Happy July 4th Weekend!

Happy Independence Day, and happy long weekend to some of us. This is one of our favorite holidays. We get to spend time with our friends and family and enjoy the weather with no pressure of having to buy gifts and no one judging you for slipping into hot-dog induced comas.

One of the dishes I made for the day was pulled pork. The recipe is super easy, and thanks to my Aunt Barbara. All you need to do is put some pork shoulder in the crock pot (fat side up) and cover with root beer. Cook on low overnight (8 hours). Pour out the rootbeer and shred the pork with a fork. This part is basically effortless at this point. After you’ve shredded, add in a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Tada! Perfect pulled pork.

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It’s O.K. to let the dog have a small piece before you add the sauce. Don’t judge me, with eyes like that, who can say no?

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For the 4th, we celebrated at my sister Maria’s house. I thought it was “just us” and a few friends, but I always forget how many people that actually turns out to be. At one point we counted 90 people. Holy crap. That’s a lot of people, and that’s a lot of food. I think the grill was on for 6 hours straight, then we gave it a break for about an hour and turned it back on. We stopped cooking around 10pm. It was wonderful.

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I also brought some festive, Red White & Blue sangrias. Most people don’t know that the great state on New Jersey isn’t all manufacturing and  actually beautiful, and yes, there are farms and wineries here!  Blueberries and cranberries are two major fruit crops in New Jersey, and Valenzano winery uses them to make some tasty wines.

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Base Sangria:
1 cup juice
1/2 cup rum or brandy
1 bottle wine

Fruit:
1 pear
2 oranges
1 nectarine
1 apple
lemon
lime
frozen berries and grapes

In the “Red” sangria I used Cranberry wine, cran-grape juice, and Captain Morgan rum. The “White” sangria was made with white wine, white grape juice, and Cruzan Mango rum, and the “Blue” sangria was made with blueberry juice, blueberry wine, and blackberry brandy.

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Make the Sangria at least two hours ahead of time and chill. Use the frozen berries and grapes instead of ice.  Be careful; this stuff creeps up on you!

Today’s the last day of the long weekend, and we’re celebrating at Mom’s pool. Oh how I love the summer!

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