Super Simple Fourth of July Party IdeasThe 4th of July is almost here, and there’s no better occasion for a summer BBQ than a celebration of our nation’s independence. The weather is warm, days are long, and almost everyone is off work, so it’s a perfect excuse to spend some time in the great outdoors (or indoors, whichever) and host a party. Here are a few tips to make your Independence Day party as successful as it is simple.
KEEP THE MENU SIMPLE
Nobody is expecting coq a vin or scratch-made lasagna at a 4th of July party. Avoid hostess stress by sticking to a simple menu that still checks all the boxes:
• Grilled burgers and hotdogs are about as American as it gets, are easy to fix for a crowd and can be as inexpensive (or frou-frou) as you want.
• Plan the accoutrements: Prep your patties and toppings ahead of time so when the party is on, all you have to do is toss meat on the grill and bring out a tray of assorted cheeses, condiments, and veggies.
• Serve up chips, mac and cheese, or potato salad as a side and you’ve got an easy party meal that can be made ahead of time.
• Add veggie skewers or corn on the cob to your grilling agenda and make sure all your guests get their five servings a day.
• An apple pie is a crowd-pleasing, all-American dessert (and is just $5 at most grocery stores).
BEAUTY IS FLEETING
Set your 4th of July bash apart from every other summer BBQ with low-cost themed decor that’s a snap to clean up:
• Color-coordinated disposable tableware adds a festive flair and makes picking up afterward a breeze. Go for something different with non-standard reds, whites and blues: Think muted tones (safest), metallic colors (safe with pizzazz) or neon (you daredevil you).
• If you’re not using plastic table covers, go out and buy some right now. At the end of the day, you can wrap the whole thing up, plates and all, and toss it in the garbage. Cleanup complete!
• Use spray paint in patriotic shades to paint stars in your grass. (Kids LOVE this.) It will add to the festive atmosphere and they’ll disappear next time you mow the grass, so your Home Owner’s Association can’t say a word about it.
For photo-worthy touches, add some stars ‘n stripes flair to your menu items with a few classic hacks:
• For a festive cocktail, use a small cookie cutter to cut stars out of sliced watermelon and freeze them, along with some blueberries. Add the frozen fruit to a combination of white wine and club or lemon-lime soda. Bada boom: A cute and tasty patriotic spritzer.
• Flag cakes are a fun and pretty dessert option: Top any cake with white icing and arrange fresh blueberries and strawberries to resemble Old Glory. It’s surprisingly easy to assemble.
• If cakes aren’t in your repertoire, make chocolate chip cookies with red, white and blue M&Ms in place of the chips for an even simpler themed dessert.
Don’t forget to stock up on sparklers!