10 Best Red, White + Blue 4th of July Party Ideas

10 Best 4th of July Party Ideas

Have I ever told you guys how much I love July 4th? It seems pretty ridiculous if I haven’t, because after Christmas it’s absolutely my favorite day of the year. There’s just really nothing like fireworks, ice cream cones and loads of red, white and blue to make this lady happy. Really absurdly happy. With the big day coming up tomorrow, it’s time to talk about 4th of July party ideas! Specifically some of the best red, white and blue hued treats, party favors and beverages to make your patriotic party shine.

Ready to celebrate America in style? Click through for 10 of the best 4th of July party ideas - hip hip hooray!

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Watermelon Slice Jello Shots

Watermelon Slice Jello Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

We’re one day closer to the holiday weekend, friends, and I couldn’t let the end of the week creep up on us without one final fancy shot recipe for you! Today we’re talking watermelon slice Jell-O shots. Made with fresh watermelon juice, they look deceptively like real watermelon slices, which pretty much means they’re going to be a huge hit with all of your friends. To make them you’ll need a small watermelon so you can scoop out the inside, turn it into juice, mix up all the gelatin stuff and pour it back into the rinds. What you’re left with is these really awesome watermelon slice Jell-O shots that are absolutely the cat’s meow.

Watermelon Slice Jello Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

shots

  • 1 small watermelon
  • 2 packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cup tequila
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Begin by cutting a small watermelon in half lengthwise. Scoop out the fruit on the inside and transfer it to a food processor or blender. Puree until the juice is nice and smooth, then measure out 2-1/2 cups of juice and transfer it to a saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin and sugar over the top and allow to stand for at least five minutes. Turn the burner on medium-low and slowly heat the mixture for five minutes, stirring occasionally and avoiding boiling. Turn off the heat, mix in tequila and then fill each half of the watermelon with the mixture. For best results, you may want to place the watermelon halves in a baking dish. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of a few hours or overnight. When ready, slice each watermelon half in half again and then carefully slice like you would a normal watermelon.

Watermelon Slice Jello Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

Watermelon Slice Jello Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

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[Recipe + photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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Grilled Pizza Salads

This post was sponsored by Président. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that so
generously help The Sweetest Occasion keep the party rockin’!

Grilled Pizza Salads | #ArtOfCheese

A few years ago we fell in love with a summer dish we’ve since affectionately dubbed grilled pizza salads. We dream up varying combinations of cheeses, greens, fruits and veggies as seasonal produce becomes available throughout the summer. The best part is, my go-to pizza dough recipe is a cinch to whip up and it can be made in advance so if you’re expecting friends to drop by over the weekend you can prep the dough during the week, stick it in the fridge and be ready to go when they arrive! When Président asked me to share unique summer salad ideas showcasing some of their delicious cheeses for their site Art of Cheese, I knew instantly that our beloved grilled pizza salads were ready for their closeup!

Grilled Pizza Salads | #ArtOfCheese

If you’ve never grilled pizzas before you need to give it a try. The grill imparts an awesome crunch to the crust that’s just about as close to perfection as it comes, and everyone loves hanging out in the backyard while dinner is cooking. For our grilled pizza salads we love using homemade hummus or pesto instead of the traditional tomato sauce, both of which pair beautifully with fresh summer greens. Ever the goat cheese and feta fanatic, I love playing with different greens like butter lettuce, spring greens and arugula to see what tastes yummiest with my favorite cheeses. Spoiler alert – just about every combination tastes amazing!

Grilled Pizza Salads | #ArtOfCheese

Grilled Pizza Salads | #ArtOfCheese

Grilled Pizza Salads | #ArtOfCheese

Grilling pizzas is simple! Make the dough in advance, scaling the recipe as needed to fit the size of your crowd. (One small pizza is good for two to three people when topped with the salad.) Remember, there’s no need for perfection here! Rustic and messy is absolutely ok for these pizzas. For parties I like setting out all of the toppings in individual bowls so guests can serve themselves as the crusts come off the grill. The best part? These grilled pizza salads are a crowd favorite at parties, but they’re easy enough for weeknight dinners, too!

Grilled Pizza Salads | #ArtOfCheese

Ready to make your own grilled pizza salads? Today I’m sharing two recipes (complete with my homemade dough, pistachio pesto and classic hummus recipes) that would be perfect for the 4th of July! Click through for all the scrumptious recipes and be sure to visit Art of Cheese where you can enter to win $50 worth of your own Président cheese, snag yourself a coupon and enter their Pinterest sweepstakes. Plus you’ll find more incredible recipes that will literally have you drooling.

Keep reading…

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20 Fresh DIY Ideas to Make Your Backyard Party Shine

20 Fresh DIY Ideas to Make Your Backyard Party Shine

[DIY + photo by Almost Makes Perfect.]

Knowing that many of us are probably planning or attending backyard parties this weekend, I’ve rounded up 20 fresh DIY ideas perfect for barbecues and patio parties over at Momtastic! From this awesome patterned picnic blanket to pretty candles and backyard games, I’ve got every aspect of your backyard bash covered. Pop over to Momtastic for all the fun and get ready for one awesome holiday weekend!

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S’mores Pudding Shots

S'mores Pudding Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

Hi, friends, and happy Monday! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. We got to spend Saturday visiting friends and enjoying one of those hot summer days in the pool that seem to happen far too infrequently but are always so much fun. Before we left for the day I bundled up all the pudding shots I’ve been making over the last week and they were definitely a hit! These s’mores pudding shots seem particularly appropriate as we march our way toward the upcoming 4th of July weekend. They’re classic summer but with a hit of Irish cream liqueur and bourbon that makes them a decidedly grown up version of the childhood summer favorite.

S'mores Pudding Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

  • 2 packages of instant chocolate pudding
  • (1) 8oz tub of whipped topping
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of Irish cream liqueur
  • 1/2 cup of bourbon
  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate squares

S'mores Pudding Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

In a mixing bowl, begin by mixing together both packages of  pudding with the milk, Irish cream and bourbon with a whisk. Allow the pudding to set until slightly thickened (usually about five minutes), then fold in the whipped topping. Place in the freezer and allow to chill for 30+ minutes or until nice and thick. In the meantime, crush up a couple of graham crackers and place a spoonful of graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of your shot glasses. Spoon in the pudding shot mixture, then top with a marshmallow. Use a small kitchen torch to brûlée the top so they resemble campfire roasted marshmallows. (Or a long grill lighter will work, too!) Add a chocolate square as a final garnish and voila! Grown up s’mores that your friends will be begging you to make all summer.

S'mores Pudding Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

I have to say, I really love these little boozy dessert shooters. They’re fun and whimsical, but definitely make you feel pretty cool and sophisticated when you serve them up at a party. I’m already dreaming up more flavor combinations to share later in the summer and brainstorming ideas for the perfect fall and winter pudding shots, too. We’re officailly riding the pudding shot band wagon until the wheels fall off! Remember, if you end making these (or these or these or these) I’d love if you shared with me! Shoot me a message or send me a pic on Twitter or Instagram and I will love you forever. (Even more than I already do!)

S'mores Pudding Shots | Recipe at The Sweetest Occasion

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[Recipe + photography by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]

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