Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

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Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

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Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

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Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

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Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.

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4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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St. Patrick's Day Menu

Whether you're Irish or not, boost your luck by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends and a traditional Irish meal.

March is the perfect time to indulge in all things Irish, so we've put together a collection of our favorite Irish-inspired recipes for St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate the holiday by inviting friends over and serving a traditional Irish feast with menu items like corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and a potato dish.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
The tradition of serving corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day was started by Irish-Americans in the mid-1800s, when it was used as a substitute for bacon in the traditional Irish dish of bacon and cabbage. Corned beef got its name back when meat was preserved using coarse grains of salt called "corn." For added flavor, serve with prepared horseradish and mustard.

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Lamb and Vegetable Stew
This Irish-Inspired hearty meat-and-vegetable stew recipe is made from lamb, butternut squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery, and onion. It's best served with Irish soda bread, a thick traditional bread shown below.

Get the Lamb and Vegetable Stew recipe

Irish Soda Bread
Traditional soda bread uses baking soda, instead of yeast as a leavening agent, and it contains only flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. This time-saving bread recipe became popular in rural Ireland in the 1800s. It pairs well with soups, stews, and meat dishes. Today, Irish soda bread recipes often contain other ingredients, such as sugar, butter, or currants, to enhance the flavor.

Get the Currant Orange Irish Soda Bread recipe

Potato Wedges
In the late 16th century, potatoes were introduced to Ireland from South America. They were planted in the spring around St. Patrick's Day and quickly became the staple crop in the poorest regions of the country. Today, no Irish meal would be complete without a side dish of potatoes -- these wedges get their flavor from garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.

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Authentic Irish Coffee
After dinner, serve the Irishman's delicious take on coffee. Add 3 tablespoons of Irish whiskey to a 10-ounce mug. Stir in brown sugar. Add 1 cup of brewed coffee, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.

See more fresh recipe ideas for a St. Patrick's Day dinner

Store potatoes in a dark, cool place.

"Be eating one potato, peeling a second; have a third in your fist and your eye on a fourth." --Irish proverb

March is a perfect time to indulge in all things Irish, so in honor of the Emerald Island and its hardy inhabitants, we celebrate its favorite and most versatile vegetable, the potato.

Potatoes can be enjoyed in their natural state -- simply baked and slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt -- or fancied up in nearly limitless ways. Read up on spuds here, then pick a potato recipe and get cooking.

Picking the perfect potato

One potato, two potato, three potato, four: Spud varieties today really number more. Here's a quick rundown of the kinds you're likely to find in the supermarket, as well as information on how to select the right potato for your recipe.

Potatoes are classified as either mealy, waxy, or all-purpose. The type you choose depends on the way you plan to cook it. Some are best for baking, others for boiling.

Mealy potatoes have a dry texture and tend to crumble or fall apart when cooked. The most common mealy variety is the russet. Purple potatoes, which are also becoming more widely available, are also mealy. Use either potato for baking, mashing, and frying.

When you want potatoes to keep their shape when cooked, choose waxy types, such as the long whites and round reds. These potatoes have a moist, smooth texture and are great for salads, soups, and casseroles.

Some potatoes, such as the round white potato and the yellow varieties (Yukon Gold, Finish Yellow, and Yellow-Rose), are considered all-purpose potatoes. This means they are suitable for just about any dish.

New potatoes aren't a type of potato but are just young, small potatoes.

Sweet potatoes come in moist and dry varieties. Dry-textured sweet potatoes usually have a yellowish-tan skin and cream-colored to yellow meat. They are much like the russet potato in texture and are only mildly sweet. They are ideal for baking or mashing.

Moist-textured sweet potatoes have copper-colored skins and a bright orange flesh that is very sweet. Because they hold their shape better than drier varieties, they are perfect for soups, stews, or casseroles. These deep-colored sweet potatoes are sometimes labeled as yams in the grocery store.

Look for clean potatoes that have smooth, unblemished skins. They should be firm and have a shape that is typical for their variety. Avoid those that have green spots or are soft, moldy, or shriveled.

Storing spuds. Store potatoes in a well-ventilated, dark place that is cool and slightly humid but not wet. If you store potatoes in the light, they will develop green patches and have a bitter flavor. Avoid refrigerating potatoes; cold temperatures cause potatoes to turn overly sweet and to darken when cooked.

To peel or not to peel. Leaving the skin on potatoes will add fiber to your dish but may discolor some recipes, such as mashed potatoes. If you're leaving the peel on, use a vegetable brush to scrub the skins under running water. For peeling, use a vegetable peeler, removing any eyes or holes. Cut out any green parts.

To keep cut or sliced potatoes from darkening before cooking, immerse them in ice water for a few minutes. For shredded potatoes, rinse and drain them after shredding, then pat them dry before using.

Potato Pizza

Irish Colcannon Typical of traditional Irish dinners, this potato-cabbage side dish adds new interest to mashed potatoes.

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Hobo Potatoes Here's a potato dish that's simple, quick, and very tasty!

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Potato Pancakes Top these crispy patties with sour cream or applesauce.

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Foolproof Mashed Potatoes Leave the skins on the potatoes when you boil and mash them for extra texture.

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The Perfect French Fries We've discovered the secret to fabulous homemade fries, and it's just a matter of the right ingredients and two simple tips.

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Lower-Fat Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Boost the cheese flavor even more by using sharp cheddar.

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Dilled Cabbage Potatoes This stuffed potato is based on colcannon, an Irish dish made of mashed potatoes, onion, and cabbage.

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Oven-Roasted Fries These chunky potato wedges with a touch of olive oil are perfect with steak or burgers.

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Perfect Potato Patties Here's an old-fashioned potato dish from our Test Kitchen. It's sure to star on your dinner table.

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Potato Pizza Also try frozen bread or pizza dough in place of the refrigerated dough.

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