Quick and easy 4th of July recipes

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RED(ee-in-a-flash) + White(tasty) & Blue(your mind) ideas for eating or entertaining your way through the 4th of July holiday.

I never want to be stuck in the kitchen when the temperatures are climbing. And that is never more true than when there’s an Independence Day party brewing outside and the sun in shining in the Twin Cities sky.

I also want to eat and drink delicious without feeling like I need to make everything from scratch.

Most of all, celebrating the 4th should be a time to relax and convene with your fellow country men and women in our great state and country without stressing.

Here are some quick and easy go-to recipes for the summer holiday when you need to get into the kitchen and out to the deck or onto the lakes as fast as possible.

Grill and chill — spiral style

What is more American than a dog on the grill? Whether it is all-beef, tofu, or from your local butcher (a quick plug for Ready Meats in NE Minneapolis). I came across the spiral-cut hot dog via Food & Wine and love to top with Sonoma Brinery Smoky Chipotle sauerkraut and nuzzle into a whole grain bun. A great way to entertain is to layout a dress-your-own dog toppings bar and let guests choose what they like and compare the results while you lounge outside.

Slaw-dropping sides

Coleslaw and potato salad are summer picnic and party staples, but can be tried and tired. Instead of grocery deli slaw, check out Taylor Farms Southwest Chopped Salad — it has a creamy cilantro dressing, pepitas, and a touch of cumin that is light and fresh, and is ready in a 4th-of-July flash.

Rather have spud salad? There is a salt and vinegar potato salad on epicurious.com that is SO good, you may never return to the mayo version again. If you want to look like you spent all day in the kitchen preparing it, top with a little quick-pickled red onion and some fresh chopped chives for a chef-like presentation.

Rub shoulders and keep cool

Summer parties can’t survive without some cool-down safeguards in place. Simple staples that you can pick up on the run that also happen to be local and delish include Jonny Pops, your favorite Summit, a crisp pinot grigio or make-your-own version of Holyland Brand’s Mediterranean Lemonade.

Whatever YOU decide, make sure you can relax and enjoy our day of independence from the kitchen with your kiddos, friends, family or neighbors. Happy 4th of July!

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Sarah Steil is a Minnesotan by way of Denver, CO and hails from the metropolis of Algona, IA (once home to the world’s largest Cheeto). Sarah puts her visual and communication nose to the design and brand grindstone each day as founder of a local brand and design agency.