Plan a stress-free 4th of July party

Marinated Vegetable Kebabs

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt, to taste
Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, stir ingredients together until smooth.
Kebabs:
  • 2 red peppers cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 green peppers cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 yellow peppers cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 yellow onions cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large yellow squash cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large zucchini cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium eggplant cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Marinade, recipe above
Directions:
  1. Preheat grill or broiler. Thread vegetables onto wooden or metal skewers. If you use wooden ones, soak them in water for 1 to 2 hours before using to keep them from burning. You can make single vegetable skewers or use an assortment on each skewer.

  2. Lightly brush each skewer with marinade. Broil 4 to 6-inches from heat, 5 minutes per side or until browned or lightly charred and tender. If desired, serve with extra marinade.
RICH HOLLENBERG'S JULY 4TH PARTY IDEAS
  • Red, white, and blue streamers
  • Uncle Sam hat
  • Plastic plates and cups
  • Graduation cap/decorations
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Cocktail glasses
  • Jump rope
  • Chalk
  • Frisbee
  • Water gun
>> While you prepare the main eats, have stations set-up for guests to serve themselves. Offer snacks, hors d'oeuvres, and beverages. Rich likes to set them up in different places so guests are encouraged to walk around and mingle.

>> Besides the beautiful weather and being outside with loved ones, the best thing about BBQs and picnics is the variety! There is so much to throw on a grill from chicken to clams, to meatless options like Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patties. Don't forget vegetables and fruits too!

>> Not everything has to be grilled. Prepare your salads the day before and let them "marinate" in the fridge. Spice up your repertoire with recipes made with Pace Salsa.

>> For the adults at the shindig, serve up a fun, festive cocktail recipe! This is great to relax in the warmth of summer, chitchatting and playing games with your guests! Rich recommends Barcardi Dragon Berry Rum.

>> Instead of buying disposable plates and utensils, why not invest in reusable plates and cups that you can use year after year.

>> Do fun picnic activities like tug of war, three-legged and wheelbarrow races. You should also have some outdoor game equipment around, so that everyone will have something they can do. Also have waterguns or sprinklers in case it gets too hot. For some of the younger kids, bring sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, hula hoops and kickballs.

>> If you have the money, make life easier by bringing in professionals to help make a flawless party. Rich recommends the Superpages to look for a catering service or party planner.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE ABOVE ITEMS:
www.bacardi.com
www.morningstarfarms.com
www.pacefoods.com
www.superpages.com

ABOUT RICH HOLLENBERG:
A sportscaster who also happened to be a self-proclaimed "foodie," Rich Hollenberg's career path led him from sports, where he covered 8 Superbowls, to working in the kitchen cooking side by side with some of the most renowned names in the culinary world: Wolfgang Puck, Roy Yamaguchi, and Todd English, to name just a few. He is currently part of the development of an online reality cooking series called "HomeCookingStar.com," which he will also host. An avid cookbook collector, Rich has continued his love of cooking by developing 'signature' recipes for his own family and friends, while continuing to travel the country in search of inspiring and exciting restaurants and cuisines.

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