For many, the Fourth of July evokes memories of great times with family—having fun in the water, eating together, and maybe watching a parade or fireworks (my favorite). I love the pride and unification it promotes for our great nation. Last year, we hosted some friends for dinner, went to celebrate in Seguin at a concert of patriotic songs in the square, and wrapped it up with a fantastic fireworks display. It was so much fun!
At the center of many of most 4th of July celebrations are amazing summertime foods and drinks. If you are entertaining for the 4th this year, Brandon and I wanted to share a few recipes you might be interested in trying at your party:
- Light and refreshing cocktails are the order of the day when the heat sets in, and sangria is a sure crowd pleaser. Try combining a bottle of red wine (something light like a Tempranillo or Pinot Noir) with a half cup to a whole cup of brandy (depending on how strong you want your sangria to be), and sliced fruit of your choice. This one is great to make ahead and have ready to go when guests arrive. Be sure to serve over ice.
- Salads are a great make-ahead item for a party as well. Watermelon helps to compose a festive salad and is sure to make everyone smile. In a large bowl, combine as many cubes of watermelon as you like with some fresh arugula, spring onions and cucumbers. If you like a salty bite in your salad, consider adding some feta cheese crumbles. You could also add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts for an extra crunch. We recommend dressing your salad very simply with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- For those of you who won’t be grilling, a low-stress entrée option is a braised roast. While the name sounds intimidating, braising is very easy to do. Beef roasts are a great choice to braise. Grab a generously sized shoulder roast with lots of marbling. Season your beef on all sides with salt and pepper and then quickly brown the meat on all sides in a pan. You’re not trying to cook it through, only get a nice crust. Place your browned meat in a large deep-sided, oven-safe vessel (a dutch oven works best) with some chopped carrots, celery, white onion, and garlic. Cover the entire mixture with either a red wine (Red Zinfandel works great) or beef stock. Place a lid or aluminum foil over the top, put the entire thing in a 275 degree oven, and let it cook for four or five hours. When you’re ready to serve, strain out the vegetables, and the meat will be buttery and fork tender! Bonus – there will be lots of amazing natural gravy in the pot.
- These Mini White Chocolate Cheesecake Phyllo Tarts are a delicious dessert to try. The recipe is for a peppermint version, but you could skip the peppermint extract and candy and opt for a raspberry or a blueberry on top instead. Or, for a good, but low(ish) calorie dessert option, you can try these Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcakes.
We hope you have a great time celebrating the 4th with your friends and family!
4th of July Festivities around San Antonio:
San Antonio 4th of July Celebration – July 4, 8:00 am – 9:30 pm at Woodlawn Lake Park
Red White & Blues – July 4, 12:00 to 6:00 pm at Pearl Park
Schertz Jubilee – July 4, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm at Pickrell Park
Boerne Fourth of July Fireworks – July 4, 8:00 pm at Boerne City Park
Leon Valley 4th of July Festival & Fireworks Spectacular – July 4, 10:00 am to dusk
Helotes Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks – July 1, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Seguin Fourth of July Festivities – July 1-4
Six Flags Fiesta Texas July 4th Fest – July 2-4
Sea World Fourth of July Celebration – July 4
Morgan’s Wonderland 4th of July Celebration– July 4
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