Fourth of July

Yeah, it’s the ninth of July and I’m posting about the fourth.  That’s how things are going right now.  Applying for jobs, planning the move, getting rid of my stuff and living as cheaply as possible are consuming my mind and there’s not room for much else!  Now I understand when people say “I don’t have time to cook”.

I have an admission to make:  Every fourth of July I get the urge to make a red, white and blue cake a la Family Circle and moms everywhere.  I’m not very patriotic at all, but it’s just the Suzy Homemaker thing that I like to do every now and then.  I’ve had to work on the fourth for the past few years and so thus far had not fulfilled my flag cake dream.

This year I didn’t leave myself a whole lot of time, but managed to come up with an effort I can be proud of.  I made the Lemon Almond Cake from Yellow Rose Recipes, which calls for decorating the top with strawberries.  My friend Janeen, who I’ve mentioned before is allergic to soy, is also allergic to strawberries (the poor thing!), so I took the opportunity to incorporate blueberries into the design.  I needed to leave the glaze off her portion too since it included margarine, so I designated a Janeen corner and went from there.

I think it’s supposed to be stripes and fireworks and American things.  What is was was delicious.  The cake is very moist and almost intensely flavorful, I might even reduce the almond extract a bit the next time I make it.  Janeen made sure to steal her corner first and then we went at it.  If you make this cake, which you should, be sure to eat it within the first two days as it spoils quickly, what with all the freshness on top.  Or you could probably extend the life by putting it in the fridge.

As per usual, we were to spend the day grilling.  I wanted a non-store bought (read:  cheaper) protein to grill, so I made Black Bean Burgers from Veganomicon.  I pan-fried them to fully cook and then grilled later just to reheat.  Heed the instructions when they tell you to press them down in the pan!  Otherwise the middles can be a little undercooked.  Here they are packed up for transport.

I ended up eating pretzels and chips and boiled peanuts all afternoon, and wasn’t hungry for dinner until much later that night.  We fired up some new coals and had a veggie grilling session.  Our friend Amber had brought Tofurkey kielbasas so we cooked those up, along with some corn and zucchini that had been waiting for action all day.  I couldn’t manage all of that, so I just had a kielbasa and a burger.

I love how it looks like a crazy face!  I put lettuce, tomato, grilled red onion, grilled mushrooms, avocado, ketchup, AND mustard on the burger and it was way tall when I piled it up to eat.  It was a task I was willing to undertake.

These burgers are really good!  I’m definitely going to make them again.  I’d recommend eating these within a day or two also, or putting them straight in the freezer.  After a few days the wheat gluten texture got a little funky and freaked me out.

By the next night I was ready to fully enjoy everything we had made, so I did.

My food has been pretty boring lately, as I am trying to eat out of the pantry and freezer and buy as little food as possible.  I should have some decent pantry meals to post about soon.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


  1. VeggieGirl said

    Hang in there with the busyness!!

    Oh my, that Lemon-Almond Cake looks SPECTACULAR!!!

  2. Jennifer said

    Wow, what a post full of yumminess! I hope things are going well for your finding a new job and moving, it has to be stressful and exciting all at the same time. So don’t feel bad for getting around to this post a little after the fact.

    All that food looks so good, sounds like you had a FEAST! And you are too sweet to make a special section of cake for your friend.

  3. Janeen said

    Thank you so much for always thinking of me! I can’t speak for ALL of the cake, by my corner sure was delicious.

  4. Mihl said

    Such a beautiful cake!

  5. I like the cake, honestly. It’s simple and fresh, and actually looks better than the others I’ve seen!

  6. Carrie said

    That cake looks awesome – I get the urge to do little suzy homemaker things like that too.

    That burger is piled so high…it looks heavenly!

  7. aTxVegn said

    Your dessert is so pretty! I love all of your holiday food. The burgers look especially yummy.

  8. Sanja said

    Your cake looks so pretty!

  9. Melisser said

    That cake is downright GORGEOUS!

  10. Eric said

    Oh wow……that looks delicious! Those burgers look awesome. You are just like me….I pile my burger HIGH! The hotdog kielbasa looks really tasty as well.

    And the burrito in your other entry looks totally awesome as well. Black bean and sweet potato burritos……what a great combo! I’m definitely going to try that 🙂

    Not to mention the lentils tartare….I’ll be making that as well. I’m getting hungry now.

    Where are you moving to? I looked around on other posts but I didn’t see anything, but I’m at work so I don’t have a lot of time to dig into all your entries.

    Great pic of that frog…..I LOVE frogs. They are my favorite. I originally had a frog on my banner for my blog.

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