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home : news : news
August 18, 2022

7/1/2022 1:26:00 PM
Sweets and meats on 4th of July
by JEFF NORTON


The Fourth of July is always a time to celebrate. It’s America’s Independence Day, and it’s always a fun time!
Lake days, beaches, parades, friends, family and good food and drinks are a staple of the holiday.

It’s always a little interesting planning your schedule  when The Fourth lands on a Monday like it does this year. It’s much more enjoyable to get your gatherings and parties in during the weekend since we all have to go back to work Tuesday. But many Fourth of July-specific events intentionally leave their celebrations on the actual day, leading to what can be a long Tuesday at work.

That’s a lot of sun and fun for a Monday!

As for us, we’ll be doing some yardwork and mixing it in with visits to my parents’ house on Martin Lake. The annual boat parade on for the celebration is always a blast and I’m looking forward to it again this year after being out of town for last year’s! We’ll also do some grilling and potluck, which is a staple, so here’s some of the things I’ll be sharing this weekend and which are great summer treats!

+ + + +

This first one is so fun, so patriotic and so fitting for the holiday. I promse it will be a hit wherever you serve it because not only does it look like a Fourth of July dessert should, it tastes amazing.

LEMON BERRY 
FIRECRACKER CAKE
Cooking spray
1 (15.25-oz.) box white cake mix
1 (3.4-oz.) pkg. instant lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. plus 1 tbsp. (or more) lukewarm water
1/4 c. raspberry jam
7 (or more) drops red gel food coloring, divided
1/4 c. blueberry jam
7 (or more) drops blue gel food coloring, divided
3 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. red, white, and blue sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk cake mix and lemon pudding mix to combine. Add eggs, oil, and 1 cup lukewarm water. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat until smooth, about 1 minute.

Scrape 1 cup lemon batter into a medium bowl. Stir raspberry jam and 5 drops red food coloring into batter until combined. Add more food coloring, a drop at a time, if a deeper red color is desired.

Scrape another 1 cup lemon batter into another medium bowl. Stir blueberry jam and 5 drops blue food coloring into batter until combined. Add more food coloring, a drop at a time, if a deeper blue color is desired.

Pour red batter into bottom of prepared pan. Pour remaining lemon batter over red batter. Pour blue batter over lemon batter.

Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, adding more water drop by drop if necessary, until thick and smooth and mixture is a lava-like consistency.

Scoop a heaping 1/4 cup white glaze into a small bowl and stir in 2 drops red food coloring. Scoop another heaping 1/4 cup white glaze into another small bowl and stir in 2 drops blue food coloring.

Drizzle white, then blue, then red glaze over cake. Scatter sprinkles over top. Let glaze set about 30 minutes before slicing.

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It’s well known in this column space that I love hot dogs, and these sweet ones are some of the best I’ve ever made! GREAT for hosting and having a simple meal with make-ahead salsa and mayo.

HAWAIIAN HOT DOGS
8 King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian sweet hot dog buns
8 hot dogs, split lengthwise (be careful not to cut all the way through)

PINEAPPLE SALSA
2 c. fresh pineapple, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. freshly chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Kosher Salt

FOR THE SPICY MAYO
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. Sriracha
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (optional)
Kosher Salt

Make the pineapple salsa: In a small bowl, toss together pineapple, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and set aside.

Make the spicy mayo: In another small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lime juice, if adding. Season with salt and set aside.

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Split King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Hot Dog Buns and toast as desired. Set aside.

Place hot dogs on grill or grill pan and cook for about 3 minutes, or until grill marks appear.

Place hot dogs in buns, then top with pineapple salsa, and drizzle with spicy mayo. Garnish with more cilantro before serving.

+ + + +

Here’s another themed dessert that will absolutely be a hit at any gathering.
                                   
4TH OF JULY 
S’MORES DIP
4 sheets hershey's chocolate
19 marshmallows
1 c. water
1 c. red, white, and blue sanding sugar
Graham crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a square glass pan, place a layer of Hershey’s to cover the bottom of the pan.

Dip 5 marshmallows in water and roll them in blue sanding sugar. Place on parchment paper to dry.
Repeat this process to make 6 red marshmallows and 8 white marshmallows.

Using kitchen shears, cut each marshmallow in half.

Place marshmallows cut side down on the chocolate to form a flag.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and serve with graham crackers.

TFD: This thought for the day might seem similar to last year, and that’s because I’m not changing it. It should be followed at any time, but please be thoughtful this holiday weekend and PLEASE drive or boat safe and sober and be mindful of your fellow revelers!



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