This Independence Day, wow your friends and family by igniting the grill and throwing the ultimate backyard bash. We know grilling for the gang sounds intimidating, but we have great recipes and helpful tips to make your outdoor party a blast. Now all you city dwellers (or non-grillers) may be wondering how you can throw an outdoor Independence Day celebration, too. We are well aware that in states such as Massachusetts and New York, it’s illegal to use propane BBQ grills on apartment balconies! But don’t worry, we have a multitude of ideas to help you throw a July 4th picnic party your friends and family will love. Let’s get started!
OUTDOOR PICNIC PARTY
The great thing about a picnic is that it can be done just about anywhere. Just lay out your picnic knapsack and let the fun begin! Melissa Clark is a Food Writer (check out her delectable site http://www.melissaclark.net/) and also recommends bringing extra dishtowels, “great for draping over platters, especially if you’re in a buggy area. Then you can use them to help clean up.”
In terms of food, food blogger Amy Sherman (visit her delicious site http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/) recommends taking “fruit, cheese, salami, crackers or a baguette, plus a cutting board and knife.” If baguette sandwiches aren’t your thing, try Amy’s flavorful Lavash Sandwiches. With fresh ingredients like avocado and tasty spreads like hummus, you’ll want to eat this everyday of the summer. Just throw a side salad and refreshing drinks into your Deluxe Modern Lunchbox to complete the meal! Melissa gives us a great tip for salads: “Choose salads that taste better as they sit, sturdy vegetables like broccoli, green beans, corn, cucumbers take in more flavor from the dressing.”
One last recipe we can’t get over– Potato Chip Cookies, definitely my ideal dessert. The cookies are the perfect blend of sweet and savory, and the crunch of the chips and nuts is an addition you can’t help but enjoy. Bake time is only 15 minutes, so pop these in the oven right before your picnic or while your BBQ guests are finishing up their entrees.
BACKYARD BBQ PARTY
Grilling is a fun, interactive activity because guests can customize their food and help the host cook. So whip out your handy recipe organizer and let’s get grillin’!
When grilling for a large number, try simpler foods like burgers, hot dogs, or chicken. Burgers can be easily customized, and we love Bobby Flay’s unique toppings. What’s our favorite? The L.A. Burger– be careful, it can get spicy!
We know kids are always fans of hot dogs, so now it’s time to convince the adults. A sophisticated version of a hot dog, the Bruschetta Dog, kicks it up a notch with fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic, a combo the adults are bound to love (for more unique hot dog recipes, visit Food Network). Finally, get in the outdoor spirit with some perfectly barbecued chicken. This tangy BBQ sauce is easy to make and will leave all your guests wanting more!
Just as important as the meat are the sides, and one of our favorites is grilled corn. There are many ways to grill corn, but we love simply placing the corn directly on the grill (no husks or foil). To prep the corn, drizzle with olive oil. You are looking for lightly blackened kernels, so don’t forget to rotate the corn. My family’s trick is to dip the corn in heavily salted water when it’s fresh off the grill.
Another classic BBQ side-dish? Potato salad. Check out Delish for a great Americana Potato Salad recipe that is easy to make the day before your big party. Just pull it out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving so it’s a temperature your guests will enjoy. Finally, serve your guests a summer salad. I love including colorful ingredients like strawberries, bell peppers and feta cheese to give my salads a fresh kick. Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard (to your liking), salt, and pepper to create a delectable basic dressing to top off any type of salad.
For dessert, help your guests cool off with some fresh fruit, or bake them up a batch of those delicious Potato Chip Cookies! Make sure you whip up a few summer cocktails, too. Try making this red wine sangria– it’s so delicious and a rare treat for your guests!
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