I hope that you all enjoyed a beautiful holiday weekend – for us, the weather was absolutely gorgeous here in San Diego. In fact, this whole past week has been gorgeous. It’s been really fun to spend more time outside around the pool, swimming, catching a few rays, and just enjoying this beautiful Summer weather.
We topped off our holiday weekend with a cookout with some friends. We are normally working on the Fourth, but since we weren’t this year, I really wanted to go all out. I had been itching to throw a Fourth of July BBQ for some time now, so I pounced at the opportunity this year. (I think that we literally invited our friends a month in advance.)
But before we could get to all of the food festivities, we started our day with an early morning beach walk over on Coronado. This is definitely my favorite way to start the day – although it might not be so much fun to get up extra early, being practically alone on the beach makes it completely worth it. And then of course our post-walk coffee at Clayton’s doesn’t hurt either.
After our walk our plans were pretty low-key. I had done most of the prep work for our meal over the weekend, so the Fourth was just about enjoying the day. Easiest way to do that? The pool.
enjoying a childhood favorite poolside
We just chilled at the pool and relaxed most of the day. Which honestly was the perfect way to spend the day. And before we knew it, it was time to start the feasting.
First up was my most favorite – guacamole with chips (yes, even Doritos. . .that’s how we do it here), paired with some cold Coronas. It was the perfect way to start the celebrating.
And then from there, the food basically kept flowing – heirloom tomato and burrata salad (inspired by this recipe), fresh fruit with mint and lime, grilled Caesar salad (inspired by this restaurant), BBQ chicken, marinated flank steak – and plenty of wine to wash it all down.
the cutest Fourth of July cocktails
accidentally extra-crispy, but oh-so-good
It was quite the celebration – hours spent sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and good company. How could our day get any better?
Well, it could. . .and it did. Two words: Mud Pie. Yup. My favorite need to make a dessert ahead of time solution. Mud Pie for the win, every single time.
As far as a recipe goes, well, I don’t actually follow one. You could easily make this with all store-bought ingredients, but instead of ice cream, I love to make it with homemade gelato. So I piled my homemade Oreo cookie crust with cookies’n’cream gelato, a layer of fudge, chopped mac nuts and toffee bits, milk chocolate gelato, and then another layer of fudge, mac nuts and toffee. Home-run? You bet your bottom dollar.
Finally stuffed (actually I think that I was stuffed after the guac), we headed up to our friends apartment just in time to watch the firework display. A great end to a great day. The fun was there, the food was off the charts, and the Fourth? Well, it always feels great to celebrate our freedom and pride. Happy Birthday America!