On the Fourth of July Americans joyfully celebrate freedom, independence, family, friends, and a day off from work. Loved ones gather together to play games, enjoy the summer weather, and eat everything and anything in sight. Fourth of July cookouts are a great chance for amateur and professional chefs to try out a new dish, or bring back an old favorite. We polled some of the top food bloggers and challenged them to offer up their best Fourth of July recipes and to share a tip on how to impress everyone with your dish this year.
*Click on the recipe link to be taken to the original blog post with cooking instructions.
Pro Tip: "Keep summer desserts easy by making something that both kids and adults will enjoy. Homemade popsicles are a great choice because they can be made ahead of time, but if you're going somewhere that you don’t have freezer access, you can still keep it simple and please everyone by making fruit skewers. Thread sliced banana, whole strawberries, and blueberries onto wooden skewers for a patriotic look."
Recipe: Blueberry Pie Bars
Pro Tip: "Have items on your menu that can be made in advance and kept refrigerated, including make-ahead desserts like the Blueberry Pie Bars so that on the day of the event, you've already got a headstart with cooking. That way you can spend more time with your guests, friends, and family, while enjoying the weather and simply enjoy the holiday rather than worrying about what you're cooking."
Recipe: Herby Avocado Hummus
Pro Tip: "Cook up plenty of make-ahead dips and spreads that are delicious but not too unhealthy. Then, wherever your summer holiday takes you (the beach, the mountains, a car trip), your appetite will be satisfied."
Pro Tip: "My advice? Keep offerings simple, prepare them in advance and don’t hesitate to request potluck dishes! At my family’s Fourth of July festivities, everyone brings a cooler of drinks and a potluck dish to share. The host provides plates and silverware so everyone can serve themselves from the smorgasbord of options offered on the kitchen table. I look forward to our casual Fourth of July feasts every year!"
Pro Tip: "Grilling in the summer is a fantastic way to keep your kitchen cool and lighten the after dinner mess. You can cook practically anything on the grill!"
Recipe: Marinated Grilled Shrimp
Recipe: Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
Pro Tip: "This ultra creamy homemade cheesecake is swirled with sweet blueberry sauce and will wow all of your 4th of July guests! There won't be a crumb left, promise."
Recipe: Fresh Watermelon Cake
Pro Tip: "July can be a real scorcher, so it's good to have a few refreshing no-bake desserts up your sleeve. My favorites are homemade ice cream, icebox pies and fresh watermelon cake."
Recipe: Chile Margarita