Okay, so, the family is flying in Wednesday, the kids are confirmed to be out of school on the third, and your boss is breathing down your neck about getting those reports in before the weekend. It’s officially last minute party planning time if you’re going to have anything at all ready for the 4th of July holiday. What do you do? Well, you start by reading blog posts like this one about last minute party planning of course! I’ve collected three last minute Fourth of July food decorating tips that will take what you’re throwing together to the next level. Let’s dive in.
1: Desert is literally EVERYTHING
If you don’t have plans for at least a great desert, you’re way behind. The sweets, popsicles, candies and food coloring filled cake is the centerpiece to any 4th of July shindig. If you’re doing this as a last minute, day before the in-laws arrive type thing, you’re going to need all the help you can get, on the cheap, with minimal time and effort spent doing it.
Things to try: Dip waffle or sugar cones in candy melts or cake frosting then dip them in red, white and blue sprinkles.
What you’ll need:
- Waffle cones or Sugar cones
- Candy melts or cake icing
- Sprinkles in patriotic colors
Fix enough of them and you’re on your way to having a great centerpiece for the sweets and desert bar no one knows you thought of the night before! Serve them with the ice cream of your choice, but make sure you don’t set out the sweet stuff before the guests arrive. The only thing worse than a hot, sticky, day is melted, runny ice cream. Think of the little ones! You spent major dollars on her first patriotic tutu, don’t let her ruin it with watery ice cream!
Don’t worry if you can’t find those pesky candy melts in your local grocer. If you don’t have a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby nearby, I’m told they’re selling them at Walmart now. And, if even Walmart is out of the bag, you can always use regular cake icing. It’s a tad bit more fattening, but isn’t that what holiday’s are for?
Experiment with different types of sprinkles (and maybe even other types of candies or decorations) and see what effect you like best!
2: Gett’n fruity with it!
If you’re trying for a healthier desert, don’t panic, I’ve got you covered. Fruit can be just as sweet, sugary and fun, without all the added calories.
Things to try: Use star shaped cookie cutters in watermelon.
What you’ll need:
- Cookie cutters (preferably the metal kind)
- Blueberries or other summer fruit
This is one of those last minute food crafts that even the (older) kids can help out with. Slice your watermelon in half or whole circles and hand out the cookie cutters. Try to get as many little stars cut out of your slice as possible, while trying to leave them at least a quarter of an inch thick. The thicker they are, the better they’ll hold up if you plan on sticking them on toothpicks and serving them as garnish.
Try serving them up as part of a fruit salad. Arrange them in a bowl with blueberries, strawberries, cherries and other summer fruit. If you can swing it, go tropical! Add
chunks of mango, honeydew, pineapple, peaches, banana and lemon for a little twist and pucker.
Set it out for your guests to enjoy and add a little whipped topping if you’re in need of a little extra sweetness. The fruit can also be served up as skewers! Skewer up a few peach slices alongside your starry watermelon, spread them evenly on the grill and let them cook for seven to eight seconds on either side, depending on the heat of your grill. Once they’ve got grill marks, take them off and serve them alongside whatever your meal choice. They make great sides to ribs, pork steaks, burgers and just about anything else you’re grilling up.
3: Strawberries and stripes!
Here’s another fruity quickie that’ll leave your guests wondering if you’re somehow related to Martha Stewart!
Things to try: Dip strawberries in white candy melts then dip them again in sugar sprinkles.
What you’ll need:
- Fresh strawberries (leave the stems!)
- Candy melts (or white icing)
- Blue sugar sprinkles
This not-so-seductive take on the chocolate dipped strawberry is the perfect way to work those patriotic colors into your table. Grab those strawberries you’ve been planning to use for a …special night, and break out those candy melts again. After the
candy melts have reached optimal melting temperature and easy to work with, use tongs, a fork, or even a toothpick to dip and swirl your strawberries in the chocolate. You’ll have to move fast because that chocolate dries quick! Before it can cool and harden, dip the strawberry in a little bowl of blue sugar sprinkles. Allow them to cool and you’ve got a great snack or desert for your party goers!
If you want to add a little of the fireworks festivities to your patriotic strawberry, try dipping them in blue pop rocks instead of the sugar sprinkles. They’ll add a little snap, crackle and pop to the snack that your guests will love but won’t be expecting.
Pop these adorable little berries next to your fruit salad and your patriotic ice cream cones and you’ve got a full set that’s the perfect centerpiece to your last minute shindig.
Don’t forget to show your patriotism by flying an authentic American Flag at your party! The American flag is the ultimate symbol of freedom and is a testament to all those we celebrate and remember on this day. Happy Independence Day from all of us here at Shop72.com!