5 Outstanding Mains To Grill For Your July 4th Party (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

Ready to celebrate America’s freedom?

Since it’s traditional to have a big barbecue bash on the Fourth of July, there’s no reason to fight it. Grilling food is delicious, easy and a lot of fun, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, there’s no denying that it can be a little lackluster, with guests picking at charred hot dogs and cardboard burger patties that didn’t get enough seasoning love and were left on the grill for way too long.

Don’t let this happen to you, and don’t worry! Grilling is pretty easy, and there are a lot of really exciting foods you can make this Independence Day. Just be warned: If you follow these recipes, your guests might expect you to do the cooking every year.

1. The World’s Best Cheeseburger

It’s pretty likely that you’re going to have burgers — this handy guide will give you everything you need to know to avoid serving hockey pucks to your loved ones. Want to do something a little more decadent? Stuff your burgers! Here’s how.

2. Best Barbecued Pork Ribs​

Ribs are actually pretty easy to cook on the grill, as long as you are able to get them set up a few hours early. If not, you can braise them for a while in the oven first (feel free to do this before your guests arrive) and then throw them on the grill with all your other food until they get a little browned. Here’s how to whip up an assortment of easy homemade BBQ sauce that you can serve on the side or slather on your ribs the last 20 or so minutes of cooking.

3. Fajita Chicken Kebabs

These easy, lean kebabs are such a nice change of pace from all the red meat, carbs and fatty, delicious sides and snacks you’ll probably be gnawing on. If you want, you can make these vegetarian by leaving out the meat completely or replacing it with tofu (here’s a great way to grill it), mushrooms, zucchini or whatever else tickles your fancy.

4. Grilled White House Pizza

Pizza sounds really difficult to make, but using store-bought dough takes out a ton of the work and mess, plus grilling it is not only super easy, but the high heat replicates a pizza oven way better than a regular oven does. The sweet potatoes add an unexpectedly excellent texture, although you are free to use any toppings you want — just make sure to cook them first, especially if you’re using meat. You know what would be awesome? Grilled shrimp with white sauce.

5. Broiled Steak Kabobs With Orange Relish

Your guests will probably expect burgers and dogs, but if you want to diverge a little from that while still satisfying them with big hunks of beef, this is a great way to make your meal a little fancier. Plus, the orange relish/salsa adds a brilliant pop of freshness — you might consider making it as a side even if you aren’t doing these steak kabobs.

Happy Fourth!

Featured Photo Credit: Mark Levisay/Flickr

Tags: easy dinner recipe, fourth of july, grill recipe, July 4th, summer dinners
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13 Pretty And Patriotic Fourth Of July Cakes (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

Whatever you’re doing this Fourth of July, it very likely involves delicious food. After cracking open a few beers and cooking dinner on the grill, you’ll need a sweet course to truly revel in the holiday spirit. Check out this fine compilation of cakes, and you’ll have a red, white and blue dessert to look forward to all weekend.

1. Angel Food Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and Berries

This beautiful layered cake comes together in a jiffy. Coconut cream is whipped into a light and fluffy topping, berries are soaked in sugar to bring out their sweetness, and the final product really does look like food fit for angels.

2. Fourth of July Sparkler Cake

This cake may be protected by a fence of white-chocolate-dipped pretzels, but that won’t stop you from digging right in once it’s finished. You can use your favorite type of cake mix, but make sure you replace the water in the recipe with coffee creamer, which the baker says makes it extra moist.

3. Fourth of July Cupcake Flag

You don’t have to be a pro at icing intricate designs to create a statement-making display. Frost your favorite kind of cupcakes in red, white and blue, and arrange edible sugar stars on the upper left corner to make a fabulous flag.

4. Fourth of July Cake Roll

A challenge for the brave, this cake involves spreading red and blue cake batter in a pan in alternating stripes. Once it’s baked and cooled, roll it up and spread it generously with icing made from sweet and sticky marshmallow cream. Your party guests will be delighted to cut into the surprise inside.

5. Red, White and Blue Cake Balls

Speaking of surprise on the inside, these cake pops are bite-sized bits of unexpected color. Start by forming tiny blue cake balls, then cover them with layers of white and red cake-ball mixes, and dip the pops into candy coating. Don’t skimp on the festive sprinkles on top.

