Janet's Notebook
Last Minute Recipes for a Simple July 4th BBQ


Pasta Salad


We love the Fourth of July for its patriotism, fireworks and of course food! I'm doing my patriotic duty and hosting a barbecue. To be honest, I haven't been as prepared as I usually am, so the theme of the day is simple recipes I can put together in a snap.

As guests arrive, they can snack on Brandy Male's (Mustang, OK) Club BLT Dip Brandy's Way.

"This is so easy yet gets rave reviews," says Brandy. "I wanted to mock a club sandwich in a dip and think it was a success."

Adding smoked turkey to mock the flavors of a club sandwich is genius. If you love a club sandwich, you'll love this easy recipe. Let's be honest... sprinkling cheese and bacon on top of a dip is never a bad thing.

I love steaks at my cookouts because the marinade is done ahead of time and I just need to grill them the day of. Since they can be served at room temp, I can even do the grilling before guests arrive.

"We like t-bone steak and it's best with this recipe," shares Shirley Terhaar (Milton, IN) of her Steak on the Grill recipe. "This is for a big cookout."

We thoroughly enjoyed the subtle flavor of this marinade. It's filled with ground coffee beans, soy sauce, steak sauce, garlic, coriander, and other spices. The red wine and coffee give the marinade a wonderfully rich taste.

Grilled chicken is always on my menu and Sheila Nakata's (Maple Valley, WA) Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Marinade is a great recipe. The slow cooked chicken legs are moist and juicy.

"These wonderfully grilled chicken legs get their flavor from the sweetness of brown sugar and spice from the jalapeno and cilantro," explains Sheila. "If you do not like cilantro you can substitute with coriander. You still achieve a great flavor for a deliciously wonderful meal."

The sweetness of the sugar and the bold, spicy flavor of the mustard is a great combination. You definitely taste the jalapeno but it doesn't add any heat.

People are going to bring side dishes so they aren't something I have to prepare. But if I was, I'd probably make Belinda Loucks (Troutdale, OR) Pasta Salad. It's a cold pasta salad filled with color.

"Whenever I make this pasta salad everyone always asks me to make it again," reveals Belinda. "It is always a big hit that's for sure. You can alter it however you like with your favorite items."

This pasta salad recipe has a lot of ingredients but they all pair so well with one another. Filled with grape tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, artichoke hearts, broccoli, and other goodies, it's really easy to make. Feta and provolone cheeses along with sliced salami add heartiness to the salad.

I'm going patriotic for dessert with Christi Capps (Nashville, GA) American Angel Food Parfait. "This is the perfect dessert for that Labor Day or July 4th picnic," thinks Christi. "It's also a great, light dessert anytime!"

Fresh and fruity, this creamy dish is light as a feather and tastes like a dream... a good dream. Cubed store-bought angel food cake is the base for this trifle. It has layers of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and whipped topping. Made in a flash, it's the perfect ending to a Fourth of July party.

If you're looking to host a simple party, add these tasty recipes to your menu. Want more ideas for your barbecue? Check out this recipe collection. It's filled with delicious recipes for your 4th of July cookout. Happy Pinching!



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