4th of July – Let’s Celebrate! Ideas for Entertaining – Tabletops & Recipes


There is no better occasion for a cookout with friends and family than the Fourth of July.
Celebrate with a red, white and blue color scheme.


Visit your local crafts store and raid your own storage for festive decorative items, from mini flags to red votives and mason jars. Blue glasses, white plates annd red bandanas for napkins are all great basics for creating a patriotic look.


Keep the kids entertained by having them make their own placemats. We picked up foam mats and some self-adhesive cutouts for an easy kid’s craft.



On the beach at Cape Cod or in your very own backyard you can create a fabulous lobster feast. The occasion calls for simple, rustic touches. Gather flowers from the yard and fill jars or glasses covered with white paper bags and tie with raffia or butchers string.


The paper lobsters on our table, found in the scrapbooking section of a craft store, are attached to red binding tape to form napkin rings. And the napkins themselves? White dish rags, which will surely come in handy!


A set of four coordinating dishtowels are used as placemats-we cut one side only and finished it using iron-on tape.


Summer Recipes

Penne Fresca Salad

  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 1/2 pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb Celingini (small mozzarella balls)
  • Large handful of Arugula
  • 1/4 cup Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook penne in salted water until al dente. Set aside. Slice the sundried tomatoes into slivers and cut the celingini in half. Set them aside. In frying pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil and heat to medium high, add garlic slices and cook until golden (be careful not to burn). Add sun dried tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place sun-dried tomatoes and garlic on a plate to cool. Once cooled, add tomatoes and garlic to penne. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt and pepper.


Lobster Pie

  • Fresh Lobster Meat – cooked and diced into bite-size pieces (1/4 lb per person)
  • Ritz Crackers – 2 tubes crushed into crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup of Onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
  • Butter, melted (1 stick)

Place all the ingredients into a bowl. Moisten with the melted butter. Toss until evenly moistened. Place the mixture into a glass cooking dish. Place in a 350 degree oven until heated.


Asian Cole Slaw

  • 1 bag of Cole Slaw Mixture (cabbage, carrots, etc)
  • 1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 3 to 4 Scallions, chopped
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Package of Ramen Noodle Soup – Chicken Flavor

Place the cole slaw mixture in a large bowl. Add chopped scallions and sunflower seeds. Mix the Good Seasons Italian Dressing according to directions. Shake the packet of Ramen chicken seasoning over the cabbage mix. Toss the cabbage mixture until well blended. Crunch the Ramen Noodles into bite size pieces and add to cabbage mixture. When ready to serve, pour salad dressing over cabbage and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.


Good Old-fashioned Orangeade

Dissolve 1 cup sugar in 2 cups of hot water, making a simple syrup. Juice approximately 4 oranges (1 1/2 cups). Juice approximately 2 lemons (1/4 cup). Strain juice to remove pulp (optional). Add syrup and juice in 2 quart pitcher. Add cold water to fill. Stir. (from the kitchen of David Turner)

Check out more tabletop ideas on Ballard’s website.

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