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Meg is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. After going through high school thinking she “didn’t like to write,” she found her love for it her freshman year at college and it’s only deepened since then. Upon graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Communication in 2013, she began working in online marketing for the hospitality industry. She currently splits her time between NYC, where she works, and NJ, where she lives—but hopes that one day she’ll be able to live & work in the same state (that’s the dream).

4th of July Recipes For Your Party

Happy Birthday America! It’s July 4th, or Independence Day depending on your preference, this Friday. What do you say we celebrate our country the best way we know how—with food? Like most of the holidays that are centered around gathering with friends and family and having a big party, July 4th has it’s own class of recipes that fit it best. Because of it’s mid-summer date, this holiday is all about the outdoors. A BBQ, pool party, or an outdoor meal by the grill—I’ve collected a list of some of my summertime favorites that you should make for your party this weekend.

Image Credit: Ina Garten

Flag Cake {via ina garten for food network}
We’re not exactly going to reinvent the wheel with this one (using strawberries, blueberries, and whip cream to craft a cake?! This is brand new information!) but it just wouldn’t be the 4th of July without it. I’ve included the link to the recipe I’ve used in the past but by no means must you follow this one. You can make any sort of the cake you want (red velvet would be extra pretty and unexpected), homemade or otherwise and buy or make whip cream, use whip topping, or make vanilla frosting for the base. Than just arrange the blueberries and sliced strawberries over it the top in the shape of a flag.

Peach-Whiskey BBQ Chicken {via thepioneerwoman}
Grilled chicken or barbeque chicken is normally a mainstay for any summer cookout, this holiday included, and this peach-whiskey version from Ree Drummond is a spectacular way to change up an original. For how delicious this tastes, the recipe is shockingly easy and can be made to feed a crowd. The sweetness of the peach mixed with the tang of the barbeque sauce, and the kick from the whiskey tastes like fireworks in your mouth (get it?).

Image Credit: howsweeteats / jessica merchant

Ginger Beergaritas {via howsweeteats}
Beergaritas are one of my favorite things. You can buy a great variety of these in stores now because they have become a lot of people’s favorite drinks but since it is a holiday, it’s the perfect reason to spend a little extra time prepping a drink for the crowd. The ginger in these is a nice refreshing twist for what is sure to be—hopefully—a hot day and it’ll make these beergaritas different from the more typical kind.

Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salad {via rachael ray magazine}
It’s very easy to phone it in as far as the side dishes go for a party, spending all your time on both the main course and the often time consuming desserts. This makes me sad because there are plenty of very quick & delicious side dishes to make. This grilled corn and black bean salad this is one of my favorites, I actually make it a lot more often than just July 4th. If you have never grilled corn before (why?) then you must make this side and watch as it disappears quicker than any of the other dishes on the table. I normally skip the radishes when I make it and it’s perfect, but if you like them I say go for it!

Image Credit: buttersideupblog / Erica Lea

Southern Baked Beans {via paula deen for food network}
You have to have baked beans at a BBQ. In fact, hosting one without serving them is an offense punishable with a minimum of 6 years in prison (unconfirmed). Even if my stats aren’t exactly right—why would you take the risk? These will perfectly compliment the peach-whiskey chicken you’ll be making—or any other main course you decide to make. These are so easy—you literally throw everything into a pot and turn it on—that you don’t have to worry about carving out time in your day to make them.

Lemon Bars {via buttersideup blog}
Oh my, these bars. Be careful of these bars because they will go quick (this is confirmed)! They are the best lemon bars I’ve ever made—perfect texture, just the right amount of lemon, and an additively delicious buttery crust—and just scream 4th of July holiday party. I always advocate for making some sort of bar dessert when you are serving a crowd because it makes feeding everyone so much easier than a something more complicated, and these are the pick for this night.

What are your favorite July 4th cookout recipes?

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