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Keepin’ it cool on the 4th!

Do you have memories of super-hot 4th of Julys?

I mean burn your feet as you run across the beach hot, fry an egg on the sidewalk kinda heat. It’s the day that says, “Summer has definitely arrived.” And it always seems to be a scorcher! With all the outdoor activities planned such as parades, sporting events and fireworks, there is no retreating to air-conditioning.

Check out these easy (and economical) ways to keep cool while showing your patriotic spirit. Fun for all ages!

  • Freeze wet red, white and/or blue bandanas. Store in a resealable plastic bag in a cooler. As needed, wrap around your neck or wrist for a cooling accessory.
  • Decorate mini fans with stars and stickers to take with you to events. This is a fun craft activity to do with the kids, and practical in the moment of need.
  • Find silly hats to decorate in red, white and blue.
  • Mix up a batch of freezer pops to share as the heat climbs.
  • Set up relay races that will cool off the participants. Check out these relay race ideas using water.
  • Start a water-balloon fight. Use red, white and blue balloons to stay in theme.
  • Make frozen sidewalk chalk in red white and blue. Hold a contest to see who can create the best 4th of July-themed picture.
  • Hold a watermelon-eating contest. See who finishes a slice first while keeping their hands behind their back. Sticky and fun!
  • End the day with a sing-along of patriotic songs.

Whether it’s the 4th or any other blistering summer day, the last place I want to be is in a hot kitchen. Cooking outside on the grill is a good option, but when it’s super steamy, I like to make dinner early in the day, and serve it refreshingly chilled. In my first home, we didn’t have air-conditioning, so making cold dinners was a way to lower everyone’s temperature. I still approach dinner in the summer with the same goal to find delicious recipes that are good cold. Most protein sources are pretty tasty cold or hot. Ham, chicken and steak all work well when served cold, and still retain wonderful flavor. Serve them sliced with a salad, or chilled soup.

However you choose to stay cool, we at DinnerTime are wishing you a fun and safe 4th of July.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes to bring the temp down at my house.

Vibrant and fresh!

A super-easy to make way to cool off.

Delicious served warm or cold.