July Fourth Picnics
Copyright (c) 1993, Liz Waters
All rights Reserved

Americans come in all sizes, colors, and political persuasions. We worship our higher
powers in unique ways, but we all have in common the wonderful privileges and
responsibilities created to suit the ideals of our founding fathers and the framers of our
Constitution. On July 4, we take a day to celebrate the glorious freedoms we possess as
Americans in common. Here are a series of picnic menus to reflect the diversity of our
All of us in the America Online Cooking Club wish you and yours a happy and safe
Fourth of July! Enjoy a special meal and the celebration of the nation's birth of freedom!


Pack a Perfect Picnic Menu -elegant cold supper for 6
(pack in plastic containers and keep in a cooler everything except the croissants and
brownie wedges)

Lobster-Shrimp Seafood Salad
Crudites (include lots of carrots, celery, sliced eggs, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower
flowerets, black olives, sweet pickle chips, and pickled peppers)
Mixed Melon Balls
Brownie Wedgies
Iced Tea or a Light White Wine

Lobster-Shrimp Seafood Salad

1 lb. cooked lobster meat, chopped
1 lb. medium-shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped
1/2 C chopped fennel (celery can substitute)
1/4 C chopped green or yellow bell pepper
1/4 C chopped red bell pepper
1/4 C plain yogurt
1/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 C chopped sweet onion (substitute green onions)
3 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine seafood, fennel, and bell peppers in a bowl. Combine yogurt, mayo
nnaise, onion, parsley, lemon juice and mustard in another. Season with salt and
pepper. Add dressing to seafood combination and refrigerate until serving.
Either serve stuffed in fresh garden tomatoes set upon a bed of lettuce or on croissants.

Brownie Wedgies

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C unslated butter
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/3 C sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C chopped hazelnuts (substitute pecans)
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips


8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 C Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) (substitute Tia Maria if pecans are used above)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a ten inch springform pan. Mix together the
flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.Melt butter and 4 oz. chocolate over low heat in
a small saucepan, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly and beat in sugar. In a bowl, beat
the eggs with vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Mix in the nuts
and chips. Add the dry ingredients and stir to form a thick batter. Pour into prepared pan
and bake until top looks dry and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan -
about 45 minutes. Cool.

Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until
smooth. Add liqueur and stir until smooth.

Score top of brownies into wedges and spread with glaze. Let stand until glaze sets up.
Release pan sides, remove to carrier and cut along score lines to serve.

Down Home Church Picnic Menu

North Carolina Chopped Pork Barbecue
Southern Fried Chicken
Baked Yellow Squash Casserole
Green Beans
Southern Slaw
Traditional Potato Salad
Sliced tomatoes
Coconut Cake
Iced Tea or Lemonade

North Carolina Chopped Pork Barbecue

1 p
ork shoulder roast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C cider vinegar
1/2 C catsup
2 tbsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup water
Additional vinegar if needed
Louisiana Hot sauce

Brown roast in a little bacon grease and place in a dutch oven. Mix next 11 ingredients in
a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over roast in dutch oven and cover. Bake in a
preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes per pound until well done. Baste occasionally
as it bakes with pan drippings. Remove meat to a cutting board. Strip from bones and
chop into small pieces. Stir into remaining pot ingredients and add more vinegar if
needed and a dash or two of hot sauce if needed. Serve on buns or cornbread.

Southern Fried Chicken

3 frying chickens, cut into pieces.
3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 C buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients in a plastic zip loc bag.
Pour buttermilk in a shallow dish.
Wash chicken and pat dry. Roll each piece in buttermilk and then drop into bag. Shake
about 3 pieces at a time in the dry ingredients. In a skillet on top of stove or an electric
skillet, heat 2 C Crisco to temperature of 365-370 degres. Fry chicken 15 minutes on each
side. Drain on paper towels and serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.

Baked Yellow Squash Casserole

2 pounds yellow summer squash, sliced
1/2 C onions, chopped
salt and pepper
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 c sour cream
1 c shredded carrots
1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 C melted margarine
3 C grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350. Combine squash and onion in a large saucepan. Cover with water, add
a bit of salt if desired.
Cook until te
nder, about 5 minutes. Drain. Combine soup and sour cream in  a large bowl and  stir in
the grated carrots. Add squash and onions. Combine stuffing mix with margarine and
spread half on bottom of  a 10x10 buttered casserole dish. Cover with half of the squash
combination and half of the cheese. Repeat layer, saving just a few crumbs for the top.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until heated through. Serve hot.

Green Beans

1 country ham hock
1 small onion, cut in quarters
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 dried red pepper (whole)
2 pounds green beans, tips removed and broken in 1" pieces.

Wash beans and put in deep dutch oven. Add rest of the ingredients and cover with
water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook at simmer for 3-4 hours. Remove
red pepper before serving.

Southern Slaw

1 head cabbage, grated
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 small onion, chopped fine


1 C salad dressing
1/4 C sugar
2 T cider vinegar
2 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. celery seed
salt and pepper

Toss ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the dressing, cover and refrigerate
overnight. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Traditional Potato Salad

6 good-sized red potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
5 tbsp. Crisco oil
2 tbps. cider vinegar
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 C diced celery
1/4 C diced bell pepper
1 C mayonnaise
1 tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. celery salt

Boil potatoes in their jackets until tender. While still warm, peel and cut into chunks. In
a small bowl, mix salt, paprika, dry mustard, oil and vinegar. Pour over potatoes and
toss to coat. Chill. When cold add chopped eggs and vegetables. Mix mayonnaise with
mustard and celery salt, stir in. Pack down in bowl and sprink
le top with paprika. Chill and serve cold.

