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Jun 30, 2013 07:25 AM

what are you making for the 4th of July?

We're having family and friends over. It was supposed to be a smaller crowd than we usually do but it isn't really working out that way. I used to want to do everything on my own, but we seem to be the ones who are always entertaining people so these days I'm very happy to have them bring food and drinks. Cuts down on all of the work and expense on my part.

This is the menu so far:

APPS--chips/onion dip, smoked chicken wings, tomato/mozzarella skewers, cheese/crackers/pepperoni, bacon-wrapped shrimp, veggies/dip, black bean salsa/tortilla chips

MAIN--smoked ribs, homemade burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cavatelli/broccoli, cilantro cole slaw, tortellini salad, taco salad, 3-bean salad w/cilantro lime dressing

DESSERTS--coconut cake, 7 layer bars, cookie tray, pina colada pudding, fruit salad

as you can see, there's no rhyme or reason to the menu. I am making the onion dip, smoked wings, ribs/burgers/hot dogs, cilantro cole slaw, and coconut cake. The rest are things that guests are bringing. Oh and there will be plenty of cold beverages as well. I've already dusted off the Frozen Concotion Maker!

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  1. Smoking a brisket and some ribs, potato salad, fried okra, cobbler with vanilla ice cream, white bread and beer. Since it takes 12-14 hours to smoke a brisket, there will be grilled Sabretts at half time on ButterKrust buns with chopped onions and spicy brown mustard.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tim irvine

      That sounds wonderful. We've tried smoking brisket twice and it has been a disaster both times. Brisket jerky.

      1. re: Njchicaa

        I am no barbecue expert, but I just do a simple rub of salt, pepper, coriander, and a little sugar, leave the fat on it, and keep the temp very low (about 225) with charcoal and big chunks of pecan. I used to have a New Braunfels offset, but now I have a Weber Smokey Mountain. Much easier to regulate temp and much less tending. Plus, since it is a Weber it is easy to replace anything that wears out. The racks on the NB died and were a weird size; so I had to mess with racks of the wrong size.

    2. I am in charge of dessert for a party, I am making Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake with buttercream frosting The book is Baking From My Home To Yours and lemon Curd ice cream from Nathalie Dupree's new, Beard award winning book Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.

      1. No big party here and it looks like we're going to a pro soccer game on the actual day. But, I'd still like to do a decent BBQ meal on Friday, and maybe invite some people over. So I think I'm going to try my hand at ribs. I've never made them before, and have only had them once or twice ever, so I'll enjoy the challenge. I haven't made mac n cheese for awhile so I'll probably do that. Chow recently put up a nice looking side dish of fresh corn, zucchini, and red bell pepper which has struck my fancy so I'll do that if I haven't made it earlier in the week.

        If we have enough people for dessert, I want to make my trashy frozen pistacho dessert... involves pistachio instant pudding and cool whip... along with ice cream and a ritz cracker crust. It's klassy (yes with a k) but delicious.

        1. sticking a pig in a box and letting it go alllllll day....
          doing some rainbow asian salad
          making some mason Jar drinks
          and then everyone else is bringing stuff

          1. We host a party for about 25 (including kids)...


            Potato Chips (my husband loves Ruffles and it's the only time of the year when I will buy them!)

            Cheetos (per my 6 year old son's request)

            Pigs in blankets with ketchup and mustard

            Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush/Pita Chips

            Endive with garlic goat cheese spread

            Parmesan Cups with Arugula Salad

            Crudite with Spinach Dip (everyone loves it!)


            Ribs and Chicken Fries (mostly for the kids but the adults love them too)


            Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing


            Homemade Chipwhich ice cream sandwiches that we make every year

            Cake pops decorated in red, white and blue -- new this year


            Pies that a friend brings.

            3 Replies
            1. re: valerie

              Of all these wonderful dishes, the food that caught my eye for a wonderful feast is the Cheetos (Other brand- Cheese Doodles, also great.). I, too, fell in love with these at about age 6, and continue to munch on them into my middle age. The kid has great taste! I'm sure everything will go over well.

                1. re: Florida Hound

                  Ha Ha! That's what caught my eye as well, Florida Hound. Cheetos! It's been many moons since I've had them and I adore them. Good taste coming from your DS, Valerie!

                  I am cooking nada. DS is off to a birthday party. SO may or may not show up. It's too hot to grill (109) and I damn sure am not turning on the oven.

                  Another salad for dinner if I work up an appetite. The whole state is in mourning from the deaths in Yarnell, so I feel no reason to celebrate or have people over.