You know summer is here when the 4th of July weekend gets circled on your calendar. The weekend of the 4th is a great time to celebrate the all-American art of backyard grilling and eating.

Here are some of our “Favorite 4th” foods from the three-generation family of RoseLake Estates’ management:

Creamy Ranch Potato Salad Easy to prepare. (Best when made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. small red potatoes, cooked and quartered
  • 1 C. cubed cooked ham or bacon bits
  • 1 10 ¾ oz. can condensed cream of potato soup
  • 8 oz. chive and onion cream cheese
  • 3 T minced (or fresh) chives
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 6 oz. pepper jack cheese or cheddar, grated

You can throw all ingredients (except cheese) in a slow cooker and cook covered, on low until potatoes are tender (6-8 hrs). Then top with cheese.

Or cook potatoes in water on stovetop until tender, drain, then whisk together remaining ingredients and stir into cooled potatoes. Refrigerate before serving (overnight is ideal).

Sweet Ginger Ribs

Easy prep – just 15 minutes, however ribs should be marinated overnight prior to grilling.

Needed: 4 pounds pork baby back ribs (or chicken) and 2 resealable plastic bags or containers to marinate (and turn)

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • ½ c red wine vinegar
  • ½ c ketchup
  • ½ c peach (or other favorite) preserves
  • 1/3 c ginger (fresh minced if possible)
  • 2 T mustard (stone-ground if possible)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 6 (minced) garlic cloves
  • ½ T red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ t coarsely ground pepper

Whisk together ingredients until blended. Reserve 1 C marinade for basting. Divide ribs evenly between 2 sealable containers and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).

Remove ribs and discard marinade from bags. Grill ribs, covered, over indirect medium heat 1 ½ hrs – 2, until tender. Baste occasionally with reserved marinate during the last 30 minutes.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Nothing better than fresh corn on the cob – unless it’s grilled to perfection. Here’s how:

  • Boil ears of corn in salted water until just barely done
  • Remove ears from water and pat dry
  • Roll cooked ears in butter
  • Roll buttered ears in mixture of seasoned salt (spicy if you like), or herbs of your choice (we like fresh chopped cilantro or dill)
  • Grill and turn until blackened on all sides

Serve hot from the grill!

Key Lime Pound Cake

Finish with this great make-ahead pound cake for a hot summer evening!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons grated key lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons Key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk

Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated key lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon Key lime juice
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Lime slices, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in lime zest, vanilla and lime juice.
  • Add flour alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Transfer to prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, lime zest and lime juice until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Spread over cake. If desired, garnish with lime slices and additional zest.

So….. fire up the grill, invite friends and family, and get out the paper plates. Life is gooooood!