When thinking of what makes a good July 4th party, food is always the first thing that comes to my mind. Food can really make or break an event. If you are hosting a Fourth of July gathering this year, then you will want to make some delicious food to really please your guests’ palates. After all, this may be the first party they are attending since the beginning of COVID.
It can often be stressful to plan a menu for a gathering whether it be large or small. But no worries! I’m here to help you plan the perfect menu. Here are a few food ideas to help you with the menu planning process.
For starters, always have some type of salad. Here, the options are endless. You can have any base for your salad. Use spinach, romain, kale or any other green as a base. Or, if you like fruit, make a fruit salad. Are you feeling more like you want starches and carbs, then serve up some delicious pasta salad. If you have time on your hands, make all three. Putting a salad together is really, really easy! Many people love indulging in pasta salad. One with a creamy dressing, al dente pasta, just the right amount of vegetables and seasoning will be sure to satisfy you and your party goers’ taste buds.
Have some light snacks such as cheese platters, fruit platters, deviled eggs, chips, pretzels and popcorn. It is always nice to have something quick for your party guests to nibble on while waiting for the main course. I typically try to keep nuts and nut products out of my menu planning. However, if I do decide to make any food with nuts or nut products, I always put it away from the other foods. I also label it so that guests can tell that it contains nuts. This avoids allergic reactions and gives guests peace of mind.
The Main Course:
If you are having a barbecue, then have some typical barbecue staples. Hamburgers, Cheeseburgers, Hotdogs, Sausages and Barbecue Chicken are friendly for everyone. If it’s in the budget, marinate and grill some hearty steaks. If you don’t know the dietary restrictions of everybody who is coming, then be sure to have vegetarian and vegan options as well. Also, there is nothing wrong with ordering takeout from your favorite spot. Just make sure there is more than enough for everybody and that it’s worth the purchase.
Red, White and Blue Desserts:
Dessert is a great opportunity to be festive! Go crazy with the red, white and blue colors! Red, white and blue cupcakes and sugar cookies are my go-to. Everybody loves these two desserts and they don’t have to be from scratch. Grab a box or two of cake mix, some store bought frosting and some red and blue dye for the cupcakes. For the cookies, you can get premade cookie dough. Use any flavor of your choosing. Just be sure to decorate them with festive red, white and blue sprinkles so that they really pop!
Whether you decide to serve non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks is entirely up to you. How about both? Try making a signature drink that you can use for years to come. How about something strong for the adults and something sweet for the kiddos? Another tip for parties is to always be sure to have water for everyone as well. Since some people drink strictly water, it is nice to have something for everyone. Depending on where you live, it could be very hot outside. So it is best to hydrate with water throughout the event.
Menu planning does not have to be stressful at all. Make this menu planning and cooking easy for yourself. There is no need to stress yourself out. Keep it simple, yet tasty, have enough food for everyone and have fun! Enjoy and Happy Fourth of July!