Recipes for your Backyard Celebration

The 4th of July will be here in just a couple of weeks. We have put together a few recipes for a great backyard celebration.

If you have a favorite dish prepared with the goods you find at the Farmers Market near you, send it in! Recipes, with photo (and a short story/history), if available, can be submitted to

Muddled Lemonberryade  


Level: Easy

Total: 10 min

Prep: 10 min

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


4 lemons, sliced

1/2 c. mint leaves

1 c. sugar

1 pint berries (strawberries and blackberries preferable)

1 quart water

1 quart club soda


Slice lemons and place in the bottom of the drink pitcher. Add 1/2 cup fresh mint and 1 cup sugar on top of lemons. With the wooden spoon mash the mixture for 1 minute. Add the berries and lightly mash. Add 1 quart water and refrigerate until chilled.

To serve: Fill a tall glass with ice and fill 3/4 with lemon juice mixture, top with club soda and serve.


Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese


Level: Easy

Total: 20 min

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 10 min

Yield: 6-8 servings


3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 T. chopped fresh oregano

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

1/2 baguette, halved lengthwise

1 large clove garlic, halved

1 med. tomato, halved & sliced 1/4” thick

1/4 lb. sliced provolone cheese


Preheat a grill to medium high. Combine the olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Brush the cut sides of the baguette with some of the flavored oil. Grill cut-side down until toasted, about 4 minutes.

Rub the grilled sides of the baguette with the garlic. Top with the tomato slices, season with salt and cover with the provolone. Grill, covered, until the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining flavored oil and season with salt. Cut into pieces.


Hatch Pineapple Salsa


Yields: 2 Cups

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Total Time: 10 Mins


1-1/2 c. fresh pineapple

2 (4-oz.) Hatch Chiles, diced

1/4 c. Red Onion, finely chopped

1/4 c. fresh cilantro

1 to 2 seeded Fresno chiles

2 T. fresh lime juice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Toss together pineapple, Hatch Chiles, red onion, fresh cilantro, Fresno chiles, and lime juice. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve on grilled hot dogs with cooked bacon and melted pepper Jack cheese. 


Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 5 min

Prep: 35 min

Cook: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings


1/3 c. mayonnaise

1 T. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2-1/4 lbs.)

Vegetable oil, for brushing

1-1/2 c. breadcrumbs

3 large tomatoes, halved crosswise

Freshly ground black pepper


Combine the mayonnaise, chili powder, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat a grill to medium low. Brush the grill grates with vegetable oil. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, then add the chicken, turning to thoroughly coat. Grill the chicken, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes per side. Meanwhile, brush the tomatoes with vegetable oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place cut-side down on the grill and cook until marked, about 4 minutes per side. Serve with the chicken.


Hamburger with Double Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Vidalia Onion and Horseradish Mustard


Level: Easy

Total: 33 min

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 18 min

Yield: 8 servings


2 lbs. freshly ground chuck

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

8 slices white Cheddar, sliced 1/4” thick

8 slices yellow Cheddar, sliced 1/4” thick

8 hamburger buns

Horseradish Mustard, recipe follows

8 leaves Romaine Lettuce

Grilled Vidalia Onions, recipe follows

Dill pickles, sliced



Horseradish Mustard:

1/2 c. Dijon mustard

2 T. prepared horseradish, drained


Grilled Vidalia Onions:

2 Vidalia onions, sliced crosswise, 1/4” thick slices

2 T. olive oil

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Preheat grill or a cast iron skillet to high.

Divide the beef into 8 (4-ounce) burgers. Season on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill or cook in the skillet for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. During last minutes of cooking add 2 slices of cheese to each burger, cover grill and let melt, approximately 1 minute. Place burger on bun and top with Horseradish Mustard, lettuce, Grilled Vidalia Onions, pickles and ketchup.

Horseradish Mustard: Whisk mustard and horseradish together in a small bowl.

Grilled Vidalia Onions: Brush olive oil on both sides of the onions and season with salt and pepper. Grill the onion slices for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.


American Flag Caprese Salad


Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 50 min

(includes cooling time)

Active: 40 min

Yield: 12 servings


18 small purple potatoes (about 1 lb.)

Kosher salt

1 lb. herbed cheese spread, at room temp.

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 c. fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

26 cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 lbs.)

24 (1”) mozzarella balls in brine, drained well and halved 


Special equipment: 12x17-1/2” wooden cutting board, pastry bag fitted with a small star tip

Cook the potatoes in generously salted boiling water until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain well and allow to cool completely. Cut in half crosswise.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a small star tip, with the herbed cheese spread. Cut a piece of parchment large enough to fit a 12x17-1/2” wooden cutting board. Put a dab of cheese spread on the underside of each corner of the parchment to help it adhere to the cutting board.

Pipe and spread a thin layer of cheese spread into a 6-1/2x9-1/2” rectangle in the upper left corner of the parchment. Arrange the potatoes in rows, cut-side-up, on top of the cheese. Pipe the remaining cheese in between the potatoes to make stars for the flag.

Drizzle the remaining empty portion of parchment with half of the oil then sprinkle all over with the basil. Starting from the top, make a line of tomato halves, cut-side-up, followed by a line of mozzarella halves, cut-side-down. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle everything with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Cook’s Note: Since this is a composed salad, you might have some ingredients left over, so toss them together and eat a bonus salad.


Firecracker Red, White and Blue Cake


1 box white cake mix

Water, vegetable oil & whole eggs called for on cake mix box

1-1/4 tsp. red gel food color

1-1/4 tsp. blue gel food color

1/2 c. vanilla frosting (from 16-oz. container)

2 tsp. red, white and blue candy sprinkles, if desired


Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 12-cup fluted Bundt cake pan with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and whole eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

In small bowl, place 1 cup of the batter; stir in 1 teaspoon of the red food color until blended. In another small bowl, place 1 cup of the batter; stir in 1 teaspoon of the blue food color until blended.

Pour red cake batter into bottom of pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over red batter in pan. Carefully pour blue batter over white batter. (Blue batter does not need to cover white batter completely; it looks better if it just forms a ring in the center of the white batter.)

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Place cake on cooling rack over waxed paper or cooking parchment paper. In small microwavable bowl, place 1/4 cup of the frosting. Microwave uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle over cake.

With spoon, drizzle warmed frosting back and forth over cake in striping pattern. Divide remaining frosting between 2 small microwavable bowls. To 1 bowl, stir in 1/4 teaspoon red food color until well blended. Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cake. Repeat with remaining bowl of frosting and 1/4 teaspoon blue food color. Sprinkle candy sprinkles on top. Let stand about 30 minutes or until frosting is set. Store loosely covered at room temperature. 12 servings


Quote of the Week:


“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” 

~ Steve Martin


“When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.” 

~ Linda Poindexter



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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