4th of July Prep

I love the 4th of July. It’s amazing weather, low entertaining expectations compared to Thanksgiving and Christmas and just an overall great time to relax with family, friends and tasty food. You can’t forget the food!


(recipes at bottom of post):

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

French Fries

Strawberry Kale with Poppyseed Dressing

Baked Beans

Corn on the Cob

Strawberry Shortcake

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork: I have heard of this type of slow cooker recipe before but T is THE meat cooker in the family. Hands down he is one of the best cooks in regards to meat. He will smoke pork all night (yes, all night he will get up to check on the meat) and then put it in the oven to finish it up. I can’t compete with that, yet, I tried last weekend! Rachel Hollis has a new cookbook out, Real Life Dinners. I had to feed some guys that were assisting with re-shingling our roof. Her recipe was a pure success and even T raved about how good it was. The coleslaw alone she pairs with it isn’t the most flavorful, but, I do think it made the sandwich superb. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce and Sara Lee Artisano Buns. I had to go back for seconds as the combination was just too good.

French Fries: How did French Fries get their name? I am not certain, but they are totally an American food. Gwyneth Paltrow has a simple but tasty recipe in My Father’s Daughter cookbook. The extra work to make them from scratch is well worth the time.

Kale Strawberry & Poppyseed Dressing Salad: this was a mish mosh of recipes. I have to have my kale salads doused in dressing, almost creating a soggy consistency. As much as I prefer to make things from scratch, this Kraft Poppyseed Dressing is something I have not perfected yet. Not to mention, it’s ok to simple things up once in awhile. *smile*

Baked Beans: We do not make these from scratch. We purchase the Smokehouse Tradition Grillin’ Beans.

Corn on the Cob: I know there are plenty of ways to doctor up your corn on the cob, but I am a traditionalist when it comes to corn on the cob. I prefer straight up butter and salt.

Strawberry Shortcake: Who doesn’t love a classic like shortcake? You get to add white whipped cream, blueberries and strawberries for the full on 4th of July color. Better Homes & Gardens has the easiest and best recipes for Strawberry Shortcake and Whipped Cream.


Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork from Rachel Hollis’ Real Life Dinners


5-6 lbs pork shoulder

2 T all purpose pork grilling rub

1 can Dr. Pepper

1 cup BBQ sauce

Butter-toasted buns

Coleslaw (recipe listed next)


Rub pork on all sides with the seasoning and place in slow cooker.

Pour Dr. Pepper on top.

Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours, until meat starts to fall off and become tender.

Remove meat from slow cooker and place on cutting board, let cool.

Pour left over liquid into bowl and set aside.

Shred the pork and place back in slow cooker.

Add 1 cup or reserved liquid and BBQ sauce.

Store and let cook for another 30 minutes.

Check occasionally, more reserved liquid may have to be added.

Coleslaw from Rachel Hollis’ Real Life Dinners:


4 cups shredded purple cabbage

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1/2 cup mayo

2 T lemon juice

2 t sugar

1/2 t salt


Toss cabbage, carrots and scallions in a bowl.

Mix mayo, lemon juice, sugar and salt until smooth.

Combine all ingredients.

Butter and toast the buns, scoop meat onto buns and top with coleslaw. Enjoy!

French Fries from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter:


2 large russet potatoes peeled

2 T olive oil

3/4 t salt


Set oven to 450 degrees

Cut potato into 1/3 inch thick sticks.

Place in bowl of cold water.

Dry them well with paper towels.

Coat them with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt.

Roast on cooling rack set on top of a cookie sheet until browned.

Turn a few times.

Cook about 25 minutes

Services 4 people.

Kale, Strawberry and Poppyseed Dressing Salad

Mix together the following ingredients:

1 chopped cucumber

1 cup cooked quinoa

6-8 cups chopped kale

1/2-1 cup Kraft Sweet Poppyseed Dressing

1-2 cups chopped strawberries and blueberries

1-2 handfuls of Orchard Valley Harvest Orchard Valley Harvest Glazed Pecan Salad Toppers (or handful of slivered almonds and craisins)

Strawberry Shortcake and Whipped Cream recipes are linked here.

Strawberry Shortcake

Whipped Cream

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