The 4th of July is a big deal across the country… but it doesn’t get more “4th of July-ish” than celebrating in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. I believe in making sure to celebrate big and eat well too. I’ve got some quick 4th of July recipes that will make your mouth sparkle!
Blankets and coolers are stretched out along the National Mall hours way before the first firework will ever hit the night sky. Kids, families, and friends pile onto the Metro or carpool just to get a little DC buzz. Growing up in the DC/Northern VA area, I’ve seen my fair share of fireworks… played with friends in front of the Smithsonian or the Lincoln Memorial just waiting for the sun to drop and that magic hour to start.
As an adult … there have been many years, we’ve decided to throw our own star-spangled, backyard bash! But let’s get real … the sparkle is still there, the food could win a Taste of the City award and the entertainment doled out by my drummer husband might as well qualify for a downtown music festival. It’s nothing short of a good time!
So let’s talk about everyone’s favorite part of the 4th (other than those super glittery fireworks that drizzle down the sky like gold Daddy Longlegs). The food requests at my house start mid-June!! Sometimes, I think my family thinks it’s Thanksgiving!
Here are some “good things” that you might want to consider for your next 4th of July celebration. It’s always fun to get creative and personalize what you decide to do. All you have to do is remember two things when you are … make your holiday colorful and delicious! It’s about more than just the decorations, your food has to be patriotic too.
Other than the staple BBQ that hits the grill from our local butcher, I try to throw in a festive flavor with the desserts, sides and signature drink. Yes … I did say signature drink. My daughters and I always come up with a clever name for whatever we are serving during holiday celebrations.
Last Christmas we served a spiced rum punch called Santa’s Sleigh Ride that was delish. During my father’s 80th birthday extravaganza in October, we served the Colonel’s Cup because he’s a retired Army Colonel! This is actually a great way to keep your cost down at a party; there’s no need for a full bar because you’re serving a fun refreshing drink. You can always add beer or wine if you choose.
If you’re into sangria, like we are this one is literally to die for! All applause goes to Allison S. at Recipe4living for knocking it out the box with this delicious ‘red, white & blue’ sangria‘. Of course, it goes without saying that we can’t have 4th of July recipes that aren’t red, with & blue! Not only is it pretty, but it tastes so good that you have to be careful to remember that it’s an alcoholic beverage. Here are some more excellent cocktails that you can add to your 4th of July recipes.
So we all know that nothing marks summer like strawberries and blueberries, especially when they are sweet and plump. I love to take advantage of this season and make desserts with berries. Believe me when I tell you that this one is a crowd pleaser, to say the least. I’ve dubbed this the red, white and blueberry piece of heaven dessert. Somehow it just makes me feel like I’m eating something that’s not going to add an extra pound because it’s really light. It’s okay for me to think that too!
Anyway, it’s a simple recipe that you can make quickly. Just get a glass container and spoon in layers of whipped cream, angel food cake, vanilla or white chocolate pudding, strawberries, and blueberries. Make sure to cut the cake into one-inch cubes to make the layering even.
Big compliments to Gina Homolka, author, photographer and recipe developer at Skinny Taste for turning me on to this. She has no idea what she started here. I’m warning you now… you won’t be able to stop eating it.
Here’s a little treat that is guaranteed to elicit a song of oohs and aahs… and yes, it’s a salad. But, it’s not just any ole salad. This is not only good, but it’s good for you. My family knows that I’ll sneak in some dark green leafy vegetables whenever I can. Even in watermelon and strawberries. So, when I ran across this at delish, it was a no-brainer. It’s full of vitamins and it will keep you and your guests hydrated. Here’s the key though; make sure to pick the right watermelon! I wish I could give you some sophisticated hints on how… but I can’t ever seem to remember when I’m in the grocery store so I just say, “eenie, meenie, miney, mo” and that’s the one that comes home with me.
Have a great time with your 4th of July traditions! I hope you will incorporate all of these 4th of July recipes into your holiday and that they will make your mouth sparkle!
If you have any ideas, tips or inspiration to light up a great 4th of July celebration, share them with me in the comments below. Drop your favorite 4th of July recipes here too; I would love to get inspired and add to the fun!
Sonya w/ Team Transformation