Fourth of July Pot Luck Recipes

Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil

This hearty, healthy salad travels well for a Fourth of July picnic or evening dinner watching fireworks! Nothing wimpy about it, yet it’s easy and tasty. I’ve made it for many parties, indoors and out and no one says no to this one!! Thanks to for this “new” family tradition! –Claudia

Chickpea and Tomato Salad


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 25 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (10g)
  • pinch of salt

Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to merge.

Claudia’s Ace In the Hole Bundt Cake

Hoo boy! I’ve been making this cake for 30 years and it has never failed me! Cakes are tricky, since you don’t know if you have a success until someone takes a first bite, and who has time to make a “test cake”! So having a “go to” cake that always looks special, tastes moist and rich, and takes very little time to whip up makes it my ace in the hole! This cake does contain alcohol; I believe it all bakes and cooks out leaving only the flavor but if you’re in an alcohol-free zone, this may not be the best choice for you. This was adapted from a Glazed Rum Cake found in a1983 cookbook called “How to Feed a Starving Artist”.

Ace in the Hole Bundt Cake
  • Pre-heat oven to 350°. Oil or grease your favorite bundt cake form.

Combine well:

  • 1 package dark chocolate cake mix (Dunkin Hines, or any)
  • 1 small package chocolate instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Frangelico (or Kahlua, Gran Marnier, etc.)

Then combine by hand in a bowl:

  • 1 cup coconut
  • ½ cup brown sugar

Put half of the coconut mixture at the bottom of the pan. Pour half of the batter over the mixture. Add the other half of the coconut mixture. Add the remaining batter. You can gently swirl with a sharp knife if you like. Bake for 1 hour.

5 or 10 minutes before cake is done baking, boil:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water

It will liquefy and keep boiling for an extra minute or two to thicken it just slightly, not much.

Remove from heat and pour in:

  • 1 oz Frangelico.
Bundt Cake and Ice Cream

Remove baked cake from oven and poke with a skewer or toothpick or skinny, sharp knife all over – about 20-30 pokes. Immediately pour the glaze over the cake. Let the cake cool COMPLETELY. This is the only way to make a mistake— if you try to remove the cake from the pan before it is completely cooled!

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