Monica Hart from 425 Magazine joined the show to give us some tips on throwing a great Fourth of July party.
Start by setting the table with an elegant and eclectic mix of vintage and newer pieces in shades of blue and white with silver and gold accents. It gives a summery nautical vibe that works for the Fourth and all summer long. The sips and bites provide that pop of red.
You can pull out some vintage small silver bowls, lined with tear-away cloth napkins and have some appetizers, specially arranged with red, white and blue veggies.
Other things to add are oven seagrass placemats, layered with newer and vintage dishware and cool stripes and fringe napkins.
Add an edible pop of red to the tablescape with fresh strawberries and raspberries in gold and navy bowls.
Candlelight in a glass and gold-trimmed lantern.
More decor can be added for when you cozy up. Layer chairs with indoor and outdoor pillows.
Offer a gorgeous red negroni with equal parts floral gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Finish by topping with frozen blueberry and raspberry garnishes.
Set out a festive Fourth of July game box that has Fourth of July bingo, frisbees, mini footballs or throwback noise makers.
Don't forget about desserts! Elevate your Fourth of July s’mores game with fun and pretty s’more favor boxes with all the extra fixings.
Or make an insanely delicious red, white and blue Pavlova, heaped with vanilla bean whipped cream, fresh berries and mint.
Pavlova with Strawberries
These insanely delicious pavlova pillows are crispy on the outside and marshmallow gooey on the inside. You can make them a couple of days ahead and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. They are super easy to make, but you must follow the recipe and method exactly.
6 large room-temperature egg whites (TIP: It’s easier to separate the egg yolk and whites while the eggs are cold. Reserve the yolks for another use. Allow the whites to come to room temperature.)
1½ cups vanilla bean sugar
½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 to 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Zest of ½ a small orange
6 fresh mint sprigs
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Beat the egg whites on high speed for 1 minute in a standing mixer. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar. TIP: I make my own by adding leftover vanilla bean pods from my baking to my sugar canister: 2 cups of granulated sugar per 1 pod ratio.
Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and the whites are glossy. (Approximately 10 minutes.) Using a spatula, gently fold in the lemon juice and vanilla. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the whipped whites, and gently fold it in.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Mound the whites onto the paper, forming 4-inch pillows. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, and let the meringue sit and cool with the door closed for an additional 30 minutes. Cool the pavlova on the paper, transferred atop a cooling rack. Once cool, top with whipped cream (see vanilla whipped cream recipe), sliced strawberries, orange zest, and fresh mint.