July 4 is one of the best times of the year to host, and I can tell you that I can’t wait to watch fireworks from the rooftop of my friend’s gorgeous slot home near Sloan’s Lake. The snow’s finally melted and everybody’s made progress on their lawns and gardens. Want your party to be unforgettable? We asked some of our team for some of their favorite easy ways to make your menu stand out.
Jennifer’s Patriotic Pie
Gently toss 4 cups of strawberries, 2 cups of blueberries, ¾ cup white granulated sugar, 6 tbs all-purpose flour, and 1 tsp lemon juice in a medium bowl. Pour into a prepared pie crust. Unroll a second pie crust and cut starts into the dough to place on top of the pie. Brush stars and crust with a beaten egg, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Bake for 45 minutes at 400F. Allow to sit for 1-2 hours before serving.
Steve’s Grilled Pineapple
Sprinkle a little cajun seasoning or a spicy/sweet combo on pineapple, marinate for at least half an hour. Put on a skewer and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Can be combined with a chicken dish or served on its own.
Matty’s Refreshing Summer Salad
On top of a bed of arugula, pour lemon, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Select a cheese that doesn’t melt and does well on the grill- haloumi, kefalotyri, or a grilling queso work wonderfully- and grill just enough for it to show char marks. Top the salad with the cheese, cubed watermelon and chopped bacon.
Jess’ Red, White, and Blue Sangria
Start with the fruit: In a pitcher, mix red and blue berries and 1 cup of apple juice and a bottle of dry white wine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Use a cookie cutter to make small stars out of a granny smith apple. When you’re ready to serve, pour a bottle of champagne and the apple into the pitcher. Add ice and make sure to serve with a compostable or reusable straw.
Desiree’s 1-Minute Dip
Mix a tub or square of crumbled feta cheese with just enough olive oil to cover the top. Mash with a fork until the olive oil is well mixed, stir in red pepper flakes to taste. Serve with a sea salt and olive oil cracker.
We hope you enjoy these recipes and the time you get to spend sharing your home with your favorite guests. And if you don’t have a back yard or deck, think about where you could be a year from now, sitting with your favorite people in your very own oasis. Contact Neat Homes to help find a perfect space for entertaining your loved ones.