6. DIY Fourth of July Confetti Cake

This adaptable recipe calls for any cake you like, which means the flavor options are endless. Frost a red velvet, chocolate, lemon, buttermilk or strawberry cake with the icing of your choice, and fleck the whole thing with pieces of sugar sheet. The cake will look like it got covered in confetti during a Fourth of July parade.

7. Mini Shortcake Cups

Ditch the cake plate and serving knife, and make these easy-to-grab shortcake cups instead. Made with store-bought angel food cake, berries and whipped cream or Cool Whip, they’re easy for any last-minute host to throw together.

8. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Enjoy all the cuteness and photo worthiness of ice cream cones — without dripping pesky dairy product on your hands. In this case, cake cones work as perfect vessels for, well, cake. Fitting indeed.

9. No-Bake Mixed Berry Icebox Cake

Crunchy graham crackers turn pleasantly soft when layered with a decadent mixture of whipped cream and cream cheese. The delightfully easy no-bake recipe calls for patriotically colorful berries, but you can add chopped nuts or a chocolate drizzle if you want a little something extra.

10. Fireworks Sugar Cookie Cake

Wow any crowd with this eye-catching and vibrant dessert, no food coloring necessary. The cookie cake, plus the bounty of M&M’s and sprinkles, will transport you back to your fondest childhood memories.

11. Fourth of July Pinata Cake

The best kind of pinatas are those you can actually eat. This red and blue velvet cake has a hole in the center, filled with an overflowing pile of M&M’s, Sno-Caps and white chocolate chips for an avalanche of sugary goodness.

12. Red, White and Blue Poke Cake

Cake meets pie in this sweet yet refreshing Funfetti treat, saturated with blueberry and strawberry pie fillings and finished with a thick layer of Cool Whip.

13. Ina Garten’s Flag Cake

Ina Garten gives her sponge cake an extra element of moisture and tang with sour cream. The goddess then carefully places fresh berries and pipes cream cheese frosting into an effortlessly beautiful American flag. If that doesn’t make you proud to be an American, I don’t know what will.

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Tags: baking, Cakes, cupcakes, fourth of july, July 4th, patriotic, red white and blue
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Outshine The Fireworks With These 12 Amazing July 4th Desserts


By Cooking Panda

The Fourth of July is fast approaching, and we’re here to help! Bring any of these insanely creative sweet treats to the festivities this weekend (or just make them for yourself, let’s be real) and instantly win over the hearts and minds of anyone who tastes them.

1. Jello Firecrackers

Throw in some whipped cream vodka, and you’re good to go.

2. Fourth of July Bark

Simple, festive and delicious.

3. Buzzed Cherry Bombs

Candy-coated cherries soaked in vanilla vodka – yum! Alternately, you can make them virgin by skipping the booze and soaking them in a little vanilla extract.

4. American Flag Donuts

They look gorgeous and are easier to decorate than you might think. If you want to go the extra mile, slap an American flag on these heavenly sweet potato donuts.

5. Apple Pie Spice Sugar Cookies

What’s more American than apple pie? American flag-covered apple pie cookies, of course!

6. Deep-Fried Apple Pies

You can also deep fry your apple pie to reach maximum American.

7. Red White and Blue Watermelon Salad

Don’t bring a boring fruit salad! Bring herbed watermelon, jicama, cucumber and berries instead! You can even crumble some feta over the top for an extra savory punch.

8. Stars and Stripes Cheesecake Shots

We can’t decide if these are more adorable or delicious. We’ll go with both.

9. Jelly Doughnut Holes

It doesn’t get any more American than fried food.

10. Deep Fried Watermelon

Surprisingly tasty. Drizzle with blueberry syrup for Uncle Sam bonus points.

11. American Flag Cake

Woah! Feel free to make it easier on yourself and reduce the number of stripes (layers) if need be.

12. Fry Bread with Ice Cream, Bananas and Caramel Sauce

Feel free to add berries if you want to fit the red, white and blue color scheme for this delicious Native American treat.

Featured Photo Credit: The Cake Blog

Tags: desserts, fourth of july, holiday recipe, July 4th, patriotic desserts
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