How To: Pick a Recipe for a Fourth of July for a Food Contest

Adam and I are going to a barbecue for the Fourth tomorrow. Our friends have an edibles contest, and I’m calling it that because I’m not entirely sure if everything will be edible. Everyone brings something a little crazy to try and somehow they choose a winner. I’m hoping it will be… not poisonous.

Picking a recipe for something like this leaves you really open ended. If you are trying to pick out a recipe for a barbecue or a food/eating contest, here are a few simple steps to help you select something: 

Step 1: If you’re a master chef or baking goddess, pull out your cook books. Pour through them and find something you can make using red, white and blue ingredients. You’re Not? Ok great, let’s move on to step 2.

Step 2: Go to Pinterest. Your husband/boyfriend/partner will roll their eyes at you, don’t take this personally. Pinterest is the new Wikipedia and there is no shame in spending 6 hours a day reading Ikea hacks and 10 things to do with clothespins. But try to cut it down to 2-3 hours. Type in 4th of July recipes. Be overwhelmed by options like this:

jen darling

really pinterest?

42 recipes? Really? Clearly there are people out there with more free time than you. And your husband may or may not have a strong guttural reaction to mason jars. Move on. Then see this adorable hot dog bar and try not to cry that you’re not prepared for a spread like this:

jen darling

thanks pinterest. i really needed that…

Step 3: Pick a food group. This can be chocolate, pretzels, something with prosciutto, something with berries (you may want to feel a little healthy after devouring the American flag cake that everyone else is bringing after all), sprinkle-covered foods, or miniature finger foods. Just pick one ingredient or food type that you really want. It doesn’t matter if no one else at your barbecue wants to eat that food, at least you will have something that you really want to eat.

Step 4: Search for recipes that have that ingredient. If I have to tell you that Google is good for this, you probably have a bigger issue. Pick two recipes: something that’s hard, and something that’s terribly easy. That way, if you get really swamped (or over sleep or decide that you just don’t want to put any effort into making something) you have a backup options.

Now, this is when you need to decide how impressive you want your recipe to be. If you’re entering a competition like we are, you may want to read through all 42 of those ideas because these 15 Easy Fourth of July Recipes just won’t cut it. You need something impressive. Something like this:

jen darling  jen darling

Mini pies. Pie is hard enough as it is (or maybe I”m just intimidated by pie and their flaky crust and gooey goodness). Making mini ones is definitely going to wow. Bonus: they are sweet but still have fruit in them. Totally makes them healthy. Now I have to learn how to make pie…

Step 5; Buy ingredients. Come home and put everything in the fridge/cupboard/pantry. Get a glass of wine, you’ve worked hard preparing for this barbecue and you deserve to put your feet up.

Step 6: Bribe your husband to make it for you 😉 just kidding hunny!

I don’t know what we’re going to bring to the party tomorrow, but I am all for making the selection process easier. If only it was like choosing the foods for our wedding, that we could just taste test everything before we went through the process of making it.

What are you making for the Fourth? Any ideas for crazy recipes for our food contest?

One thought on “How To: Pick a Recipe for a Fourth of July for a Food Contest

  1. Pingback: 4th of July: Sparklers and Strawberries | Jen Darling

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