A Patriotic Menu for the 4th of July

Food and Nutrition, Holidays

The 4th of July is a wonderful time to spend with family, and what brings people together better than holiday-themed food?

*One of the simplest 4th of July appetizers is a platter of berries and dip. Take advantage of the summer berries and tie in some red, white, and blue by using strawberries and blueberries, and making a white fruit dip (using one part mascarpone cheese to four parts sour cream and adding vanilla and honey to taste). Another great appetizer is simple (an very appealing to kids). Simply make sandwiches with your favorite fruit preserves, jams, or jellies, and cut them into star shapes. You can even incorporate the colors of the holiday by using strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, or blackberry preserves (or even grape jelly) inside the sandwiches.

*Great themed side dishes are easier that you may think! Make steamed garlic potatoes by cutting potatoes in halves or quarters and steaming until tender. Then, toss them in melted butter and your choice of garlic powder or fresh crushed garlic and add dill, salt, and pepper to taste. Cut some of the potatoes into star shapes, and for a touch of holiday color, use red potatoes (and if you’re feeling adventurous, find some blue potatoes to add to the mix). Applesauce makes a great side dish, and it’s not only a cousin of the great American apple pie, but it’s also very easy to make your own! Peel and slice apples and put them in a pot with a splash of water or apple cider (about 1/2 cup per 6-8 apples) and let them simmer, stirring occasionally, until you have applesauce.

*One of the greatest independence day traditions involves grilling, so for you main dishes, grill sweet corn and sliders. You can cater the sliders to your family’s tastes by offering beef, turkey, and/or veggie sliders.

*Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Apple or cherry pie (or both) are always crowd-pleasers, or offer some ice cream sandwiches (with the edges dipped in holiday sprinkles). Otherwise, make cupcakes with red or blue food coloring to pass out to your guests.

*All of this food will make your guests thirsty. Serve punch for the kids, and line the rims of the glasses with blue sugar (or pop rocks). For the adults, add fresh blueberries to raspberry lemonade and spike with white wine, champagne, or gin and enjoy!

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