Summer holidays bring some great excuses to have people over. Whether you’re having the party or are the lucky guest, I’ve got a few ideas for this Fourth of July - or for any summer cookout!
The host with the most!
It’s summer so there’s no reason to heat up the kitchen. You should definitely fire up the grill and keep things easy to make and easy to eat! I recommend kebabs & summer salad.
Kebabs: Make separate meat & veggie skewers. They cook at different temps and this lets people choose exactly what they want.
- Meat: pick one or a variety depending on your mood and guest count - smoked sausage, flavored sausage, shrimp, bonless chicken breast, steak, pork chops.
- Veggies: cherry tomatoes, whole mushrooms, summer squash, onions, bell peppers
- Marinade: you won’t need to marinate sausage but the rest of these meat & veggie selections will all taste better in some marinade. Pick a flavor based on your meat & veggie combos - remember, Italian dressing makes a great marinade - or use the recipe I’ve posted below!
1. The day before, cut up your meat & veggie selections into 1-inch chunks. Marinate them each in their own plastic bag (you can toss all the veggies in one bag) and then the day of the party all you have to do is thread the skewers (remember, if you’re using wood skewers, soak them in water for an hour first!)
2. Grill over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, turning frequently.
Homemade Marinade: This works best with white meats and veggies, mix all ingredients and marinate for 4 hours or overnight.
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 TB minced ginger
3 TB dark corn syrup
3 minced garlic cloves
3-5 minced green onions
3 TB flour
Alongside your kebabs, serve this summer side dish, featured here before and always a hit: Corn & Black Bean Salad
Be the guest that will be invited back
If you’re going to a party I’ve got just the dessert to bring. It’s easy to make and loved by kids and adults: Cream Cheese & Chocolate Dip
- 2 blocks of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 TB brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 package of mini chocolate chips
- 1/3 package of toffee bits
Mix the cream cheese thru the vanilla well with a hand mixer. Stir in your chocolate & toffee chips.
It is delicious on sliced apples or graham crackers. And it’s likely to be different than anything else people bring to the party!
Whatever you do this weekend I hope you have a Happy 4th of July!
Barb lives in Crown Point with a hungry family that includes three kids. You can find her out running, playing at the beach, on Twitter and on her daily blog, Quick Like A Bunny where you never know what she’ll be writing about.