This weekend is the Fourth of July holiday. Many people will be taking advantage of the 3-day weekend to get away on a mini vacation but not everyone will be traveling for the 4th. Many will be enjoying a holiday staycation—celebrating the freedom we have in our country, while surrounded by family, friends, and good summertime food. That means there will be lots of picnic and BBQs.
I’m going to share three very easy recipes that have found their way to our 4th celebrations;
First, here is a fun and easy Popsicle recipe for you! Nothing screams 4th of July more than Popsickles and sticky kids. These fun Popsicles are a great way to cool down this 4th of July!
Blue Kool Aid
Red Kool Aid
Popsicle molds (You can also use plastic cups)
Mix the blue Kool Aid as directed and pour into cups or Popsicle molds for bottom layer. Freeze for 1 hour, or until mixture is beginning to freeze, but not yet hard.
In separate bowl mix 2 cups vanilla yogurt with 2 cups Cool Whip. Spoon white mixture into Popsicle molds. Insert craft sticks in an upright position into Popsicle molds. Stick back in the freezer until solid (the Cool Whip/yogurt mixture won’t get completely hard, just firm.)
Mix the red Kool Aid as directed and pour into cups for final layer. Freeze overnight or for at least 5 hours.
Fun Fact The Popsicle was invented in Oakland, California in 1905 by an 11 year-old boy named Frank Epperson. He left his fruit flavored soda outside on the porch with a stir stick in it. The drink froze to the stick and tasted good. 18 years later at the age of 29, Epperson applied for a patent in 1923 for a “frozen ice on a stick.” In 1925, he sold his famous Popsicle to the Joe Lowe Company of New York. Good Humor now owns the rights to the Popsicle.
Tip – To make the red redder and the blue bluer use a drop or two of food coloring.
This next recipe is one of our family’s favorites. The Pop Rocks add a little Fireworks to the treat.
Fourth of July Brownies Bites
1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme Premium brownie mix (Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box)
1/2 cup Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting (from 12-oz container)
Red and blue sugar sprinkles
1 package red blue Pop Rocks (optional)
Heat oven to 350°F. Line a tiny muffin pan with foil so foil extends about 1 – 1/2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 – 1/2 hours.
Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies. Frost the brownies. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. I add the Pop Rocks right before serving. They actual start to pop when the hit the frosting.
Fun Fact For years rumors persisted that eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda would cause a person’s stomach to explode. The human stomach is too elastic to rupture or explode from consuming such excesses of carbonated foods or beverages.
This quick and EASY Corn, Black Bean, and Feta Dip is tasty and easily portable (no refrigeration needed!)
Corn, Black Bean, and Feta Dip
2 Cans corn
2 Cans black beans
6oz Crumbled feta cheese
1 medium sweet onion, diced to match the size as the corn and beans
3 T vegetable oil
4-6 T white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
Drain and rinse the beans and the corn. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and allow to chill for 2 hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
This time of year is always special to me. I love this holiday because of how it makes me feel inside. It’s such a unifying day. American flags are waving from homes all up and down the streets. You see red, white, and blue everywhere. It makes me stop and think about all the sacrifices made by the men and women who founded this country and the sacrifices of those men and women (and their families) in military service to our country today.
If I could sing, I would belt out the lyrics to the song, “Proud to Be an American.” You know the words…
“And, I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA!”