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4th of July Weekend - What are your plans?

I thought it would be interesting to see what other hounds are doing on the long weekend in and around the city. Any big plans for a night out? Going to a cookout and making your best dish? Going out of town? Just thought it would be fun to compare and trade ideas!

This weekend, I have 2 parties to go to. One party is a family cook out on Friday with the usual cook out food. Good ole' American hot dogs and burgers. I'm taking cole slaw, I have a recipe that is probably the best cole slaw I've ever had and I'm making my famous buffalo chicken dip which is always a hit with large crowds. Saturday, my husband and I are hosting a party and I'm attempting to make pulled pork for a crowd of 30. Wish me luck!

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  1. Wow. Some of my plans are up in the air right now, but Friday, I think a bunch of us will go to the free symphony outdoor performance and watch fireworks while we picnic. I haven't thought about food options for that, since someone is checking into whether the silly one-ziploc (allegedly, we're only allowed one gallon ziplocs worth of food, which is ridiculous) is strictly enforced, b/c that will affect food choices.

    Saturday, if I am feeling ambitious, I have a friend in town, so I might Caltrain it up to SF early and go to the Ferry Plaza if they are up for that.

    Saturday evening, I'm going to Chez TJ. I don't eat out much, (and certainly not at these sorts of establishments) so this'll be a rare treat. It's within walking distance from my house, and it got a Michelin star. My friend and I talked about doing this (in lieu of giving more useless gifts that both of us don't need or have the room for for our respective birthdays) back in Jan/Feb, to celebrate life, friendship, etc. We are looking forward to it.

    Sunday is more food and celebration (though one is a sort of celebratory, but a memorial service for a friend).

    Gosh. I need to buckle down and start thinking of food ideas.

    1. How thoughtful of you to ask! We are lucky enough to be able to travel up north to visit my father in law in Mendocino every year or so. Since my boys were babies, we've rented an RV and taken about 4 days or so to drive up there. Now that the gas prices are out of sight, it's no longer the cheaper way to go, but boy it sure is fun.

      So we have the RV on the fourth, so we're filling it up and driving about 2 miles from our house to our local beach, and parking it for the duration!

      I plan to grill Dodger dogs and beer braised brats for lunch; then I'm serving onion brisket and hearty chili (with chips & fixings) from my crockpot for dinner. Along with all the snacks for the kids, I'm making baby twice baked potatoes, orzo salad with feta, bell peppers and pine nuts; tomato, avocado and corn salad, and of course, desserts - rocky road brownies, blackberry crumble bars and coconut pineapple loaf. Phew! And that's just Friday!

      Saturday we'll clean the rig out from having 30 people from the beach in it and pack her up again, and Sunday we leave for Pismo beach! Happy 4th! God Bless America!

      1. Road trip from San Diego to the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale for 4 nights with friends and we all got casita suites and we are going to have a blast doing the watermelon eating contest, underwater bingo, ice cream socials and just having fun eating and drinking and playing in all the pools with their kids (eleven year old girls who are my babies)
        Playing some golf in the early morning and maybe sitting in with friends on drums too.
        It will be around 115 degrees..yikes
        Happy 4th to everyone!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Beach Chick

          Going to a bbq on the 4th - good old American hot dogs & hamburgers along with ribs and chicken. I'm bringing deviled eggs. Then we hop on hosts boat and go anchor to watch the fireworks. Can't wait!!!

          1. re: Beach Chick

            Just back from a terrific 4 days at the luxurious Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale and had some great meals at ILTerrazza..for brunch, the King Crab with poached eggs and fresh spinach on a potato rositi with a hollandaise black truffle was outstanding..
            Jean George will open in October where the former Mary Elaines used to be.
            Had some coupons from Mc Cormicks and Schmicks Biltmore for some seafood..food imo, blew..
            Partied the first night at Senorita Salty's in Old Scottsdale with some of the Padre's that were in town..now that was fun... ; )
            We had a tableside guacamole that was pretty good..mostly it was for the marg's.

