Monday, July 2, 2012

N is for: Nation's Birthday, Top 5 recipes for your 4th of July BBQ's

Some of my favorite memories growing up were from our family trips to Holland Lake in Montana. Every 4th of July and Labor Day, we would pack up the bronco, set off for the lake and rent one of the handful of cabins scattered along the shore.

We hiked to the nearby waterfalls, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs on the campfire, went waterskiing, and fed the family of ducks that lived on the lake. (Yes, that's me on the hike to Holland Falls...check out those bangs!) It's for all of these reasons that Holland Lake is one of my favorite places in the world.

It's also for that reason that I associate the 4th of July with BBQ's and spending time with family. This year, I will be spending the holiday in Stone Harbor, New Jersey with my boyfriend's family, and I'm excited to share in their traditions as well. In the meantime, here are some ideas to help add some fireworks to your Independence Day food table!

Cocktails & Dreams: You know I can't post party food ideas without suggesting some version of a jello shot. Watermelon is pretty much a staple at any summer BBQ, so how about a Watermelon Mint Jello Shot? In a real watermelon rind?! And if watermelon's not your thing, try strawberry cheesecake jello shots in strawberries or blood orange mimosa jello shots in orange rinds. For a non-gelled summer cocktail, Hop, Skip and Go Naked will literally leave your guests doing exactly that.

All American Appetizers: Bacon, Jalapeno Poppers, Chicken and Buffalo sauce. It doesn't get more American than that. This appetizer combines all of them. Mind. Blown. Or you could always do regular jalapeno poppers or how about individual seven layer dips in mini tostadas?

Scrumptious Side Dishes: Clearly, this Fruity Flag needs to be on your 4th of July table. It just doesn't get more patriotic than fruit kebabs in the shape of a flag. Other ideas include mini wedge salads and triple threat potatoes.

The Main Event: Grilling burgers is an American rite of passage. But ditch the boring beef patties and go Inside Out. These lamb sliders can easily be made full size, and they are stuffed with creamy feta cheese. You could always do regular Inside Out Bacon Cheeseburger, or a Spicy Turkey Burger and stuff it with blue cheese crumbles. And for the vegetarians in your family, try making a Black Bean Veggie Burger.

Decked Out Desserts: No meal is complete without dessert and nothing hits the spot on a hot summer day like a popsicle. Step it up a notch by spiking them with champagne. Or how about bacon maple cupcakes or an Amaretto strawberry?

What's on YOUR 4th of July menu? Would love for you to share in the comments section below. In the meantime, have a wonderful and safe holiday!


  1. Love the fruit platter! So festive. Holidays are so fun to plan menu's around! Cheers to the red, white, and blue :)


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