Picnic Post: 4th of July Recipes

Picnic Post: 4th of July Recipes

Hello all KE followers, likers, friends, families, bloggers:

As you know, this weekend we get to celebrate 4th of July! As tradition at Karvakko, we have an annual company picnic at Diamond Point Park in Bemidji, which we are having this afternoon. We get together and play yard games, go swimming, Simon runs around with at least 3 of Mike’s kids, and last but not least, Mike grills for us!

In addition, the rest of us bring a side dish or dessert to add to the potluck. We all look forward to Lynn bringing his famous “beans”. Now it may sound silly, but the man is a bean connoisseur. And so when he told us he wouldn’t be able to be at our annual picnic, due to working in Minot this week on a highway project, the first question on everyone’s mind was,

“Who is going to bring the beans?!”

The office was in mayhem. At this point, I (Paige) hadn’t decided what I was going to bring quite yet. I’m an awful baker, so desserts were out of the question. That’s when I approached Lynn and asked if he’d share his sacred bean recipe with me. And he did! I guess we’ll see how they turn out, this may be the first and last time he trusts me to make his bean recipe. But in case you wanted to try it at home, he gave me permission to post it here, along with a few other 4th of July picnic recipes our employees shared with me.  :)

From all of us at KE, have a happy & safe 4th of July weekend!

Four Bean Bake (Lynn Eaton)

1              lb.           ground beef, lean & browned
1              ea.          onion, sweet, large, chopped
1              ea.          15-oz. can green baby lima, drained
1              ea.          15-oz. can butter beans, drained
1              ea.          15-oz. can, kidney beans, drained
1              ea.          15-oz. can, pork & beans, not drained
½             t              garlic powder
1              t              oregano
½             t              chili powder
½             t              mustard, dried
¼             t              ginger
¼             t              cloves
¾             c              brown sugar
¼             c              cider vinegar
1              ea.          6-oz. can tomato paste


1. Sauté onions in a tablespoon of olive oil then add the browned burger. Add all seasonings, mix together     & simmer for a few minutes.
2. Place beans in a slow cooker & then add the seasoned ground beef mixture.
3. Heat through & serve

Little Smokies (Keith Kinnen)


Secret Sauce


Cook in crock-pot until done, serve
(Note: you will have to negotiate something with Keith in order to get the “secret sauce” recipe)

Black Forest Cupcakes

 (Angela Liedke)
(Someone’s been on Pinterest…)

Cook Time: 19 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes



3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup unsweetend cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling and Topping

1 1/4 cups cherry pie filling, store bought or homemade
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Finely chopped chocolate or real chocolate sprinkles, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium bowl, then pour hot water over chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Transfer bowl to refrigerator and chill 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through chilling, until cooled (or 10 in freezer stirring once).

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, salt and baking soda. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together canola oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture into oil mixture and stir until well combined, then add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide batter evenly among 12 paper lined muffin cups (about 1/4 cup in each). Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 17 – 19 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool in baking tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Cut a hole in the centers of each cupcake (big enough to fit 1 1/2 Tbsp filling, mine was slightly heaping out the top). Add about 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp cherry pie filling to holes in cupcakes.

In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Pipe whipped cream over cupcakes then top each with a cherry and garnish with finely chopped chocolate or sprinkles. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator, allow to rest at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.


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