Independence Day 2009

I like being independent. So, it’s pretty awesome to have a day to celebrate that.

I’ve basically made the same meal for Independence Day the past few years. I really only change the dessert and some of the side dishes. This year was the best year yet: NO PIE! I don’t know why, but I’m not a big fan of pie. I like the make it – it’s fun. But after one slice, I just don’t want anymore. Then I’m stuck force-feeding myself pie until it’s all gone, because I don’t like to waste food. I don’t know, its’ just too heavy for me. I also wanted to add some vegetables to this year’s menu. So this is what I decided on:

Independence Day 2009

Independence Day 2009

Vegan Corn Dogs
Onion Rings
Grilled Zuchinni and Yellow Squash
Marinated Cole Slaw
Boiled Peanuts
Red, White, and Blue Sorbet Sundaes
Watermelon
Homemade Lemonade

Preparation

Preparation

I try to do most things early on, so that I’m not as rushed when it comes time to get everything ready. I was doing really well until my family showed up 30 minutes early. I don’t like it when there are a lot of people in the kitchen. It stresses me out. But, I made it through.

Vegan corn dogs, bitten

Vegan corn dogs, bitten

 This was the first year I made full-size corndogs. The years before, I always made corn “pups”. So I was excited to have a full-size corndog on a stick to celebrate my country’s heritage. I’ve used this recipe multiple times, and it’s always great. I double my batter, though, so I’m sure to have enough.

Vegan Corn Dogs

8 veggie dogs (I use Smart Dogs)
1 C yellow cornmeal
1 C flour
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2 Ener-G egg substitutes
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 C soymilk
2 TBSP melted vegetable shortening
Canola oil, for frying
Extra flour, for coating
Skewers, if desired

Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, mustard, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.  Add the soymilk, egg substitutes, and shortening. Mix until very smooth.
In a deep pan, bring 1/2 gallon of canola oil to 375 degrees. Coat the veggie dogs in flour, shaking off any excess. Working one at a time. dip each dog into the batter, until completely covered. Fry in heated oil until goden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stick with skewers.

I like to keep my onion rings warm and crispy by letting them stay in a 200 degree oven until I’m ready to serve them. I got this recipe here, but tripled the liquid measurements as it was just way too thick.

Onion Rings

2 large, round, sweet onions
1 1/2 C flour, plus more for dipping
1/2 C cornmeal
2 TSBP cornstarch
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp oil
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
Dash cayenne
1 1/2 C soymilk
Canola oil, for frying

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a deep skillet on medium – medium-high heat. Slice onions into thick rings, and coat with flour. Combine all other ingredients. Dip floured onions into batter and fry in hot oil until golden brown on one side. Flip rings over and fry until golden brown on the other side. Remove rings from oil, sprinkle with salt, and drain on a paper towel.

Grilled Zuchinni and Yellow Squash

2 zuchinni
4 yellow squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat grill over medium – medium-high heat. Trim the ends of the zuchinni and slice it into 1/4″ slices. Do the same for the yellow squash. Brush on olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides, until grill marks appear.

This coleslaw recipe is from one of my mom’s old cookbooks, A Taste of Georgia. I half the marinade recipe, since the whole thing really isn’t necessary. I also use a pre-shredded cole slaw mix instead of the 1 large cabbage suggested.

Marinated Cole Slaw

I large cabbage, shredded (1 bag cole slaw mix)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 C vinegar
1/3 C vegetable oil

Combine cabbage, peppers, and onion. Bring all other ingredients to a boil and pour over cabbage. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for 24 hours. (Not necessary – it can be served as soon as it’s cool.)

I don’t expect many people outside of the South to understand the appeal of boiled peanuts. But, oh, are they good. I used to only get them off the side of the road on the way to Florida. While it’s more fun to buy them off the side of a dirt road, it’s not always possible. So I decided to try making them myself. It’s best to start these early on in the day – or the day before – as they take a very long time.

 Boiled Peanuts

1 pound raw peanuts, in shell
1/2 C salt (more or less, to taste)
An ongoing supply of water

Rinse peanuts to remove any dirt or other particles. Add peanuts and salt to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10-12 hours, adding water as necessary (every 30-45 minutes).
You can test a peanut every now and then to check for doneness, or to see if you should add more salt. The shells should be slightly soft and will open easily. The peanuts themselves should be soft, but not mushy.

Sorbet Sundae

Sorbet Sundae

I got this dessert idea from the July 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The version in the magazine included spoon-shaped cookies. That would have just taken too long, so I decided to make star-shaped sugar cookies. Here’s my version of the recipe:

 Red White and Blue Sorbet Sundae

1 pint raspberry sorbet (homemade, or store-bought)
1/2 C vanilla ice cream (homemade, or store-bought)
Blueberries, for garnish
Star-shaped sugar cookies

Divide the sorbet into four dessert dishes. Spread 2 TBSP vanilla ice cream over the top of the sorbet in each dish. Sprinkle each sundae with blueberries, and add a cookie garnish.

The cookie recipe I used is from The Vegan Family Cookbook (which I love!), but you can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

The worst part of making lemonade

The worst part of making lemonade

Another recipe from Martha Stewart:

Classic Lemonade

3 C fresh lemon juice (from about 20 lemons)
2 C sugar
4 C water
Extra lemon slices, for garnish

Pour lemon juice through a fine sieve and into a pitcher. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in water, along with some ice. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with lemon slices.

Watermelon

Watermelon

Watermelon

Pretty obvious what to do here. Cut in half, slice, cut into wedges. Just wanted to add that if you haven’t tried watermelon with a little salt sprinkled on – do it! It’s good.

Ta-da! Independence Day, 2009!

Ta-da! Independence Day, 2009!

After lunch, I went with my boyfriend, my sister, and my sister’s boyfriend to the American Village in Montevallo, AL, to celebrate Independence day in a more historic fashion. I listened to a speech by Thomas Jefferson, watched a guy swallow swords, and learned the proper way to greet someone of the opposite sex. Oh, and I met this guy:

George Washington!

George Washington!

Until next time – Happy Holidays!

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5 Responses to “Independence Day 2009”

  1. Monique Says:

    Okay. I seriously need those corndogs in my life. Yum!

  2. Andrea Says:

    Get ’em in there, then! : D

  3. Being Vegan at Carnivals & Fairs « Very Vegan Holiday Says:

    […] you’re really missing out on things like corn dogs, make your own vegan corn dogs before you leave for the fair! My caramel apple post will be coming up soon, as well. So be on the […]

  4. Elaine B Says:

    Hi there! I had been following your restaurant reports on Disboards, and just now checked out your blog. Wow! You are an amazing cook, and everything looks so pretty. I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting w/ vegan recipes, but I’m still having my fare share of disasters. I’m mostly vegetarian, but really want to transition to vegan.

    Thanks for posting these amazing looking recipes. That fried chicken looked so awesome, and I’m hoping to try that once I get past my fear of frying.

    • Andrea Says:

      It takes a while to get into the swing of things, but it’s really easy once you do. Don’t give up! : )

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