Independence Day is a day full of history, tradition and fun family festivities. A casual and budget-friendly backyard bash is the perfect way to celebrate this holiday honoring our American heritage and independence.
To help plan the perfect patriotic party for July fourth, without blowing your entire week’s food budget, follow these professional party planning tips.
Decorations: Keep things simple and stick with a red, white and blue color scheme. Avoid the overpriced seasonal isle and look for plates, napkins and tablecloths in patriotic colors, where traditional paper goods are sold. An inexpensive package of small American flags, some glass jars and other decor found in patriotic colors from around your home, can be used as centerpieces and party decor.
All-American food: A Fourth of July feast should be simple yet traditional. Serve affordable family friendly favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, potato salad, and lemonade. For dessert choose these American favorites such as s’mores, apple pie, or pound cake topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream to create a stunning patriotic dessert.
Entertainment: Show your pride by creating an American play list full of songs saluting the stars and stripes to have playing in the background of your party. Play games such as capture the flag, flag football, catch, or Frisbee. Cool off by having a water balloon fight, chasing each other with water guns, or taking a dip in the pool. Neighborhood parades and fireworks displays are also popular and traditional entertainment options.
Make it a stress-free event: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people offer to help when they arrive or offer to bring dishes or drinks to gatherings — so let them. The less stressful your event, the more fun had by all.
Get your Independence Day menu started with this recipe for mayonnaise-free potato salad, making for an affordable and traditional barbecue side dish.
Herbed Potato Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 6
1 1/2 (pound) potatoes
2 tablespoon chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and black pepper, as needed
Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in bit-size pieces. Boil them in lightly salted water until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes max, being careful not to overcook them. In a large bowl combine olive oil with white wine vinegar.
Pour in chicken broth, Dijon mustard and whisk until combined. This salad can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. Add the herbs and green onions to the vinaigrette and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Drain the potatoes, let them steam-dry for a few minutes and then add them to the dressing while they’re still hot.
— Chef Heather Hunsaker attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family friendly meals since she was nine years old in her mother’s kitchen. She knows how to get food on the table in a pinch while sticking to a budget. Currently, Chef Heather serves as a freelance writer and recipe developer for meal planning site www.foodonthetable.com.