Thinking back on how I used to celebrate the 4th of July, I can’t help but smile. As a kid I usually found myself in a small beach house in Cape Cod with a pack of rowdy cousins, all eating ice cream and watching fireworks on a dark, sandy beach. As a teen, I usually ended up watching the famous “Pops Goes the Fourth” extravaganza on television, hearing the ‘boom’ echo across our neighborhood, and then seeing the flash on the television screen. The first few years I was married, my husband and I watched the show live from the top floor of the Massachusetts General Hospital, which overlooks the Charles River. When we moved to our small town, my thoughts go to sparklers dancing and children laughing.
I’m hanging on tight to those memories, because this year the big events are on pause. Just because there aren’t fireworks or crowds, there can still be fun! I plan to cook up a storm – easy and delicious recipes to enjoy with friends (socially distancing of course), and bring a taste of this classic holiday to a smaller setting!
I will admit, there is a bit more thinking for plating plans due to social distance measures.
With many grabbing hands around, this year we’re dropping the ‘giant bowl of…’ buffet style, and going for nifty portioned grab and go salsa & chips, pre wrapped burgers or ice cream sandwiches parceled in wax paper. We are adaptable! With a little bit of planning ahead, this Fourth of July Menu will be one to remember!
Cocktails with a Punch
Batch cocktails are the way to go for a big summer cookout! These two are my favorite outdoor drinks, they’re super refreshing, and really easy to make! Grill up some lemons, and grab some mint for an adult hard lemonade. Or, break out the blender and try out this sweet melon-flavored slushy that is sure to cool you off!
Whip up a double batch of these dips, then portion into small decorated Dixie cups. Add an individual bowl of chips, and you have a delicious and quick appetizer!
-Fresh Fruit Skewers
Grab those wooden kabab skewers, and go crazy with color & juicy fruit! Make red, white, and blue combinations for the kids with strawberries, apples, and blueberries. Or, go wild with cantaloupe, green grapes, strawberries, and kiwi. Be creative!
I like to have two options for salads at my BBQ’s. One a little sweet, and the other somewhat savory. Both of these recipes hit the spot!
Have a burger your way. Create a simple & delicious burger patty, and let your taste buds rule. You don’t need to have a zillion main dishes for everyone to be satisfied! Have plenty of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, purple onion, sour pickle slices, avocado, and jalapeño slices on hand, portioned and with plenty of clean serving ware to plate it up. Giving everyone their own small utensils instead of communal serving ware will keep things clean.
When I think of 4th of July Desserts, I think back to the hot days at the beach, and the siren-call of the ice cream truck! Tap into those food memories and make you own ice cream sandwiches! Prewrap in wax paper and throw into the freezer before serving. Another great option – my mixed berry shortcakes. Simple to make, and even easier to eat! The best part, it’s red, white, & blue!