The juggernaut Broadway musical, Hamilton, has brought with it (besides the most profoundly moving score in years) a resurgence of our understanding of the intricacies that led to our nation’s first steps toward freedom and self-governance. It brilliantly showcases the jubilant complexity of a country in its infancy. With this year’s July 4th anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Americans will gather in their backyards to partake in the time-honored traditions of enjoying beers and hotdogs and fireworks. Here’s some inspiration to set your party stage.
A Flag Cake
Courtesy of Delish this delicious sheet cake also makes a beautiful centerpiece for your buffet table. With the simplest of baking ingredients, a honey whipped cream frosting contrasts the blueberries and strawberries that represent Old Glory’s stars and stripes.
If you want to be the guest at your own party (and you do!) assembling piles of appetizers lets guests help themselves so you may relax a bit and enjoy your company.
How about a Dill Pickle Cheeseball? Just mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese with ½ cup chopped dill pickles and some spices. Then roll it all into a ball. Make the coating with finely chopped bacon, more cheddar, and a dash of chopped dill; coat the decadent cheeseball in this tasty crust. You’ll have a hit on your hands! Assembled in just 15 minutes… so make two!
Melon Prosciutto Skewers is another dish you’ll have prepped and out the door in 15 minutes. This recipe yields 12 skewers and features the summery savor of ripe cantaloupe, fresh basil leaves, and everyone’s favorite mozzarella; pungent prosciutto, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. They look great plated on a white, rectangular serving dish.
In more easy-to-assemble skewers, you can literally have the zingy blend of a Greek salad – on a stick! The Greek Salad Skewers prep time is 25 minutes, but 15 of those minutes are just to let the salty and tangy feta cheese marinate in the scrumptious combo of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, and parsley. Build this portable salad by layering the seasoned feta with kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.
So far we’re seeing a lot of cheese in these recipes, but we just can’t stop! They’re all too good. Maybe add an extra workout to your week and you’ll be fine! Last one… promise!
Can’t leave behind a recipe for Chili Cheese Dog Bread; especially since it’s another appetizer that needs only 15 minutes of prep. Slice a crusty baguette to create a “boat” for the ingredients. Sprinkle cheese at the bottom and place hot dogs end to end. Spoon chili over the top (canned chili is totally acceptable for this dish, no judgment!), add a little more cheese and bake about 25 minutes. After a slight cool, garnish with chives, slice and serve.
Salsa is a fan-favorite for sure. Combined with the crunch of a tortilla chip, it makes for a satisfying snack any time. But it’s the summer. What do you think about a Strawberry Salsa? With the right ingredients to make this versatile fruit sizzle, you may adopt this dish as a seasonal go-to. The prep time is literally 5 minutes, then it needs to sit for 10-20 minutes for the fabulous flavors of the berries, red onion, jalapeño, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest to infuse. A pinch of salt for good measure and you’ve reinvented salsa! This recipe also suggests the mix as a great condiment to serve with fish.
These dishes are our favorites, so we’re likely going to assign them to our co-workers to make for our pre-July 4th office party. But take a look at all fifty-seven of these festive party appetizers from Delish. You’ll still want to fire up the grill later in the day, but these are some delectable ways to get that party started.
Your Poolside Party
And, since it’s not really a party unless it’s poolside, you’ll need to get your yard ready to welcome your friends and family:
- Balloon bouquets add celebratory relish. They’re affordable and you can easily tie them to trees and branches. They can bob in the breeze as table centerpieces. We also like the idea of suspending the balloons above water level with ribbon and little anchor weights on the pool floor. Those balloons will dress your pool for the occasion.
- Place a couple baskets by the pool. Fill one with extra towels, another with bottles of sunscreen, and perhaps another with some novelty patriotic sunglasses or hats for your guests to sport and bring home as a little party favor.
- Have some red, white, and blue sidewalk chalk for the kids and let them get creative.
- As far as the sparkling showpiece itself:
- Shock the pool in advance to boost the sanitizer level
- Run the filter overnight for the cleanest water
- To get the temperature just right, power up the heat pump the day before and even add the pool cover for overnight, so it retains the optimum temperature.
- We love these 14 Epic Pool Party Games from Brit+Co. They even recommend some good, old-fashioned water balloons loaded up in a big bucket for general tossing, but you can also choose teams and try to eliminate the opposition one by one with a refreshing “splat” of water.
If you decide to add fireworks to the festivities, exercise every single precaution recommended by the manufacturer. It’s also essential to ensure that the person launching them knows what they’re doing and is sober. Better yet, how about putting a projection screen in your yard and tune in to the televised Macy’s spectacle? A sure-fire way to keep everyone safe.
Has Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton reminded us that July 4th is more than hotdogs and fireworks? Hopefully so. Do your party guests need to come dressed like Thomas Jefferson or George Washington? No. But they are the reason for the season. A reminder that a July 4th party is not just a party. It’s a salute to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Maybe the cheers for the red, white, and blue will resound a little more loudly this year.
If you’re hosting the biggest party of the summer season, make your list, get the pool ready, enlist some help and enjoy! At Lyon Financial we have the extraordinary opportunity to make pool parties like these possible. As home improvement finance experts, we love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.