Last week I shared some stories and pictures from our 4th of July dinner party + neighborhood fireworks show. Now let's dig into the details with recipes and a few party-planning tips that I’ve learned by trial-and-error after hosting more than a few soirees.
Here’s the menu. The bolded items are the ones we’ll discuss today – recipes after the jump.
Specialty Drink: Ilise’s Berry-Berry Good Limonade, spiked or not, as you please
Appetizers: Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce and Sweet Pea-Guacamole; Garden Vegetable Refrigerator Pickles; Savory Pepita-Sesame Cookies; and Chipotle-Roasted Almonds.
Main course: Smoked Pork & Beef Ribs; Grilled Chicken Drumsticks with Mediterranean Vinaigrette*; Rachel’s Caesar Salad*; Cole Slaw; Potato Salad; Smoky Baked Beans*; and Rolls.
Desserts: Lemon Tart with Fresh Berries; Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream; Apple Pie; Chocolate-Covered Strawberries; and Cherries
* These yummy dishes will be featured in the Part 2 post, coming soon.
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Well, what if it’s got lemon AND lime flavors plus a little sweetness and color from a multi-berry blend mixed in?
And then, to gild the lily, you can add the hooch of your choice. There’s really no need as this is yummy and refreshing thirst-quencher on its own, but vodka is a classic choice for a summer sip like this. I can vouch for tequila as an excellent add-in, or a shot of bourbon would take the drink in a whole other (delicious) direction.
Now I’ve got your attention, right?!
This means that, in the appetizer category, dips are an old friend. They usually improve with a few days in the fridge so the flavors can marinate together. I’ve tried many over the years, some distinct winners but most merely okay. Which is why the Romesco dip that I made to go with grilled vegetables and pita chips was such a welcome surprise. It’s a Spanish sauce/dip with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, toasted almonds and hazelnuts, bread and sherry vinaigrette. The umami comes from a brief turn in the oven to slightly caramelize the puree. What a wow-tasty mouthful! You simply MUST check out the recipe from Simply Recipes (a great site that you should know about anyway) and waste no time before trying it yourself. It’s also good as a sauce with grilled chicken and fish.