Are you still deciding on your 4th of July menu? I, personally, like to wait until the last possible minute. I'm one of those people. Decisions are hard for me. Especially really big ones, like menu finalization. I have to think about it for a few days and weigh all options before committing. Some people might say it's smart planning to look at every angle. Others might say I should just make up my mind already and quit being such a procrastinator. (I tend to fall in with the latter crowd, I don't know what my problem is.) Well, if you're anything like me and you're still looking for ideas for what to take to a barbecue or what to make for guests, this 'salad' is super easy and a complete crowd pleaser.
You can really add almost any fruit to this. My mother in law makes a version of this salad with just grapes and it's so good it's ridiculous. I chose strawberries and blueberries simply because of the holiday breathing down our necks. I was trying to come up with some kind of fruit that wouldn't be good in this and I am stumped. Anything from bananas to apples to cantaloupe would be delicious. What I'm trying to say is this salad is not only a super easy crowd pleaser, but it's also so versatile. I can't come up with any reason not to love this salad. ;)
Since we were going for the berry cheesecake version, we served it with graham crackers. I put them on the side and let everyone decide if they wanted to crush them over the salad or put some salad on a graham cracker and eat it. If you wanted to skip the graham crackers, you can totally get away with that. Some almonds for crunch would work really well, or probably whatever kind of nut you like.
Berry Cheesecake Salad4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese (not that I think this is necessary since we are dumping in whipping cream, but that's what I used.)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 lbs strawberries, quartered
8 oz blueberries
Graham crackers, optional
Add cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla to the bowl of a mixer. With the whisk attachment, beat until smooth 2-3 minutes, scraping down the bowl if necessary. Once smooth, add whipping cream and whisk at medium speed until thickened. About 2-3 minutes, the whisk will leave 'trails' in the mixture.
Normally when I eat cheesecake, I just eat the middle, and leave the crust but I really liked the graham cracker here. I'm all about crunch these days. ;) Just be sure to wait until serving to add the graham cracker so they don't get soggy-or just serve the graham crackers on the side so people can do what they want with them.
*This is best served the day it's made.
Source: girlplusfood original
If you're looking for more 4th of July menu ideas, here's a few:
These are close to the salad but take a little more work. They might be worth it for how cute they are though.
I still remember this blueberry nectarine pie with crumble topping and how delicious it was warm, topped with ice cream.
I've learned that you really can't go wrong with pavlova. If you haven't had it yet, you must make it soon.
For some reason the 4th of July is synonymous with corn for me. If you don't care about the red, white and blue pallet then this salad is perfect.
If you ask me, any day is a great day for s'mores but wouldn't a 4th of July s'more party be fun? Nothing says patriotism like homemade graham crackers and marshmallows.
This fruit tart takes some work, but makes up for it by being so beautiful.
I, obviously, need to make these again so I can take better photos. Don't let it deter you, these are delicious and would be well received anywhere. (unless someone is allergic to deliciousness.)
I know I gave you mostly desserts here. It's almost like there's a reason for that. If you're cooler than me and would rather bring a side dish, you can see more side dishes HERE and more salads HERE.
Happy 4th of July!