July 4th Entertaining Made Easy

July 4th Entertaining Made Easy

I grew up where the July 4th parade was a big deal! We’re talking about tons of floats,  kids and adults a like lining the neighborhood streets for miles.  Now that I have children of my own, I want them to have the same experience as I did!

However, juggling the pool, beach, lake etc. and then entertaining for family and friends can be difficult.  That is why I have chosen 4 easy DIY décor and food items that easily fit into anyone’s budget!

Remember the burlap wreath I made from this post? I have used this wreath for Halloween, Christmas, Spring, and now 4th of July.

DIY Burlap Wreath

I simply added this red, burlap & blue star that was on sale from Pottery Barn, and now I have a patriotic wreath for my front door!

Next up is a quick and easy menu.  I love watermelon and mint together, it’s so refreshing during the hot summer.  Some people add feta, however I decided to add a blueberry to top off my skewer.

 

Watermelon, Mint & Blueberry skewers

You can make this the day before or 5-10 min before your event.

Another easy food item is cherries. You can bring these with you to the park, beach, pool etc. and place them in a decorate container or in a martini glass with blue at the bottom for an added effect.  Cheeries

Lastly, don’t forget about the flowers. If you follow my posts, you know I love hydrangeas.  Not only are hydrangeas beautiful, but they’re simple, elegant and not too feminine  or masculine. Hydrangeas come in different colors and are relatively inexpensive. For your July 4th celebration choose white and blue and bunch them together in a clear or white vase. Remember, hydrangeas require a lot of water, but will last a long time as long as they are submerged in water.

4th of Julyl Entertaining Made Easy

Don’t have a patriotic tray on hand? You can go to Michael’s and buy this one that was on sale or buy a plan wooden tray and paint it yourself. I also enjoy using candles and lanterns as part of the décor, which sets the mood as the day turns to night.

For more 4th of July menu and décor inspiration check out my previous post here.

Wishing you a happy Independence Day with your family and friends!

Vendor Credits

Event Design, Style & Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions http://www.sarahsofiaproductions.com

White and blue striped tray – Michaels http://www.michaels.com

DIY Burlap Wreath – Sarah Sofia Productions

Red and Blue Burlap Star – Pottery Barn http://www.potterybarn.com

White star lantern – Ikea USA http://www.ikea.com

I Scream You Scream We All Scream For Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Homemade ice cream sandwiches are the perfect dessert for kids and adults on a summer’s night or for a festive party!  Bake your favorite cookie, one of mine is Tollhouse Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal, and let them cool.  Turn cookies over and add two scoops of vanilla or coffee ice cream to the bottom of a cookie and place the other cookie on top to make sandwich.  Add sprinkles for a dash of color.

Light Summer Desserts

Summer is the perfect time to be creative with your food and make delicious but healthy choices.  Two of my favorite desserts that we had this past week while enjoying some R&R on Lake Norman are peach and blueberry cobbler (shown above) and grilled peaches.

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients: Serves 20

  • 5 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (make sure they are not too ripe)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of splenda, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup light butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries or 1 container
  • 2 tablespoons of splenda for top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place peaches in a large bowl.  Drizzle lemon juice and add 3/4 cup of splenda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons flour to mixture and toss.  Spray Pam on 13 x 9 inch backing dish and pour mixture evenly.  Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  In another bowl, place the remaining 1/4 cup splenda and butter and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add eggs one at a time to mixture; stir in vanilla, then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture.  Stir in blueberries.  Spread mixture evenly over peach mixture; sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons of splenda.  Bake for an hour or until topping is golden.  Less than 200 calories if cut for 20 servings.  Serve with low/reduced calorie vanilla ice cream.  Note, you can use sugar instead of splenda.

Grilled Peaches

Ingredients: Serves 8

  • 8 peaches, peeled, pitted and halved (make sure they are not too ripe)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons splenda brown sugar blend
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat grill to high then reduce to medium/low depending on grill.  Combine lemon juice and butter in a bowl and add peaches.  Toss to coat.  Place peaches on a large piece of tin-foil.  Stir together splenda brown sugar blend, water, vanilla, cinnamon,and salt.  Brush over peaches.  Fold foil to form a packet, crimping edges to seal.  Grill covered for 10-15 minutes.  Slice peaches and divide among 8 bowls.  Top with low/reduced calorie vanilla ice cream.  Note, you can use brown sugar instead of the splenda substitute.