Honestly, I feel pretty stressed about how quickly it’s crept up on me. I’m not even close to caramel tan, I’ve only worn a fraction of my crop tops, and I have yet to start my extensive summer reading list. (I always have a summer reading list because it makes me feel simultaneously young and productive.) Blergh.
Last year, I supported my roommate by celebrating the holiday at a Widespread Panic concert, which was fine, but I’m very grateful not to be repeating the experience on Friday. (I already made my annual Widespread appearance this past weekend, the details of which I will share with you when I’ve had time to recover.) Instead, I’ll be in Maine, where I spent all my childhood Fourths, being blissfully happy and eating my weight in lobster and blueberries.
Since my favorite part about America’s birthday is the barbecue extravaganza, I thought I’d put together a list of foolproof Fourth of July recipes for your convenience/inspiration/viewing pleasure. This roundup has a little something for everyone, so fire up the grill, pour yourself an ice cold cocktail, and get down with your domesticity, friends.
God bless America and Stuffed Cheeseburger Sliders.
12 Recipes to make this Fourth of July:
1. Bacon and Smoked Cheddar Stuffed Cheeseburger Sliders with Jalapeño Relish. What happens when you bite into these beautiful babies and are greeted with a mouthful of melted cheese and crispy bacon? This video about sums it up. (I also support you making these as full-size burgers if you’re not into the whole tiny food thing.)
2. Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Sweet and Spicy Quick Pickles. Pulled pork is a barbecue staple, but making it is kind of a bitch. That’s why I’d like you to try this pork tenderloin version, which is ready in…wait for it…1 HOUR. Plus, it has significantly less fat and calories than traditional pulled pork, so you can feel good about eating it in a sexy swimsuit. Get some.
3. Thai Hot Dogs with Cucumber-Mango Slaw and Homemade Srirachup. You can’t celebrate the Fourth of July without hot dogs, and all I want to do when I look at these is sing, “Baby, you’re a FIIIIIIREWORK!” For real.
4. Sriracha Glazed Chicken Skewers with Peaches and Basil. In case you want to go off the beaten path a little this Fourth, I suggest throwing these bad boys on the grill. It’s sweet and spicy heaven on a stick.
5. Summer Salad with Avocado, Corn and Herb Grilled Shrimp. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is my favorite salad of all time. With or without the shrimp, it’s the ultimate foolproof side dish or light summer meal for a crowd. Trust me on this one, friends.
6. Three Bean Quinoa Salad. Because vegan is so hot right now.
7. Skillet Cornbread. Incredibly moist (sorry), not too sweet, and crispy around the edges, this cornbread is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It also happens to be 100% kid-friendly, which is perfect for those brave souls that plan to entertain small children at their Fourth of July festivities. Godspeed.
8. Chipotle Mac and Cheese with Bacon. Bacon. Chipotles. Barbecue potato chips on top. SLOW CLAP.
9. Summer Berry Crisp. Everyone knows a Fourth of July extravaganza isn’t complete without a show-stopping dessert, and this epic crisp definitely fits the bill. The best part is that it looks fancy, yet it’s laughably simple to make. I’m talking 15 minutes of hands-on prep time, tops. You’ve got this. (FYI: Crisp is like 7,000 times easier than making pie. Making pie is the worst.)
10. Summer Berry Parfait with Vanilla Bean Ricotta. Of all the recipes on this list, these fresh and fruity parfaits are probably the most thematically on point. Look at all that gorgeous red, white and blue, people! AMERICA.
11. Lemon Mint Iced Tea (with Rum). This tea is my mom’s recipe, and like her, it’s the best. Yes, it’s fabulous and refreshing on its own, but a little Mount Gay never hurt anyone. Just throwing that out there.
12. Sparkling Watermelon Punch. Watermelon juice is 97% water, and it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamin B, and potassium, which will give your vodka a healthy kick and keep you hydrated this Fourth of July. HALLELUJAH. If you’re feeling particularly festive, I suggest serving this pretty pink punch in a hollowed out watermelon with plenty of straws. Everyone loves a classy scorpion bowl…
I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Summer Soiree this week. For more awesome Fourth of July recipes, check out the badass blogs below.
The Heritage Cook: Firecracker Salad
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Brazilian Acai Breakfast Bowl
Weelicious: Magical Fruit Wands
Sweet Bake Life: Patriotic Moscato Gelatin Shots
Virtually Homemade: Traditional Potato Salad
Dishing With Divya: Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad
Feed Me Phoebe: Red, White and Blue Coconut Panna Cotta Cups
Taste With The Eyes: Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote and Strawberry Arugula Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Grilled Bruschetta with Pesto, Sauteed Spinach and Garlic Scapes
Red or Green: Popcorn with Jalapenos and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Mini Cherry Blueberry Pies
Devour: Star Sweets for the 4th
Swing Eats: Corn Dogs (Gluten-Free)
Daily*Dishin: Dilly Potato Salad
FN Dish: 4th of July Treats