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Heart & Home

4th of July Eats & Treats with Celebrity Chef, Jamie Gwen

Celebrate summer in style with summer food & drink trends to make your summer sizzle. Chef Jamie Gwen joins us with unique recipe ideas to help get you ready for those hot summer days ahead.

There are lots of fun summer sippers. Smirnoff has an option for everyone with three delicious offerings for your at-home summer enjoyment. Their classic Smirnoff No. 21 is triple-distilled and ten times filtered making it great as a chilled shot or mixed into a cocktail. Or try the new Smirnoff Ice Zero Sugar and Smirnoff Seltzer Red, White & Berry, they're ready-to-drink straight from the cooler giving you the delicious cherry, citrus and blue raspberry flavors that everyone loves, but with zero sugar and only 90 calories. Click here to learn more.

(Recipe for these Kentucky Legend Ham Melon Summer Skewers below)

I like to make skewers ahead of time so you can have all the prep work done and you can grab and go for a quick appetizer or snack. These are made with fresh melon, mint, and Kentucky Legend Ham. I like to use Kentucky Legend, the nation’s number one natural juice ham, for its double smoked flavor and it is so versatile. It comes pre-sliced so you can whip up the ultimate ham sandwich or an easy dinner to just heat and eat. No matter the family size, occasion or menu, there are a variety of sizes and flavors and the brown sugar is my favorite. Click here to learn more.

A pantry staple I like to keep on hand is Pearls Olives. They are flavorful and an easy addition that makes meals, snacks and entertaining even better. This is my delicious side called my Summer Tomato and Olive bread salad, the perfect side dish with any protein off the BBQ. I like to use Pearls black ripe olives because they are 100% grown and packed in sunny California, picked at the peak of freshness. You can see and taste the difference. Follow #DreamOlive on social for olive-inspired creations and for every idea you tag, Pearls olives will donate a meal to Feeding America. Click here to learn more.

(Recipe for Silk's Red Velvet Flag Cake below)

Today I’ve made Silk’s Layered Red Velvet Flag Cake. This recipe is vegan friendly and uses almond milk. It is layered with Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping Cream Alternative. It is the first plant-based heavy cream alternative available nationally in grocery stores. It whips like dairy and can be used cup-for-cup in recipes, wonderful for soups and sauces too. The first-of-its-kind product is keto-friendly, gluten-free with 0g of sugar per serving. Click here to learn more.


with Fresh Mint & a Mustard Vinaigrette

A refreshing, sweet/salty summer starter, perfect to kick-off your al fresco party or backyard BBQ! Make the skewers in advance and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap to maintain the moisture, then simply drizzle the vinaigrette and serve. Kentucky Legend Ham and sweet melon are the perfect pairing and you will be a culinary hero with this recipe!

For the Skewers

1/2 small cantaloupe, halved and seeded

One 1/4-pound Kentucky Legend Sliced Ham

Cocktail Skewers

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Cut the melon into bite-sized cubes. Slightly warm the ham slices, to make them more pliable, using your preferred method of choice. Thread a slice of ham onto a cocktail skewer alternately with 2 cubes of melon, placing a mint leaf next to each cube of melon.

To serve, pile the skewers on a serving platter. Drizzle the skewers with the vinaigrette and garnish with the sliced almonds.

For the Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small Mason jar, combine the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, replace the lid and shake well. Refrigerate until ready to use.


A traditional way of using up summer’s sweet tomato crop, this salad is the perfect side dish with any protein off the BBQ and it serves as the ultimate vegetarian main dish. Substitute goat cheese or crumbled feta cheese for the Parmesan, if you like.

1 small loaf crusty French or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil

4 large or 8 small ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cucumber – peeled, seeded and sliced thinly
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 cup Pearl’s large ripe pitted black olives

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
Freshly shaved parmesan cheese

Preheat your backyard BBQ or a grill pan to high heat. Brush the bread slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread until lightly toasted, then cut into 1-inch cubes.

In a large salad bowl combine the grilled bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, olives, basil and parsley. Toss well.

In a mason jar, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season the dressing liberally with salt and pepper and shake to blend.

Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Finish with shavings of Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 6

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