A German Feast for the Fourth

I wasn’t really feeling the Fourth of July this year, so I wanted to do something different for our holiday dinner. I decided that a meal that celebrates part of our family’s heritage would work, so I set out to make a German Feast for the Fourth.

We started by making pretzels this afternoon, which is always a family favorite food and activity! In addition to nacho cheese (so not German!), we also had a delicious German pub mustard for dipping.

For dinner, I decided to make pork schnitzel with a Jaeger sauce, German potato salad, gerkensalat, sauerkraut, and homemade spaetzle. The dinner was a big hit!

For dessert, I made a Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen. Also a big hit!

This wasn’t our usual Independence Day dinner, but it was festive and delicious…what more can you ask of a holiday meal?

A Feast for the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July!


This year, I decided to take a break from our standard Independence Day dinner of braised beef brisket, and instead went with a Dr. Pepper inspired meal. We had pulled pork in a chipotle Dr. Pepper sauce and topped with a spicy slaw, corn on the cob, baked beans, kettle chips, watermelon, and our favorite cherry Jell-O made with Dr. Pepper instead of Coca-Cola. We also had two special treats…red, white, and blue Rice Krispie treats with lunch, and my favorite Stars and Stripes Funfetti for dessert, complete with sparkler candles!

It was a very festive meal, and a nice change of pace from our usual Fourth of July dinner!

A Markel Family Independence Day

Today was our typical Markel family Independence Day celebration. We watched our favorite Fourth of July movies (Yankee Doodle Dandy and Holiday Inn), listened to A Splash of Pops more than once, and then watched the Boston Pops Fourth of July concert. We also watched our neighbors set off tons of fireworks, which makes me very nervous every year, but it still an amazing show to see. We had our standard dinner of brisket, baked beans, corn on the cob, watermelon, and potato salad, and a few treats…finger Jell-O and a red, white, and blueberry trifle. There were even patriotic flowers this year, thanks to Ryan!

It was, as always, a very fun holiday!

A Feast for the Fourth–2014

We had our standard Fourth of July feast for dinner tonight: beef brisket, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, and watermelon…yum!


I made something new for dessert…a triple berry crisp, served warm with ice cream. It was also a hit!


Today was a very nice Independence Day!

An Independence Day Tea Party

I’ve been wanting to have a semi-ironic Independence Day tea party for a few years now (you know, Boston Tea Party and all). I had a few ideas last month, so I decided that this would be the year!


It worked out well, because our kitchen is decorated for this event all year:


And I found some cute little star candles and acrylic stars at Michael’s to add to the centerpiece:IMG_8064

Since I already had red, white, and blue table linens, I only had to spend about $5 for a fully decorated, very festive table! (No china this time, because if there was ever a holiday where china doesn’t work, it’s the Fourth of July! I should have just used paper plates…)


We had iced tea, to make sure our tea party had the proper American twist, plus lots of red, white, and blue, and stars. Blue and red jello stars, red, white and blue strawberries, marshmallow “firecrackers,” Stars and Stripes Funfetti cupcakes, blueberries, star-shaped sugar cookies in the colors of the flag, and white cheese on red and blue toothpicks were all on the menu:

I did make scones (star-shaped, of course), and served English muffins (with blueberry jelly), so it wasn’t completely American. Plus, have you ever noticed what color the Union flag is? Hard to tell what we’re celebrating! Again, semi-ironic, which was exactly what I was going for!

This was a particularly fun tea party to plan, and I’m glad I finally came up with ideas for a very American afternoon tea!

A Feast for the Fourth

Pretty standard Fourth of July fare…beef brisket, corn on the cob, potato salad, and watermelon:


Dessert was special…no funfetti this year! Vanilla ice cream topped with cinnamon-sugar baked peaches (that Turkey and I picked this morning), and drizzled with a homemade blackberry sauce (made from berries also picked this morning).


A Feast Fit For A…Patriot

You didn’t think I’d say king on Independence Day, did you?

Over the past few years, I’ve developed our family’s traditional Fourth of July dinner. The main course is the Pioneer Woman’s beef brisket. It is, without a doubt, the best meat dish I have ever prepared. I think the real secret to the success of this dish is the liquid smoke…I look for any reason to use that stuff, and it is simply amazing as part of the marinade for a very slow roasted brisket.

We, of course, had all of the traditional side dishes. Corn on the cob, baked beans, and potato salad.  I have, in the past, attempted to make my own baked beans…they were OK, but not really worth the effort in my opinion. And Bush’s has that secret sauce that the dog’s always trying to give away, so I don’t feel too bad using canned beans. I sometimes make the potato salad from scratch, but not this year…sometimes it’s nice to just relax and enjoy the holiday without making yourself crazy with preparing and cooking!

The beverages of choice for this holiday were root beer, and regular beer. OK, not regular, because it was a fancy Schlafly brew, but still, beer. The children think it’s very exciting any time they get to have soda with a meal, and what’s more American than root beer?

Of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without a little patriotic Funfetti! It may just be a box mix, but there’s something charming about the sprinkle-laden cupcakes. Plus, it’s another tradition…so it’s a necessity, no matter how corny it is!