Every year in America on July 4th, we celebrate our freedoms. Most of are looking forward to great food friends and family, and a great show of fireworks to finish it off.
In cities and towns large and small people gather for bbqs, potato salad, swimming and maybe some yard games. Those more inclined to rest spend time in the shade, surrounded by good conversations and a chance to catch up. Sip refreshing libations for children and adults. Watch the children expend their energies. Or simply enjoy you peace and quiet in red, white, and blue. On this day Americans happily fly the flag of our nation with pride. You see, this flag represents the sacrifices that have been made both here at home and abroad to give us what we enjoy today. It is unique to this country even though lots of others have done the same. Each independent nation on this world we call earth has a symbol like this. Whether born here, or not we stay here for the unique chance to make our own American dream.
Our traditionally consists of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, and or chicken. On occasion, we have even done t-bone steaks. Of course deviled eggs, potato salad, fresh veggie tray, baked beans, chips, flag cake, fruit salad, and watermelon, make for a filling meal.
Our family follows the tradition of fireworks, for the evenings entertainment. We leave it to the professionals to display an awe filled pyrotechnic show. Ours are usually choreographed to music played on a local station.
As I’ve grown older and faced health challenges, I’ve grown to appreciate my father’s stance of watching our local display on tv….in air conditioning, with volume control. My dad’s favorite movie the last 10 years he was with us was Independece Day. He would pull it out every July 4th to watch again. I wish he had been here to see the sequel he wanted.
As I look at the goings on in our world today, I’m reminded of the speech given in the movie. Is something like that going to be what it takes for humanity to put aside the characteristics I see dominating the news? I truly hope not.
As we prepare for our nation’s birthday this, July 4th, the love, patriotism, and family traditions continue to shape our future generations. From our family to your have a happy and safe 4th of July.
12 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp Mayo
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
Slice eggs in half. Empty yolks into small bowl. Place white halves face up. To bowl of yolks add mustard, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and mayo. Mix well. Place in piping bag with star tip. Pipe yolks mixture into white halves. Sprinkle with paprika. Chill until served. I’ve had lots of versions of these over the years. Some add things like sweet relish, avocado, bacon and others. I prefer mine in this classic recipe. It’s what I grew up with. I’ve also seen the whites dyed different colors. I still like mine this way.
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This easy, festive cake will be the highlight of your patriotic party.
1 box white or yellow cake mix
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries or 2 pints rasberries
1 LG container Cool Whipcream
1 can Readiwhip or small container Cool Whip with pastry bag and star tip.
Bake cake as directed in a 9 x 13 pan. Cool cake completely. Remove leaf and stem from top of fruit. If using strawberries, slice from top to tip in halves or quarters depending on size. Using whipped cream spread even smooth layer over entire cake. Use toothpick to draw the flag box and red stripes. Star box should be about 4 or inches. A real flag has 13 strips but the cake can only fit about 5. Make sure you leave space between red stripes for white ones. The top and bottom stripes are red.
Place whole blueberries in star box as tightly as possible. This is the blue field for your stars. Gently place rasberries or strawberry strips along red stripes from left to right. Starting at the top next to star field to edge of cake. Place all red stripes. Using readiwhip or pastry bag with star tip, place alternating number rows of stars on blueberry field. (I usually do 5 and 4.)
For fancy look depending on time you may want to pipe stripes in white whipped cream as well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Featured photo belongs to Dricolls.com
It’s summer, and this time of year we all like to spend time in the great outdoors. With the sun shining high, we vibrate with anticipation to get outdoors. Be it camping, hiking, backyard bbq, the pool or the beach, please remember, with the warmer temperatures, to drink plenty of water, use protection from the harmful effects of the sun, and avoid the possibly deadly consequences of heat and/or sun stroke.
- The daily recommended amount of water is 8 – 16 oz glasses a day. That increases dramatically the longer you play in the sun. As you sweat, that fluid must be replaced. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and energy drinks won’t do the job. In fact, some can do more harm than good. They provide sugary, empty calories without the electrolytes that fuel your boby. Cocktails and beer deplete your fluids, making you even more dehydrated. Pure waters, sparkling waters, and sports drinks, help to replace the electrolytes your bodies needs. Make sure you drink at least half again as much as you normally would while having your fun in the sun. Get a great recipe here.
- Wear protective clothing. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? With the heat of the summer most of are thinking about how little we can wear to stay cool. Things like sunglasses that block uv rays protect your eyes. A large brim hat protects the top of your head from sunburn. It also provides shade to your face, neck and sometimes shoulders.
- Adequate sunscreen will help block the damaging effects of the sun. Children especially need to wear sunblock. I’m a redhead, so I learned about the damaging effects of the sun at a young age. I don’t tan. I go from extremely pale to lobster red in a very short amount of time. Like babies, I have to use a sunscreen with spf 40 or higher. I blister easily and you can easily see where I did damage in my younger days trying to keep up with my friends who tan. Take it from me, the worst places to sunburn are under your hair, and the backs of your knees.
- Avoid the most dangerous times of the day. The suns rays are the most dangerous for anyone between the hours of 10am and 3pm. If you’re heading for some fun in the sun, you’re get less direct sun before 10am or after 3pm. It’s best to avoid doing yard work or gardening during these peak sun times. If you must perform these activities during these times take care to protect yourself and know the warning signs of things like heatstroke.
