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4th of July - Independence Day

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Did You Know?

The word "picnic" comes from the French word  "pique-nique" meaning "a fashionable social entertainment" in which each guest brings a contribution to the feast. In other words, pique-nique was a fancy way of saying "potluck."

July 4th Top Hat Cake


For years now, when I think of the 4th of July, I have had a mental flash of the Uncle Sam Poster where he has his finger pointing at you and says “I want YOU."  One of the things that strike me is his Top Hat. That Hat has fascinated me for some reason, so I decided to do something about it. 

Check out Peggy's July 4th Top Hat Cake recipe and tutorial!


Have a Safe and Fun 4th of July Holiday

Food safety is the most important part of picnic planning, as  food can spoil very quickly out of refrigeration. It is important to keep  food safety in mind when planning for and packing a picnic.

Buffet and Party Safety - Have a safe and fun party.

Food Safety - The golden rules of food safety

Picnic Safety Tips -
There is also one sure thing at every picnic-lots of good food. The important point is to have safe and healthy food, not food that can cause food borne illness.

Summer Safety Tips
Summer is the time for barbecues and picnics. The biggest party crasher at summer picnic and buffets is food borne bacteria. You can't see them, you can't taste them - but you sure can feel them if illness occurs hours or days later.

Using a Cooking or Meat Thermometer

Purchase and Use a Good Instant-Read Thermometers

Meat and Seafood Internal Temperature Cooking Chart



4th of July Recipes, Advice, and More!

Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbecues, picnics, parades, fireworks, and family gatherings. So - let's celebrate our country's fight for freedom! 

How about an old-fashioned 4th of July Picnic?

How about fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade or sweet tea, and apple pie?  If this sounds good, check out my Old-Fashioned 4th of July Picnic (recipes included).

Perfectly Planned Picnics
The hard part of all this outdoor dining, besides the no-see-ums, is all that organizing. Every time you turn around you’re trying to figure out what to pack, what to bring, what you might need. It seems nearly every weekend; I’m turning in a circle in the middle of the kitchen trying to figure out what I forgot to pack. To make picnicking and outdoor dining easier, I created a checklist which I keep in my picnic basket. I keep adding to it. I’ve added it here to make your summer more organized.

Favorite American 4th of July Foods

The Fourth of July has become synonymous with the barbecue, outdoor cooking, and summer fun. While variations are as numerous, there are still favorite dishes and foods which immediately come to mind when one thinks of 4th of July or Independence Day. Check out the following great recipes:

The elements of the perfect hamburger are a patty of ground beef in a soft round bun, served with ketchup, pickles, and onions. You may add other condiments, whatever you like, but the meat itself must be of prime quality or it’s not worth the effort. What people prefer on their hamburger can vary from region to region in the United States.


Fried Chicken
The quintessential southern dish is fried chicken. There are as many recipes for fried chicken as there are southern cooks, with most being passed down through generations. This classic American dish is though to have developed in the latter half of the eighteenth century from the traditional fricasee or frigasee that was served in most homes in the south.


Cajun Fried Turkey
This is the best way of cooking a turkey I've ever tasted. The turkey is anything but greasy as the deep-frying process seals the outside and the turkey remains incredibly juicy, while the skin gets wonderfully crispy. These fried turkeys were a big hit at our festival!


Louisiana Crawfish Boil
Crawfish boils are wonderful messy affairs, best suited for the outdoors. Boiling crawfish is a festive event and eating it is thirsty work, so we made sure to have lots of beer on hand.


More Family Favorites:  Favorite Potato Salad, Baked or Barbecued Beans, Pie Recipes - All your favorite pies (apple, blackberry, lemon meringue, and many more pies), Grilled Corn On The Cob, Old-Fashioned Lemonade, and Sweet Tea.

Great Grilling and Barbecuing

Take advantage of the weather and fire up the grill on the Fourth of July – Check out these great grilling and barbecuing recipes to help make your holiday event a masterpiece your Fourth of July guests will love. There is something compelling about the smell of food being cooked over a charcoal pit, open flame or barbecue.


Barbecue, Grilling and Smoking Recipes
Beef, Pork, Poultry, Fruit & Vegetable Recipes


North Carolina Pig Pickin'
Any month of the year is good for a pig pickin' in North Carolina. The barbecue style will vary according to what area you're in: In the eastern part of the state, the entire pig (split down the middle) is cooked, and the sauce is made with vinegar and pepper. In the western part, only pig shoulders are cooked, and a tomato-based finishing sauce is used. Unlike other food preparation in the South, which is usually dominated by women, barbecue is a male domain.



Beer Butt Chicken - Beer Can Chicken - Drunken Chicken
Beer Can Chicken, Drunken Chicken, Beer Butt Chicken - no matter what you call it, this is a delicious way to barbecue a whole chicken. This chicken is the juiciest cooked chicken you'll ever try! The beer inside the can steams the chicken making it so tender and juicy. Do this recipe when you are having a group of people over.  Everyone likes to watch the preparation and the cooking of this chicken as it looks so weird on the barbecue grill. Great entertainment!


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