Charles Phoenix's Fabulous Fourth of July Appetizer

Eye the latest creation to emerge from the retro-loving entertainer's Test Kitchen.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Charles Phoenix
    Retro-fun wiseacre Charles Phoenix presents his latest holiday-ready creation, the Astro Weenie Appetizer Explosion.

    Can a major holiday arrive in Southern California without Southern California's maestro of outlandish, retro, zazzy foodstuffs creating a special recipe to celebrate it?

    Recent history, which includes introduction of the Cherpumple, says absolutely not.

    We're speaking of Charles Phoenix, the slide-toting, history-loving, car-knowledgeable, SoCal-snappy maven of mid-century cool and mid-century cuisine. This is the author and speaker who, outside of his famous slide shows, regularly puts together fresh and sometimes freaky recipes to honor some of the biggest days on the calendar.

    Next up? The Fourth of July. And to celebrate? The Astro Weenie Explosion Appetizer.

    You may remember Mr. Phoenix's Astro Weenie Christmas Tree from a few years back. It's popped up in many an area kitchen -- and kitchens around the world -- but it now has some competition in its summertime namesake, which looks like an Astro Weenie Christmas Tree if the festive snack had suddenly transformed into a food-filled firework.

    What you'll need: radishes, cocktail weenies, pineapple chunks, and a host of other biteable bites. The full recipe and what-to-do is here.

    Does this top Mr. Phoenix's notorious Cherpumple, which of course had to be mentioned from the get-go? We'll let home cooks decide. Of course, the Astro Weenie Fourth of July treat does have a lot of healthy elements, while the winter-holiday favorite Cherpumple is essentially three frozen pies baked into a trio of cakes.

    Good luck creating your edible firework fantasy, SoCal food artistes, and remember: Bigger is better here. You want to take up practically the whole coffee table at your Independence Day party. The dips and crackers can sit somewhere else.

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