A Fourth of July feast: recipes for Independence Day 2014

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By: Kate Stoltzfus

Todd Hryck/Flickr

When the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, chances are they didn’t celebrate with the same foods that are recognized as modern July 4th staples. But the broiled oysters, ham and corn chowder, and roast turkey the signers may have eaten are not so far off from today’s picnic and barbecue favorites, according to the Huffington Post.

Honor America’s independence this holiday weekend with a menu fit for the patriotic festivities. Whether you’re firing up the grill or headed to a family picnic, these dishes are ones even Thomas Jefferson might enjoy.

Start off with the favored staple of grillers everywhere: a really good hamburger. The secret? A homemade beef patty, says blogger Becky of Becky’s Recipes, who shares her husband’s favorite recipe. Make patties thick for a juicier burger.

If the grill is ready, you might as well toss on a few hot dogs; Honest Cooking suggests nine topping combinations that will put ketchup and mustard to shame. For a lighter meat, this recipe for Margarita Chicken with lime, chili and tequila on Spoonful is also set for an outdoor flame.

If you want to continue with a few grilled side dishes, vegetables skewers from food blog Ezra Pound Cake can be made with just about any fresh veggie and are coated in pesto vinaigrette dressing before roasting. Throw on some corn on the cob with Spoonful’s cilantro lime butter for an extra kick of flavor.

What July 4th cookout is complete without potatoes? Try Cooking Light’s festive twist on potato salad with several different kinds of red, white and blue potatoes. Go all in with homemade potato chips, served with creamy baked potato dip from The Kitchn. The chips can be baked two hours in advance for an easier meal preparation.

Step away from the heat and add fruit to the menu. Watermelon stars and blueberry wands add fun for a younger crowd, notes Weelicious. For a salad, Tasty Kitchen recommends tossing berries and apples with sugar and brandy.

To round out the meal, add some classic coleslaw from A Family Feast with a secret ingredient (hint: think powdered mustard), a mother’s perfected baked beans recipe shared by her daughters on Six Sisters’ Stuff, and deviled eggs – dye them red and blue with help from blogger Plain Chicken.

For vegetarians, there’s Buffalo Chickpea Quinoa Burgers adapted by Once Upon a Cutting Board; Tomato Mozzarella Skewers with basil and balsamic (a great appetizer, says The Enchanted Cook); and Blueberry, Strawberry and Jicama Salsa, a gluten-free alternative from Winning Without Gluten best paired with tortilla chips.

Serve with a generous dose of family and friends – and maybe a few fireworks.

See Flavor 574’s Fourth of July dessert ideas, or check out the Pinterest page for more recipes.

Follow Flavor 574’s board A Festive Fourth of July on Pinterest.

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