Home Cooking Recipes
home cooking recipes                                            home cooking recipes
Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

Hot time for the fourth

A bang-up Fourth of July has to have two key ingredients - fireworks and out-door eating. Hot dogs are always are in order and burgers are right behind. Potato salad is a must and coleslaw beats any other salad in the traditional favorites race.

But, that doesn't mean that you can't change a recipe here and there or even insert something new now and then. Just don't make a lot of changes at one time. Men and children are somehow averse to change and perfectly content to eat old-favorites year-after-year, or even day-after-day Women like the taste of change.

I forgot to mention baked beans as a traditional menu favorite. Because they are best eaten warm they're okay if the party is on a patio and not on a blanket by a lake. Fortunately, there are so many ways of "doctoring" canned beans that you don't have to bake them the long hours that used to be required.


You can assemble this dish ahead and bake on the 4th. Smoked bacon is great but regular bacon is good, too.

6 oz. thin-sliced bacon (6 slices), cut into pieces
2 onions, peeled & chopped
3 cans Boston-style baked beans
1/2 cup catsup
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard

Cook bacon until browned and crisp; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Add onions and stir often until they begin to brown. Add beans and their liquid, catsup, brown sugar, dry mustard and cooked bacon. Pour into shallow casserole. Bake uncovered until beans are bubbling in the center, 30 to 40 minutes (50 minutes if beans came from refrigerator). Serve hot. Makes 10 servings


Can be made a day ahead or chill 2 hours before serving on the day it is made.

4 1/2 lbs. thin-skinned white potatoes, scrubbed
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, or scallions
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish or 5 radishes, sliced
3 hard cooked eggs, shelled & chopped
2/3 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
salt & pepper

Cook potatoes until tender. Drain and cool about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine next 5 ingredients. Peel the warm potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Add to the dressing carefully so that potatoes aren't broken up. Let stand at room temperature until cool. Add remaining ingredients; cover and chill until cold. Garnish with dill sprigs. Makes 10 servings.


Omit the pickle relish if you use it in the slaw or on the burgers (enough already). The dressing is a lot like Thousand Island dressing, which means that the dressing or the salad are both good on burgers, too.

1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, optional
2 tablespoons chili sauce or seafood cocktail
1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard
10 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 cups finely shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, including tops
salt & pepper

Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, pickle relish, chili sauce and mustard. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Makes 10 servings.


Serve with a choice of onion slices, fried bacon, lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise, mustards, and catsup. The bread crumbs absorb juices and keep the burgers flavorful and not too compact.

2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons steak sauce or Worcestershire
1 onion, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
3 lbs ground beef
1 cup soft bread crumbs
10 slices extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

Beat eggs, steak sauce or Worcesteshire, milk, onion, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to blend. Add beef and bread crumbs and mix gently. Form into 10 equal patties and grill. You can save some of the fat from cooking the bacon slices (if you want bacon) and brush onions slices with it before grilling on both sides, for quests who want their onions cooled. The burgers are good topped with the Low-Calorie Slaw, too. Makes 10 servings.



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