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Recipe: Enjoying the Fourth

Happy Independence Day everyone! I cannot believe July is already here, but let's get out there and enjoy it while we can. Happy barbecuing and stay safe this weekend. Enjoy that day off in the middle of the week.

Watermelon Cooler

8 cups fresh watermelon cubed

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup water

1 cup vodka, watermelon flavored if preferred

Fresh mint leaves

sour apple pucker, optional

In a blender, add the watermelon, lime juice, honey and water and blend until fully pureed.

Pour the puree through a mesh strainer to remove any pulp and seeds. Add the vodka and stir it until it is well combined.

Pour the mixture over ice and garnish with extra watermelon slices and mint leaves and serve immediately.

Note: If you want to kick it up a notch (too Emeril...?) fill a glass with ice and pour sour apple pucker until the glass is ¼ to ⅓ full.

Slowly pour the watermelon mixture over the pucker and the watermelon mixture will float on top. Then serve it immediately with extra watermelon slices and mint leaves.

Pulled Pork

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 pounds cubed pork shoulder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup Dijon mustard

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 cups chicken broth

Grease the bowl of a slow cooker with the olive oil using a clean paper towel. Arrange the onion, garlic and pork in the base of the bowl and season it with salt and pepper.

Add the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, sugar and broth and then toss everything gently to combine. Put the lid on the slow cooker and set the heat on low. Cook everything for 7 hours, or until the pork is tender and easy to shred.

The pork can be served immediately on a bun with a scoop of fresh coleslaw.

Tangy Coleslaw

½ head red cabbage, shredded

½ head green cabbage, shredded

4 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½ cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

¼ cup Greek yogurt

Zest of 2 limes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the carrots and scallions until everything is well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut oil with the rice vinegar, mustard, yogurt and lime zest to combine then season it with salt and pepper.

Toss the dressing with the vegetables until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate before serving.

Light Egg Salad

12 eggs

½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

½ tablespoon yellow mustard

1 tablespoon pickle relish

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon dried minced onion

2 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped

Take the eggs out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes prior to cooking them to allow them to get close to room temperature.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil, there should be enough water so that when you add the eggs, they are covered by at least 1 inch.

When the water comes to a boil, add the eggs and boil them for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, remove the pot from the burner and cover it for 15 minutes.

Drain the eggs and submerge them in an ice bath to cool them down quickly. When cooled, gently crack the large end of the egg on a hard surface and begin peeling the shell.

Chop up the eggs into tiny squares and set them aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, mustard, relish, salt, black pepper, minced onion and dill. Then, gently fold in the chopped-up eggs.

Chill before serving.

Ice Cream Freedom Floats

¼ cup fresh strawberries, quartered

¼ cup fresh blueberries

3 scoops vanilla ice cream

½ cup strawberry soda

½ cup lemon lime soda

Add strawberries to the bottom of a tall clear glass then place two scoops of ice cream over the strawberries. Next, add a layer of blueberries followed by another scoop of ice cream.

Then, slowly pour in the two sodas over the top to create layers of red, white and blue.

Serve immediately.

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