Coconut Cake

3/4 C coconut milk (see instructions)
1/4 C finely grated fresh coconut
3 C cake flour, sifted
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 3/4 C sugar
1 C butter
3 egg yolks
1/4 C milk  (more or less, depending on amount of coconut milk in coconut)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Prepare the coconut by drilling a hole in the "eye" and draining the milk. Hammer into
pieces and remove white meat. Grate. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Sift again. Beat the egg whites stiff then add 1/4 C of the sugar. Beat in and set aside.
Cream the butter until fluffly and add remaining sugar and the egg yolks, mixing well.
Add flour alternating with the milk and coconut milk. Blend until smooth. Add vanilla
and the 1/4 C grated coconut. Fold in egg white mixture and pour into 3 generously
greased and lightly floured 8 inch cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Cool and frost with Seven Minute Frosting.

Seven Minute Frosting

2 unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 C sugar
5 tbsp. cold water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar or 1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 C shredded coconut

Put egg whites, sugar, water, salt, and cream of tartar or corn syrup in top of a double
boiler overe rapidly boiling water. Beat with an electric mixer for 7 minutes as it cooks
or until the icing stands in peaks. (I find it imperative to time this...otherwise you never
cook it long enough) Remove from heat, add vanilla, beat until spreading consistency.
Spread on cooled cake and cover with shredded coconut.


Southwestern Barbecue Feast Menu

Chili Con Queso with Tortilla Chips
Red Chili Barbecued Chicken
Corn on the Cob
Slices of Fresh Cantaloupe

Salsa with Chilies and Peas
Guacamole Salad
Margarita Sherbet with Lime Peel
Iced Tea

Chili Con Queso

2 bacon slices, diced
3 tbsp. chopped green onions
1 large tomato, chopped
1 4 oz. can mild chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh oregano, diced
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz. American cheese, grated
1/4 C tomato juice
3 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro (coriander plant greens)

Fry bacon and add onions and tomatoes in a flameproof earthenware casserole. Cook
until onion softens, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in next 4 ingredients.
Reduce heat to low. Gradually add the cheeses, stirring until melted and bubbly. Thin
with tomato juice, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately flanked by baskets of
tortilla chips and commercial salsa.

Red Chili Barbecued Chicken


1 1/2 C water
1 tsp. salt
8 dried red California or New Mexico chilies, wahsed, devieined, seeded and broken into
2 tbps. cornstarch
1 tbps. olive oil
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C sliced mushrooms
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (coriander greens)
1 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
1 3/4 C chicken broth

Blend water and salt in a bowl. Add chili pieces and let stand for 2 hours. Drain chiles
into blender container. Add cornstarch and puree.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add onion and cook until
softened, stirring occazsionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices. Add chil puree and broth
and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes to thicken. Chill.


6 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Red Chili Sauce (above)

1 1/2 grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C chopped black olives
8 green onions, chopped

Pound chicken breasts to tenderize and arrange in a shallow dish. Cover with red chili
sauce and cover closely. Ma
rinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat grill to high heat. Remove breasts from sauce, reserving sauce. Grill until done,
turning often and basting with sauce. Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the cooked
chicken on an ovenproof platter and pour reserved sauce over the top. Cover with
grated cheese, olives and onions. Bake until cheese melts and serve immediately.

Fresh Salsa with Chilies and Peas

3 C chopped tomatoes
10 green onions, chopped
6 green Anaheim chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 10 oz. package frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

Guacamole Salad

1 C tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled
4 large ripe avocadoes
1 4 oz. can mild green chiles, drained and diced
3 tbsp. minced green onions
1 tbps. fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Hot Pepper Sauce

1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 8 oz. can sliced beets, drained and rinsed, and cut in strips

Peel and pit 3 avocadoes. Transfer flesh into bowl and mash well. Mix in chilies, onion,
lemon juice, garlic, pepper, salt, coriander, cumin and season with hot pepper sauce to
taste. Peel and pit the remaining avocado and cut into cubes. Fold into mashed mixture. 
Cover a platter with a bed of shredded lettuce Heap the guacamole mixture in center of
plate. Garnish with tomato wedges and beets. Sprinkle top with crushed chips. Serve

Margarita Sherbet with Lime Peel

3-4 limes
1/4 C sugar
3 tbsp. water

3/4 C lime juice (juice of about 10 limes)
1 C sugar
2 C cold skim milk

6 tbsp. tequila
6 tbsp. triple sec

6 paper thin slices of lime
Using vegetable peeler, remove green part of the rind of 3-4 limes. Cut into very thin
strips and cover with cold water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer
5 minutes. Drain and rinse peel.
Stir 1/4 C sugar and 3 tbps. water in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar
dissolves. Bring syrup to boil. Cover and cook 1 minute. Uncover and simmer 1 minute
more. Add lime peel and simmer for 2 minutes. Cover and chill.

Stir lime juice and 1 cup sugar together in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves. Mix
in skim milk. (This may look curdled, but don't worry about it..will smooth out as the
ice cream maker works its magic!) Add to ice cream freezer and freeze according to
manufacturer's instructions. When sherbet is almost set, add half of the candied lime
peel (drained of juice) to mix. Proces until set. Transfer to container and store in freeze
at least 2 hours.

To serve: Moisten the rims of magarita glasses and dip in sugar to coat well. Scoop
sherbet into glasses and drizzle each with 1 tbsp. tequila and 1 tbsp. triple sec. Garnish
with a lime slice, cut down center and twisted and a piece or two of the candied lime
peel. Serve immediately.


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