Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Spotlight: Last Minute Tips for a July 4th Meal

Saturday Spotlight #26

Have you planned to add any festive touches to your 4th of July meal today? 

It's not too late!

Are you planning to grill burgers, but would like to add a little bit of a festive touch to your meal? Do you wish the meal you are serving could have more of a 4th of July theme? 

It's still possible - and there's no need to spend a lot of time at the store or in the kitchen!

Go to the parade, take a hike, float on the river all day, or just spend time visiting with family! Then impress your family and friends with these easy tips for adding an American Independence Day theme to a quickly prepared meal!

July 4th, recipe

A hamburger and a salad might be enough to satisfy.

Perhaps nothing is more American than a burger right off the grill. 

Your menu could just include a burger and a salad, but if you want to add some other side dishes  here are some good options:

  • potato chips and dip
  • a pickle
  • baked beans, potato salad, and/or coleslaw 

Ending the meal with watermelon, ice cream, and/or brownies would make practically everyone happy! Of course, if you feel like making a dessert, my Hershey Chocolate Marshmallow Pie recipe is always gobbled up!

Here's my tips for making a salad and a burger with a 4th of July theme:


A Fourth of July Salad

July 4th meal, recipe, red white and blue, salad

The first thing you might notice about the photos of this salad could be the bowl and plates I used to serve it with.  I did not buy anything special, just rummaged through my cupboards for items that were red, white, and blue. 

Red white and blue salad, July 4th menu, recipe

If you look closely, you will notice that the bowl is actually disposable.  Plastic bowls such as this are sold in both red and blue, and are really very pretty against a white plate.  Use your imagination - and start with what you have.  For some other ways to add a little festive flair to your table decor, click here: How to Decorate for the 4th of July Without Spending a Dime.

For a dinner party, you could use both red and blue bowls.

How to make a Red, White and Blue Star Salad

For this salad, I nestled red, white, and blue foods amongst freshly picked, washed, and torn lettuce. 

To a bowl of torn lettuce, I added:
  • blueberries
  • thinly sliced radishes 
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • halved red cherry tomatoes
  • star-shaped cheese pieces *
For a dressing, we opted for a simple splash of virgin olive oil and white basalmic vinegar, with a healthy dose of salt and pepper.  Ranch dressing (a favorite of many Americans!) would be another good choice. 
No quantities are listed here, because it is really just a matter of individual preference. I would recommend 2 or 3 cheese stars per person. These should be added after the salad ingredients are tossed and the dressing is added.

*How to Make Star-Shaped Cheese Pieces
  • I used rounds of deli-style provolone cheese, but any cheese slices (round or square) could be used.
  • Using tiny star cookie cutter (or you can create a star template from clean cardboard or parchment paper, and cut around it with a knife), carefully cut out stars. 
  • Only cut a few stars from each slice, keeping them well-spaced from each other, and away from the edges of the slice
  • Save the remnants of each slice, keeping them as intact as possible. You will use these for the cheeseburgers.


A Fourth of July Burger

july 4th, star burgers, cheeseburgers, star decoration

Make a tasty burger!

The most important thing about the burger is, of course, the taste!  Frozen patties are fine for regular events, but it is worth taking the time to shape and cook your own patties for a special event. We prefer ground bison rather than ground beef for our burgers. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it!

A good quality hamburger bun can make a big difference as well. Our hot weather heat wave has made it too hot in my kitchen to bake. I just found a recipe for How to Make Burger Buns though, and I think they would be great to try!

Add stars to your cheeseburgers for a very special touch.

Just top each burger with one of the round pieces from which you cut the stars for your salad. I love how it turns out!

July 4th menu, Red, white and blue, cheeseburger, star

Don't forget to provide the condiments! All of these are good:

  • lettuce
  • slices of tomato
  • slices of avocado
  • pickles
  • mayo, ketchup, mustard and relish
  • salt and pepper

My weekend plans include a hike, floating a river in our canoe, and watching the Women's World Cup soccer game.  I hope you have some fun plans too!

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July to all of my American readers - and happy weekend to everyone else!

What are your favorite condiments and toppings for a hamburger?

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  1. Those stars are cute! I love everything you listed on burgers. We also like to do BBQ sauce on them sometimes.

    1. My husband puts BBQ sauce on his as well. Thanks for adding this - I forgot to put it on the list!

  2. How fun! I love the stars, and your pictures are fantastic. We're actually having chicken/beef tacos with pico de gallo. An odd choice for the 4th, but it just sounded good! Hope you have a great weekend - canoeing on the river sounds wonderful!

    1. Thanks Lana - I was actually pretty happy with the photos! I hope you have a good weekend - sounds like you will be eating well! Canoeing will be fun - but I just heard our temperatures are supposed to drop tomorrow ... it would certainly have been a refreshing thing to do today!

  3. What fun.
    I hope you have a very happy and colourful celebratory weekend.

  4. Thanks EC. It has been a fun weekend, besides having our canoe trip cancelled due to stormy conditions and 24mph winds! At least we knew about it, and didn't get caught in a bad storm only partway down the section of the river we had planned to cover!


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