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Seriously Simple: Celebrate Independence Day with classic milkshakes and burgers

By Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

Nothing says America like a milkshake and a burger. And while I've cooked my fair share of burgers for summer parties and Fourth of July celebrations, I was intrigued by the recipes in "The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes" by America's Test Kitchen (2019). If you, too, are a burger lover, this is a terrific addition to your cooking library.

America's Test Kitchen is the gold standard for testing recipes and refining them until they are as close to perfect as they can be. A variety of burger recipes including sliders, patty melts, lamb and turkey are presented with a paragraph called "Why This Recipe Works." Specific information helps the reader avoid any cooking pitfalls.

There are lots of other recipes in the book, including how to make spectacular milkshakes. After much trial and error, the authors chose the food processor as their go-to appliance for making diner-style milkshakes. The result is a frothier, lighter mixture than the final product a blender delivers, and the sweet concoction is easy to sip through a straw. This is because the higher heat generated by the food processor's blade causes the ice creams crystals to slightly melt, creating a smooth milkshake that is still cold but fluid.

You'll find variations of milkshake flavors included here as well. The authors recommend Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream. Try one flavor or all, but be sure to serve the shakes in chilled glasses so they will stay colder longer.

I must admit that my favorite burger recipe has some great things going for it: the right amount of fat (15 percent), blue cheese, caramelized onions and my burger sauce. It's a divine combination of tastes and textures.

Remember, it's easy to make the milkshakes, two at a time, so this is an easy menu to serve for a group. I can't wait to celebrate our national holiday with a juicy burger and a frosty shake. Now I just have to decide what flavor I want. Happy Fourth of July!


Vanilla Milkshakes

Serves 2

4 cups vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup milk


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