The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays! Our family packs the weekend of the 4th with some of our favorite traditions–parades, fireworks, plenty of BBQ’s, 4th breakfast, hot air balloon festival, boating, hiking, and camping! Below are a few of my favorite recipes to go along with our favorite traditions.

Do you have a BBQ to go to this month and wondering what salad/side to bring? Here is my favorite salad recipe to bring to a BBQ. I love anything with a sweet and sour taste, and this Asian Chicken Salad fulfills all of my requirements for the perfect salad! Any get-together we bring this salad to, it is the HIT of the party.

Asian Chicken Pasta Salad
Ingredients
  1. 1 small pkg spinach
  2. 1 (8 oz.) pkg bowtie pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  3. 2-4 T. sesame seeds, sprinkle on top of salad
  4. 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  5. 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  6. 2 T. lemon pepper
  7. 1 c. bean sprouts
Dressing
  1. 1/2 c. oil
  2. 1/2 c. sugar
  3. 1 t. salt
  4. 1 t. sesame seeds
  5. 3 T. soy sauce
  6. 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  7. 1/2 t. sesame seed oil
  8. 1 t. fresh garlic, minced
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Instructions
  1. Salad: Season chicken heavily with lemon pepper and saute until cooked through. Cut chicken into cubes. Cook noodles and drain. Add chicken, sprouts, seeds, and spinach to noodles and place everything in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients into a bowl. Add dressing to salad, and cover until ready to serve.
  2. Dressing: Mix together all of the ingredients until smooth. Pour over salad.
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Gooey Caramel Popcorn
Ingredients
  1. 1 stick butter
  2. 2 c. brown sugar
  3. 1 c. corn syrup
  4. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  5. 1 t. vanilla
  6. Popped popcorn kernels (large bowl full)
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Instructions
  1. In a sauce pan, bring the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil cooking on medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes then add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Pour over the popped kernels. Toss until all are coated. Serve.
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Living in Utah we are spoiled with having beautiful mountains only 30 minutes away from home. Being in the mountains, hiking, and breathing the fresh mountain air is a favorite summer past time for our family. Another benefit of camping is the roasted marshmallows over the fire. There are few treats I like more than smores! I have even been known to make myself a smore in the winter over my stove. So..needless to say this treat is also one of my favorites and curbs my craving for smores–summer or winter!

Homemade Smore's
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 Graham Crackers (enough to fill the bottom of a large cookie sheet)
  2. 1 pkg. chocolate chips
  3. 1 package mini marshmallows
  4. 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  5. 1 c. butter (2 cubes)
  6. 1 c. brown sugar
  7. 1 t. vanilla
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Instructions
  1. Spray a large cookie sheet heavily with Pam spray. Spread a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and pecans over the graham crackers. Set aside. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and then add the brown sugar. Cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Add vanilla when sauce is creamy and smooth. Pour sugar/butter sauce over the top of the crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Put in the oven and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (until marshmallows begin to brown and sauce is bubbly). Serve warm or cold.
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