          2. Well, the bad news is that it is supposed to be raining all day on the 4th here in Central Ohio. The parade goes near our house about 10-11 a.m. and we usually do a simple brunch at our house for family & friends - smoked salmon, bagels, several kinds of schmear, fruit salad, coffee cake, devilled eggs, etc. The street has a block party for dinner where everyone brings an appetizer, salad or dessert to share and you grill your own main course. We have never been totally rained out before but the rain will make it very humid, going to be a BAD hair day!

            1. We have some guests coming in from Iowa who have never been to Chicago. The weekend starts tomorrow night after they arrive. They have insisted on trying Giordano's "chicago style pizza". So as a good host I will take them without telling them that Giordanos' is probably one of the worst pizza places in Chicago, and most Chicagoans eat thin crust pizza.

              Friday we will take them down to Chicago to see the Michael Jordan statue, & Oprah's studios at their request. Then off to the Taste of Chicago, and Navy Pier for the day & night. I am looking forward to some of the food, and being outside for some nice weather on the lakefront.

              Saturday, we will fire up the smoker, or the grill, I have yet to decide if it will be ribs, or some steak for some tacos. We will drink plenty of beer, and tequila, and play some Texas Golf on our property.

              Sunday they leave town, so I will grill out all day, most likely some chicken, or burgers for lunch, and some pork chops or more steak for dinner.

              I will have to pay a visit to my butcher Saturday morning to see what looks the best, and plan the menus accordingly.

              3 Replies
              1. re: swsidejim

                "most Chicagoans eat thin crust pizza."

                Are you serious? The next time I get a Chicagoan extolling the virtues of thick crust pizza, I'm going to use your post as ammunition! I like the first two bites of Chicago pizza (though usually, I have more than two bites), but from then on, it's diminishing marginal returns, and then my stomach pays dearly for it afterwards.

                Thanks for letting me in the know about real Chicagoans. I can't wait to use this to back up my point that thin crust pizza is superior. :)

                1. re: anzu

                  I think it depends on the neighborhood, and what you grew up with. My family is from the south side, and our pizza growing up was thin crust, cheese, sausage, and mushroom. I didnt try deep dish/pan/stuffed pizza until I was in my 20's.

                2. re: swsidejim

                  We hit the Taste of Chicago for about 4 hours on Friday. Beatiful sunny day down by the lake. The Taste is what it is, crowded, and the food isnt the best, but we had a decent time

                  We went back to our house in the country for a cookout of hamburgers, kosher hotdogs, macaroni salad, & potato salad. Very basic unadventurous dinner. Played some volleyball, and Texas golf whil drinking Cabo Reposado, and Herradura Reposado tequila, and cold beer.

                  Saturday, I went to my local butcher shop, and got 5 pounds of skirt steak which I had him run through the tenderizer. I then marinated it in lemon juice, minced garlic, minced jalpenos, sea salt pepper, cumin, onion powder, and olive oil for about 5 hours. I also had some pork rib chops. I fired up the smoker, and slowly cooked the chops which i seasoned with olive oil, paprika, teryaki sauce, garlic, and pineapple juice. Cooked them over indirect heat, and then put them in the oven, while I fired up the grill to cook the skirt steak, 3 minutes per side, and it was perfect for the steak taco(corn and flour tortillas). I also made guacamole(avocado, minced garlic, minced jalapenos, lime juice, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce). We also served rice, and refried beans. The steak turned out great, and got rave reviews. More tequila, and beer was consumed as well.

                  Sunday night dinner our guests were gone, and I wanted to use my newly purchased, and seasoned wok. Bought some lobster tails, and king crab legs. I chopped up the tails into 2 inch pieces, dredged in flour, , and deep fried in an inch of peanut oil in the wok & set aside the cooked lobster. I then poured off all but 1 tbsp of the flavored oil, and added ginger, garlic, mushrooms, lime zest, lime juice & green onions. Once these cooked I added oyster sauce, and chicken stock, and put the lobster tails back in along with the King crab legs.. Simmered for a minute or so, and the dish was done. The broth was rich and flavorfull, and the lobster, and crab were excellent

                  I also made fried rice in the wok for a side dish.

                  A good end to the weekend.

