Top 10 recipes for the Fourth of July.

Is it me, or is it super lame when a holiday falls in the middle of the week. I mean, c’mon! Really? Just one day off from work? No long weekend? What gives? [Thanks, Gregorian Calendar.]

Well, fine. This just means we have to pack a ton of steamy, firework-y, foodie goodness into one 24 hour period. Just watch us! So here are my top 10 recipes and ideas to help you create the most delicious July Fourth imaginable—even if it is on a freakin’ Wednesday.

Perfectly patriotic potables—Go for drinks in the red and blue color palette.

Share some simple nibbles—Since it’s too hot for fancy appetizers, try these:

  • Homemade red-pepper hummus is sooooo good with baked pita chips.
  • Bake a batch of these deliciously simple cheese straws for a make-ahead snack that will draw raves.
  • Build-your-own snack mix with anything you like: cheese goldfish crackers, stuffed pretzels, nuts, cereal, whatever.
  • There’s practically no cooking whatsoever involved in this homemade tabbouleh recipe, which would be great with the homemade red-pepper hummus and pita chips.

Keep the cooking outside—That means grilling your mains, sides, even breads.

  • My favorite grilling marinade recipe has a bit of Middle Eastern flair; it’s super easy to put together and works great for chicken, shrimp, fish or beef kebabs.
  • Grilled zucchini is a knockout, especially when you throw the slices directly on the fire and top them with a spritz of lemon juice and shaved Parmesan. Or you can toss an assortment of summer vegetables in a foil packet and grill them.
  • Grilled flatbread! Press this easy-to-make dough into rounds and place them right on the grill.

  
  

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