The 4th of July falls on a Friday this year, which means that there is a whole, long weekend to celebrate both summer and Independence Day. I tend to envision picnics and barbecues for the 4th because they’ve always been a bit of a tradition for me. It’s a great way to hang out with friends, enjoy some (hopefully!) good weather and have a good shot at enjoying some fireworks displays.
As for the food, there are lots of options. I think that hamburgers and hot dogs are really the two most classic ways to go, although there is certainly something to be said for grilled chicken and steak, or other kinds of barbecue. Grilled Flatbread is a fantastic dish for an appetizer or side if you have the bbq out already. For a potluck, I’d definitely bring something like my Thai pasta salad, which can be made ahead and served cold, or this mojito fruit salad for something lighter. Waldorf coleslaw is a twist on two classic dishes that is usually a hit, and Watermelon and Feta Salad is simple and refreshing.
When it comes to deserts, there are two ways you can go. One is to use red, white and blue to keep with the patriotic colors of the holiday. The other is to use fresh, seasonal fruits for summer. In the past, I’ve done a lot of the former, like Red White and Blue Velvet Cake and a 4th of July Cupcake Flag. Both of these desserts are great for parties and serve quite a few people. The way I’m leaning this year is for fruitier desserts and smaller crowds, and dishes like Summer Peach Cobbler and Blackberry Cobbler. Strawberry Shortcakes are a favorite, as well.