Having a 4th of July party? Three recipes that are sure to be hit

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The 4th of July is this Friday -- and there is no better way to celebrate out nation's independence than with a memorable shindig with the whole family. The help -- Taste of Home's Mark Hagen joins FOX6 WakeUp with three delicious recipes.

Scrum-Delicious Burgers

I'm not sure where this recipe originated, but it's one of my family's summertime favorites. I usually serve these juicy burgers when we have company. The guests rave about the flavorful cheesy topping. It's fun to serve a burger that's a little more special. —Wendy Sommers, West Chicago, Illinois

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup canned sliced mushrooms
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
6 hamburger buns, split
Lettuce leaves and tomato slices, optional

In a large bowl, combine the beef, onion, garlic salt and pepper. Shape into six patties, 3/4 in. thick.
In a small bowl, combine the cheese, mushrooms, bacon and mayonnaise; chill.
Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. During the last 3 minutes, spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture onto each burger. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 480 calories, 29 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 778 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 30 g protein.

Puff Pastry Stars

We fashion festive star treats from convenient frozen puff pastry in this dish. Feel free to experiment with different seasonings.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin.

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

1 frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing mix
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Unfold puff pastry. In a small bowl, combine oil and dressing mix; brush over pastry. Using a floured 3-in. star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 10 stars. Place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 400° for 7-9 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 10 appetizers.

Nutrition Facts: 1 appetizer equals 60 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 123 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Picnic Berry Shortcakes

You can make the berry sauce ahead of time and chill. Then assemble the entire dessert a couple of hours before the picnic or party. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas

Prep: 20 min. + chilling

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel
2 individual round sponge cakes
2 cups fresh blueberries

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Add 1 cup strawberries; mash mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lime peel. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Cut sponge cakes in half widthwise; trim each to fit in the bottom of four wide-mouth half-pint canning jars. Combine blueberries and remaining strawberries; spoon over cakes. Top with sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 dessert equals 124 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 67 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fruit.


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