A 4th of July BBQ | Starting a Family Tradition

Technically the title of this post is a misnomer, because we grilled rather than BBQ’d for the holiday. I learned the difference when I attended Paul’s BBQ class last summer.

We love to host parties and get togethers, and despite having our hands full with the little one (and very little sleep), we decided to host a BBQ at our house and make use of our new volleyball and bocce ball sets.


The Menu
Burgers – To save me some work, I opted for simple store-bought patties; while they grilled we tossed seasoning on them. I decided to dress it up with fancier fixings like chipotle mayo (simple chipotles in adobo sauce + mayo + lime) and pickled red onions (red wine vinegar + sugar + salt) in addition to the traditional lettuce and tomato standbys.

Hot dogs – MASSIVE Hebrew National dogs sold at Costco. I like Hebrew National because they’re kosher and typically a better quality dog. Chris was most excited for these.

The man was on grill duty–here he is hammin’ it up:


Quinoa salad – a simple, refreshing (and hearty) side dish that’s a nice break from the standard potato salad. I opted to grill the veggies (mini sweet peppers + corn + red onion), mixed in some olive oil and quinoa, and added some avocado at the end to dress up the bowl. Finish with salt, pepper and several squeezes of fresh lime.


Guacamole – In my opinion, a party isn’t a party with some guacamole. (Un)Fortunately this was gone before I could take a picture, but my secret was giving a quick pulse to grind up all the ingredients (serrano pepper + garlic + cilantro + red onion) for a smooth and flavorful bite. And don’t forget lots of fresh lime!

Chris’ mom brought the deliciously sweet watermelon, and my mom brought a salad made with veggies from the CSA (and a homemade strawberry vinaigrette) and made some patriotic M&M cookies for the event (she picked out the blue and red M&Ms from the bag…bless her.).


Finally keep guests cool with some Strawberry Water (freeze strawberries into ice cubes) along with coolers filled with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The Decorations
I owe it to my coworker who forwarded me a promotional email from Pier1 featuring some pretty cute holiday decor. I picked up some fun napkins, a banner, tabletop decorations and a pack of glass stones.


Finally I got artsy with some sharpies and decided to get really festive and make some signs:


To cap off the fun, my mom brought some fun bubble guns, and the neighbors supplied some sidewalk chalk, which made for some very happy kiddos.

By the end of the night we were exhausted (the trips from the house to the end of the cul-de-sac kept us on our toes), but we had such a great time! We hope to make it a fun new tradition for our new little family!



We hope you had a wonderful holiday as well!

  • Sounds like it was a lot of fun! Starting traditions is so fun and special when you have a little one – we have started several of our own since Raffa arrived. :) And, by the way, if your experience is any like ours, you will eventually get sleep again … it was a slow progression but by 6-7 months I finally got Raffa’s nap and nighttime sleep schedule dialed in.

    • Yes! We love introducing her to things we enjoy now, as well as exploring new activities we never engaged in before. Glad that Raffa is doing well in his schedule. Lately she’s been sleeping in 5-6 hour blocks so I suppose I can’t complain. I think Chris and I are mighty spoiled. ;)