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National Holiday Recipes

Here are some delicious recipes Lenore has shared to complement her August blog entry about foodie holidays in the United States.


1-1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 45 wafers)

1/3 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup butter, melted


6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 ounces mascarpone cheese

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

1 tsp orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, divided

Combine the wafer crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, confectioners' sugar, liqueur, zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Spread into crust. Chill until serving.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in water and 1-1/2 cups raspberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until chilled.

Spread topping over filling. Garnish with remaining berries.



Basil Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

5-6 basil leaves (thinly sliced)

Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca:

1 (14-15 pound) seedless watermelon (peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes)

1 cup silver tequila

1/2 cup water

7 limes (6 sliced into rounds, 1 zested and juiced)

1/4 cup Kosher salt

prosecco (to top)

For the Basil Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water, sugar and basil leaves and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, and discard basil. Add the simple syrup to a large pitcher and set aside.

For the Sparkling Agua Fresca: In the carafe of a blender, add the watermelon and puree in batches. Strain the pureed watermelon into the large pitcher as you go and repeat until all of the watermelon has been strained into the pitcher. Add the tequila, water, and lime rounds to the pitcher and stir to combine.

In a shallow bowl, add the kosher salt and lime zest and stir to combine. Dip the rim of each coupe glass in the lime juice and then into lime-salt. Repeat with remaining glasses and fill with crushed ice. To serve, nearly fill each glass with watermelon mixture, top with prosecco, and serve!


1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 pound Camembert cheese removed from rind

1 cup shallot, finely minced

3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced

3 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon black pepper

24 oysters in the shell

Beat all ingredients except oysters into softened butter. Set aside.

Pop open oyster shells, keeping oyster intact with juice.

Place a teaspoon of herb butter on each oyster and broil in oven until butter melts and oyster crinkles—not very long!

Serve immediately on a plate with your choice of seaweed, rock salt, collard greens, etc., to prevent oysters from sliding around.


minced shallots (about 2 1/2 ounces)

1 tsp. grated ginger

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1/4 cup clear, unseasoned rice vinegar*

3 teaspoons sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon of sugar

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1 1/4 teaspoon of finely crushed black peppercorns


1 loaf Cuban bread, sliced lengthwise

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons yellow mustard, or to taste

1 1/2 pounds boiled ham, sliced

1 1/2 pounds roasted pork , sliced

1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced

1 cup dill pickle chips, or to taste

Assemble the sandwich...

Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on one half of the bread loaf and a thin layer of mustard on the other. Place 1 to 2 layers of ham, pork, cheese, and, finally, pickles on the buttered bread and top with the mustard-spread bread.

Wrap the sandwich in foil

Smear the remaining butter all over the outside of the sandwich and wrap it completely in aluminum foil.

Press and grill the sandwich...

Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing.

Before grilling the sandwich, press down on it with your hands to flatten it. Place the wrapped, flattened sandwich on the grill and top with a brick, grill press, or any other heavy, heat-resistant object. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side.

Remove the wrapped sandwich from the grill and take off the foil. Return the sandwich to the grill and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until both pieces of bread are crispy and golden brown.

Slice and serve...

12 slices sourdough or Ciabatta bread

Balsamic Onion Marmalade (see recipe below)

Braised Short Ribs, see recipe below

12 ounces, shredded aged cheddar

2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing

Remove the short rib meat from the bone. Shred the meat with a fork and toss in the braising liquid.

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Add a generous amount of balsamic onion marmalade and shredded short rib meat on top of a slice of bread. Top with about 1/4 cup of aged cheddar and close the sandwich with a second slice of bread. Brush a little melted butter on top.

Grill for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted with grill marks. Slice in half, serve immediately and enjoy!


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it slides easily across the pan. Add the onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the sugar and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the onions appear dry. Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until the onions are soft and dry.


6 serving-sized pieces beef short ribs (about 4 pounds)

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup vegetable oil

10 cloves garlic, peeled

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

6 sprigs fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other dry red wine

4 cups beef stock

Season the beef with the peppercorns. Coat the beef with the flour. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in an oven-safe 8-quart saucepot over medium- high heat. Add the beef and cook for 10 minutes or until it’s well browned on both sides. Remove the beef from the saucepot. Pour off any fat.

Heat the remaining oil in the saucepot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly browned, stirring often. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and stock and heat to a boil. Return the beef to the saucepot. Cover the saucepot. Bake at 350°F for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Skim the fat from the surface of the stock mixture.

Transfer the beef to a serving platter. Heat the stock mixture in the saucepot over medium heat to a boil. Cook until the mixture is reduced to 1 quart. Remove and discard the parsley and thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Serve the beef and gravy over hot noodles or mashed potatoes.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

8 4x3x1/2-inch slices French bread

4 tablespoons raspberry preserves, no seeds

32 fresh raspberries

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), coarsely chopped

6 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

8 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange 4 bread slices, buttered side down, on baking sheet; spread each with 1 tablespoon preserves. Arrange 8 berries over preserves on each slice. Sprinkle chocolate evenly over each, leaving 1/2-inch border. Spread mascarpone over plain side of remaining 4 bread slices, leaving 1/2-inch border. Place bread slices, mascarpone side down, atop each chocolate-topped bread slice. Sprinkle buttered side of sandwiches with 1 teaspoon brown sugar; press lightly to adhere.

Grill each sandwich until chocolate melts and bread is golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; cool 5 minutes. Using serrated knife, cut each sandwich in half. Transfer to plates.


1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup honey

about 1 cup lemon curd

zest of half a lemon, for garnish

Stir the blueberries, water, and sugar together in a small pot.

Cook over medium-low heat until thick, syrup-y and reduced by half (5-10 minutes). Cool completely.

Place the cream and honey in a large mixing bowl and whip on high speed until the cream holds soft peaks.

Alternate layers of whipped cream, blueberries, and lemon curd in serving glasses.

Garnish with lemon zest.

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