Patch Picks: 5 Must-Haves For Your 4th Of July BBQ

Here are some tasty snacks to fill up friends and family before the fireworks.

Bruce Springsteen. Grill mastery. Red and white checkered table cloths. Uncle Pete's dilapidated 24-year-old American flag tank top. Independence Day weekend is usually pretty predictable. Let St. Louis Park Patch spice things up with our five essential picks for a Fourth of July BBQ.

  • Lance's Blue Cheese Dip: Crumble half a block of blue cheese into a bowl. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sour cream, 1-3 teaspoons of lemon juice, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), a teaspoon or so of sugar, however much salt you may fancy, black pepper and a quarter cup of milk. Mash it up with a fork. Chill in the fridge for a half hour before serving. It will be watery right after you make it but will thicken up in the fridge. Serve with potato chips, tortilla dips, or as a side on a veggie platter. is king when it comes to finding these ingredients.


  • Mom's Star-Shaped Sugar Cookies: Since you're probably busy this weekend, you might as well skip making these from scratch and head to Byerly's to buy some sugar cookie dough and a star-shaped cookie cutter. Add some red and blue food coloring (the natural color of the cookies is pale enough to pass as a patriotic white) before placing these cookies on a sheet two inches apart and baking in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Kids will love these, and so will adults will a sweet tooth.


  • The American Potato Salad: It's not an outdoor summer barbecue without Mom's potato salad, even if Dad makes it. You'll need to soft boil 6-8 potatoes and hard boil 10 eggs first. While that is happening you can throw one chopped onion, a number of chopped dill pickles (as many as you prefer) and 2 cups of mayonnaise into a bowl. When the taters are done, peel and chop those. Chop the eggs. When complete, stir all of the ingredients together in a large salad bowl and plop it in the fridge for a little more than a half hour.


  • Burger Done Right: Burgers are even easier than the potato salad. You hardly even need a recipe as much as you need someone who knows when the meat looks safe to eat. However, allow us to give you a delicious list of things to jazz up your burger outside of the standard cheese, ketchup and mustard. Any or all of the following extras will do: fried egg, avocado, salted tomato, jalapenos, Worcestershire sauce (say "Wooster"—it's easier and funny), pickled beets, black olives and a couple potato chips for crunch. Oh, and if you'd like to make your own "special sauce," combine equal parts mayonnaise and Thousand Island together and stir it up.


  • Beer: This isn't really a recipe, but it's an obvious, no-brainer addition. If you're over 21 and are having your over-21 friends and family over for a holiday gathering, you might as well head on down to and stock up on some barley pops. Might as well throw in a six-pack of Budweiser. After all, it is "The Great American Beer." What could be better on Independence Day?


Author's note: As recipes go, feel free to pass these on. The author pulled them from his girlfriend, mother, bandmate and a neighborhood liquor store's fridge. 

Jason Alvey July 01, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Just to be clear, The Four Firkins does not sell Budweiser. We are a Craft Beer store only. It is also worth noting that Budweiser is not "the Great American Beer" anymore. They have been purchased by Inbev, a Belgian company. Budweiser is now Belgian owned. You would be much better to buy beer from an independent, locally owned brewery like; Summit, Schells, Surly, Flat Earth, Liftbridge, Brau Brothers or Fulton. Or how about visiting a local brew pub like Town Hall, Town Hall Tap, Great Waters or Barley Johns. Happy 4th! Jason Alvey. The Four Firkins.
Mike Behrends July 01, 2011 at 05:00 PM
My apologies, Jason. Folks, if you read this, take Jason's beer recommendation over mine. He knows much much more. And The Four Firkins has many great, American, craft beers to suit your 4th of July BBQ.


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