Independence Day – Family, Food & Fun

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Dessert!

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it – what it celebrates, how it is celebrated, the weather, the fireworks….

We are lucky enough to live on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. From our back yard we have a great view of the fireworks display shot from a barge just outside of Dana Point Harbor.  We can also see the display put on by San Clemente to the south and Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar to the north.  On  a few exceptionally clear 4th of July nights we have seen the fireworks from Catalina Island.  Bunches of boats go out onto the water to watch the fireworks – it is magical. I LOVE it!

My  favorite part of the Independence Day is when my sister and her family  come to our house on July 4 to hang out, barbecue and watch the fireworks.  The last two years have been made even more special when my niece, Elise, has come a few days before July 4th to stay with us. She volunteers  at my work for the activities there celebrating Independence Day.  This year she twirled her flag in our little parade and helped me run the cotton candy booth.  It was so much fun havng her around.  I hope that her younger sister will become a junior volunteer when she is old enough. I love being an aunt!

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We had a great time this 4th of July.  It was a relaxed day full of food, family and fun.  Along with some typical 4th of July food (barbecued chicken, watermelon, corn, etc)  I made some fresh Bruchetta with my Dad’s home grown tomatoes. My sis, Tracy, made a dessert that was almost too pretty to eat that had a cookie crust, cream cheese layer and fresh berries.  She also brought her killler pasta salad.  Pina Colada pops, Drunken Arnold Pomers (iced tea, pomagranite juice, lemon vodka and a little stevia or sugar), chips and guacamole made it a party!

Fresh Tomato Bruchetta

2-3  lbs fresh tomatoes
1 Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Jar Kalamata Olives
1/4 cup fresh basil
4 Tbs Capers
4 Oz shaved Parmesan
1-2 cloves minced garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and chop them into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop the onions and add them to the tomatoes. Cut the olives in half lengthwise, chop the basil and mince the garlic. Add the capers, olives, garlic and parmesan to the tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently stir together and let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve with crostini and/or fresh Italian bread.

I had a fair amount of the bruchetta left over. I threw the left over bruchetta in the crock put with a couple of cups of nice zinfindel, some extra garlic and meat free Italian sausage (you could use regular sausage, I just happened to have the meat free variety on hand).  I let it cook for several hours, boiled up some pasta and voila – Sunday dinner.

Remember to always play with your food.

Find Your Om Balance – Terri