It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.
When the 4th of July often means hot weather coupled with al fresco dining and outdoor firework gazing, a cooling summertime beverage is not only a suggestion, it’s a must! We’ve got just the cocktail to save the day: meet the Mint Julep Snow Cone, the cocktail version of your favorite childhood treat.
Muddle fresh mint leaves and sugar in silver julep cups. Top with shaved ice, pour on the bourbon, and mix the frosty concoction. Give this cocktail a positively patriotic twist by throwing a few blueberries and raspberries on top to garnish. It will be the star of your celebrations!
Bottoms up, folks.
Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Mint Julep Snow Cones
Hot Links We’re Loving:
• Always yearned to say “I carried a watermelon” at a party? This 4th of July, make it a reality with Style Sweet CA’s watermelon cake, complete with a red velvet interior and black sprinkle “seeds.”
• Forget root beer in your ice cream floats. The Sugar Hit gives this fizzy classic a summery spin with a blackberry-vanilla ice cream float that might just replace the original. Striped straws are mandatory.
• In related switcheroo news, the good ole berries-and-cream trifle has been a part of Independence Day cookout spreads for a reason. This year, switch it up with Taste and Tell’s Peanut Butter and Brownie Trifle that’s layered in all the right ways.
• Blenders aren’t just for smoothies and margaritas anymore. Love and Lemons‘ mango gazpacho is so light and cool, you might just opt for a bowl of soup next time you’re lounging by the pool.
• A magic flan cake by Sprinkle Bakes is just that, magic. The flan and cake layers switch places while they’re baking, and the end result is a fusion of caramel, custard and cake goodness.
The ultimate July 4th meal is eaten outside. It doesn’t matter where — sitting on your front porch, on a picnic blanket in the park, on a city roof, beachside — so long as you’re enjoying a warm summer night under the stars (and, if you’re lucky, watching fireworks). There is just something about the patriotic holiday that makes it best enjoyed in the company of a celebratory crowd (friends, family, neighbors, strangers). These red-white-and-blue cakes are the perfect ending for your festive meal. In addition to having the star-spangled palette, the cakes’ brown butter icing will hold up well at your alfresco gathering.
July 4th Red, White and Blue Berry Cake
Continue Reading Red, White and Blue July 4th Berry Cake
It’s that time of the year when recipes show up that are patriotically red, white and blue — like this Red, White and Blue Smoothie, which you should definitely make. Showing your stripes in the colors you eat is also good for your health (I’m talking about plant-based foods here — not red, white and blue cheesecake!).
Plant-based foods get their colors from phytochemicals — various compounds linked to a raft of health benefits. So I’m going to tell you about the phytochemical cocktail that adds color and nutrition to red, white and blue foods.
Continue Reading Health Benefits of Red, White and Blue Foods
Firecracker Popsicles by Becca Bakes
5 Hot Links We’re Loving
- Becca Bake’s firecracker popsicles call for fresh berries and vanilla frozen yogurt, so you can enjoy the festive treat without feeling guilty.
- Avoid the mess and stress of slicing pie in front of guests. Serve Pixels and Crumbs’ strawberry hand pies instead.
- Burgers are key for your backyard barbecue tomorrow, and Dainty Chef’s take on the infamous Shake Shake patty is a sure hit.
- Beer may be the classic cookout beverage, but A Farm Girl’s Dabbles’ sangria with rosé and bourbon may just be this year’s biggest hit.
- Don’t forget your veggies. Love and Lemons’ grilled vegetable skewers with chile-lime oil are great by themselves but even better with avocado, salsa and tortillas.
O say can you see by the dawn’s early light how incredible these desserts look? If only we could declare independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain every week so there would always be a great excuse to make them.
Red, White and Blue Velvet Cake (pictured above)
It’s hard to decide which is more striking — the multicolored layers inside the cake or the festive frosting on the outside. Either way, your guests are sure to be impressed.
Continue Reading Perfect 4th of July Desserts
While drops of food coloring will enhance the layers of this patriotic July 4th cheesecake, its stripes are tinted naturally with seasonal flavors: red raspberry, white vanilla bean and blue blueberry. The fresh blueberry topping is held together with just enough gelatin to give it a gorgeous, glossy look and to make it easy to cut. In order to achieve the clean layers you’ll need to have some time to let each one set, so plan in advance. It is super easy and completely worth the extra time to present such a fun dessert at your holiday party.
Continue Reading July 4th Red, White and Blue Cheesecake
Last-Minute 4th of July Recipes
These Crispy Tuna Cake Sliders are a great lighter alternative to the classic burger.
When it comes to grilling, Burger is King. It always seems that when people gather, stomachs and minds in grilling mode, they can’t help but salivate over that delicious patty they’re about to layer on a bun with their favorite toppings, slather in sauces and sink their teeth into. These days, though, everyone seems to be on one special diet or another, or eager to venture beyond their burger-comfort zone. How do you please an entire crowd when one person is watching their cholesterol, another is vegetarian and half of your guests are bored with beef burgers?
We feel your pain and are here to help. Check out some of these alternatives to the classic burger. Use them as recipes and inspiration to please your crowd of hungry friends:
Continue Reading Better Burgers for Your July 4th Party