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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quick and Easy 4th of July Food Recipes For the Domestically-Challenged

By Geri Chase

I don't cook much. It's not my thing. It's not that I don't know how, it's just not one of my favorite things to do. I will never be in the pages of Taste of Home or Better Homes and Gardens. If you are like me and need some easy recipes for your 4th of July BBQ, then I'm you huckleberry. This has got to be the all-time easiest meal I have ever made. It has made me look like freakin' Martha Stewart when one look at my house will tell you I am sooo NOT Martha Stewart.

Because I'm the sharing, caring type I am happy to share my recipes with you, so that you too may be the "Hostess with the Mostest" (or Host, as the case may be, but then Hello!?! That wrecks the rhyme!) this year at your Independence Day festivities! The shopping list looks daunting, but don't let it scare you. This meal is going to be a breeze and I expect you to mention me in your "Great Hostess/Host" award acceptance speech.

Shopping List:

Chicken Breasts

1 Bottle of Italian Dressing - NOT Fat Free (your choice, I like Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian)Baking potatoes



Sour Cream


Green Onions

Grated Cheddar Cheese


Green Salad in a Bag



Dressing of Choice

Croutons and other Salad toppings

Orange Juice or Citric acid (vitamin C tablets)
Chocolate syrup



Pineapple chunks

Berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)

Wooden Skewers


If you are grilling, then this is a great and easy chicken recipe. Don't ask me about beef, my husband does the steaks and burgers. Put Chicken Breasts in Freezer size Ziploc Bag, along with entire bottle of dressing. Put in fridge for minimum 3-5 hours. Overnight is even better and will yield much tastier results. Don't forget to turn the bag over every once in awhile to marinate both sides of the chicken. When ready, place chicken on grill, cook until there is no pink in the center. Be sure to discard marinade, it has yucky chicken germs and you wouldn't want to make your guests sick. That would be bad. And very un-Martha Stewart. That's it!! Chicken is DONE!!

Twice Baked Potatoes

I found this recipe last year on It's so good and simple to make. You can even cook the potatoes in the microwave if you're short on time!


4 large baking potatoes

8 slices bacon

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

8 green onions, sliced, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon. Bake for another 15 minutes. Serve hot! These are so yummy, I could eat one all by itself for a meal!

Green Salad


Bag of Salad Greens




whatever other salad veggies and fixins you want to throw in


Okay, seriously?!! You just cut up the veggies and throw everything in a big bowl. Right before its time to serve the food, you can toss the salad with dressing if you like, or you can let your guests dress their own salads. Martha would probably toss; I would probably not, but whatever. This is your gig.

And finally, in order to make it a complete meal, something sweet:

Dessert Fruit Skewers


Berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)

Apple Chunks


Pineapple Chunks

Chocolate Syrup

Orange juice or citric acid (crushed vitamin C tablets)


I would place all the fruit on a huge platter and let the guests make their own skewers. But if you want to pre-make them (you are trying to show me up, aren't you!) follow these steps:


Cut fruit into bite-size pieces. Be sure to coat apple and banana pieces in orange juice or citric acid to prevent oxidation (browning). Slide fruit onto skewers and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until time to serve. If you don't want the hassle of cutting up fruit and you want to shorten your shopping list, you could just do Root Beer Floats...nothing says God Bless America like ice cream and soda!! Either way, your guests will love you for your efforts to indulge their collective sweet tooth.

Because I'm not an ace in the kitchen, I would probably just go for lemonade or soda for beverages and do the whole self-serve thing. Again, this would be why I don't win any major hostess awards, but my friends and family leave well fed and happy, even if they did have to eat off paper plates.

So there you go, my quick and easy 4th of July BBQ meal for those of us who are "domestically-challenged." Have a great and safe 4th of July and don't forget to think about our great country and our wonderful freedoms while you chow down!

Geri Chase is a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer. It's a tough gig, but I'm committed! Geri is mom of 2 boys and frequently writes about life as Boymom at

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Surprise Your Guests With Special July Fourth Recipes

By Julia Hayes

Fourth of July being the nation's birthday, is one of the most significant days for us to celebrate and express our most valued sentiments regarding freedom. We send fourth of July ecards, we enjoy the wondrous fireworks, we rock with music and what not? But the most noticeable fact about the July fourth is that, we have associated the holiday with exceptionally delicious dishes.

