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Backyard barbecues are an inherently festive part of the summer season, and with Independence Day just around the corner, you may be starting to think about your party menu. When gathering friends and family, or heading to someone else’s backyard to celebrate, it’s nice to keep it simple so you can focus on having fun and catching up with loved ones. This week, we’re serving up some fresh ideas for delicious but easy-to-make dishes you’ll want to try this 4th of July.
To get the party started, serve up some delicious summer apps. We love this avocado and tomato salad from Delish that combines avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, jalapenos, and cilantro with a zesty, lemon dressing. You can also add in other favorite summer veggies like grilled zucchini or bell peppers. Serve on its own, or dip with chips.
For something a little heartier, try this five-ingredient baked mac and cheese ball recipes that’ll have mouths watering in minutes. These are super quick to make, and you can even prepare the mac and cheese the day before to cut down on prep time if you’re expecting a crowd.
For your entrée meal, you’ll want to choose something you can easily make a lot of so that you’re not spending your whole afternoon in the kitchen or on the grill. Try these Sweet Heat Cheerwine Baby Back Ribs from Country Living that are relatively simple to prepare, and only require about 10-15 minutes on the grill before they’re finger-lickin’ good.
You’ll also want to be sure you have an alternative option for the vegetarians in attendance. Try this grilled vegetable flatbread from Good Housekeeping that incorporates sweet potatoes, eggplants, red peppers, and fresh basil for a refreshing yet filling meal.
If you and your guests have room for dessert, we’ve got some ideas. The American flag sheet cake is a classic, crowd-pleasing option and can be done in many different ways, using brownie batter, yellow cake, or even a cheesecake base. We love this adapted recipe from WellPlated, that uses greek yogurt and honey so as not to overpower the natural sweetness of the berries on top. You can also make this cake ahead of time, stick it in the fridge, and enjoy your afternoon.
If you’re hosting at your place, you may consider pre-batching a signature holiday cocktail that you can make in advance and set out in pitchers throughout the afternoon. A summery sangria is crisp and refreshing, and allows you to take advantage of the holiday’s signature colors by adding blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries to each glass. Try this recipe that combines dry white wine and champagne with festive fruits for a refreshing finish.
Contact an Olympus property near you today to learn more. Happy Fourth!