It doesn’t matter whether you’re hosting a back-yard barbecue or attending a potluck on the beach—this Fourth of July you’re going to have to make some tasty holiday food. We’ve put together a menu of classic All-American dishes as well as some new recipes to make your celebration the best patriotic party in town.

Fun Fourth Invites.
If you’re the one hosting the party, you can create your own personalized American flag invitations with index cards. On one side of the card, draw stars and stripes, putting the time and date etc. on the other side. Then glue each card to a Popsicle stick or wooden coffee stirrer and Viola! You now have crafty hand-made invitations.

The Essentials.
Before the Fourth Fete gets started, make sure to have:

  1. A few blankets or towels.
  2. Plastic cutlery
  3. Plates and napkins (Check out Vanity Fair's napkins!)
  4. Trash bags
  5. A cork screw
  6. A can opener
  7. Salt and pepper shakers
  8. Condiments: Ketchup, Mustard (Dijon if you want to bring it up a notch).
  9. Cooler or a red wagon for drinks.
  10. Umbrellas
  11. Outdoor games (Frisbee, croquet and tug-o-war are all seasonal favorites)
  12. Festive decorations!



And now for the main event.

Regardless of where you celebrate this year, be sure your day involves eating at least a few of these delicious Independence Day dishes.

Photo Credit: © iStock/Heiko Martin Easy Grilled Tri-Tip
By Erika

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 pounds beef tri tip, cut into 1/2 inch slices