Happy 4th of July! Our family is enjoying a time away with family in Albuquerque, NM. Last night, we celebrated early with a yummy feast. One of my items on my list is to celebrate holidays to the fullest and introduce my kids to the great traditions that I was blessed to be exposed to. The feast didn’t disappoint.
I have made this simple fruit salad for over 10 years which alternates peaches, pineapple, strawberries, green grapes, and blueberries. I sprinkle orange peel on top of the blueberries. This year, I added just a couple of watermelon pieces cut out with a star cookie cutter for a little festive spirit. I highly recommend this to those taking a salad to a potluck. It is always a crowd pleaser and just looks so pretty.
The cupcakes were a hit. I made a very popular recipe called Billy’s vanilla vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing. The recipe will be posted this week as it was my #2 cupcake in my 52 cupcakes in one year challenge. I got the cupcake liners from ABC Cake Decorating in Phoenix. Love that store. I made the decorations by tying 3 inches of garland around a lollipop stick and attaching with double stick tape. I bought the garland and other party pretties at Shop Sweet Lulu’s.
The strawberries were a hit. Simple and tasted great. They were dipped in white candy coating and then in blue sanding sugar. I purchased both items at ABC Cake Decorating Store. Are you noticing a trend? Jeff is starting to detest ABC Cake Decorating like he does Target and Costco. My sister and I also made vanilla cake balls and colored the icing red, white, and blue and made a flag out of them and put them on a white platter. It was adorable but sadly, my picture was horrible. They were delicious.
I think my favorite was the mason jars. As my family will tell you, I have a love affair with mason jars. I drink everything out of them. So when I saw mason jars decorated with scrapbook papers and decorative straws on pinterest, I was hooked. They had me at hello. The paper was bought at Scrapbooks Etc. in Mesa, AZ and the straws were bought at my local Biltmore Williams-Sonoma. Did anyone notice my University of Arizona paper? That’s right- U of A is extremely patriotic. We filled the mason jars with blue and red Hawaiian punch and lemonade.
The fabric pennant was relatively easy and that is saying a lot, since I am not a seamstress. I cut out the fabric pieces from Scrapbooks Etc. that has a die cut machine, used patriotic string to attach and used more fabric pieces in between each pennant as ribbon. I used a zig zag decorative stitch and told myself every few minutes, it’s ok as my stitches were far, far from perfect. I loved how it turned out.
Last was the preparation. A lot of preparation goes into planning a feast, especially if you are hosting it 8 hours from your home. Unless you just really enjoy it, I would suggest sticking to your own home. It just takes too much time, especially if you forgot something, etc. My family helped out immensely, especially my sister and mom. Overall, it was a lot of fun, the food was spectacular and by this face alone, I think it was worth it.
Very thankful today for my family and my country. Enjoy it to the fullest!