Fire Up Your 4th of July

I just love to hear the stats of our summer holidays like out of 314 million people living in the US-of-A that 150 million hot dogs and 700 million lbs. of chicken will be consumed on the 4th of July alone. MAN, that’s some poundage! Our family only eats the quarter pound dinner franks split down the middle, charred crisp with lots of sauerkraut. TIP: I told our spring cooking school attendees that if you use an 8oz. deli cup as your burger mold, you get the best looking, straight sided, most amazing burger in town.

And that’s what I use for this juicy All-American-Bacon-Cheeseburgers below. Nobody wants to get a wimpy burger!



  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon steak sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 pound ground beef
     4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 8 cooked bacon strips
  • Optional toppings: lettuce leaves and tomato, onion and pickle slices


  • In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Crumble beef
  • over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.
  • Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 3 in. from the heat
  • for 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160°
  • and juices run clear. Top with cheese. Grill 1 minute longer or
  • until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with bacon and toppings of
  • your choice. Yield: 4 servings.

Here’s a delicious side dish for those scrumptious burgers!  It’s the Red, White and Bleu Slaw!



  • 6 cups angel hair coleslaw mix
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup coleslaw salad dressing
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup real bacon bits


  • In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, tomatoes, salad dressing
  • and 1/2 cup blue cheese. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Just
  • before serving, sprinkle with bacon bits and remaining cheese.
  • Yield: 6 servings.

Now, I’ve made this summer dessert for many years just when the fresh peaches are full of fuzz & perfectly ripe and I’ve never heard a single person turn it down, EVER, even after consuming way to much food by the pool. I keep the ice cream in a cooler with ice and throw lots of the sugared fruit on the grill. TIP: Don’t be “hand cuffed” to only peaches. You can use nectarines, apricots, pineapples or even plums that work great but remember… they have to be at their peak season, so what’s ever in… use em! Granola is great but you can swap out with some crushed pretzels or a lightly chopped trail mix with chocolate chunks. Mmmmmmmmm Grilled Peach Crisps.



  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium peach, halved and pitted
  • 1 cup reduced-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat granola


  • In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over cut sides
  • of peach. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and
  • lightly coat the grill rack. Place peach cut side down on grill
  • rack. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until
  • peach is tender and begins to caramelize.
  • Place peach halves in dessert bowls. Serve with ice cream and
  • granola. Yield: 2 servings.

As always, get to for tons of great holiday recipes for your big summer BANG, gather the family and be safe out there! I’ll see ya around the grill-

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