Independence Day is just around the corner. It's a day where we remember the sacrifices of the brave American soldiers who gave everything for the freedom of our country. Here are some fun and festive food ideas to make the 4th a special and tasty holiday!
Luscious Slush Punch
Recipe by Valerie Cain Cuff
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups white sugar, 6 cups water, 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored Jell-O mix, 1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice, 2/3 cup lemon juice, 1 quart orange juice, 2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage.
Directions: Bring the sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for 3 minutes. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Divide mixture into 2 separate containers and freeze. Combine the contents of 1 container with 1 bottle of the lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage in a punch bowl; stir until slushy. Repeat with remaining portions as needed.
Seven Layer Dip
Recipe by USA WEEKEND columnist Pam
Ingredients: 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans (traditional variety), 1 (4.5 ounce) undrained can chopped green chiles, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or more according to taste, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice for avocado layer, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, Salt, 3 avocados (halved, pitted, flesh spooned out), 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup salsa (drain to equal 1 cup if salsa is especially runny), 3/4 cup drained sliced canned black olives, 1 cup grated pepper Jack cheese, 1/2 cup green part only of thin sliced scallion greens.
Directions: Mix beans, chiles, 1 Tb. of lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. In a second small bowl, mash avocados with a fork; stir in remaining 2 Tbs. lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make guacamole. In a third small bowl, mix sour cream and mayonnaise. Spread bean mixture, then guacamole, then sour cream mixture, and finally salsa over the bottom of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or similar size pan. Sprinkle with olives, then cheese. To serve, sprinkle with green onions. Dip can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.
Fried Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs
Recipe by Amy Burrows
Ingredients: 8 hot dogs, 8 slices bacon, oil for frying, 8 hot dog buns (split and toasted).
Directions: Wrap each hot dog with a strip of bacon and then secure it with a toothpick. Refrigerate wrapped hot dogs while heating oil. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Fry hot dogs in batches in the preheated oil until bacon is crispy and browned, 2 to 5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve hot dogs in toasted buns and add desired toppings.
All-American Flag Cake
Recipe by Bernice Dray
Ingredients: 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry-flavored Jell-O® mix, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup frozen whipped topping (thawed), 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, 2 cups frozen whipped topping (thawed), 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Stir yellow cake mix, 1 cup water, vegetable oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl until moistened; beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake cake in the preheated oven until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Poke holes about 1 inch apart all over the cake with a fork. Dissolve strawberry gelatin in boiling water in a bowl and pour gelatin slowly over the cake, letting gelatin seep into holes. Refrigerate cake until gelatin sets, about 1 hour. Transfer cake to a serving platter and cut in half horizontally. Mix instant vanilla pudding mix with milk in a bowl and whisk until thickened, about 2 minutes; stir in 1/2 cup blueberries. Spread blueberry filling onto bottom of cake and place top of cake over the filling. Spread 2 cups whipped topping smoothly over top and sides of cake and arrange 1/2 cup blueberries in a square in the upper left corner of the cake for stars. Arrange alternating layers of strawberries and miniature marshmallows into horizontal red and white stripes.
These recipes are shared at AllRecipes.com.