Jenny Bernheim is the creator of fashion and lifestyle blog Margo & Me. Whether it’s travel, beauty, or interior design, Bernheim's sophisticated yet approachable take on everyday living has amassed a loyal following. Here, she shares three recipes fit for the Fourth, plus the perfect tablescape to tie it all together.
When it comes to summer, there are few things better than warm evenings spent with some of your closest friends, good food, and just a pop of champagne. With barbecue and picnic season in full swing and the Fourth of July right around the corner, I thought there was no better way to share my love of entertaining than to throw an epic Independence Day–inspired fête.
With a deep love for French blue, I wanted this elevated Independence Day picnic and table story to incorporate infinite shades of varying blues and whites. Taking cues from breezy, summer fabrics and washed-out Americana vibes, this intimate gathering was the perfect twist on the traditional backyard barbecue.
Drawing inspiration from the epitome of Americana style, Ralph Lauren, and his incredible color palettes, the tablescape featured mixed glassware and inverted china with clean white lines mixed with ornate blue prints and patterns.
The rest of the table was complemented with loose white florals, thin tapers, bundled Art Deco flatware and pops of that patriotic red hue with fresh summer berries from local markets. Strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, and deep red cherries all offset the heavy blues from our party in an organic way.
We built a neotraditional menu inspired by the Fourth that included an incredibly sourced cheese board; grilled bone-in chicken breasts, thighs, wings and drummettes; beautiful market greens; and the berry pie of my dreams.
Custom cocktails and muslin-stamped bags filled with sparklers were given to guests to light up the night. All in all, it was the perfect gathering to start the summer and ring in the Fourth of July with a bang! Keep reading for my favorite recipes to dig into for your own Independence Day party.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 large sprig rose geranium
Juice from half a lemon
5 oz. champagne or sparkling wine
Fresh rhubarb for garnish
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and chopped rhubarb to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rose geranium. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain mixture into a clean jar, add lemon juice, and allow to cool completely. Pour one ounce of rhubarb syrup to coupe glass or champagne flute. Top with champagne, garnish, and serve.
12–16 chicken pieces, bone-in and skin on
6 large shallots, quartered lengthwise
6 bay leaves
3 large lemons, quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup agave
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. dried Aleppo pepper (or red chili flakes)
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, toss chicken with all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to marinate. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and heat a large cast-iron pan over medium to high heat. Sear chicken until golden brown on all sides, and transfer pieces to a large roasting pan. Pour remaining marinade—including shallots, lemons, and bay leaves—over chicken and transfer pan to oven. Roast for 25–30 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a platter, garnish, and serve.
2 pie crusts, homemade or store-bought
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
6 cups mixed fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of salt 1 egg white
2 tbsp. sugar
For the dough: On a floured surface, roll the first pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment, and place the sheet in the fridge. This will be your lattice top.
Roll the second crust into a 12-inch circle; then transfer to a 9-inch pie or tart pan. Press the edges to the side of the pan. Transfer to the freezer while you make the filling.
Whisk together the sugar and tapioca. Add the berries, lemon juice, and salt, and then toss. Allow the mixture to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. While the berries marinate, cut and weave the lattice on top of the parchment-lined tray. Return it to the freezer for 10 more minutes to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain the berry mixture in a colander set over a bowl to catch the juices (you can simmer this down later for a lovely little syrup to drizzle over the top of the pie or onto ice cream). Pour the berries into the frozen crust, and carefully transfer the frozen lattice to the top of the pie. Allow it to soften for a minute or two, and press the lattice to the edge of the pie crust. Trim the excess with scissors.
Whisk the egg white until foamy. Brush the lattice all over with the egg wash, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and bake on a parchment-lined sheet tray for approximately 55 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the edges of the crust are browning too quickly, cover them with foil. Allow the pie to cool for at least 3 hours before serving.