You know why I love the Fourth of July?
Because I get to break out these bad boys.
And these bad boys.
And then hang out at a picnic all day.
Really though. I do love the Fourth. And not just because it’s like a 24-hour tailgate. I love it because — for just one day — we all slow down a little. Sit on the porch. Sip tea. Smile at a neighbor. Breathe in the hot, humid air. And be thankful.
How to you slow things down on the Fourth? Parades? Picnics? Sparklers? What about your favorite food traditions? Whether you’re headed to a potluck with friends or grilling steaks out back, here are some of my fave July-Fourth Food ideas.
1. POTLUCK-FRIENDLY SALADS: These are all easy to transport and won’t get soggy if dressed early.
2. CHIPS AND DIPS: Both are super flavorful, easy to transport, and a snap to serve.
— Cilantro-Lime Sauce with any dippers (veggies, chicken strips, boiled shrimp)
— Secret Green Salsa with tortilla chips
3. GRILLING IDEAS: If you’re grillin’, spice things up with my Texas Chimichurri, and add a little fun to the menu with my iceberg wedge salad bar.
4. GUARANTEED CROWD PLEASERS: These require a bit more effort (and expense – for the crab cakes), but are worth it. Serve warm.
5. DESSERTS: Go red and white, or super summery.
— Red Velvet Cupcakes: top with cream cheese icing and blue sprinkles!
— Rustic Fruit Tart: fresh peaches and blueberries are delightful!
— Strawberry Shortcakes: add blueberries to the strawberry filling!