Fourth of July and Food — Duh

The Fourth of July is, of course, unique to the United States.  And the food that we serve on that day has a uniqueness to it too.  Tradition meets creativity.  When you’re having a large group on the Fourth, don’t you sometimes bring out that I’ve-wanted-to-try-this-but-didn’t-before recipe and decide this is the perfect time to experiment?  Maybe it has something to do with all the fireworks — makes you want to live dangerously! 

So, here are two recipes I made on the Fourth that I actually had made before, but are a little bit unusual, so thought I’d share them with you.

Cornbread Salad


Bake one box of Jiffy cornbread as directed on box, cool and crumble.  


In large glass bowl, layer in this order:


half of crumbled cornbread


– 2.25 can of sliced black olives, drained


– 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed


11 oz. can of corn, drained


– 1/2 C. Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch Dressing


– 1 C. diced bell peppers, assorted colors


– 2 C. crumbled bacon or cooked chicken


1/2 C. diced red onion


1 C. seeded, diced tomato (2 medium)


– other half of cornbread


– 1/2 C. Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch Dressing


–  1/2 C. shredded Cheddar


Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.


This cornbread salad keeps wonderfully, in fact, improves as the flavors blend.  So we finished it off two days after the Fourth!  It also looks beautiful layered in a cut glass bowl. 


Of course, I didn’t think to take pictures of either one of these dishes when I got them made, so you’ll just have to take my word for that. 🙂


This next one is unbelieveably realistic looking.  Also, I am not a big fan of coconut, but I still love the taste of these.  So, don’t let the coconut put you off — and DON’T leave it out!  I think it and the sesame seeds are what make them look so realistic.  I put them on little plates in the middle of each table at our cook-out (all adults, by the way) and they were a big hit — looks and taste-wise.


Hamburger Cookies  (makes 40)




One box Vanilla Wafers (80+ cookies).  You need 80 fairly whole cookies, and you can get that many from one box, if you’re willing to use ones that might have some nicks in them (I did and I don’t think the imperfections were noticeable.).  If you’re a perfectionist, get two boxes, so that you can use just “perfect” ones.


One package Keebler Grasshopper Cookies (40 cookies)


One cup of flaked coconut


Green Food Coloring


One egg white from a fresh egg (because it won’t be cooked)


Sesame Seeds


2 Tubes of Red Frosting


2 Tubes of Yellow Frosting




Lay 80 vanilla wafers out, half face up, half face down.  (I do it on a cookie sheet to make clean-up easier.)


Use a pastry brush to lightly brush egg white on the top of the upright wafers.  Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Do this a few at a time so that the egg white doesn’t dry out before being sprinkled with the seeds. Set aside to dry.


Put the coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of the green food coloring.  I put in as little as possible because I don’t want it to be uniformly green.  I think when it’s variegated green, it looks more like lettuce.


Building the Cookies “from the ground up”:


Put a squirt of frosting on each upside-down wafer and then gently press a mint cookie on top.  The color doesn’t matter here, so I suggest you do 20 of each color so that you don’t short yourself on either.)


Next, on top of each mint cookie, run a thick line of frosting near the edge, red along one side and yellow along the other.


Press some of the green coconut on top of the frostings, most importantly making sure some “hangs over.”


Put a dollop of frosting (color doesn’t matter) on the underside of the top “buns” and press on top of the “lettuce.”


All done!  Fun for kids to do, and they taste good too!


4 Responses to Fourth of July and Food — Duh

  1. zimmerhouse says:

    here’s another super easy one for you for next year….
    boxed cheese cake kit
    whipped cream

    follow directions for the cheese cake filling portion, layer on bottom of glass trifle bowl, let it set
    graham cracker crust on top of cheese cake filling
    layer of whipped cream
    layer of strawberries
    layer of whip cream
    layer of blueberries


    the hamburger cookie thingies sound neat, I’ll have to try those

  2. Sandra says:

    tz — that sounds wonderful! Thanks. I love new recipes. I’ll definitely try it — that is, I will the next time we have company. I don’t dare make something wonderful when it’s just the two of us!

  3. karen says:

    Ooooh…those sound really good. I like the hamburger cookies idea/ I’m going to pass it on to my daughter. She’s always looking for fun food for the kid’s parties.

  4. Hilary says:

    Hamburger cookies sound like they’re a lot of fun. Thanks! 🙂

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