddess has a full menu of ideas planned out for you.

Main Dish: Honey-Beer Braised Ribs

I always like to grill this weekend. This year I’m going to be trying Taste of Home’s Honey-Beer Braised Ribs.

I like the idea of cooking them in the oven with beer (and honey & cider vinegar) prior to grilling (I’ve had success with this type of oven-then-grill approach when I made Tyler Florence’s “Ultimate Barbequed Ribs”). However, I’d make a homemade BBQ sauce, like the Neely’s below, rather than using bottled BBQ sauce. I’m a homemade all the way kind of cook!

Neely’s BBQ Sauce:

    • 2 cups ketchup
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 5 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cooked uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes (makes about 3-1/2 cups)

Side Dish #1: Potato Salad

I recently tried this basic potato salad which was delicious but I think I’d add some cider vinegar and maybe some chopped dill pickles next time!

Basic Potato Salad

    2 lbs Idaho potatoes
    3 large eggs, hard boiled
    1-1/4 cups mayo
    3 green onions, finely chopped
    1-1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
    ½ tablespoons yellow mustard
    (next time I would add about 1T cider vinegar)
    ¼ teaspoons ground white pepper
    ½ teaspoons kosher salt
    (could add chopped dill pickles too)

Peel potatoes and cut in half/into large chunks. Place in pot of water and bring to boil and cook until fork tender. Drain & cool. Cut into small chunks. Put in large bowl. Peel & chop hard boiled eggs and add to potatoes. Mix mayo, green onions, celery, mustard, white pepper, vinegar, salt, and pickles if desired. Add dressing to potatoes and eggs. Cover and chill 3 hrs before serving.


Side Dish #2: Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Fried Kalamata Olives and Parsnip

Another recently-tried recipe was this unusual, but delicious, salad from Damaris Phillips of Food Network (she’s awesome-I highly recommend you check out her show Southern at Heart and recipes on Food Network!) and this would be a fun side dish with ribs, rather than traditional baked beans (as long as you like olives! 🙂 ):

Dessert: Citrus Streusel Squares

While I love a traditional lemon bar, these are a delicious alternative (with one of my favorites—oatmeal!) that are a bit more warm-weather friendly when it comes to serving/transport:

Citrus Streusel Squares

    1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup orange juice
    2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
    2 teaspoons grated orange peel
    Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
2. Beat brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add combined flour, oats, baking powder and salt; mix until crumbly. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture for topping; set aside. Press remaining oat mixture onto bottom of ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
3. Combine condensed milk, lemon juice, orange juice and peels; mix well. Spread mixture evenly over crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture, patting gently.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely.
5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered.
Guest blogger: Melynn, TDS cooking goddess

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