Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July

Inviting over a few friends for the 4th of July? Or need a patriotic dish for a family picnic or potluck?

Relax. We've got you covered! Check out these tips and hints, perfect for any star-spangled celebration or backyard BBQ this summer.

7 Tips for Hosting a 4th of July Party

  1. Dazzle with red-white-and-blue desserts.
    Stir up something pretty and patriotic, like today's featured recipe: Star-Spangled Pie. Loaded with fresh summer berries, it's dreamy and delicious with a luscious layer of coconut cream. (You'll find step-by-step photos and tips at the end of this post!)

    Here are a few of our other red-white-and-blue favorites, too:
  2. Keep your cool with cook-out classics.
    Burgers. Grilled chicken. Hot dogs. Ribs. Keep it casual, and keep it simple! And if you don't want to be busy grilling while your guests arrive, burgers and chicken can be made 30 minutes before the cook-out. (Just tent them with foil and place them in a 200°F oven to keep them warm.) Ribs can even be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge until you're ready to reheat them.
  3. Serve a pasta salad or two.
    Pasta salads pair well with virtually anything, and they are a hearty and inexpensive way to feed a full house.

    If you're looking for a new recipe, try one of these:
  4. Don't forget the fresh fruits and veggies.
    Fruit and veggie platters are always a hit with all ages, and they make it easy for everyone to start snacking, even before the rest of the food is ready. Plus, no cooking is necessary!
  5. Set up a separate drink station.
    To avoid overcrowding, set up a small separate area for drinks away from the food. Offer a couple coolers filled with ice, soda, beer and bottled water, and if you do want to offer a mixed drink, just offer one "signature" cocktail for the day. Orange Beer-Margarita Mix is one of my personal faves!
  6. Plan for fireworks.
    Lucky enough to watch fireworks from your front yard? Set up folding chairs and a special viewing area with blankets. Just lay down a plastic drop cloth on the ground first to make sure your guests don't get damp. (It will help with bugs, too!)
  7. Keep it fun for the kids.
    Cover the kids' table with white craft paper, and include jars of red and blue markers. Outdoor games, like horseshoes, are always fun for kids (and adults)! And if you think the party will go late, make sure you have a cozy spot for young kiddos to nap or watch movies inside.

Ok, Ready to Make Your Star-Spangled Pie? Here's the quick rundown. See the full recipe »

Step 1: Bake the Crust & Stars
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Remove two refrigerated pie crusts from the package, and let them rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Unroll your first crust; place it into a pie plate, crimping the edges. Prick the crust several times with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July - step 1

While it's cooling, unroll the second crust onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out star shapes with 1- and 2-inch cookie cutters; place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush 'em with water, and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, and cool.

Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July - Step 2

Step 2: Stir & Spread the Filling
In a small bowl, combine one packet of Coconut Cream Pie Cheese Ball Mix with 8 ounces softened cream cheese.

Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July - step 3

Carefully spread it over your cooled crust.

Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July - Step 4

Step 3: Mix Red & Blue Berries
And last but not least, toss 3 cups of mixed berries with ½ cup of strawberry or raspberry pie filling.

Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July - Step 5

Pile the fruit filling onto your crust, and then decorate the top with your reserved cut-out stars. And ta-da! You've got a gorgeous star-spangled dessert.

Bring on the Red, White & Blue: Fun Tips for the 4th of July - Recipe

No matter what your plans may be, don't forget to kick back and enjoy. And with this dazzling red-white-and-blue dessert, look out … you just might create a few fireworks of your own.

Have a safe and happy 4th!

- Jen

Tips & Hints

  • I used a mixture of fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for my pie. Strawberries would be delicious, too. Use whatever combination you like!
  • Instead of canned pie filling, you can also substitute ½ cup strawberry glaze.
  • Entertaining with friends or family? This is a really easy recipe to double, since your Coconut Cream Pie Cheese Ball Mix includes two packets. You can make 2 separate pies, or simply press two crusts together into a rimmed 15 x 10 baking sheet to make one large slab pie for a crowd.

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