4 Old-fashioned Recipes for Your 4th of July Celebration
This post written by guest blogger – Deanna Morauski
Some of my favorite memories are from the Fourth of July. My parents would take us to the local parade and we’d grab the best seats on the street – in front of the doughnut shop. We’d stand in honor of the American flag as the troops opened the parade. And because our morning doughnut wasn’t enough sugar, we’d rush to catch the candy tossed into the street. We went to our favorite park with our cousins for picnicking and playing until sundown.
We would end the day with fireworks and pretend to be asleep when we arrived home so mom & dad would carry us into bed after the best day ever. We were never more free than on Independence Day. Perhaps we can recreate the joy of our traditions this year with these old-fashioned recipes.
Ranch Potato Salad
Potato salad is a must. Nothing goes better with barbecue than a creamy potato salad. Although you can add your own twist to this classic, nothing beats the combination of bacon and ranch.
- 3 pounds small red, white & blue potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup of cooked & crumbled bacon (or store-bought bacon bits)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 bunches green onions, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes. To test doneness, poke fork into a potato. If fork slides out easily, potatoes are done cooking.
- Drain and then cool potatoes on a baking sheet.
- After cooled, cut potatoes into bite size pieces.
- Place cut potatoes into a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
Another lovely salad idea is our Roasted Corn Fiesta Bowl. If you are looking forward to a refreshing green salad, be sure to check out this balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And what is a picnic without deviled eggs? Need something to wash it all down? Try this picnic staple.
Strawberry Lemonade recipe
I’m all for convenience but is almost a sin to make some things out of a can. Strawberry lemonade is one of them. If you have ever stirred a powder and called it lemonade, you are forgiven. Turn the other way and enjoy summer the way it should be enjoyed, with sin-free strawberry lemonade made for real.
For large parties, I love to put the homemade lemonade into canning jars with plastic lids and serve out of a large, old-fashioned tub filled with ice. This makes every party better.
- 12 cups water
- 3 cups sugar
- Zest & juice of 6 lemons
- 8 cups fresh strawberries
- This is best when made a day in advance so that it has plenty of time to chill. Start by placing water in a pot to boil.
- Stir in sugar. Lightly boil and stir water until sugar is dissolved.
- Next add the zest of lemons into the water which has now become a simple syrup. Don't grate the whites of the lemons, just the outer yellow zest. The white stuff is bitter.
- Next, cut the lemons in half and juice each of them into the water. I find that the wooden reamer does a great job of getting all the summery flavor out of the lemons. Don't worry about the seeds or zest, we'll be straining the lemonade later so it's okay they're in the pot.
- Fill blender with fresh (stems removed) or defrosted frozen strawberries. Use the pulse or low setting to blend strawberries. Using a higher setting will make them foamy and we try to prevent the foaminess. You can use a food processor for fresh berries. Blend until like a chunky jam or even smoother.
- Add blended strawberries into pot of lemonade. Stir and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
- Allow lemonade to cool enough so that it is easier to pour. Then pour through a large mesh stainer to remove all seeds, pulp, and berry pieces. A spoon is helpful to free strainer up a little bit. The larger the strainer, the easier this is to do.
- Allow to cool to room temp and then chill in refrigerator.
Blackberry Crumble recipe
Blackberry crumble is a gorgeous, old-fashioned dessert and fitting for any summer picnic or special occasion. Or, you know, simply after dinner.
- 2 pounds fresh (or frozen) blackberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- First, toss blackberries & blueberries in a bowl.
- Add sugar, fresh lemon juice, salt and cornstarch.
- Set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow sugar to draw out the juices from the berries.
- Smash blackberries as much as you like (or not) with potato masher.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place crumble ingredients into the food processor. Blend on pulse setting until perfectly crumbly. Crumbles should be about the size of a pea.
- Spray baking pan with non-stick baking spray and then press 3 cups of crumble into bottom of a 9 X 13 baking pan.
- Spread all of the blackberry filling over pressed crumble.
- Sprinkle with rest of crumble. Admire again. Smile some more.
- Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown and blackberry filling is bubbly. It's best if you allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to cool to room temperature but hot out of the oven is delightful when served with butter or vanilla ice cream too.
Chicken With Homemade Barbecue Sauce recipe
And for the main course… who can resist some barbecued chicken with homemade sauce? Don’t worry, this recipe is easier than you might think. It’s worth a try and worth the credit you’ll get from your satisfied friends and family!
No matter what you decide to make for your Fourth of July celebration, remember that the greatest tradition is having fun with family and friends. Of course, a little Texas sheet-cake never hurt either though.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- One 10.75 ounce can tomato puree
- One 10.75 ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. fresh ground pepper
- 1 Tbs. smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
- 1 Tbs. chili powder
- 2 Tbs. molasses
- 1/3 cup BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub)
- 1 & 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 2 Tbs. yellow mustard
- Heat vegetable oil in a pot.
- Add onion to the oil, sauteing until soft.
- Add tomato paste, stirring until it becomes a dark brown, then add tomato puree and remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer for about 1/2 hour on low heat.
- If baking chicken: Place a frying pan with about 1/2 cup of oil on medium-high heat. Add chicken into pan and brown on all sides. Place braised chicken into a large baking pan and cover with barbecue sauce. Bake until chicken is fully cooked.
- If grilling chicken: Cook chicken on grill. Brush with barbecue sauce when chicken is just a few minutes from being fully cooked. Adding the sauce too early can result in unnecessary burning.
- Chicken will measure at 165 degrees with a meat thermometer in the center when done.
What are some of your favorite family recipes for celebrating the Fourth? Let us know in the comments below!