July 4th Picnic Party ~ Recipes and Entertaining Ideas

Picnic Buffet
Put your pies on a pedestal for a dessert buffet on the porch ~ shown here, cake stands in vintage milk glass and clear glass. Blue-and-white transferware plates are the perfect backdrop for golden hand-crimped crusts. Build a festive centerpiece using tiered wire baskets. Fill with help-yourself treats like ripe fruit as well as utensils. Rolled red, white, and blue bandannas can serve as napkins.

Decor Ideas
A table is set up in a shady spot for guests to enjoy an array of fresh-made pies. Here is a chance to use that vintage lace-edged white tablecloth. Make it party perfect with a colorful piece of red, white and/or blue material ~ here, a yard or two of striped cotton ticking. Finish by adorning each plate with a party favor flag.

All-American Burger
A classic family favorite, burgers are easy to make and sure to please.

Mini Portobello Burgers
Grilled mini portobello burgers offer vegetarians a savory option for the main course. But you might want to make extra — they look so good that meat lovers might snag one, too!

Barbecued Country Ribs with Lemon
Country-style pork ribs come from the loin and are thicker, shorter, and meatier than longer, thin spareribs. Slow braising in a savory tomato-based barbecue sauce tenderizes and flavors the meat.

Sirloin and Summer-Vegetable Kabobs with Firecracker Sauce
Try our snappy Firecracker Sauce with grilled shrimp or chicken, too.
Firecracker Sauce:
1/4 cup(s) fresh lime juice
1/4 cup(s) maple syrup
2 tablespoon(s) ketchup
2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
2 tablespoon(s) soy sauce
4 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon(s) crushed red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon(s) grated lime rind
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
Small hot peppers (optional)
1 1/4 pound(s) boneless beef top loin or sirloin steak, cut into 1 1/4-inch-thick chunks
campaignIcon Wine Pairing
3 medium onions, quartered
2 medium yellow squash, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
2 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 8-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water 15 minutes
Sprig of thyme (optional)
Small hot peppers (optional)
Prepare Firecracker Sauce: In medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, maple syrup, ketchup, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, crushed red-pepper flakes, black pepper, lime rind, and salt. Makes about 1 cup. Set aside. Prepare Kabobs: On one skewer, randomly arrange 2 pieces of cubed steak and one piece each of onion, yellow squash, zucchini, and red pepper. Repeat to make 11 more kabobs. Place kabobs in large baking dish. Pour 3/4 cup of Firecracker Sauce over kabobs in baking dish. Reserve 1/4 cup for brushing the kabobs as they cook. Let kabobs stand for 15 minutes. Heat grill to medium heat. Grill kabobs about 4 inches above heat source for 5 minutes, turning frequently. Brush kabobs with reserved Firecracker Sauce. Cook 5 to 7 minutes longer or until desired doneness is reached.

Best Potato Salad Ever
No kidding! (And no peeling!) It’s all about the red potatoes; their waxy texture keeps the spuds intact as you mix everything together in this recipe ~ not to mention their festive!
3 pound(s) unpeeled red potatoes
3/4 cup(s) chopped white onion
3/4 cup(s) chopped red pepper
3/4 cup(s) chopped celery
1/2 cup(s) finely chopped dill pickles
3 chopped, hard-boiled large eggs
2 tablespoon(s) dill pickle juice
1 tablespoon(s) cider vinegar
3/4 cup(s) mayonnaise
Freshly ground pepper
In a large pot, cover red potatoes with salted cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until they’re easily pierced with a skewer, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, combine white onion, red pepper, celery, dill pickles, and hard-boiled eggs in a large bowl. Drain potatoes and cut into half-inch pieces while still warm. Transfer to the bowl and sprinkle with dill pickle juice and cider vinegar. Toss salad gently with mayonnaise. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Chill before serving.

Grilled Corn in Husks
Seasoned with butter, Parmesan cheese and parsley, Grilled Corn in Husks is especially good. Be sure to give the ears a long soak before putting them on the grill. Hot off the grate, the kernels are moist and tender with a wonderful, sweet flavor.

Tomato Salad
Cut 1 1/2 pounds mixed tomatoes into wedges; season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes; remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Drizzle over the tomatoes; top with snipped chives and basil.

Quick Sweet Pickles
cup(s) white-wine vinegar or apple-cider vinegar
cup(s) sugar
1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
2 cup(s) thinly sliced ‘Beit Alpha’ cucumbers (about 2 cucumbers)
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon(s) torn dill sprigs
1 teaspoon(s) whole peppercorns
3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
In a medium bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, and salt, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Set aside. In a nonreactive bowl, combine cucumbers, onions, dill, and peppercorns. Add olive oil to reserved vinegar mixture and stir well. Pour over vegetables and toss to combine. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving. Store pickles, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.


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