4th of July Round-Up

Fourth of July usually means barbecues, picnics, fireworks, and parades all draped in an abundance of red, white, and blue. This year’s patriotic holiday will be marked by the observation of both new and old traditions. After running the Four on the Fourth race for the first time, I will take the long drive along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to Pentwater, Michigan to spend a couple of days with my sister and her family. The weekend weather forecast looks to be as close to perfect as possible as there will be a much needed reprieve from this oppressive humidity.

To go along with the grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steaks or the platters of slow roasted brisket and barbecued pulled pork, here are some suggestions for appetizers, side dishes, and desserts to round out your holiday gatherings and celebrations. All of the recipes are linked to the blog, so you don’t have to spend any time searching through the recipe index, unless of course you want to. They include a combination of make-ahead and make-serve dishes. With the exception of the Blueberry and Rye Slab Pie, none are what you might consider time consuming or ingredient complex. And most feature seasonal ingredients.

I hope you all have fabulous holiday weekend! Stay safe, have fun, spend more time outdoors than in the kitchen, eat well, honor old and create new traditions, and take time to remember all of those who have and continue to make this country great.

Cheddar Cheese JalapeƱo Beer Bread – definitely a crowd pleaser!

Deviled Eggs – one of the signature appetizers making regular appearances at barbecues.

Guacamole – chunky and not too spicy. Serve with your favorite corn or tortilla chips.

Texas Caviar – this classic dip from the Lone Star state, served with tortilla chips, only requires you have enough cold beer on hand and a pitcher of margaritas ready.

Four Bean Baked Beans – easy, delicious, and bound to be a summer barbecue favorite.

Calico Coleslaw – a slight twist to the traditional coleslaw. This one is made with cabbage, a can of Mexicorn, cubes of American cheese, green onions, and olives (optional).

Lemony Potato Salad – a refreshing change to the traditional American style potato salad.

Summer Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing – a platter of some of your favorite vegetables served with an incredibly delicious dill dressing.

Blueberry and Rye Slab Pie – this hard to resist showstopper is served with vanilla ice cream of course.

Blueberry Crisp – underneath the crispy top is a blueberry filling having just the right amount of lemon and cinnamon flavor. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Fruity Pebbles Treats – even better than a Rice Krispies treat. After cutting into squares wrap in cellphone bags and tie with a ribbon.

Strawberry Ice Cream – is one you don’t even need an ice cream maker for!

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