Planning the Perfect 4th of July Party

English: fresh fruit salad

Fill your plate with delicious food this July 4th (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no better time to have a picnic or a party than on July 4th as we celebrate the creation of our great nation.  Whether you prefer grilling out by the pool or picnicking in the park, you can find everything you need for a mouth-watering menu right here in Arizona.  Here are some great menu ideas to help you plan the perfect July 4th celebration featuring fabulous and fresh local ingredients.

Poolside Party

  • Avocado Appetizer – Made with delicious and creamy local avocados, this appetizer offers a little southwestern flair with the use of locally grown chilies.  Stir in the bits of bacon and everyone will be oohing and ahhing at more than just the fireworks show.
  • Tomato and Basil Pasta Salad –  Filled with tasty tomatoes and basil, this penne pasta salad is dressed with garlic and olive oil.
  • Avocado and Tomato Salad – This salad features fresh Arizona avocados and tomatoes dressed with the unusual and striking combination of balsamic vinegar and spicy mustard.
  • Quick Pork Fajitas – Everyone loves fajitas.  Make these with pork, steak, chicken, or shrimp and be sure to grill up plenty of onions and peppers.
  • Buckboard Bacon Burger – Take your poolside burger to the next level using locally raised beef and bacon and fresh tomatoes, avocados, and onions.
  • Apple Crisp – Try this alternative to traditional apple pie that offers the same flavors as the All-American treat.

Fabulous Fest

  • Artichoke Dip – Made with fresh Arizona artichokes and parmesan cheese, this dip is broiled to a delicious golden brown and goes great with crackers.
  • Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese Dressing – Toss your favorite greens with this delicious dressing made from goat cheese, buttermilk, thyme, parsley and Dijon mustard for a little spice.
  • Orange Almond Salad – This delicious dish combines local lettuce, fresh oranges, diced almonds, and flavorful onions for a refreshing salad just right for summer.
  • Asian Lettuce Wraps and Chicken Lettuce Wraps – Feed your friends with these fabulous wraps made with fresh lettuce leaves filled with a mixture of savory Arizona beef and locally grown onions or Arizona raised chicken, fresh red peppers, and just a touch of ginger.
  • Arizona Melon Dessert – This delightful dessert using fresh Arizona cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon to create a visually appealing dish of colorful balls dressed with mint jelly and ginger.

Patriotic Picnic

  • Chips and Cantaloupe Basil Salsa and Corn and Black Bean Salsa – Pair your favorite chips with these two fabulous fresh made salsas for an easy to eat picnic perfect treat.
  • BBQ Pork Salad with Summer Fruits and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette – Start with spicy sweet pork chops, add in fresh nectarines, grapefruit, avocados, and cherry tomatoes, and top with crunchy almonds and you have a fabulous and fresh salad to fill all the plates at your picnic.
  • Desert Chicken Salad – Made with locally grown chicken, fresh pineapple, and raisins, this can be served on lettuce or as a sandwich.
  • Grandma Gertie’s BLT – Filled with eggs, bacon, onion, tomatoes, and jalapenos, this is not your grandma’s BLT, but it is Grandma Gertie’s.
  • Nuts Over Brownies – There’s no better way to finish off your day than with delicious brownies filled with chocolate and nuts.


Backyard  BBQ

  • Battered Fried Zucchini – Start things off with something a little different and yet still simple and splendid.  These tasty treats are easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
  • Cole Slaw – It wouldn’t be a BBQ without this tart and tasty traditional side dish.
  • Fettuccine and Ham Salad – Try this play on plain old pasta salad that features Arizona pork, locally grown onions, and fresh basil mixed together with spinach fettuccine noodles and chilled.
  • Citrus Marinated Grilled Turkey – Celebrate the abundance of Arizona-grown citrus by offering something other than burgers and ribs.  This delicious option features oranges, turkey, shallots, garlic, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Marinated Beef Tips – Celebrate America’s birthday with some good ole All American, Arizona raised beef.  The combo of maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, and red wine vinegar gives this marinade a deliciously different flavor that goes great with the locally grown onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers.
  • Zucchini Patties – If you have any guests that prefer a vegetarian option, offer them these delicious burgers made from zucchini, cheese, onion, and spicy peppers.
  • Farmer’s Mud Pie – This decadent and delicious dessert will have your guests talking from now until next 4th of July.  Mix together chocolate and coffee ice cream, fudge sauce, oreos and almonds for a dessert worthy of Independence Day.

This July 4th, celebrate our nation’s independence by frequenting the farmer’s markets and grocery store bins that are filled with the products of our local farmers and ranchers.  Honor our forefathers by supporting those who help ensure continued food independence for Arizona and the nation.

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