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Red, white and blue recipes for the Fourth of July

Fourth of July is right around the corner -- and if you're the one hosting the Independence Day party, go for a red, white and blue theme. We did. Check out some of the patriotic plates the Gwinnett Daily Post staff put together for our fourth festivities.

Compiled by Staff Writer Meghan Kotowski

Blueberry salsa

Courtesy of Senior Writer Camie Young

-- 3 cups blueberries

-- cup lemon juice

-- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

-- half of a red bell pepper, finely chopped

-- half of a yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

-- quarter of a sweet onion, finely chopped

-- salt, to taste

-- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (optional)

  1. Mash or chop the blueberries.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with chips.

Barbara Jean's potato chip chicken

Courtesy of Multi-Media Account Executive Debra Fine

-- 2 lbs of boneless chicken breast (or bone-in, but take skins off)

-- 2 4 oz. bags of sour cream and onion potato chips (Lay's brand, preferably)

-- 1 stick of butter (or margarine if preferred)

  1. In medium saucepan, melt butter on low heat.
  2. Crush potato chips with a rolling pin into small chips and put into bowl or shaking bag. Dip chicken breast into butter and cover with chips in bag or bowl. Repeat.
  3. Put all chicken breasts into non-stick pan or buttered baking dish, then cover with foil or casserole lid. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes (add additional 15 mins for bone-in chicken).
  4. Uncover last 10 minutes until the chips are golden brown.

Red, white and (sometimes) blue potato salad

Courtesy of Staff Writer Meghan Kotowski

-- 2 cups fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 oz.)

-- 2 cups small red potatoes, quartered (about 10 oz.)

-- 2 cups small blue potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 10 oz.) if you can find them

-- cup finely chopped red onion

-- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

-- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

-- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives-- 3 hard-cooked large eggs, finely chopped

-- cup red wine vinegar

-- 2 tablespoons olive oil

-- 1 teaspoons salt

-- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

-- teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-- 1 garlic clove, minced

  1. Place fingerling and red potatoes in a pot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Place potatoes in a large bowl.
  2. If you are able to find blue potatoes, place them in a new pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly.
  3. Add blue potatoes, onion, parsley, dill, chives and eggs to bowl. Toss ingredients gently with fingers.
  4. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture and toss gently to combine.
  5. Serve warm at room temperature or chilled.

NOTE: Blue potatoes are starchier than the others and tend to bleed, so cook them separately. If you need to, prepare this dish a day ahead, but add the blue potatoes just before serving.

Patriotic poundcake

Courtesy of Sports Writer Christine Troyke

-- 1 loaf pound cake (store bought or homemade)

-- pint heavy whipping cream

-- cup confectioner sugar

-- 1 teaspoon vanilla

-- Blueberries

-- Strawberries

  1. For whipping cream, whisk heavy cream until it starts to spike. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Set aside. (Cool Whip is an easy substitute.)
  2. Cut pound cake in three even layers.
  3. Frost bottom layer of pound cake with whipped cream. Add layer of berries. Stack middle layer of pound cake and repeat.
  4. Add top layer, frost and add berries in pattern of U.S. Flag.

Red, white and blue layered cake

Courtesy of Local Advertising Coordinator Elizabeth D. Hill

RED CAKE LAYER

-- 1 box white cake mix

-- 2 cups strawberries, stems removed, pureed in blender or food processor to about 1 cups

-- -1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

-- 3 eggs

-- 1 teaspoon red paste food color

BLUE CAKE LAYER

-- 1 box white cake mix-- 2 cups blueberries, pureed in blender or food processor to about 1 cups

-- -1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

-- 3 eggs

-- 1 teaspoon red paste food color

CHEESECAKE

-- 1 box no bake cheesecake (omit graham cracker crumbs)

-- 1 8-oz cream cheese

-- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

-- -1/2 cup unsalted butter

-- 2 8-oz blocks cream cheese, quartered

-- 2 -1/2 cups powdered sugar

-- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Red cake:

  1. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat unsalted butter until fluffy.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low.
  3. Slowly add cup of cake mix to thicken butter mixture.
  4. Add one egg at a time, scraping down sides before adding the next.
  5. Alternate adding cake mix and strawberry fruit puree (in thirds) until cake mix is thick and fluffy. Approximately 2 minutes.
  6. Add Red Paste Coloring, mix until color is incorporated.
  7. In a greased and floured 9-inch round cake pan pour cake batter until pan is of the way full. Level with rubber spatula.
  8. Bake Cake for 28-30 Min or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven to cool.

Blue cake:

  1. Following the steps above replace strawberry puree and red paste food color with blueberry puree and blue paste food color.NOTE: There will be cake mix left over from both red and blue cake mix. I like to use the remainder to make cupcakes.

Cheese cake layer:

  1. Whip cream cheese until creamy. Add cheese cake filling mix and mix until smooth.
  2. Slowly beat in heavy cream until incorporated. Whip on high until firm.

TO ASSEMBLE:

  1. When cakes are completely cooled, starting with the red layer on the bottom - spread the cheesecake mixture ( -inch thick) on top to create the white layer.
  2. Carefully layer the blue cake layer on top.
  3. Immediately cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to set -- 5 to 6 hours or overnight is best.

Cream cheese frosting layer

  1. Beat unsalted butter until fluffy.
  2. Add room temperature cream cheese a quarter at a time until smooth and fully incorporated. Add vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar to frosting and continue to whip, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula, until frosting is smooth, fluffy and free of lumps.

Frost cake as desired and sprinkle with Fourth of July themed sprinkles. Refrigerate until serving.