4th of July Entertaining Tips

It’s that time. 4th of July is just around the corner and, as we look forward to celebrating the festivities, our menu is on our minds! If you read Lifestyle often or follow along with our Instagram sneak peeks from our events, you know that we’re big fans of effortless entertaining. What does this really mean? To us effortless entertaining means the host and hostess can provide an amazing celebration and experience for their guests while getting to enjoy the fun themselves. It’s about the little touches. A thoughtful menu, decor and cocktail display with seamless details that appear to be plucked from the pantry. This style of entertaining is achieved by preparing a menu that can be prepped in advance, creating decor that focuses on a few key elements {like one show-stopping by cart} and supporting with fresh touches like striped dish towels for napkins. It’s about creating an easy play list that hums in the background and brings your motif together. Most importantly, effortless entertaining is a concept that makes you, the host or hostess, look like you do this all the time.

Two years ago we were entertaining columnists for San Diego Magazine {it was great fun and such an honor} and we shared a whole bunch of images from our first shoot and, as the blog powers that be would have it, the prior posts were distorted. So we’re sharing some snippets again, along with our crab boil recipe. Cheers!

4th of July entertaining tips



Get our Lemonade Sparkler recipe hereparty tips

…Serve up individual servings of anything you can: think crab boil in little personal pots, mini cobblers and cones filled with treats.

…Keep damp wash cloths with lemon wedges on hand so guests can tidy up mid-feast.

…Use unusual elements like our smooth rock bath tiles that we turned into place mats. We purchased these at Home Depot for a few dollars a piece. Clever, right?

4th of July entertaining tips

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4th of July entertaining tips

Crab boil

Rippee Photography for Valley & Co.

Make our Summertime Crab Boil {serves 6-8 adults}:


Crab boil seasoning to taste {in your spice aisle} || 4 pounds red potatoes  || 1 pound pre-cooked kielbasa {cut into 1″ pieces} || 8 ears {corn husks removed and broken in half} || 1 pound mussels || 5-6 pounds whole crab, cleaned and broken into pieces || 4 pounds fresh shrimp {peeled and deveined} || 2 lemons to garnish || Optional: garlic head
*We recommend you cook this outside. In a large pot {this can be based on the number of guests you’re cooking for} heat water {about 2/3 full} and add your crab boil seasoning to taste. Bring water to a boil and add kielbasa and potatoes and cook for approximately 10 minutes. {Add in optional garlic head here.}

Add the corn and crab pieces and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the seasoning level and add more if you like. Add shrimp and mussels when everything else is almost done; cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Mussels are done when they open.

Remove the ingredients with a slotted spoon and dish into individual ceramic pots or bowls. Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!


What’s on your 4th of July menu?

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