Despite the fact that it feels like summer just started yesterday, the Fourth of July is nearly upon us! If you’ve been a blog reader for some time, you might know that in my family, the Fourth of July is a big deal. Each year we gather at my grandmother’s lake home for a few days of classic Minnesota lake life. It is hands down one of my favorite times of the year. I love the sun soaked days chasing happy kids around and catching up with my extended family. Oh, and did I mention the food is always amazing? My grandmother is an incredible cook and always makes a fantastic feast on the Fourth. Filled with summertime classics as well as old family favorites, it is a meal everyone looks forward. Over time, and as our family has grown, the meal has become a larger family project, with everyone contributing their Fourth of July favorites. Today, I’m sharing my Fourth of July Favorites including some new recipes that I can’t wait to try this upcoming holiday weekend!
You can’t have a Fourth of July celebration in Minnesota without corn, right? While I will always love an old school piece of corn on the cob, lately we’ve been switching things up and making double (and triple!) batches of this Mexican Street Corn salad. It’s completely addicting and perfect for summer.
About ten years ago, I started making this Simple Pico de Gallo and it’s now a required dish at our family Fourth. My aunt Dawn especially loves it and I make a batch of it each year just for her! It’s absolutely fantastic with fresh summer tomatoes and cilantro from my grandma’s garden. Don’t be skimpy with the limes or the salt and if you’re feeling spicy, add a little extra jalapeño.
I think just about every Fourth of July gathering involves some form of potato salad. My aunt Dawn (of the pico de Gallo fame) makes a classic yellow potato salad each year that is great. I also love Roseanne Carter Cash’s recipe for potato salad. This year, I’m going to make a batch of our Herb Potato Salad to add to the feast. It’s light, full of bright summer herb flavors, and (best of all!) is mayo free so no worries about it sitting out and people getting sick.
And because you absolutely have to have watermelon on the Fourth of July, I’m also going to give this Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint a try! I love the mix of savory and sweet as well as the addition of basil and avocado. It’s like the best of the farmer’s market all in one salad.
Ina’s legendary flag cake is always a hit on the Fourth, but I think I’m going to try something a little more simple this year and make up one of these adorable red, white, and blue snack trays for the kids!
Another family tradition is making homemade ice cream on the fourth. My grandma has a few old fashioned, hand-cranked, ice cream makers and the entire family pitches in to hand crank a batch of maple nut ice cream on the afternoon of the big day! It’s a bit of a workout that is well rewarded by super yummy ice cream. This year, I want to try making these Skinny Strawberries and Cream Popsicles, too! If you’re looking for an ice cream dessert that is super simple, try our No Bake Ice Cream Bars. They are perfect for a crowd and come together in less than 15 minutes.
Here’s to a happy, safe Fourth of July celebration!
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