Weelicious: Fourth of July Meals and Beyond

Red, white, and blue food is always part of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and so this year, I turned to Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious, a website and cookbooks dedicated to healthy eating, getting kids into the kitchen and to the table. She also is co-founder of One Potato, the first organic home meal delivery kit service designed getting family meals together in 30 minutes or less and that are kid-friendly so that children can help. All the ingredients for One Potato are pre-prepped, making it easy indeed.

As if that wasn’t enough, McCord, has authored several cookbooks including Weelicious: One Family. One Meal with 140 original recipes and Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox created to go beyond peanut butter and jelly sandwich and featuring more than 160 recipes.

A former model, actress,  and culinary school graduate McCord, the mother of three, who has been on the cover of such magazines as Glamour and Elle magazines, also appears as a judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games.

Named by people magazine as “one of the 50 most influential “Mommy Bloggers.” She updates her blog with a new recipe a day. Visit her at www.weelicious.com

The following recipes are courtesy of McCord.

Fourth of July Parfaits (makes 8 parfaits)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 0 mins

Angel food cake (store bought or homemade, recipe below)

  • 1 cup strawberries, stemmed & quartered
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Coconut whipped cream (recipe below)

Homemade Angel Food Cake:

  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cut the angel food cake into 2-inch cubes.

Alternately layer the angel food cake, coconut whipped cream, and berries in clear glasses or mason jars so you can see all the colors and textures.

Homemade Angel Food Cake:

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Whisk the flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl.

In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high until the egg whites are very foamy and barely form soft peaks, about 45 seconds longer. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed until whites are firm and glossy and hold stiff peaks (if you over beat, the meringue will look dry and curdled). Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.

Sift one-third of the dry ingredients over the meringue. Continue to beat on low speed until just incorporated. Continue the sifting and mixing process 2 more times. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and fold batter several times with a large spatula to make sure all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Pour half of the batter into ungreased tube pan. Using a spatula push the batter all around the pan as it will help with a more even cake after baking. Scrape remaining batter into pan and spread the top evenly.

Bake the cake about 40 minutes or until top is puffy and golden. Immediately invert the pan onto a baking rack. Allow the cake to cool at least 1 hour.  Turn the cake right side up and using a thin metal spatula, cut around sides and loosen cake. Release the tube from the cake pan. Using thin metal spatula, loosen cake from bottom. Invert cake onto a plate or cake stand and remove bottom. Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting into cubes.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Makes 1 ½ cups

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Place the jar of coconut milk in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Being careful to not shake the can, open the coconut milk.

Spoon out the thick coconut cream into a large bowl, which is about 2/3 of the can. Once you get to the liquid, stop and discard or save for smoothies.

Beat the coconut cream with a handheld electric or stand mixer for 1 minute.

Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 30 more seconds.

Fruit Wands

  • 1 watermelon
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 20 skewers

Slice the watermelon into 1/2 inch round slices, and then cut out star shapes using a three-inch star-shaped cookie cutter.

Gently slide the blueberries on wooden skewers* and finally place a watermelon star on the top.

Place the skewers in a tall glass or in decorated floral foam as an eatable centerpiece.

Red, White & Blue Pops

Makes 8 Popsicles, depending on the size of your molds

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 0 mins

  • 12-ounce bag frozen blueberries, defrosted
  • 6 tablespoons agave, divided (you can also use honey)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (you can use cow’s milk, almond, rice or soy)
  • 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries, defrosted

Place defrosted blueberries and 2 tablespoons agave or honey in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the blueberry puree 1/3 way up each popsicle mold and freeze for 30-45 minutes.

Combine the yogurt, milk, and 2 tablespoons of agave or honey in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

Pour yogurt mixture 2/3 way up the popsicle molds on top of the blueberry mixture, gently tap to even out the yogurt layer, and freeze for another 30-45 minutes.

Place defrosted raspberries and 2 tablespoons agave or honey in a blender and blend until smooth.

Finish the popsicles by pouring the raspberry puree over the yogurt, place sticks in and freeze 6 hours to overnight, until frozen through. 

*Because all popsicle molds are different sizes, you may have left overs. You can refrigerate the remaining berry purees and use as toppings for yogurt, granola, pancakes, etc.

This article also appeared in the Food section of the Herald Palladium.

Celebrity Caterer Andrea Correale Shares Summer Recipes

If you’re wondering what Mariah Carey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Sandler, Alec Baldwin, Liam Neeson, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Costner, and P. Diddy are eating this Memorial Day, it might be something that Andrea Correale, the founder and president of Elegant Affairs, has whipped up. Correale counts such stars as well as corporations like Ralph Lauren, Amazon, American Express, American Heart Association, and Cirque du Soleil among her clients.

         She started her own company at 16 after working in a variety of jobs at a local country club. Initially she hoped to earn enough money to buy a car. She not only got the car but also was set on a career path. Correale received her training at the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at New York Institute of Technology and then founded Elegant Affairs, a full service off-premise catering and event planning company in the Hamptons, Long Island and New York City.

         Besides the following recipes, Correale also shares some of the latest in food trends which can easily be incorporated into Memorial Day entertaining.

         This being the fruit best, it works that cobblers are trending. Correale says you can serve blueberry, apple, peach, cherry, or any type of fruit cobbler you’d like simply à la mode — oversized and baked or deconstructed in a glass or jar.

Andrea with Kevin Costner.

         For condiments, peppers are totally in starting with sriracha and other unique hot sauces. Correale says the hotter the better and also, when they’re available at farmers’ markets—salted shishito peppers.

         It’s not really corn on the cob time yet, but if you can find some, Correale suggests a corn on the cob bar where besides roasted or steamed corn, there’s every topping imaginable: flavored butters, spreads, herbs, cheese, bacon, and spices.

          Gluten-free and vegan anything and everything.

         People want fresh food, it doesn’t need to be fancy.

         “It’s much more about the quality of the ingredients, and the freshness,” says Correale, than it is about overabundance.”

Watermelon Pizza

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

1 large watermelon

5 cups vanilla frozen yogurt

3 cups fresh raspberries

3 cups fresh blueberries

Cut watermelon into 8 thin slices, to create your “crust”.

Spread a layer of vanilla frozen yogurt on top of each watermelon slice.

Add berries as your toppings and serve immediately.

Red Velvet, Berry and Cream Parfaits

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 cups fresh blackberries or raspberries

8 inch red velvet cake

Bake a red velvet cake in an 8-inch pan, using your favorite recipe, and let it cool.

Combine cream cheese, and sugar in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on a medium-high speed until creamy.

Add in the heavy cream and mix on low speed, until the mixture has a pudding-like consistency.

Line the bottom of your glasses or dessert cups with

cake and a layer of cream. Add another layer of cake, followed by another layer of cream, then add in a

layer of berries. Repeat these layers until you fill your glass or desert cup.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, and garnish each serving with a cookie or pastry of your choice.