It’s official I’m getting old.
Next week marks 26 years and when asked by my parents what I wanted for my birthday this year, I immediately replied “a patio set”. I spent hours researching for one that would hold up in all weather conditions, looked cute and was reasonably priced. I sent my parents a link to the one I liked the best and then tracked the package everyday until it arrived.
Yup, I was that excited about a new patio set.
Back in the day I would have chuckled at my older brother for asking for things such as a new blender, rug or bath towels for his birthday and now here I am, about to turn 26 and flipping out over a little patio set.
Well 26 or 40, I got a new patio set and I’m not going to lie… I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT! Outdoor coffee in the mornings, dinners on the patio, glass of wine while Steve grills outside and most importantly, another reason to throw more dinner parties!!
Of course, I had to break in the new set right away (literally, as I just got it on Tuesday). So to kick things off, I whipped up a fun 4th of July BBQ party that you can throw together in the snap of a finger and just in time for this weekend’s celebrations.
How to Throw a Last Minute 4th of July Party
Bring the Booze. One of my favorite ways to throw a party is to have everyone bring their own alcohol to drink or share and then supply one festive cocktail for everyone to try. This 4th of July when at the store, I saw the most festive bottle of SVEDKA, #1 Imported Vodka in the US, and knew I had to whip something up using it as it not only added the perfect festive touch but also Svedka always makes for great summer outdoor entertaining (Fourth of July especially with this bottle) so I went with my go-to summer sangria recipe.
- 750 mL Moscato wine
- 1 cup Svedka vodka
- 4 cups sparkling lemonade
- 2 cups ginger ale
- sliced starberries and blueberries
- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and enjoy!
Grill out. Nothing says summer holiday like a backyard BBQ and when in a hurry, grilling is the best way to go as it’s quick, mess free and can cook mass amounts at once. My favorite things to grill for a party are corn on the cob and chicken breasts marinated over night in my favorite, Newman’s Own Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce. It contains only quality ingredients including cane sugar and black strap molasses, no high fructose corn syrup and is perfect for grilling, dipping and marinating. I place the chicken breasts in a freezer bag the night before with 1 cup of sauce to absorb overnight. Then right before guests start arriving throw them on the grill, toss the bag and you’re ready to party!
Quick and easy sides. Sides are always the crowd’s favorite part of the party so definitely not an area where you want to skimp out but also don’t want to spend too much time making them. My go-to for sides are a grilled vegetable, such as corn, brussel sprouts or a veggie skewers that can be quickly thrown together without a big mess. I also love a good chip option such as the new RITZ Crisp & Thins as everyone loves a salty snack and they come in four delicious flavor options; Sea Salt, Cream Cheese & Onion, Bacon and Salt & Vinegar. Think the richness of RITZ Crackers but in a thin and crispy, oven-baked chip and with 50% less fat than the leading regular fried potato chip. Another great option is a pre-made such as Green Giant Baked Beans, the perfect blend of spices in each bite and available in Original, Maple, Vegetarian and Country Style varieties. I’ll admit I’m kind of a bean girl and these ones are my-go to for incorporating into recipes or as a great standalone side dish for summer BBQs.
Last but not least, a summer salad that can be make the night before and tossed as guests are arriving. My favorite summer salad as of lately is this Penne Citrus Salad made with a spring mix lettuce blend and topped with some of my favorite toppings such as feta cheese and Mario Camacho Olives. The best part is these olives are packed loose without the juice so ready to toss directly into the salad but also make as a great healthy and gluten free with no saturated fat and low calorie (60 calories per pouch) snack by themselves. Plus they’re available in four delicious flavours: Garlic, Savory pepper, Sea Salt Green, Sea Salt Ripe, so people will think you’re really fancy when you put these out;) and you can find a coupon here. Add the final ingredient, a a fruity blend of citrus flavors, from lemon and lime to tangerine and one of my favorite dressings, Newman’s Own Citrus Splash Dressing. It adds the perfect refreshing touch and is great on main dishes, side dishes and as a marinade as well with artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and kosher certified. Full recipe below.
- 1 bag of spring mix lettuce or spinach
- 1 cup of penne pasta (cooked and cooled completely)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta (or cheese of your choice)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 avocado (diced)
- 2 packages of Mario Camacho Savory Pepper olives
- Newman’s Own Citrus Splash Dressing (desired amount)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss.
- Add dressing and lightly toss again before serving.
Dessert time. Of course, last but not least (and quite frankly my favorite part) dessert. For the the holiday weekend, I recommend a light and fruity dessert such as my mini berry galettes that are simple to throw together before the guests arrive and are not too heavy so everyone can enjoy one even after they indulge in all the other delicious food!
What are your plans for the holiday weekend? What’s your favorite thing to bring to a backyard bbq?
This post was sponsored by Babblebox, but opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the partnerships that keep Blog Appétit up and running!