Patriotic Entertaining Ideas

This year, celebrate the Fourth of July with hot dogs and ice cream, or go for a conversation-starter menu of ribs and cola cake.
1. Choose the Food
Double-Berry Cooler

Easy now. With sparklers to light, this is no time to fuss in the kitchen. Consider baked beans you don't have to bake. Or tap into a versatile marinade that goes with whatever your pleasure: ribs, chicken, or pork roast.

Too complicated? Hot dogs will do -- because frankly, franks are just perfect for the Fourth. Choose a recipe or two, then fill in the rest with easy options like potato chips and ice cream. This holiday is all about independence, so do it your way.

Three-Way Marinade and Sauce

Three-Way Marinade and Sauce

Here are more choices than meet the eye. The marinade plays three ways: Mexican, Asian, or charged with orange and sage. Use it on ribs, chicken, or pork roast.

 

Skillet White Beans

Skillet White Beans

Old-world character, new-world ease. A touch of balsamic vinegar and a drape of creme fraiche add Italian and French angles to our simplified take on this all-American dish.

 

Hot Dogs and Texas Tomato Chutney

Hot Dogs and Texas Tomato Chutney

Hot dogs do it all. Served solo on a bun, they're a kid's idea of the perfect feast. Paired with grape and tomato chutney, they switch into something-special mode, definitely appreciated by the over-10 crowd.

 
Continued on page 2:  2. Get the Look