• Lara Draxler

Festive Patriotic Treats to Feed a Crowd

I grew up in a rather small family. We were used to maybe 10-15 people at holiday gatherings...and then I married into a German farm family where there was a HUGE crowd! I quickly realized that when I prepared food for gatherings I needed to make dishes that could feed lots of people, be kid friendly, and budget conscious.

I was thinking about these factors as I perused Pinterest for Independence Day ideas. I LOVE holidays and festive cooking, so every year I enjoy looking for different and fun new ideas. I found many great ideas when I searched and I combined several different ones to suit my style and tastes.

We were assigned dessert duty for our 3 day gathering, so I went with two new ideas. 1) a fruit inspired charcuterie dessert board. 2) dessert kabobs

I was able to get almost all of my ingredients at Aldi. If you aren't shopping at Aldi for produce and meat alone, you are missing out. We LOVE the selection, quality, and the price. They simply cannot be matched.

So, what do you need if you want to make a dessert board like this?


  • yogurt fruit dip (can make your own or buy in produce section)

  • yogurt covered raisins

  • yogurt or white chocolate covered pretzels

  • skewers

  • blackberries

  • blueberries

  • cherries

  • strawberries

  • raspberries

  • large serving tray

I would say I spent maybe $20 max on this board. It was truly stunning and patriotic. I basically grouped the items by color and tried to started by using the white items as my corners. The rest I filled in by color. Placing a few skewers on top gave a nice visual touch.

The board was very popular with adults and kids at our gathering. It was also pretty healthy as far as desserts go. I would say you get maximum impact with a showstopping result for minimum cost and effort!

My other festive dessert was a dessert kabob that was literally gone in five minutes :) The kids were so excited to eat these! We enjoyed gathering at our family's lake house. People are spread out all over the place and sometimes it can be hard to serve some dishes when folks are sitting in a lawn chair, trying to remain outside, or in the middle of a game. I went with skewers because they are fun and portable. No extra silverware, cutting, or dishes required! We also have LOTS of kids in our family. I want to have fun things for them to enjoy.

What did I use for these fun treats?

  • heavy duty skewers

  • strawberries

  • blueberries

  • snack cake "strawberry" rolls

  • brownies from supermarket bakery

  • jumbo marshmallows from Aldi

Overall, I was very pleased with how these turned out; however, the heavy duty skewers were wider than expected..only large blueberries speared through them well. I also had trouble getting the brownies to stay on the sticks. If I made these again, I would probably just make brownies from the box that would be less cake-like texture. These cake like brownies tasted great but fell apart when speared. On a positive note, the jumbo marshmallows and strawberries worked GREAT!

I would definitely make both of these again and they could easily be modified for other holidays. I also really liked that it didn't take hours slaving over a hot stove to create them. I was able to enjoy my holiday more! Seeing that now we are through the apex of summer (4th of July) and we don't really have another holiday til fall, I will be happily storing away TONS of fun and frugal harvest ideas!

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