Spending time with friends and family, enjoying fireworks, remembering the sacrifices made for the freedom of the United States, this is what the Fourth of July means to so many Americans. It is a time for reflection, sharing, celebration, and good food! Try some of these festive ideas for your Fourth of July gathering this year!
Cut Fourth of July themed designs into the rind of a large, whole watermelon to create an attractive and edible centerpiece for your Fourth of July table. Draw the design you want to carve into your watermelon onto the watermelon rind with a marker. Use a small knife to carefully cut in the design. You could only cut the design partway into the rind, leaving the flesh unexposed, or you could carve a watermelon basket, scoop out the flesh, and fill the basket you have created with watermelon balls and fresh berries or chunked cantaloupe and honeydew. Fruit Kabob Rocket Centerpiece:
Decorate your Fourth of July table or buffet with colorful and edible fruit kabob “rockets.” Fill a large serving bowl or medium-sized galvanized steel bucket with red, white, and blue marbles, buttons, or jelly beans.
Create fruit kabobs by placing bite-sized chunks of bananas and strawberries with whole blueberries onto thin wooden skewers. Only fill the skewers halfway with fruit. Firmly place the handle end of the kabob into the filled serving bowl or bucket. The kabobs should stand up and look like little rockets.
Patriotic Jar Table Decorations:
Fill 8-ounce or 12-ounce sized mason jars with red, white, and blue candy-coated chocolate pieces, candy corn, or jelly beans. Tie a festive ribbon around the lid of the jar or cover the jar lid with patriotic-themed fabric and secure it with a thin ribbon or colored rubber band. Place a line of filled jars down the center of your table or buffet.
Fill 8-ounce jelly jars with homemade or store bought strawberry and blueberry jam. Cover the lids with white fabric and secure it with a red rubber band or ribbon on the strawberry jars or a blue rubber band or ribbon on the blueberry jars. Alternate three strawberry jam and three blueberry jam jars down the center of your table or buffet.
Patriotic Party Favors:
Firecracker Pretzel Sticks:
Give your guests a snack of easy-to-make Firecracker Pretzel Sticks to enjoy after the party is over. Coat storebought, salted pretzel rods with melted white chocolate or white almond bark. Divide the coated pretzel rods into two groups.
Place each group onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Before the chocolate or bark has a chance to set, sprinkle one group of pretzel rods with blue sugar sprinkles and one group with red sugar sprinkles. You could also use red, white, and blue star sprinkles or jimmies. Once the chocolate or bark and sprinkles have set, place 3 pretzel rods in a cellophane snack bag and tie it with patriotic ribbon.
Keep your Firecracker Pretzel Sticks inside, at room temperature until you are ready to distribute them to your guests.
Fourth of July Sugar Cookies:
Iced and decorated sugar cookies are a fun and easy party favor for your Fourth of July guests to enjoy. The day before your party, bake a few batches of sugar cookies with homemade or store bought dough. Plan to make three cookies for each guest. You could roll out the dough and cut out cookies with star-shaped cookie cutters or form the dough into a 2 ½-inch log and slice ¼-inch wide cookies to bake. Follow your recipe instructions for baking the sugar cookies and then allow them to cool completely.
Make a batch of your favorite buttercream icing and frost the cookies. Decorate them before your guests arrive with red and blue piped frosting and Fourth of July themed sprinkles or let your guests frost and decorate their own cookies. Provide bags or disposable boxes for your guests to take their cookies home.
Provide your guests with cold and refreshing drinks to sip on throughout the fireworks display! Keep your drinks in a sealable pitcher in a cooler chest or use a cold thermos or barrel-style drink cooler to keep your drinks at the perfect temperature. Be sure to keep the spout on pitchers or thermos covered so bugs cannot get in.
Provide your guests with lidded disposable cups or reusable cups to keep their drinks fresh and clean. You could also ask each guest to bring their favorite lidded cup to use at the celebration. Your Fourth of July guests are sure to enjoy one of these refreshing drink recipes:
Mrs. Swindell's Famous Fruited Iced Tea
Burgers and hot dogs are classic Fourth of July fare, but do not limit yourself to these main dishes. You could serve your guests Liberty Lasagna; Kickin’ Chicken Wraps; or Red, White, and Blue Fish Tacos.
It is simple and fun to turn your favorite homemade lasagna recipe into Liberty Lasagna. Follow recipe instructions for preparing your lasagna. Once you have put on the final layer of noodles, spread a layer of fresh ricotta cheese over the noodles. Use marinara sauce and sliced black olives or black beans to create an image of the American flag on top of the lasagna. The marinara sauce can be spooned on to make red stripes, and the chopped olives or black beans can be placed in the top left corner to resemble the blue area of the flag. Follow the recipe instructions for baking, cooling, and cutting to enjoy your Liberty Lasagna.
Kickin’ Chicken Wraps:
Start by making a recipe of Pollo Con Pico De Gallo. Once the chicken is fully grilled and cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Spread a layer of sour cream onto a large blue corn tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with cheese and Place a portion of chicken and pico de gallo on top. Top with one cup of bagged salad and crispy tortilla strips or fried onions. Roll up the tortilla around the filling and cover your Kickin’ Chicken Wrap in plastic wrap or place it in a zip top bag.
Red, White, and Blue Fish Tacos:
Prepare a recipe of Grilled Salmon Soft Tacos. Transform them into Red, White, and Blue Fish Tacos by using white corn tacos and topping the tacos with Cilantro Cream and Blueberry Salsa instead of the Citrus Salsa.
Flag cakes are a fun and festive dessert to share with your guests, but if you want to do something different, serve Triple-Berry Shortcake or Firecracker Chocolate Cupcakes.
Serve this quick and easy dessert to your Fourth of July guests. Top a slice of store bought pound cake or angel food cake with fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries. Spoon on Chunky Blueberry Sauce and top with whipped cream.
Firecracker Chocolate Cupcakes:
Bake up these slightly spicy and temptingly sweet treats. Simply make a recipe of Mexican Chocolate Honey Cupcakes, increasing the cinnamon to 1 ½ tsp and the cayenne pepper to ? tsp. After glazing the cupcakes, decorate them with a patriotic theme. Use red, white, and blue frosting to pipe on festive designs or sprinkle on colored sugar or sprinkles.
Looking for more Fourth of July themed recipes? Try these:
Fourth of July Entrees:
Fourth of July CIder Braised Leeks and Apples with Cheddar Dogs
Fourth of July Sides:
Fourth of July Bean, Bacon, and Beef Casserole
Fourth of July Desserts:
Fourth of July Flag Apple Tart
Fourth of July Blueberry Cheesecake
Fourth of July Flag Cheesecake
Fourth of July Celebration Fruit Cake
Fourth of July Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake
Fourth of July Blue, White and Red Parfaits