Happy Birthday to the United States of America! This year we celebrate the 239th anniversary of the declaration of the American independence, a day of parades, fireworks and celebration.

And what better way to celebrate than through a traditional barbecue, potato salad and fire crackers.

But why not try something different this year? Why not add a twist to the traditional dishes?

See below for a few ideas on spicing up July 4th staples…

Potato Salad with a Twist

Barbecues are not complete without a tasty potato salad on the side. Everybody has a “best” recipe, with mayonnaise or bits of pickles, with a mustard dressing or a bunch of tasty herbs on it. But why not add something unusual to the mix?

Using colorful potatoes might not have a huge impact on the taste of the salad, but it will surely make it look extravagant on the table. Adding some garlic, apple cider vinegar and sour cream can twist the taste beyond imagination – and if you mix in some black beans, the taste will be even more wonderful. Adding some bacon bits to the mix with a generous serving of mayo will add something even more interesting to this traditional dish.

Jamie’s DJ BBQ rad rum ribs

I hope it is not an affront for the idea of independence to include the recipe of a British celebrity chef here, but it tastes so good I will risk it.

Combine maple syrup, chipotle paste, ginger and worcestershire sauce with a rub of your choice, two teaspoons of salt, rub it into the ribs and leave it to marinate for at least six hours. This is the time in which you can prepare the potato salad and even play online poker at Royal Vegas Casino Canada.

When you are ready to cook, allow the ribs to come to room temperature, wrap it in tin foil and cook it on the barbecue for about two hours.

For the complete recipe (it’s quite long, but not at all complicated) click here.

Independence Day Cake from 1940

“This particular year we are probably going to celebrate Independence day more thoroughly than in the past several years. If not at the club or a restaurant, right in the home with a very special day for this very special cake.”

2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup of butter or other shortening
2 egg yolks, well beaten
1/3 cup milk
teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten.

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well; add flour alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla, fold in egg white. Bake in two greased 9-inch layer pans in moderate oven (375 degrees F.) 25 to 30 minutes. Cover tops and sides of cake with Pink Frosting. Decorate around base of cake with Fourth of July ornaments.

Pink Frosting

2 egg whites, unbeaten
1 ½ cups sugar
5 tablespoons water
1 ½ teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar, water and corn syrup on top of double boiler, beating with rotary egg beater until thoroughly mixed. Place over rapidly boiling water, beat constantly with rotary egg beater, and cook 7 minutes, or until frosting will stand in peaks. Remove from boiling water, add vanilla and beat until thick enough to spread. Add coloring to hot frosting to give a delicate shell-pink tint. Just a tiny speck of coloring on the end of a knife, or a few drops of liquid coloring is enough.”

“Independence Day Cake,” Frederick News Post, July 3, 1940 via Food Timeline


Featured image via Wine Sisterhood