- Don’t be deceived by shade. I would give my mother the excuse of our pool being in the shade, to get out of wearing sunscreen. Trust me when I tell you, shade from a tree or other porous material will not protect you from the sun. You still need sunscreen!
- Water reflects the suns rays. We’ve all seen people in movies who use those reflective panels to direct the rays. Like most, I thought, hey, I’m under the water, it will help protect me from the suns rays. While water does help diffuse the suns rays, it also reflects it back. So, if you wear the hat in the water, it’s directing those rays right back onto your shaded face and shoulders. Same rules here, make sure you wear the sunscreen. That tan is great when you’re young, but, as you age, that damaged skin begins to look like leather. The potential of developing skin cancer from those areas is also very high. The bandages and/or scars after having cancers removed from a place like your face are not attractive later. Indeed, if not caught, it can become something much worse than skin cancer.
- Back to the fun. You celebrate family and holidays with a backyard bbq. Again, heavy hydration, will keep you healthier and cooler. Take frequent breaks from the heat and sun, on a patio, a porch, a pavillion, or in the house. Not only does taking such a break provide a temporary resbite, from the sun and heat, but keeps you from the overheating, that leads to sun stroke or heat stroke.
Stay safe and enjoy the summer fun and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. I would love to hear how you spend your summer time. Drop us a comment letting us know. Don’t forget to like and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest.
1 cucumber, sliced
1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
1/4 c chia seeds (optional)
Optional herbs I use mint with citrus or basil with berries. Just press to help release the oils contained in the leaves before adding to your favorite. Lavender lemonade is really good as well.
4 liters tonic or sparkling water
I like this as it fits in the refrigerator door.
Mix all ingredients together in large gallon pitcher. Stir let sit several hours to infuse flavors. Add more tonic or sparkling water if needed. Serve over ice for a crisp, refreshing, and long hydrating summer cooler. The cucumber gives a fresh crisp flavor to citrus infused flavors. The optional chia seeds will soak up and release fluids as they digest. You can vary this recipe by adding different fruits. I like kiwifruit and honeydew melon as well as the cucumber. Intresting fact cucumber is already 70% water so adding some slices as editable garnish is a great way to add to the hydration in your glass.
Bonus tip: If you forgot to chill the wine or taking it onto the patio, keep some grapes in the freezer. Green or red can then be added to your glass to keep it cool, without watering it down like regular ice.
If you’ve seen anything in this blog before you know I’m a book lover. Well I’m playing catch up. I passed over the Outlander series several years back upon encountering the books. I’m so sorry I did. The only reasons I can site are no one told me about them, and the cover art and titles didn’t catch my intrest. My sincerest apologies to the goddess author Diana Gabaldon. I saw some of the Outlander fever online, and went to look. I saw Season 1, episode 1 of the series from Starz and I’m hooked.
Time travel, Scottish Highlands,romance….what’s not to love. I saw the term knee porn used the other day and while I would normally never take this seriously, I have to agree that the character of Jamie Frasier in a kilt is a true sight to behold. I started falling in love with the depth of the characters, story line, and while Jamie is my favorite, Claire is very compelling as well.Where else can you find a WWII nurse transported back in time to 1743 in the Highlands of Scotland. There she meets a handsome, noble Scottish warrior. With no idea how or opportunity to return to her own time she weds him for protection in a world where women have little choice. Adventures ensue bringing encounters with the British soldiers of the time of great unrest in the country. I fell in love with the young highland warrior for his principles, strength of character, and okay I’ll admit it he does look good in a kilt. His character is tempered with vulnerabilities that he only shows to Claire and the reader/viewer.
I must admit I enjoyed a good binge watch to catch up to season 4. Now I have to read the books as well. The longest part of my week is waiting for the next episode. Sunday evenings will never be the same in my house. I am currently buying all of the books in print and awaiting the release of the next one too. I’ve read snipets shared online pertaining to various scenes and know from just the pieces I’ve read these will quickly make my favorite author list. Have you read these yet? Are you a fan of the show? I’ve seen the comments about the differences between the books and the show, it makes me want both experiences all the more. I’m now Outlander obsessed. I caught the fever and couldn’t be happier about it. I can happily recommend both the show and from what I’ve read so far the books as well.https://www.facebook.com/groups/222279768543395/permalink/408381076599929/?app=fbl
So This Friday, June 7th is National Doughnut Day.
You can join in the commemoration of this unique day with some awesome treats today. Places like Dunkin, Krispy Kreme, Hurts Doughnut, and many others will be offering free and special pricing in honor of National Doughnut Day.
Where did this holiday come from and why didn’t I learn about this as a child? Turns out it started in Salvation Army canteens in WWI. The doughnuts and volunteers who handed them out to soldiers became so popular they were termed, Doughnut girls. The tradition continued in WWII with over 4,000 volunteers manning canteens all over Europe for the soldiers.
The popularity continues as we honor those volunteers with National Doughnut day. Now I know these are probably not a recommended food on your diet, however maybe just 1 for yourself or a treat for the kids on summer vacation makes todays list of things to do.
You can also make your own at home with some of the great recipes out there. everything from traditional cake, yeast, Keto, filled and beyond.