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25 Fun Things to Do in Knoxville 4th of July Weekend!

4th of July backyard BBQ

Take time to entertain this 4th of July weekend. Invite some friends and family and crank up the grill. Here are some really tasty recipes to make your event successful.

Maple-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

4-1/2 pounds pork baby back ribs
2 liters cola
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Barbecue Sauce:
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the ribs in large resealable plastic bags; add cola. Seal bags and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard cola. Pat ribs dry with paper towels. Combine the seasonings; rub over ribs.

Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Place ribs over pan; grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce ingredients. Brush over ribs; grill 10-20 minutes longer or until meat is tender.

Yield: 4 servings.

Antipasto Salad

2 packages (1 pound each) spiral pasta
4 cups chopped green peppers
4 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
3 cups chopped onions
2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami, julienned
1 pound sliced pepperoni, julienned
1/2 pound provolone cheese, cubed
1 cup pitted ripe olives, halved
1-1/2 cups olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. In several large bowls, combine the pasta, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, beans, salami, pepperoni, cheese and olives.

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Yield: 50 (3/4-cup) servings.

Old-Fashioned Apple Stack Cake

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
3 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
apple filling

Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; add molasses, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, blend well.

Place dough on a floured surface; work in enough flour to make dough evenly over bottom of a cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from pan. Spoon a small amount of apple filling over a cake layer; top with another layer. Repeat until all layers are used.

Wrap or store in an airtight contained; let stand overnight before serving.

Apple Filling:
1-1/2 lbs. dried apples; cook and drain.
1-3/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Southern Potato Salad

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
10 eggs
1 large onion, chopped
1 (24 ounce) jar sweet pickles, drained and chopped
2 cups mayonnaise

Place the potatoes in a large pan of water and boil over medium-low heat until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Place the eggs in a saucepan of cold water over medium heat, and bring to a full boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for about 15 minutes. Cool the eggs thoroughly under cold running water and shell them. Chop the cooled eggs and place them in a large salad bowl.

Stir the onion, sweet pickles, and mayonnaise into the eggs, and let the mixture chill in the refrigerator at least l/2 hour to blend the flavors. Mix in the chilled chopped potatoes, and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Serve cold.

Grandma's Baked Beans

8 slices bacon, halved
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice
3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients).

Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Published June 30, 2013

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