Author Alexis Traina loves a good party, but she doesn’t love a big fussy which is why she was the perfect collaborator for our 4th of July. Having spent a good portion of my professional career working in the Northern California wine industry, Alexis is a bit of an expert when it comes to laid back, casual elegance, something she embodies so much so that she recently wrote an entire book about the lifestyle, To Napa With Love. The book serves as a love letter to the region of the state she holds dear but also to the no fuss approach to entertaining that has now become one of Alexis’s hallmark. With this in mind, Alexis and the Pottery Barn team collaborated on creating two signature recipes that give picnic classics an update.
Deviled Eggs with Chives and Basil
Makes 8 servings
This classic American dish is updated with the addition of sour cream and basil, which gives a lovely aromatic quality to eggs. If you are pressed for time, look for pre-made and peeled eggs in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. We promise not to tell anyone!
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
8 very small basil leaves
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
– Cover the eggs with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer the eggs slowly for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and let eggs sit in the water for an additional 5 minutes. Drain water from pot and rinse the eggs under cold water for a minute. Refrigerate eggs until well chilled. Note that the eggs can be hard-boiled up to one week prior.
– Remove eggs from refrigerator and peel. Cut off the top third of the eggs. Carefully remove the yolks from the whites and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir the yolks with a fork, breaking the yolks into bits. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard until smooth. Fold in the chives and basil. Season to taste with salt.
– Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg white cups, dividing evenly among the 8 eggs. Garnish with basil leaves and tomato slice. Place on a platter, serve immediately or chill and serve within 3 hours
Note: As with all egg and mayonnaise based foods, please be sure to ensure the dish is maintained at a proper temperature to avoid any food borne illnesses.
Pigs in a Blanket
Whether you are a child or an adult, these bit-sized treats are perfect for the 4th since they can be prepared ahead of time and popped into the oven in large batches.
1 8-oz package of refrigerated crescent dough
1 12-oz package of natural hot dogs, cut in half
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut dough lengthwise in half. Then cut each half into 5 rectangles.
– Take one of the dough rectangles and wrap around a hot dog half. Transfer wrapped hot dog to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat until all hot dogs are wrapped and on baking sheet.
Pimento Cheese Spread
Serves up to 12
This recipe is super easy and a crowd pleaser! To spice things up, think outside the box when considering what to serve alongside the spread like jicama, pickled cauliflower or pretzel sticks.
1 4-oz jar diced pimentos
1 green onion, sliced
1 garlic glove, chopped
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
– Combine pimentos, green onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until green onion and garlic are minced. Add both cheese along with the cayenne pepper and process until cheese is incorporated into the mixture.
– Transfer mixture to a bowl and serve with a variety of crudities and crackers.
Note: The pimento cheese can be made up to 4 days prior, covered and stored in the refrigerator.
Looking for a drink to go with all these delicious treats? Be sure to try our Watermelon Margarita!