In my opinion, the 4th of July is basically Thanksgiving of the summer. It is a day about hanging out, eating, and enjoying time with friends, and I think it is safe to say that if you are foodies like us, you take your menu very seriously! The 4th is also a fun holiday to cook and bake for with the obvious red, white, and blue theme – it feels like a creative challenge to find ways to incorporate those colors naturally into your spread.
One thing we have realized over the years is that as serious foodies, you sometimes can go too overboard with menu planning and finding new elaborate recipes to try. That is why I am sharing this post that has all our summer entertaining old-faithful’s. These are recipes we make at least once or twice a summer, and are things people expect when they come over for a cook out. Because what is a summer barbecue without ribs, salads, and a perfect summer dessert?
Ok, so here are links to all my favorite summer staple recipes!
First, lets start with the MEATS.
This is my husband’s recipe for ribs, which are actually oven baked. I know you are thinking… didn’t you say “cook-out”? Well let’s be honest that the 4th of July here in the PNW isn’t always sunny, so ribs in the oven are a great option when it is a little drizzly. Also, the oven provides you with consistent temps which results in a rack of ribs that are tender all the way through.
Next, on to the sides!
Here is a link to my two stand-by side dishes: coleslaw (with homemade dressing of course), and potato salad. Both are so easy to whip up and are so much better when made from scratch opposed to the junk in the store that is so full of preservatives it’s expiration date is several years from purchase…
Lastly, on to desserts!
Honestly I couldn’t choose between my favorites, and as you can see in the pictures, one year I decided to make them all!
The first and I would say my most favorite because it is so fun to decorate is red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I have done many variations of decorating this cake over the years from something tiered with red and blue berry stripes, to this single-pan cake I did and topped with strawberry hearts, blueberries and coconut. Take whatever liberties you want with decorating this one, just have fun!
The next dessert suggestion should however not be quickly dismissed, because it is one of our favorite desserts of all time. This my friends, is my treasured Blueberry Pie recipe! Let me insert a disclaimer here: I really don’t like pie. When I think about Pie I think about cans of overly sweet fillings full of preservatives, and crappy diners that serve them like Denny’s. I guess I haven’t had that much good pie in my life! This one, however, is so polar opposite of that kind of pie. With very few and simple ingredients combined with fresh summer blueberries, this pie is so fresh and fantastic! Even if you aren’t a pie lover or if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you will love this pie. And if you love pie? Shit you are going to flip over how good this pie is!
Okay, last but not the least I am sharing my firecracker cut out cookies as a great dessert option! I wouldn’t serve them on their own… however decorated and dished on the table with one of the above desserts will really make things look festive and fun.
Well, if that’s not a turn-key menu for the 4th, I don’t know what is! I hope you find some great recipes here you want to keep and continue to serve over the years, which I feel like surely you will do. Happy 4th of July everyone!!
X.O. Abbey Co.
Here are supplies I used to make the recipes above turn out extra awesome:
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Amazon Affiliates program… I am not sponsored by any of these products, I just really like them! I do however get a little kick-back if you purchase anything through the links provided. Prices are no different than if you were just shopping on your own 🙂