An Independence Day Food Extravaganza: Fourth of July Recipes

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays in the United States. Growing up in Italy, I would only see it on TV. It was when I moved to the United States that I discovered the fun, energetic and patriotic spirit of the people celebrating Independence Day. What intrigued me even more was the variety of foods available during the celebration. From pies, to pizzas, to pigs in a blanket, everything sounded too delish to be true. As we are about to celebrate the 4th of July for 2013, I thought to share with you some of my favorite recipes that will delight your palate.

On the 4th of July, start your day with a patriotic breakfast.


What better way than using the red, blue and white colors of our flag? Mix your favorite Greek yogurt with blueberries, raspberries and almonds bits. Drizzle with honey and enjoy.

As lunch rolls in, you want to be able to have something easy that requires little work.  A sandwich seems a perfect solution. Call it PANINI and you have a winner! Is it finger food? Entree? No matter what, it will delight your taste buds.


You can use your imagination and make any of your favorite combinations. One of my favorite Panini assemblages is grilled bread, fresh tomatoes and basil with mozzarella. Stack of the ingredients and then place in a Panini press. If you don’t have one, just use your pan and press the Panini down with something heavy (i.e. smaller pan). However, your possibilities are infinite. Brie, pears and honey mustard is a perfect ten for a Panini.  As a side, you can serve veggies, salads, chips, kale chips, baked veggie etc.

As dinner roll in, the 4th of July screams ground meat! Specifically, burgers and meatballs. Burgers have always the spotlight, so today, we will focus on the underdogs:  Meatballs!


If you want to keep it leaner, use ground turkey. Otherwise, you can use ground beef. In a bowl, mix ground meat with your favorite seasoning. I usually use a chipotle based seasoning because of the smoked flavor. Add, one egg, a half a cup of bread crumbs (or panko or oatmeal), fresh herbs (especially sage and rosemary). Mix everything together. With your hands, form small balls and line on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake is oven for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve hot or cold with your favorite sauce.

Of course we cannot forget about dessert.  This is the time to indulge. Buy your favorite desserts. The ones that you wish you could eat every day . The ones that make your eyes roll. And enjoy!

HAPPY 4th of JULY!




Five July 4th Inspired Wedding Ideas

The 4th of July means something different to everybody. Picnics in the park, barbecues, and of course fireworks, are all memories I’m sure many of us have.  There are so many ways to celebrate this special day on your special day. So I pulled together five great 4th of July inspired wedding ideas:

Let Them Eat Cupcakes: Although you may not want a three tiered red, white, and blue wedding cake, you can however do cupcakes with red, white, and blue icing. You can even place them in clear cupcake boxes. This allows your guests to take their cupcakes home. You have now created an edible souvenir for your guests!

Drink Up: Festive drinks are great no matter the occasion. So why not serve one that will help people celebrate the 4th? Try this 4th of July layered drink, Sobe Pina Colada, Fruit Punch, G2 Blueberry-Pomegranate. It’s not only visually appealing, it’s also delicious.

Dress Code: Give your guests a dress code. Ask them to dress in the colors that represent the 4th. Whether it’s a navy suit, red dress, or a white shoe, it doesn’t matter. Giving your friends this kind of creative freedom may be a little scary. It’s okay to give rules that may help rein in those friends who may take it a little too far. There is such a thing as being too festive.

Kiddie Blankets: If your reception is outside, this tip may be perfect for you. Often times kids aren’t allowed to attend the reception. If by chance you are allowing them to do so, instead of a table for the children, try laying out picnic blankets for the them to sit on. Create a space where they can eat, and make a mess. It’s also helpful for parents who worry about their children spilling on the beautiful tablecloth, or knocking over the centerpieces. This is also great if by chance you’re going to have a fireworks show.

Ending The Night: It’s traditional to throw rice, rose petals, or even blow bubbles. Try bending tradition a little. Give sparklers to your guests to light for your exit. You can then walk down the lit aisle arm in arm with the one you love, and into your wonderful new life that’s sure to be filled with infinite happiness.