(BPT) - Summer is the season of patriotism. There’s no better way to celebrate America during this time than with fresh, flavorful food and memorable gatherings. There are endless ways to relax and pay tribute to our nation with family and friends, from Flag Day beach parties to Memorial Day garden picnics to Fourth of July barbecues.
Nothing beats the flavors of summer, so whether you're hosting a holiday or simply getting people together for some warm weather fun, don't forget to stock up on the very best ingredients to create recipes that will leave everyone asking for seconds. Here are five must-haves for your next summer get-together:
Often referred to as “nature's candy,” seasonal fresh fruit is versatile for any summer gathering. Visit a farmers' market or produce stand to buy local and enjoy regional flavors picked at the peak of freshness. Whether it's sweet strawberries, juicy peaches, plump melons or another summer fruit, stock up and enjoy. Once you’ve brought home your bounty, cut it up to make fruit salad, fruit kabobs or even chilled fruit soup. It's also great to have on hand to elevate your summer baking for pies, tarts and cakes.
There’s butter, and then there’s better butter. High-quality butter brings out the best in your summer cooking and is a must-have for baking, basting, barbecuing and more. For sensational summer creations, stock up on Minerva Dairy butter, perfected over six generations of family ownership. With 85% butterfat, it makes for a richer, creamier and more flavorful base ingredient for summer essential recipes. Made in the USA, Minerva Dairy is America’s oldest family-owned creamery, using farm-fresh milk from pasture-raised cows to create slow-churned, small batches that maintain that flavor and texture, making a higher quality product. Learn more at minervadairy.com.
Corn on the cob
The quintessential summer side dish, corn on the cob is delicious whether steamed, boiled or grilled. Keep it hot and serve it immediately after cooking it, or keep it warm in a slow cooker or insulated cooler. Don't forget, classic American corn on the cob isn't complete without high-quality salted butter to bring out the sweetness of each kernel. If you want to try something new, add garlic herb butter as an option to guests.
Few things are more satisfying than sipping ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer day. Make a batch in a pitcher or serving dispenser and keep chilled with ice cubes. Add festive color by placing red and blue fruits, like raspberries and blueberries, directly into the container or use as a garnish on glasses. Another option is to freeze a berry into each section of an ice-cube tray so when you add them to a drink, you get a splash of color in each frozen cube.
Red, white and blue desserts
A colorful dessert that incorporates the hues of the American flag not only satisfies the sweet tooth, but provides an eye-catching focal point on a table or buffet. Try this recipe and make your summer celebration even sweeter:
Berry Upside Down Cake
Recipe and Images Courtesy of 2 Cookin’ Mamas
Prep Time: 70 Minutes
Optional: Prior to serving, decorate with whipped cream. You can also add some additional berries or a sprig of mint, if desired.
Note: This cake is best served 1-2 hours after baking and before refrigerating. The cake will keep three days in the refrigerator. Freezing is not recommended.
For more recipes ideas, visit minervadairy.com/recipes.