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Food for the Fourth

Today is the Fourth of July, and that means it’s time to get that grill ready for some good ole American barbecue. Arguably, the best part of this day’s celebration is the food. (Forget the fireworks, the celebration of America’s independence and spending time with family and friends!)

Food can make or break any get-together. I can’t really help you if you think you’ll mess up the hamburgers or grilled chicken. Meat is not my thing. But, there are some incredible summertime recipes that will go great with whatever you’re making for your Fourth of July meal.

Here are a few of the best recipes that I’ve picked up along the way. They’ll go great with hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue or soy burgers. Enjoy!!

1. Simple Baked Beans – Sure, the baked beans in a can taste pretty good, but they could use some doctoring up. This is a recipe sure to give you great beans every time. (Hint: If you have a Publix nearby, they have Bush’s Baked Beans and Sweet Baby Rays on sale, buy one get one, this week.)

What you’ll need:

  • 4 big cans of baked beans
  • 1 bottle of sweet barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Sliced bacon
  • Baking pan (the size is up to you)
  • 1/2 tbsp. mustard (you might not use it all)
  • What you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Open the four cans of beans, drain off the excess liquid and pour into a medium sized bowl
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir until properly mixed
  • Feel free to add more sugar if you like it sweet
  • Pour into baking pan of your choice
  • Add bacon to the top
  • Bake at 325 for about two hours. (The lower and slower you can cook them the better.)
  • 2. Homemade Potato Salad – This is a family recipe passed down from generations. It does take a decent amount of preparation but it sure beats any store bought potato salad.

    What you’ll need:

  • A dozen eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/2 of a Vidalia onion, diced
  • 4 lbs. of potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 to 6 large sour pickles, diced
  • 1 cup (approx.) mayo
  • 1/2 cup (approx) mustard
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. pickle juice
  • What you’ll do:

  • Make your hard boiled eggs, place eggs in pan and cover with cold water
  • Turn off heat and leave the eggs for about thirty minutes
  • Pour off water, shake to crack shells and add cold water to make peeling easier
  • Peel, dice and set aside
  • Dice your onion and set it aside
  • Peel and slice your potatoes into cubes (try to make your cubes the same size, and not too thin)
  • Put in a large pan, add water almost to cover, add salt
  • Bring the potato’s water a boil, turn down to medium low and cook just until potatoes are soft (start checking at around 14 minutes)
  • When done, drain well and add your chopped onion on top of potatoes, then add some butter and gently
    move around until the hot potatoes cover the onion
  • Set this aside for about an hour
  • Make sure your eggs and pickles are diced
  • Combine mayo, mustard, pickles, pickle juice and eggs in a mixing bowl (this will be your sauce)
  • Refrigerate the potato mixture and sauce
  • When ready to serve, mix the potato and sauce concoctions together in a large bowl
  • Gently fold over and serve
  • 3. Mandarin Orange Dessert – This is a quick, easy dessert! It’s light and (pretty) healthy too.

    What you’ll need:

  • 60 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
  • 1/4 lb. melted Oleo
  • 3 large cans of drained mandarin oranges
  • One can of frozen orange juice, thawed
  • 9×13 baking pan
  • What you’ll do:

  • Crush crackers finely in medium sized bowl
  • Set aside some crumbs to use as garnish
  • Mix crackers with Oleo and sugar
  • Press mixture into 9×13 pan
  • Blend orange juice and condensed milk
  • Stir in Cool Whip and oranges (don’t beat)
  • Pour orange juie and milk concoction over the crumbs in the your pan
  • Top with leftover crumbs
  • Refrigerate before serving
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