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First published June 23, 2021. Updated on June 30, 2023
Summer is finally in full swing, and the Fourth of July is not that far away.
I thought the last Fourth of July was going to be EPIC!
Why, you ask? Well, we were coming out of a year-and-a-half-long LOCKDOWN. The Fourth of 2020 was celebrated indoors or on ZOOM. And while we are all grateful for ZOOM, it wasn’t the same.
Restrictions were lifted especially for those who have been vaccinated in 2021.
However, in 2022, all regulations seem to be gone this year. While I am still wearing my masks (I am immunocompromised), I recognize that most folks are going free!
So this year, it should be on! Right?
So, I thought to acknowledge the gradual return to our lives, I would select some cool Independence Day/Summer recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers (Thank you so much to all of you)! There are a few from my blog too.
There’s nothing wrong with the standard 4th fare. However, it seems that each year, the message is the same: an EPIC holiday after an EPIC (in a bad way) horror show calls for an EPIC celebration, right?
Drinks and Cocktails
What is a cookout without fabulous punches and cocktails? There is a variety to choose from —with and without alcohol.
What is a picnic without lemonade? This is a cool twist on your typical lemonade recipe from Juggling Act Mama . The blueberries add a different dimension to your lemonade. You will love it!
This simple sangria from Just Like Christmas is perfect for summer gatherings like the Fourth of July. It’s easy, quick, and requires few ingredients! Make it by the pitcher or by the glass — let the party begin!
It's summertime. This simple recipe is perfect for hot afternoons or humid summer nights. Make it by the pitcher and garnish with fresh, ripe strawberries and lime slices. Substitute orange juice and water to taste for the tequila and liqueur for a refreshing mocktail.
Do you like iced tea? This version of iced tea has the sweetness of peaches and the twang of ginger. The combination makes this a refreshing brew that is ideal for summer gatherings or for warm summer evenings.
Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip with Toasted Corn Tortilla Chips
This cheesy dip is filled with flavor. With spinach and artichoke, it is similar to the appetizer dips found at your favorite restaurants. This is a great dip for parties — with tortilla chips or crudites.
Sides have an important role as the support for the main dishes at your cookout. Or should I call them complementary pieces to the overall meal. There’s a number of different salads here along with a grilled corn and baked beans recipe.
Easy Strawberry Spinach Salad
This simple healthy spinach salad from Amee’s Savory Dish goes nicely with any grilled main course. or alone for the lighter eaters at your festivities!
Slaw is a staple of summer cookouts. This colorful healthy slaw recipe from Cookie and Kate provides antioxidants and other nutrients in an incredibly flavorful and crunchy dish. It goes with almost everything at your cookout!
This twist on the traditional Mexican elote fromTwo Healthy Kitchens is a fabulous dish for cookouts and grilling with the sweet corn, tangy lime, and salty cotija cheese. As a time-saver, it can be made ahead of time.
Ever have a muffuletta in New Orleans? If not, you are missing out. But this pasta salad from Joy The Baker has all the flavor of a muffuletta with the sensibility and beauty of a pasta salad. Try it at your next cookout!
Sometimes, the classics just don't get old! What is a cookout or BBQ without a pot of baked beans? Baked beans go will with burgers, hot dogs, chicken, or fish. And this can be started ahead of time so you can get your other dishes prepared with this is in the oven.
What would a Fourth of July gathering be without a fantastic showcase at the end? A variety of showstopper desserts for the young, old, and the slightly tipsy. Perfect for eating as you enjoy the fireworks!
Watermelon with Basil Lime Sugar
Watermelon is so ingrained in my childhood summer memories that I had to include a great watermelon dish. This one from Love and Olive Oil is sublime. And the basil lime sugar will be starring in other dishes this summer,
Key lime always makes me think of summer. This little fluffy cupcake from Amee’s Savory Dish with a zesty filling and creamy frosting is an ideal ending to a fun picnic. It’s an easy recipe that you can use a box mix with or go from scratch.