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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Creating a 4th of July spread everyone can enjoy

Hot Dog Chili recipe and 4th of July Layered Cupcakes recipe

The fourth has been celebrated as a neighborhood tradition at my house for as long as I can remember. The streets are filled with people shooting fireworks in anticipation of the big show at the country club up the road. And where there is a celebration, there must be a celebratory spread of goodies.

Hamburgers and hot dogs are classic Fourth of July fare. They really are the perfect grab and go food. I use a homemade chili on the side to dress things up a little. My Hot Dog Chili can be used on many things besides dogs and burgers. I also like this chili on top of baked potatoes, tater tots, French fries, and burritos. Stir some melted or grated cheese into this recipe to create a fabulous dip for tortilla chips. This recipe is a quick and simple complement to anything grilled and served on a bun.

I also like this chili on top of baked potatoes, tater tots, French fries, and burritos.

No spread is complete without dessert. I think cupcakes fit the bill when hosting a hands-on buffet. And when I think cupcakes, I think of my son, Sam. Sam loves to bake. He has been making cupcakes for years, specifically rainbow cupcakes. He mixes up his batter in all colors of the rainbow. He typically brings them to school for a friend’s birthday and always comes home empty-handed.

I thought my son’s popular cupcake would be a huge hit this year for the fourth. But instead of rainbows, I am putting a patriotic twist on his recipe. 4th of July Layered Cupcakes brings almost as much joy as a beautiful fireworks display. This is a great project to get the kids involved in, too. This recipe takes baking from a box mix to a new level. Watch your guests light up like sparklers when they see the colorful Americana treat you made just for them.

Hot Dog Chili 1 lb. ground beef 1 tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. cumin ¼ cup white onion, grated 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. black pepper ½ tsp. salt 1 cup water 8 oz. tomato sauce 1 beef bouillon cube

Brown and crumble ground beef over medium heat. Drain the fat. Add chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Stir for one minute over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add water, tomato sauce, and beef bouillon cube. Cook stirring occasionally until all the water has evaporated. Serve over hot dogs, tater tots, or French fries. 4th of July Layered Cupcakes 1 box white cake mix, mixed according to directions Red food coloring Blue food coloring White frosting Red sprinkles Blue sprinkles Silver cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 325. Divide cake batter into three bowls. Drop 40 drops of blue food coloring into one bowl of cake batter. Fold the cake batter with a fork until the coloring is fully incorporated. Drop 45 drops of red food coloring into the second bowl of cake batter. Fold the cake batter until the coloring is fully incorporated. Line a muffin tin with 12 silver and paper liners in 12 cups. Drop blue batter by the tablespoon into each liner. Drop the white batter by the tablespoon on top of the blue batter in each lined cup. Drop the red batter by the tablespoon on top of the white batter to make the liner 2/3 full of batter. Drop the entire pan of cupcake batter onto the counter by lifting the pan 2 to 3 inches of the counter and letting the pan go. Repeat dropping the pan two to three times. Place pan in the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in the middle of the cupcake. Let cupcakes cool for 30 minutes before frosting and adding sprinkles. Remove the silver liner leaving the paper liner intact to serve.

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