Friday, June 9, 2023

Fourth of July recipes to really set off the fireworks!

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Fireworks displays may have been canceled around most of the country due to the current pandemic but, that doesn’t mean your recipes shouldn’t pack a punch!

Fourth of July recipes to really set off the fireworks!

Strawberries & Cream Poke Cake and fireworks


How to Make the Strawberry Poke Cake

  • 1 15.25 oz boxed white cake mix
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 oz strawberry Jell-O
  • 1/2 cup cold water

How to Make the Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 8 oz whipped topping
  • 8 oz vanilla frosting {I like the whipped white frosting for this recipe}
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 16 oz strawberries for topping
Strawberries & Cream Poke Cake


  1. Bake cake as directed on the back of the box for a 9×13 pan. {To make boxed cake mix taste better, I swap out the milk for the water and add an additional egg – or egg white in this case!}
  2. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and “poke” the cake with a large fork. I space my pokes about ½ inch apart, covering the entire surface of the cake.
  3. Stir the boiling water and Jell-O in a mixing bowl until the Jell-O is completely dissolved. Pour in the cold water and continue to stir, then pour over the cake.
  4. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about three hours.
  5. Combine the Cool-Whip and frosting, stirring gently. Add in almond extract. Spread on top of the cake.
  6. Wash, core, and slice/ dice the strawberries. (You can even use a fancy strawberry slicer if you’d like!) Layer them on top of the cream when ready to serve. Store cake in the fridge. Enjoy!

Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta Salad


  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 pound gluten-free penne pasta
  • 2 bunches asparagus trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thirds
  • 4 ounces goat cheese broken into pieces
  • 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta Salad


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast macadamia nuts, stirring often, until golden, approximately 3 minutes.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions, add asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return pasta and asparagus to the pot. Toss with goat cheese, scallions, lemon zest, parsley, paprika, sea salt, pepper, and toasted macadamia nuts.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Bacon Double Cheddar Cheeseburger with Caramelized Onions

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 pounds 80% ground chuck beef
  • 4 ounces about ½ cup diced Cache Valley Dairy medium cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning the onions to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning the onions to taste
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 6 brioche or white buns
  • 6 Cache Valley Dairy American cheese slices
  • Sliced tomato pickles, and lettuce
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce optional
Bacon Double Cheddar Cheeseburger with Caramelized Onions
  1. In a medium to a large skillet (I use cast iron), cook your bacon over medium-high heat, turning once or twice until half-way cooked, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the bacon strips to a cutting board and reserve the bacon renderings in the pan and set aside. Chop the bacon into diced pieces and add to a large mixing bowl with the ground beef and diced cheddar cheese. Season with the black pepper and kosher salt, and then use your hands with a light touch to gently mix together. Take a large handful of meat, about 6 to 7 ounces, and form a ball in your hands. Form the meat into patties about 3/4-inch thick and press your thumb into the center of the patty to form a dimple to keep it from doming when cooked. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or make ahead and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Prepare and preheat your grill on high.
  3. While the grill is heating, heat the reserved bacon renderings over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, add 1 tablespoon of butter, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for about 10 more minutes or until soft and caramelized, lower the heat to simmer and keep warm, or remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Spread the remaining butter on the cut side of the buns and set aside.
  4. When the grill is hot (at least 450°F), place the burgers on the grates and cook for 3-5 minutes, undisturbed, then flip, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the internal temperature is 135°F for a medium-done hamburger. Add a slice of the American cheese to each burger and cook just until the cheese melts. Transfer to a platter and let rest for about 5 minutes while you toast the buns on the grill grates.
  5. Mix the mayonnaise with the ketchup and if you’d like a bit of BBQ sauce. Spread the sauce on the bottom and tops of the buns with the cheeseburgers and garnish with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and the caramelized onion.

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