My challenge this year is that we are celebrating the holiday at my home instead of my sister's. You see, I live in a high-rise, so barbecuing on a charcoal grill it not going to happen. Thank goodness for my trusty grill pans! I have two cast-iron ones, and I can grill up everything you can grill on an outdoor one! You can find these pans at William-Sonoma and Sur La Table. They're heavy-duty and do the trick.

Table Setting
My celebration is not casual this year. I'm setting the table with real dishes instead of paper plates and bringing out the good stuff I save for company, just because I wanted to do something different. I bought some navy blue juice glasses to use as vases for the flowers to scatter up and down the table along with navy blue star-shaped votive candle holders.

Fill the juice glasses with a bunch of baby's breath and drop red roses into each one. It looks like a burst of fireworks. The red, white and blue effect will just pop! Later that evening, I will light the votives for a dazzling effect.

Paper and Plastic
You can create the same effect outdoors using paper plates and colorful red and white glasses that are made from plastic. They make so many beautiful and colorful paper or plastic plates and glasses in all shapes and sizes that look like the real deal. In fact, if I were outdoors this year, I would definitely go for paper and plastic. Just remember to recycle!

We won't miss out on the fireworks because we live up so high, which means we'll see fireworks all over Los Angeles, from over the mountains and all the way down to the ocean. Fantastic!

If you want to see exactly how to cook dishes like my grilled corn and crunchy coleslaw, check out my step-by-step cooking videos.

Happy Fourth! Don't forget to hang out your flags and remember our troops overseas and their families for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis with deep gratitude and prayers for their safe return.

Sending everyone a "big bowl of love with sparklers!"


Keep reading:
Your total guide to summer entertaining

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