When it comes to Summer, Sun and Fun, all I want to do is get out and make memories with people I love.
Whether that’s in my backyard or at the lake, there’s always so much to enjoy in these warmer months! Now that 4th of July is just days away (can you believe it?!), Summer feels like it is in full swing.
I love hosting friends as much as possible, and holidays throughout the year are the perfect time to prioritize making room in the middle of a busy week and packed calendar.
When thinking through party themes and ideas, the Kroger Family of Stores Fred Meyer is a source I can rely on to get everything I need! I’m always impressed with their vast organic options. The prices and selection are on point. With a store just blocks from my house in Portland, it’s always a convenient place to shop. In addition to food, they have have all the patriotic decor, serve-ware, grills, accessories and entertainment needs to host a great gathering. It’s also convenient that they carry fireworks and toys for the whole family.
So party planning requires well… planning. You not only have to consider food, but also drinks – alcohol and non alcoholic, decor, games and the list goes on. Being able to go to one place to find everything I need is a great time saver.
For this year’s 4th of July party, I wanted something non traditional. I decided to take a fresh approach to the expected red, white and blue. My balcony was the perfect place to start. I layered in some of my favorites from Fred Meyer’s Summer Grilling and Patio products, like a few blue outdoor pillows. Of course I also got sparklers for a true party look and feel!
Overall, I let the food and drinks provide the splash of color I wanted. I set out some fresh fruit, chips and guacamole, hummus, and a plate of endive filled with chicken salad, fresh cilantro and sliced almonds.
And don’t forget the bar! I filled the cart with ice cold drinks to please any and everyone. If you don’t have time to hassle with a cocktail set up, pick up some canned and bottled drinks. One of my new favorites is Truly Spiked & Sparkling Pomelo & Grapefruit Water. Add to an ice bucket and you’re good to go. Just make sure to grab some fun juice boxes for the kids too.
No party is complete without dessert. Below you’ll find my recipe for grilled strawberry cherry compote served with vanilla ice cream! You’ll have no problem hosting your party while the strawberries simmer slowly on the grill. It’s the perfect way to finish off your party into the evening.
I’d love to see how YOU celebrate the 4th of July! Share your moments on social media by tagging @FredMeyerStores and @christiannkoepke and using the hashtags #RedWhiteandBBQ #4thofJuly #FredMeyerStores.
[Post is sponsored and all opinions are my own]
Grilled Strawberry Cherry Compote & Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield 2 cups
You’ll have no problem hosting your party while these strawberries simmer slowly on the grill. It’s the perfect way to finish off your party into the evening. Serve over ice cream.
- 2 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 130g (¾ cup) cherries, hulled and halved
- 24 oz. (3 cups) white wine, dry, quality, separated
- 75g (3 tablespoons) honey
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water [optional]
- Vanilla ice cream
- Over stove top, reduce remaining 2 ½ cups wine over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until it reduces to about 1 cup. Add honey and stir. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet on outdoor grill or fire, roast strawberries and cherries over medium low heat with ½ cup wine, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, being careful to not burn with heat fluctuations that may happen.
- Remove cover from strawberries at 15 minute mark and continue to roast, stirring occasionally for another 25 minutes, for a total of 40 minutes or until strawberries turn syrupy and liquid is minimal.
- Add reduced wine and honey to strawberries while still roasting. Stir and continue to roast for another 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced and syrupy once again.
- [optional] Remove from heat and add orange blossom water.
- Serve warm over ice cream and store any leftovers in airtight container.