It’s been a while since I’ve had a small potluck with my friends.  I have a tendency to follow the “Go big or Go home” way of doing things, so it’s refreshing to have just a few people over to celebrate.  I look forward to having a night after work that I can actually sit down and enjoy everyone.  Last night was that night.

I invited a few friends over with their children for an American Style Potluck. In other words, no fancy shmancy food. This potluck screamed  hamburgers and hotdogs, fireworks and sparklers, baked beans and apple pie.  Well, of course it still turned out to be a little fancy.

One of my friends turned me into an Okra lover last night. I’ve never liked it before and felt I was missing something essential from my southern palate. She brought Grilled Okra with a smoked paprika and shallot dip. OMG it was good. Please excuse the evil, camera flash eyes on Mr. Sugarbears.
Of course we had the regular fourth fare; hamburger sliders with cheddar cheese and hotdogs and baked beans, but I also wanted something a little different.  I found this great recipe for turkey, feta cheese and sun-dried tomato sliders at pickypalate.com. They were a big hit and it was a nice change.  Here’s the link to the recipe:
I wish I would have taken a better picture of the turkey burger itself but it’s hard to be hostess and think about these things. The feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes made it so pretty.

Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Turkey Burgers
Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Turkey Burgers

I also made regular hamburger sliders with cheddar cheese. The kiddos were not interested in the turkey sliders with “things” in them. On the other hand, the adults were very happy with them. We ended up adding avocado, too.

My go-to Black Bean and Avocado salad was one of our side dishes, too. Here’s a link if you’d like to add it to your holiday weekend menu. It’s really easy and light.

In order to have happy kiddos, always fill them with sugar.  All of the parents will thank you.  🙂  I just wanted the kids to have a fancy cocktail like the adults. I made Shirley Temple cocktails and put fancy holiday straws with them.  There are all kinds of versions online for this non-alcoholic drink, but this is how I made mine. (all the parents thought I was crazy for giving them red drinks in my house)

Shirley Temple Cocktail

4 ounces gingerale
1 ounce Grenadine
1 ounce Fresh OJ
dash of maraschino cherry juice
maraschino cherry

Mix everything in a glass with crushed ice and add a cherry on top.

One of my friends made this amazing salad. It was dandelion greens and baby lettuces with sheep’s milk feta cheese, toasted hazelnuts, fresh figs, pears, apples, and dressing with Dijon and Isley Farms honey. The recipe came from a Williams Sonoma cookbook and it was superb!

And you know how friends sometimes are known for a particular dish? One of my friends makes these loaded baked beans. My husband actually emailed a request to her for these. My nephew refused to eat anything but these last night. I’d say they were a hit. 🙂

We also had Macaroni and Cheese, but I missed out on that shot. Dang it.

By this time, the kiddos were full and went off to find some space from the old folks. I found my nephew glued to the TV downstairs and the girls were having alone time with Mr. Sugarbears. As you can see, he loves having company over.

In order to get the kiddos interested in us again, we decided it was time for dessert. My sister found a great recipe on Pinterest that screamed 4th of July fare.  The original link for this recipe is below:
Just serve with vanilla icecream and ignore all fat content thoughts.  It’s a special occasion.  🙂 There’s plenty of time for the treadmill later.

And because I couldn’t help myself, I made Fourth of July Trivia flash cards.  I made sure to make some easier so the kiddos could take part and some harder to embarrass my friends. I do this for about every holiday.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  I made mine with index cards and a ball point pen.  My sister would have made them amazing had I put her in charge, but I really wanted her to make dessert instead.  I just can’t be bothered with baking.  There’s just too much science to baking.  Too much exactness for me to excel.  The accountant brain of hers is made for baking.  🙂  (Love you bean)
I offered candy prizes for correctly answered questions. I was pleasantly surprised with all of the correct answers from the girls. They ended up eating way more candy than I had intended. oops.

The sassy trivia panel
The sassy trivia panel

For my lady friends I made a White wine Sangria.  I put it together on my lunch break so it would have time to marinate and be happy for the party. For the record, I don’t suggest making fancy drinks on your lunch break when you can’t try them.

4th of July Sangria

1 1.5 liter Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup Triple Sec
1 cup Simple Syrup
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh pineapple with juice cubed
1 cup vodka

Mix together and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before your party.  Not only is it wonderfully refreshing and sweet, it’s pretty, too.  🙂

After trivia and dessert, we went outside to celebrate. We discussed the rules and then had sparkler time.

It was a great night. My cup runneth over, once again. Happy 4th of July!


3 thoughts on “Fourth of July Potluck

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