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Celebrating America’s Birthday As Best I Can

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Yesterday was the Fourth of July. This used to be my all-time favorite holiday when I was living on the East Coast. But it’s just not the same in San Francisco. People don’t really care about fireworks. It’s usually too foggy to see them, anyway. And the displays aren’t even that good, only lasting about ten minutes. Growing up in Rye, NY, I looked forward to July 4th celebrations all year. It was basically a competition of which country club could put on the best fireworks display… all week long. There were boat rides, cook-outs, games, and of course lots of parties. This is the first time I have spent Fourth of July in San Francisco since a dreary 2008 when I vowed never to stay in San Francisco on the Fourth of July again. Well, this year I broke that vow. Normally MM and I would be in Big Sur right now, not even caring that we’re missing the weak excuse for celebrations in San Francisco. But alas, he’s on his way back from a Greek vacation (we’re going to Big Sur on Tuesday!), and I’m here, patiently awaiting his return.

I figured since I was in San Francisco this year, I might as well make the best of it. The daytime weather actually turned out to be pretty great, sunny and warm – I even got a little color on my shoulders. My friend hosted a BBQ in her backyard, and there was plenty of Bud Light and hot dogs, to honor America. I volunteered to bring a pesto pasta salad, and an appetizer of sorts. I settled on Caprese Pick-Me-Ups for the appetizer, mostly because of the patriotic colors and how easy they are to make. And I thought it would help get me in the festive mood – which it did!

  • 8 oz marinated Mozzarella (preferably the balls, but a braid will do if you cut it up)
  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • at least 50 toothpicks, preferably the fancy kind

Halve the tomatoes and mozzarella balls (or if using a braid, cut into bite size pieces). Tear the basil leaves off the stems and cut down into smaller pieces. On the toothpick assemble the tomato half first, then a layer of basil, then the mozzarella. Arrange beautifully on a plate and serve! These will get gobbled up pretty quickly, so be sure to make enough for your group size!

As usual, it was too foggy last night to see fireworks and we couldn’t get to a high enough location to see them. Next year I plan to go South, maybe San Diego as I hear they do a pretty big blow-out.

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

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