Each year July fourth comes in with air filled with the scent of festivity with a wide spectrum of entertaining events and tempting smell of burgers, barbecues, cakes and yummy desserts, making us lick our lips. Special food and drinks are really inseparable part of July fourth, without which the celebration would have simply lost its meaning. You can make fourth of July celebration this year an ever memorable chapter with some simple attempts to prepare some mouth watering recipes.

Bring A Crowd To Your Table With Amazing Fourth of July Recipes

The more you decorate your table with red, white and blue, the higher praises you can get from your beloveds on this fourth of July. Here are some very simple yet wonderful tips for making our nation's birthday more delicious. You can try out these fourth of July recipes to strike your family and friends with overwhelming delight.

July fourth Pork Barbecue


  • garlic powder
  • chili powder
  • 30 ounce of barbecue sauce
  • 1 pork roast approximately 8 pounds

    How To Prepare

    All you would require is a crock pot as it maintains a temperature that is relatively moderate. Keep the pork roast in the crock pot to season it with garlic and chili powder sprinkled over both both parts of the roast. Cover the pot and get it cooked on high for about three hours. Check it if it has started getting softer. If it is getting tender, take it out and pour off the liquid and add the barbecue sauce. Get it cooked for next couple of hours. Now you can easily shred the stuff to serve on the buns.

    With this quantity you can serve at least 10 to 12 members. It is beyond all doubts that each one of them will remember the taste for ever. Be sure that your friends will ask you the secret behind this fourth of July recipe

    July Fourth Minted Lamb Grill


  • 6 tbs honey
  • 6 tsp oil
  • 3 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs Schwartz lamb seasoning
  • 24 lamb cutlets

    How To Prepare

    With a flick of your finger you can again delight your guests and family members with this easy-to-make fourth of July recipe.

    Take a bowl and combine the oil, Lamb Seasoning, vinegar and honey all together. Grill the lamb for 12 minutes, until it gets tender. You need to turn the cutlets frequently and brush with the mixture throughout cooking.

    This quantity will yield at least 10 to 12 servings and each of your guests love this fourth of July recipe.

    July Fourth Sweet-n-Sour Ribs Barbecue


  • 1 1/2 c Water
  • 2 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1/2 cup fresh honey
  • 8 ts Lemon Juice
  • 3 1/2 tb Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 ts Pepper
  • 1 ts Salt
  • 2 sm Onion, chopped
  • 10 lb back ribs

    How To Make

    Combine the water, ketchup, honey, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, and chopped onion and cook the mixture for about 10 to 12 minutes stirring it occasionally. Then make a charcoal grill and cook the ribs over the moderately hot coals, turning it constantly and go on brushing the ribs with worcestershire sauce on each turn. Carry on the process until it is properly cooked.

    With this quantity you can serve at least 10 to 12 members.

    July Fourth Mango Mahi Mahi


  • 4 ½ lbs Florida Mahi Mahi fillets
  • 3 /4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup chopped basil
  • 1 ½ cup Florida mango juice.

    How To Make

    This is again a very simple yet delicious preparation that can create a crowd at your table on July fourth this year. Cut the fish according to number of members and place them in a bowl. Combine the olive oil, mango juice and basil and stir it well to form a good mixture. Gently pour the mixture over the slices of Mahi Mahi, cover it and keep it undisturbed for an hour.

    By this time get the grill surface thoroughly prepared by putting oil coats. Also make a charcoal grill and when the coal is ready and the flame is no more there, cover it with gray ash. Now place fish slices on hot grill about half a foot from the hot coals and let each of the slices be grilled for at least 6 minutes on each side. When it is over serve the recipe with green salad.

    This quantity will yield at least 10 to 12 servings and be prepared for getting lots of praises on this this fourth of July recipe.

    These recipes are really easy to make and delicious. With all these special fourth of July recipes you can get a shower of praises this year - no doubt about it. Apart from sending emails and sharing your emotions to your loved ones, make the day more special with these special recipes.

    This fourth of July recipe article may be freely reprinted or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog or website. The author's name, bio and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

    Julia Hayes is a freelance writer with a passion for ecards and getting connected with people through blogs and social networks. She writes blogs on Fourth of July Wishes and Ecards.

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