It's a little late, I know. But I did some cool things for the holiday that I thought would be worth sharing.
First up, burgers:
I thought that mixing shredded cheddar and diced bacon into the burgers themselves instead of using them as a topping would be pretty tasty, and I was right! I also added in pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and paprika (no salt b/c I figured the bacon would be enough). I didn't really measure, but you can get an idea for the proportions here.
Next up - jello shots!
I am kind of obsessed with jello shots right now. Not the kind you made in college in the little cups that tasted like Everclear, but the fun, creative, tasty kinds found on Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. These are solid enough to stand on their own in little cubes (or whatever shape you cut them into). I haven't gotten too fancy with cutouts and shapes yet, but I am getting pretty good at doing layers.
Flavor number one was a patriotic red, white, and blue made with strawberry and blue berry jello, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut rum.
Flavor number two was pineapple, mango, and "tropical" with mango rum. You really want to use flavored rums (or flavored vodka) for these because otherwise they taste too much like alcohol, and that is not fun.
Layered Jello Shots
makes 25 2-inch cubes
3 3oz boxes of whatever flavor gelatin you like
6 packets of plain gelatin
3 cups water
3 cups flavored rum or vodka (very cold)
For a white layer, replace 1 box of gelatin with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and omit 1/2 cup of alcohol.
Lightly spray a 10x10 inch square cake pan with cooking spray. Wipe out with a paper towel. This leaves just enough to allow it to unmold really well.
Pour gelatin mixes into 3 separate heat safe bowls.
Pour the water into a medium saucepan. Sprinkle with the 6 envelopes of plain gelatin. Allow to soak for a minute or two.
Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).
Pour one cup of the plain gelatin mixture into each bowl containing the gelatin mix. Stir for two minutes, or until the gelatin is dissolved. It is best to do this one at a time, but if you want to do all three at one, just make sure that you are alternating stirring and really dissolving each. Add one cup of the vodka or rum to each bowl, stir well, and set aside.
For a white layer - combine the sweetened condensed milk with one cup of the clear gelatin mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the vodka or rum and stir well to combine.
Pour one gelatin mixture into the prepared pan (the color you want to be on top). Place in the refrigerator until set put still sticky to the touch (so the next layer will stick), about 30-45 min. Repeat with the second layer, then the third.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set overnight. To unmold - run a spatula or clean fingers along the edge. Dip the pan into warm (not hot) water for 10 seconds, then invert on to a plate. If it doesn't release, dip in the water for another 10 seconds. Cut into squares (use a ruler if you don't want them to look all goofy like mine). Keep cold until served. I like to set the serving plate onto another plate or bowl filled with ice.
**Note - since I was using the sweetened condensed milk already, I added a drop to the other layers to make them a little more opaque and the colors more vibrant. This is totally optional, but if you do it - stir really well immediately upon adding it or you will end up with little flakes of gelled milk instead of a unified mixture.