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Perfect Snacks for the 4th of July Parade

In many communities across the country, the 4th of July parade is a time-honored and beloved tradition that also make for a great family day out.

To keep the miles of smiles of little ones from turning into trails of tears, we put together a few ideas for patriotic snacks:

1. White pretzel/fruit bags: Fill plastic resealable bags with yogurt-covered pretzels, strawberries and blueberries.

2. Patriotic pretzels: Pick up some large pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate and rolled in red, white and blue sprinkles.

3. Flag-wrapped water: Wrap small, plastic American flags around water bottles or open a few bottles before you leave for the parade and drop in some food coloring for a red, white and blue effect.

4. Firecracker popcorn: We found this recipe over on Pinterest from TheNerdsWife blog. Pop a bag of microwave popcorn according to directions, then spread on a cookie sheet and allow to cool. In the meantime, melt white candy melts and pour over the popcorn. Sprinkle strawberry-flavored Pop Rocks and blue sprinkles over the popcorn. Let it all harden and divide into plastic bags.

4th of July Decorating Made Simple

If you’re having a party for the 4th of July, you might also be thinking about whether or not you should take the time to decorate. We say, “Yes!” because the holiday is essentially a birthday celebration.

So, here are some tips to punch up the patriotic for your 4th of July party using inexpensive and reusable materials:

1. Flowers: If you already have red, white and blue containers that can safely house annual blooms, great. If not, no worries. Spray paint pots you already have, and head to your nearest garden center for plants with red, white and blue flowers. Group the pots together and place them outside. Or, take vases and fill them with cut flowers from the garden and use them as accents on the buffet table or as centerpieces down the center of the table.

2. Old Glory centerpiece: Create a colorful centerpiece celebrating our nation’s most enduring symbol. Wrap a tall, clear, plastic glass in red, white and blue ribbon or fabric and fill the glass with small, American flags. Vary the sizes of the flags to keep it visually interesting.

3. Dollar store delight: Your local dollar store is a treasure trove of holiday decorations. For a centerpiece that only costs $3 – and can be used for several years – use one each red, white and blue balloon weight either in a cluster in the center of the table or spread out down the middle. Buy a few and use them in clusters at each end of the table and on the buffet. From beads you can loop around light fixtures to bunting, and ribbon, the dollar store can help you deck out your digs for the 4th of July.

 

4th of July Party Topping Desserts

A party for the 4th of July isn’t a true celebration without dessert! After your guests have noshed on appetizers and enjoyed a tasty patriotic meal, they’ll need to indulge in the sweet goodness of these red, white and blue – and easy – desserts.

1. Berry Bright Stars: Use a large (3″) star cookie cutter to create shapes from slices of pound cake. Use smaller star cookie cutters for strawberries. Scoop whipped cream onto pound cake, add the strawberries, garnish with blueberries and enjoy!

2. Easy Fruit Kabobs: Sweet and easy! Cut angel food cake into cubes and thread them onto wooden skewers with strawberries and blackberries in a red, white and blue pattern.

3. Patriotic cake pops: Aside from having to melt white candy coating, this dessert from Better Homes & Gardens couldn’t be easier. Poke a cake pop stick into plain cake donut holes, dip them in red, white and blue sprinkles.

4. Last-minute sparklers: Dress up confetti cupcakes with red, white and blue candy zig zags and/or sprinkles. Buy boxed confetti cake mix and white frosting and prepare the cupcakes according to the directions. After the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them and decorate.

Perfectly Patriotic 4th of July Party Food Recipes

Planning a 4th of July party to celebrate America’s birthday doesn’t have to require weeks of preparation. Sometimes, the most fun is had on the fly.

Still, if you have people coming over, and you have a couple hours notice, we have red, white and blue recipes to help you feed them. We started the week with ideas for appetizers so today we’re moving on to the main course and side dishes.

1. New take on potato salad: Cut red, white and blue (they’re really purple, but can totally pass for blue) potatoes into fourths and place on cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Cook under the broiler until outsides are brown and crispy, turning at least once. Let the potatoes cool, then season with garlic, salt, pepper and toss them in olive oil with a finishing drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

2. Red, white & blue deviled eggs: Use tasteless but brilliant food coloring to turn ordinary deviled eggs into a side dish worth remembering. Boil eggs and cool them completely before peeling and discarding the shells. Cut the eggs open and place the yolks in a separate bowl. Created by Diane recommends using Americolor food coloring because the shades are bright, and they don’t leave an aftertaste behind. Soak a third in red and a third in blue, then follow Diane’s recipe for the yolks.

3. Red, white & bleu sliders: Take dinner on a ride on the patriotic side by combining the all-American goodness of hamburgers on the grill with summer strawberries and blue cheese dressing. Food blogger Lauren on laurenslatest.com spells out why the recipe works so well, “(These are) not plain boring burgers I’ve made mini … Strawberries. On a baby burger. With cool and creamy blue cheese sauce. Weird? Perhaps….but in a completely amazing and different way.”

4. Chicken Kabobs: Cut chicken into kabob-sized pieces, and do the same with slices of red pepper and red onion (they’re more purple, which will pass for blue this one time!). Thread them onto skewers and grill them on low heat until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and anything else that strikes your fancy, then cover them for about five minutes before serving to let the meat rest and the seasonings soak in a bit.

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