Andrea Chaffin: An all-American cookout

Andrea Chaffin: An all-American cookout

Red, white and blue dishes are perfect summer food

By Andrea Chaffin


Be the star of your summer cookout with this flavorful fruit and lettuce salad. The best part is the freshly glazed walnuts. It’s served with a sweet homemade poppy seed dressing.

Guests will ooh and ahh over these adorable red, white and blue layered Jell-O cups. Add some vodka, raspberry liquor or blue Curacao in place of the boiling water for an adults-only party.

Be the star of your summer cookout with this flavorful fruit and lettuce salad. The best part is the freshly glazed walnuts. It’s served with a sweet homemade poppy seed dressing.

This potato salad boasts three types of potatoes to give it that red, white and blue look. An olive oil and mustard dressing also means fewer calories for a lighter recipe.

You’ve been invited to a summer cookout. Likely, it’s a Memorial Day weekend or Fourth of July gathering.

You need something delicious. Something everybody will like. Something a little bit different, but not too weird.

Something cute.

How about something red, white and blue?

So spread out the red-checkered tablecloth and pull out the “Star-Spangled Banner.” These festive recipes are sure to put everyone in a patriotic mood.



Potato salad is something everybody loves, but this one is different than those found in the supermarket deli. Most recipes call for mounds of mayonnaise, but this boasts a light and healthy olive oil and mustard dressing. Roasting the potatoes with skin on adds extra flavor.


6 cups (one 24-ounce bag) fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

6 cups baby red potatoes, halved

6 cups (one 28-ounce bag) small blue potatoes, halved

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

5 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

1 tablespoon black pepper


Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash potatoes.

Place whole fingerling and red potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Turn once through process to ensure browning on both sides.

Repeat process on a separate cookie sheet with blue potatoes, roasting for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Slice potatoes, and place in large bowl with red onion, dill, green onions and eggs; toss very gently.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss gently to combine.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Note: Blue potatoes tend to bleed, so cook them separately.

Makes about 24 servings.



So colorful, flavorful and delicious, this salad screams patriotic summer. The sweet, homemade dressing is sure to keep guests coming back to the salad bowl. Serve dressing on the side.

Ingredients for salad:

1 container mixed greens

1 cup walnuts or pecans

1 tablespoon honey

2 cups sliced strawberries

1 and a 1/2 cups blueberries

4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

Ingredients for dressing:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 and a half teaspoons salt

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon poppy seeds


Make the glazed nuts: Place walnuts or pecans in a medium-size sauce pan and drizzle with honey. Cook for a few minutes or until mixture is foamy. Place aside in a single layer on a foil lined cookie-sheet to cool. (Some stores carry already-glazed nuts.)

Place lettuces in a large bowl and combine. Add strawberries, blueberries, cooled glazed nuts and feta cheese.

Make the dressing: Combine sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, salt, red onion, oil and poppy seeds in a container which can seal, such as a quart-size Mason jar. Shake until combined. (Dressing can also be combined in a blender and blended for a smoother texture. If using this method, wait to add poppy seeds until after blending).

Serve dressing with salad.



These layered treats can be made in individual cups or in a single pan. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter for an extra patriotic twist. For a more adult-friendly treat, try adding blue Curacao, raspberry vodka or whipped vodka to the layers in place of some water.


2 (3-ounce) boxes red gelatin

2 (3-ounce) boxes blue gelatin

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Boiling water and cold water


In a medium bowl, mix two boxes of red gelatin with one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Add 2 cups of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and ladle into individual cups about one-third full. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (make sure that refrigerator is level, or jello will come out uneven-looking).

While first layer is setting, prepare white layer. In another bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of boiling water. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Let stand a few minutes until the mixture looks grainy, and then add 1/2 cup of boiling water to dissolve the gelatin. Add to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Pour milk mixture over the first layer of red jello. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While white layer is setting, prepare blue layer. In a medium bowl, mix two boxes of blue jello with one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Add two cups of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour on top of white layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.



Andrea is the editor of The Madison Press in London and the food editor of Salt magazine. An OSU graduate, she enjoys piddling in her garden, making way too much food than two people ever need, singing in the car and exploring photography.

Salt Magazine

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