Dugan's Kitchen

Great meals made easy!

Special 4th of July Edition

Quick Ideas for Your 4th of July Celebrations!

As much as I like to entertain, for some reason we rarely do much on Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day. Not sure why…as a friend of mine would say, “It’s a conundrum.” But, for those of you who are having guests, or would like to, here are just a few ideas to make your meal a little special.

Everyone seems to have hot dogs and hamburgers, but why not try something a little different? We like to grill salmon.  I always try to get wild salmon, but sometimes the price is just too much.  So then I look for farm raised, but only from specific countries…Canada, for instance.

Here is a quick recipe for a glaze that I use all the time and everyone I have served it to loves it. It’s really simple.

Glazed Salmon, Tossed Salad, Easy Appetizer

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped, pared fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Four 4-ounce salmon fillets


  1. Preheat grill (or broiler). Spray non-stick spray on the grill or line the broiler pan with foil.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine ginger, brown sugar, lemon juice, and soy sauce; purée until smooth.
  3. Place salmon on the grill; brush fillets evenly with the glaze and reserve the remaining glaze. Grill on medium, (if broiling, broil 4″ from the heat), for five minutes.
  4. Brush fillets evenly with some of the remaining glaze; grill/broil for 5 more minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  5. Remove fillets from the grill/broiler; again, brush evenly with the remaining glaze.

This is so good, and a nice alternative to the more savory (versus sweet), options for salmon.

Glazed Salmon and Tossed Salad

Glazed Salmon and Tossed Salad

A few more ideas:

Tossed Salad: I know…what can you do to a tossed salad?  It’s lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, maybe cheese. Yes, that is what you get as a dinner salad at a restaurant. But why not step it up a bit for guests? All it takes is adding a few ingredients. Here is what I always include:

  • Lettuce (romaine, plus artisan lettuce (includes red and green), sometimes arugula and/or spinach
  • Grape tomatoes (I like these as they don’t make the leftover salad soggy)
  • Mini cucumbers
  • Sweet peppers (the small red, yellow, and orange peppers you can buy in a bag work really well)
  • Sugar snap peas (I usually slice them in half or thirds)
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cheese (feta, goat, or cheddar) *
  • Sliced honey roasted almonds *
  • Dried cranberries (or dried cherries) *
  • Dressing of choice

* I put these in small serving dishes for guests to add if they wish.

Sometimes I add red onion or green onions, and I often put in fresh basil leaves torn into 1/2 inch pieces…it gives the salad and extra boost. Put any vegetable in that you like, just keep in mind you want lots of different colors for an appealing presentation.

Easy Appetizer:

Get a small, sweet, seedless watermelon.  Cut it in half and use a melon ball tool or round spoon to make watermelon balls.  Clean out one of the sides completely and pat dry.  Make sure the cut is even so when it is turned over it does not wobble.

On small wooden skewers, put grapes, strawberries, watermelon balls, and any other fruit you would like (other melons work best). Make small holes, (small so the wooden skewers will fit firmly), all over the watermelon half you have ready and insert the skewers into the holes in the watermelon rind for an easy, fun presentation.

Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend!  Be safe!


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This entry was posted on July 1, 2015 by in Appetizers, Dinner, Side Dish and tagged , , , .

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