Tuesday, July 15, 2014

4th of July Celebration

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Partly because the nation's birthday is one day after my birthday (but about 200 years before), but also because I love Summer and being outside with the grill going and a cold beer in hand. The 4th of July in America is like Christmas in July. Everyone is wearing their red, white and blue ... some are even tacky, purposely or not ... everyone is being friendly to each other, and there's amazing food and get togethers everywhere you look.  

The 4th for us is usually fairly quiet since everyone gets together for my bday. We may go to a family members pool and spend some time there, but for the most part we just sit back and enjoy our own little family. 

We took the little man in the backyard and let him run around for a little while (that's his pool beside him, not just random trash laying around in our yard). 

See, he loves his pool ... and his rubber ducky.

For lunch, I told Dawn that we had to do hot dogs. I mean, it's the 4th of July for crying out loud. What's more American than hot dogs and beer?


For dinner, we busted out my new Nolan Ryan cookbook. 

Dawn picked out the "Potatoes Au Gratin" to go with my pick of "Grilled T-Bone with Bourbon-Peppercorn Sauce." 

For the potatoes we used red potatoes instead of Idaho potatoes as it called for. Threw the unsalted butter, milk, salt, pepper, "pinch" of nutmeg in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. Then layered them in these 2 fancy thingys she's got with the sauce and Swiss and Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top.

We cheated a little for the steak too. I wanted the big ginormous T-Bone at the store, but they had New York Strips on sale (I can't say no to a NY Strip). 

For the sauce, we mixed molasses, whole black peppercorns, Jack Daniel's, unsalted butter, and lemon juice. The recipe calls to just sprinkle salt and pepper on the steaks, so we did that instead of our usual rubs we use. We did vary a little and used the last bit of smoked salt we have (Ron, I'm still waiting on that next order). 

Being the 4th of July, we busted out the One Hope wine with the American flag on it. One Hope is a wine company out of California that donates portions of each bottle to different charities. Their Sweet Red wine go towards Support Our Troops (we also have their Darius Rucker signature line, which we used in our wedding, that's Cabernet Sauvignon and gives to support Autism Research and their Pinot for Paws which helps Fund Pet Adoptions).

I tried to get all fancy with my picture here, did it work?

The potatoes, steak, and wine were all delicious. The sauce on the steak was killer, but for some reason the steaks were a little tough. I've never cooked a tough steak, and obviously from the picture it wasn't over cooked, so I'm not sure what really happened here. It may have just been a bad cow.

We are definitely looking forward to trying more recipes from the great Nolan Ryan.


  1. Food looks good. Got me a Gamecock table like for my Birthday this year. Cool.

  2. Thanks man. I actually got that at a warehouse store in Myrtle Beach 2 years ago fairly cheap.