4th of July Dishes and Drinksby Elizabeth MacDonald
Backyard BBQ's are about to be had all over our great country. Bare feet, sprinklers, swimsuits, watermelon, sparklers, American flags, and ice-cream will be the common ground in every town across our nation. I love the 4th of July. I have always loved it. Laying in the backyard and watching the fireworks, counting stars, and staying up late. We lived in our swimsuits from early morning until crawling into bed.
Now that I have five kids, the 4th of July has become even more spectacular. We have done fireworks on the National Mall in Washington, DC - and there is nothing as patriotic, but you don't need to travel to the nation's capitol to celebrate! A backyard and BBQ grill is enough to bring family and friends together - setting the tone for the rest of summer, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, let the griller(s) pick out the main course - and let me help with the rest.
Appetizers and Side Dishes
Striped Pizza - homemade white cheese pizza with stripes of pepperoni (or other red topping) going across. Set a bowl of blueberries next to it for decoration purposes! Chicken Kabobs - alternate chicken and red peppers (and tomatoes) on the skewers. Add blueberries for decoration after the grilling is done.
Jalapeno Popper Pull-Apart Bread - This can be the 'firework' appetizer. Make it as spicy as you want to!
Cheese, Fruit, and Veggie Platter - White cheeses, blueberries, and a mixture or red fruits and veggies arranged in any patriotic layout will work. Patriotic Chips and Salsa - Bought or homemade 'red, white, and blue' veggie chips (beets, potatoes, etc) and red salsa!
There are natural food dyes available for purchase at most natural food grocery chains. So you can still mix up your colors if you would like!
Fruit-Topped Sugar Cookies - soft sugar cookies topped with vanilla frosting and red or blue berries. Stuffed Berries - raspberries and strawberries with their centers gently scooped out and stuffed with cream cheese or frosting and topped with a blueberry.
Star Pops - Watermelon, apples, and blueberries are used to make adorable desserts.
Ice-Cream - Vanilla and strawberry ice-cream topped with blue berries. (There are a few combinations you can go with this one!)
Drinks (For the Grown-ups)
Add frozen fruit to any drink - water, champagne, or wine for a patriotic flare!
Red, White, and Blue Sangria - strawberries, blueberries, and pears -- OH MY!
Wine Spritzer: "This is a light and refreshing 'be careful because it’s easy to suck down quickly' concoction."
The Watermelon Sparkler: So pretty.