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Pair Up

Jun 27, 2016 12:16PM ● By Maria Terry

Red, White and Blue

The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate being American. A great way to do this is to get together with family and friends and enjoy a “red, white and blue” meal. Of course, the colors won’t be perfect, but after enough glasses of sangria, who cares? You will be proud to serve these four fun and tasty recipes for your Fourth of July BBQ.

Sangria is one of my favorite summer beverages. This Red, Blue and White Wine Sangria is a simple recipe, with only three ingredients: Moscato, a sweet, sparkling white wine; Triple Sec, an orange liquor with a touch of bitterness to keep your drink from becoming cloyingly sweet; and, of course, fresh fruit to float on top. Do be sure to include a red fruit and the requisite blueberries to stay true to your theme, and pair with a Red, White and Blue Summer Salad of blueberries and strawberries tossed with crunchy romaine and salty (white) feta cheese. Its dressing is versatile and works with other salads too, especially anything with fruit or avocado.

Whip-up another pitcher of sangria for your main course as you grill your favorite “white” meat (chicken, fish, or even pork) to serve with fresh Red and Blue(berry) Salsa. This salsa is flavorful and colorful. Choose whether you want to add a little extra heat with jalapeño and/or bitter complexity with mint. With any variation, its sweet and savory combination will be delicious. Add some freshly baked bread or some crunchy tortilla chips to make sure you get every bite.

I like the idea of saving dessert for the fireworks display. A perfect finger-food dessert is All American Stuffed Strawberries. They can be made in advance and brought out when the first fireworks explode in the sky. They are a delightful blend of sweet and tangy fruit with rich, cream cheese. To cleanse your palate, choose a beverage with bubbles and one that is not too sour in order to prevent it from fighting with the sweet fruit. A sweet, dessert sparkler or even neutral sparkling water would both be up to the task.

So, go on. Pair Up!

Maria Terry is a Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Red, Blue and White Wine Sangria


1 bottle Moscato or sweet sparkling wine

1/2 cup Triple Sec 

Red and blue fruits, such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries, red apples, and/or strawberries


Combine wine and Triple Sec in a large pitcher. Remove stems and other non-edible portions from fruit. Add fruit to the pitcher. Allow the sangria to sit up to a day in advance or serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings

Red, White and Blue Summer Salad


6-8 cups of fresh romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh strawberries cut in small chunks

4 oz. crumbled feta cheese


½ cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. grated onion

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup olive oil


Mix all dressing ingredients and toss a small amount with greens and fruit. Add cheese last and toss one more time. Left over dressing will keep in refrigerator indefinitely. Yield: 4 servings

Red & Blue(berry) Salsa


1/2 cup fresh blueberries, chopped

1/2 cup fresh whole blueberries

1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced

1/4 red onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

3 tbsp. fresh minced cilantro

2 tbsp. fresh minced mint (optional)

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Salt to taste


In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use. Yield: 4 servings 

All American Stuffed Strawberries


24 fresh, large strawberries

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature or softened slightly) 

½ cup powdered sugar 

1 tsp. vanilla extract 

½ cup fresh blueberries


Cut the bottom from the strawberries so they can sit cut-side down. Then, starting at the pointy part of the strawberry, cut a deep "X" about 2/3 of the way through. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gently open up each strawberry and pipe the filling inside using a pastry bag or zip-top bag. Top each filled strawberry with a blueberry. Chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days in an airtight container. Yield: 6-8 servings


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