It’s less than a week until the 4th of July. AHH! So much to do and so little time. If you are having a large party or just a small gathering I will help you plan the perfect soirée. From invitations to decorations to good to fashion I will cover it all. Let’s plan…
Okay so since you only have a few days I would recommend getting out an invitation super quickly. It’s not super crafty but an evite works great especially if inviting 12 or more and since you don’t have a ton a time you want people to respond fast so you can plan food etc. another option would be a cute and casual email or text. I will leave the decision up to you.
1) Red, White, and Blue Flowerpots
Add patriotic pops of color to your 4th of July bash. Fill painted pots with red, white, and blue blooms, and line them up on your front stoop or deck.
2) 4th of July Flower Jars
These fun 4th of July Flower Jars take just minutes to pull together. Fill a clear Mason jar with fresh red, white, or blue flowers, and add a miniature American flag to finish. Put these jars outside/inside on side tables or take a big mason jar and bunch with little jars to make an impressive arrangement on your kitchen island.
3) 4th of July Lantern Table Setting
For a unique July 4th centerpiece, spray-paint matching antiques or thrift store finds with metallic red, white, or blue paint. Pair them with American flags and color-coordinated flowers for a whole table setting ready in no time!
4) 4th of July Napkin Setting
Upgrade your 4th of July dinner table with patriotic place settings. Layer a box of sparklers on top of a dinner napkin (a red/blue bandana works too) Tie together a 12-inch piece of festive ribbon around the napkin and sparklers.
5) 4th of July Buckets
Share your patriotic sentiments with guests by labeling oversize buckets with vinyl letters (find them at office supply or crafts stores). Fill the buckets with ice to keep beverages cool during a hot 4th of July celebration, or use them to hold boxes of sparklers.
6) Red, White, and Blue Fan Favors
Paper fans help guests keep cool on hot summer days. These darling ones add patriotic flair to any event. Insert sturdy straws or dowels between the ends of opened mini decorative paper fans. Glue a circle of firework-pattern paper to the center.
Editor’s Tip: Find fans at a local party supply store; look for ones that are intended to hang by a string.
7) Red, White, and Blue Picnic Servers
Spice up recycled containers (oatmeal containers work well) with scrapbooking paper to make easy utensil holders. Cut paper to size, and use a glue stick to adhere to the outside of each container. Purchase a small amount of chalkboard paint to make easy labels.
Editor’s Tip: Short on time? Scrapbooking and crafts stores often carry premade chalkboard labels.
8) 4th of July Water Bottles
Wrap small flags around water bottles for an incredibly simple way to add 4th of July spirit. Plastic or fabric flags work best — paper flags will wither as the water condenses.
Of course burgers are always a classic but to make it a bit healthier try serving turkey burgers and salmon burgers not only are these healthier they are super yummy and are just as easy to make as burgers. As another healthy option serve lots of lettuce so people can wrap their burgers in lettuce instead of using a bun.
– grilled corn (my favorite)
– steam a big thing of veggies flavor with lemon,pepper and or an assortment of spices (paprika, garlic salt, etc)
– Homemade baked sweet potato and carrot “fries”: wash and slice sweet potatoes and carrots into strips. Line a baking tray with foil use a little bit of olive oil to coat pan. In a bowl put a few grates of pepper and a pinch of salt plus a little bit more of olive oil (just enough to lightly coat veggies) mix up and spread out onto tray. Bake at 450 for 40-45 minutes.
– Red, White and Blue Salad – I will be posting the recipe for this wonderful salad in the next couple days.
Healthier Flag Cake Recipe
Yield: 20 servings
Active Time: 75
Total Time: 180
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tips)
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (see Tips) or all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Frosting & Decoration:
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
2 cups strawberries, sliced
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper; coat the paper and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
Beat granulated sugar, oil and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated.
Whisk whole-wheat (or all-purpose) flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and almond extract in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beating just until incorporated after each addition, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 28 to 34 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
To decorate: Invert the cake onto a platter. Spread the frosting over the top and sides. Mark 3 horizontal lines for the white “stripes” and a rectangle in the upper left hand corner for the “blue rectangle.” Gently pat berries with a paper towel to dry. Make 3 “stripes” of raspberries on the marked lines. Place half of the blueberries in the “blue rectangle,” leaving space between each berry. Sift the remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over the raspberries and blueberries to make them the white “stripes” and “stars.” Fill the rest of the “blue rectangle” with the remaining blueberries. Place strawberries between the rows of raspberries as the red “stripes.”
Tips and Notes:
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare frosting and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before using.
Bring eggs to room temperature by either setting them out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerging them (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
I hope you find all of these ideas helpful for planning your 4th of July party. Good luck and be expecting a great DIY beauty potion in the upcoming week. Happy 4th of July.