                3. We're hosting a potluck on Friday. We're providing a smoked pork shoulder and homemade BBQ sauce. I'm thinking about making a cucumber lemonade to go with it.

                  1. Don't expect to be doing anything on the 4th - except making lots of red sangria and a red-white-blue cheesecake (strawberry swirl in the cheesecake, blueberries decorating top) for a Saturday get-together with friends.

                    On Saturday, about 8-10 of us are gathering at a friend's house for a cookout. We had thought about doing a flight of burgers (beef, lamb and salmon) on mini-buns with various condiments, but I'm not sure if we're still doing that or something else. He's the chef! I'll find out when I get there Saturday morning to be his prep chef. :-) I know he's got BB ribs as an appetizer, and I'm not sure of the side dishes...potato salad if we're doing burgers, perhaps deviled eggs. Knowing the person who's creating the menu, they'll be "something different".

                    1. We're doing our usual 4th thing, going over to our friend Sue's itty bitty apartment, on a hillside in a kinda bad part of town, and grill out on the balcony with illegal fireworks exploding furiously all around us while hoping this is NOT the year the whole mess catches fire. The best part is the mix of actors and writers and just plain good kids who inhabit the complex, and everyone's having the same kind of open-house potluck. We're bringing two dozen devilled eggs, and expect to have at least one burger, a couple of hot dogs and some fried chicken, that last probably not homemade but what the heck.

                      1. We're going to a BBQ at the place where my husband plays tennis - across the East River from the fireworks. Great view apparently - no idea how the chow will be. It's pricey, to me, so we've not gone before, but some friends really wanted to go, so we're giving it a try. Apparently the event is open to non-members as well.

                        1. I will be going out for sushi with a few friends Thursday night then retiring to someone's basement to play Rockband. Friday I will be hangin' out by my friend's pool, which is great because her BF is a chef so the chow is always well worth the drive. The cocktails don't hurt either, I make a mean margarita! Rumor has it that the fireworks in Stillwater are two hours long (usually an hour) to celebrate MN's 150th anniversary so that is an event not to be missed! Saturday my sister is having a BBQ, I will be contributing my famous pasta salad (I get asked to bring it for pretty much every event I'm invited to) and chowing on the usual BBQ fare, burgers and such. We will then stroll downtown for more fireworks (Hudson, WI this time) and fest-food. By Sunday I will be in a food-induced coma.

                          1. If it does in fact stop raining tomorrow like it's supposed to, I'm gonna inaugurate my new smoker with a couple small pork shoulders. It's supposed to start raining again on Friday, so standing along the Charles to watch the fireworks is probably out.

                            1. Baseball. Fourth of July is Giants vs. Dodgers. The scouting report on the SF website says of the Dodgers pitcher: "Two things seem certain when Lowe starts. He'll pitch well and his club won't hit."

                              So, there is hope.

                              As if I am not masochistic enough, am also going to the games today and tomorrow (vs Cubs). Sister JanetofReno is coming into town for a short visit and for some reason her DH is a big cubbies fan. Fortunately, Lincecum is pitching tomorrow night so we have a decent chance of winning one of the three games. (his stats, very un-Giant starter like: 9-1, 2.38 ERA).

                              I anticipate being tired of ball park food by Saturday. The chow highlights of the weekend will include taking Janet to La Ciccia (SF) for her first visit to one of my favorite restaurants, and going to a bbq at my Father's on Sunday, where the food is always good and the wine is even better!

                              1. I actually worked on the 4th of July. But afterwards, we were going to take a trip to Philly to watch the Philly/Mets game, eat the requisite cheesesteaks and roam around in a different city. We really didn't want to go to the areas most NYers go to (Hamptons, Jersey shore, Catskills, etc.) because we knew it would be incredibly crowded. As the forecast was kind of crummy for the NE area, we decided to just explore our own city as it wasn't as crowded as usual and walked through different neighborhoods (and ate) in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. We were thinking about the Sox/Yankees games, but the tickets were so expensive through the scalpers. No fireworks as we've honestly gotten tired of them and the crowds. Hit a few restaurants/stands and cooked a lobster on Saturday night. Very low key and perfect for us -- we needed a weekend where we really didn't do too much.