The Fourth of July is just two days away! Many of us are scrambling to find the perfect dish, or dishes, to serve for our own gathering or to bring to a party. Luckily, summer foods tend to be the simplest to prepare. We gathered a few food ideas to make your menu dynamite on the 4th that will not require too much of your time, but will still wow the crowd.
Main Dishes and Sides that Sparkle
Take advantage of the ease that comes with the grill that will most likely be smoking at your Independence Day celebration. Dress up standard hot dogs and burgers with any unique topping bar: set up bowls of salsas, various pickled veggies, tahini, guacamole, spicy mustards, corn, micro-greens, garden herbs… almost any savory palatte pleaser will do! If dressed up burgers and ‘dogs are too fussy for the low-key party, simply skewer various sausages along with bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Brush with olive oil and throw on the grill for a no mess meal, without using extra dishes or taking up table room. What is a summer BBQ with out corn on the cob? Brush corn ears with spicy or herbed butter for a brighter twist on plain grilled corn. Watermelon is another summer staple that must be included in any warm weather party. Instead of the usual sliced watermelon, try serving the juicy fruit as in a savory salad. Just leave some aside for the kids to nosh on too.
No Bake Desserts
When the sun is blazing and we are busy running around, working, and trying our best to enjoy summer, the last task we want to tackle is baking. Summer is all about chillin’ out and desserts should reflect that attitude. For the 4th, look to no-bake recipes that won’t take up your precious leisure time, maybe just a little freezer room. An impressive ice box cake will leave you feeling like you accomplished a masterpiece without doing more than layering vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and berries. Pie is an essential American treat; instead of turning on the smoldering oven to bake a pie, allow yourself to chillax and make an easy-to-assemble chilled pie. If you are into the rustic Mason jar trend, make individual patriotic cake parfaits. Layer store bought cake squares (Angel Food, or pound cake work best), whipped cream, blueberries, and sliced strawberries for a simple summer delight that happens to be patriotic colors.
Summer days call for cool drinks (see the theme here?) and the 4th gives us a great excuse to take it easy over a few cold beverages. There are few cocktail recipes out there that will give you the beloved red, white and blue layers for the holiday. While these drinks are wonderfully festive, they can also be time consuming when serving a larger crowd. We suggest making simpler cocktails that are just as stunning, allowing you extra time to kickback too! Make ahead drinks like a rum infused pineapple punch or a grown-up cucumber lemonade. Anything, especially in summer, is better with refreshing and sweet watermelon; keep guests buzzing with almost too easy make-ahead watermelon vodka cooler. Serve drinks with red, white and blue straws and for extra patriotism, garnish with mini flags, or pinwheels.
Happy Fourth of July! ~ The Serendipity Team