bbqHappy Fourth of July weekend, everyone! So, this is the weekend we celebrate our country’s Independence, the brave men and women who stand up and defend it, and the traditions are usually parades, fireworks and of course, food! I love the Fourth of July, as one of those holidays, like Halloween and Thanksgiving, that comes with very little pressure and expectation, and just a chance to get together with folks and have fun.

I have a love/hate relationship with fireworks. As a kid, I loved sparklers the best, especially the large or multi-colored ones, and those little weird tablets you could set a match to on the sidewalk, and it would explode into a long black snaky-thing. Too much fun. I never get tired of a big fireworks display, either, and try to see one each year, though we’re lucky enough to be able to see one of them from our house, so we can just peep out the window on years we don’t want to fight crowds and traffic. What I don’t like is when the neighborhoods are alive with the sound of firecrackers at 3am, or for several days, especially as it can spook pets. To that end, if you haven’t read it, check out this link to the Humane Society for how to keep your pets safe and comfortable this weekend.

I am not much of a parade fan, either, I have to say. I don’t go to them, but I do love the cookouts. We’ll have one with the family, but also, I have bought groceries with a mind to cooking out all weekend. Bring on the macaroni salad, the sausage sandwiches, and the lemonade! To that end, I want to share one really good dessert recipe we have made for years. I am not a Jell-O fan — it’s never been my favorite, but I love this particular dessert, so I’ll be making it this weekend. If you don’t like strawberries, you can use raspberries, too, and add in blueberries for a red, white, and blue theme! Enjoy!

Jell-O and Pretzel Dessert

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tub (9 ounce size) Cool Whip
1 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
2 packages (3 ounce size) strawberry Jello gelatin
1 package (16 ounce size) frozen sweetened strawberries
1 cup boiling water

Bottom Layer: Combine pretzels, butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Press into 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Middle Layer: Cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzel crust.
Top Layer: Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen strawberries, Chill until partially set, about 1 hour and spread over white layer. Chill until set and serve.

If you have any traditions, recipes, or favorite fireworks, please do share! And have a safe and wonderful weekend,


4 Responses to “All Things Fourth of July”
  1. Alina Duffer says:

    Good Morning Sam! Happy 4th of July! I have always loved the 4th for the same reasons as you, getting together with family and friends and just enjoying the company and the food. This year its just us since we have no family left here and no close friends avalible. But thats ok. We hope to take the kids to the movie Avatar The Last Airbender and have a bbq, then light some fireworks off. Not many cause our neighbor did an hour long show last weekend that was just awesome! As for special desserts, Im going to make a red, white and blue cake. Last year it was a flag cake, this year Im thinking a firework cake sounds good. Should be fun.

    Well have a great day and a wonderful holiday! (*)

  2. Making homemade ice cream (custard base) here. LOVE fireworks. LOVE. Also, the 4th is our anniversary, LOL. (L)

  3. Happy Fourth! I am making the jell-o desert as we speak, and a macaroni salad. πŸ˜‰

    Alina, your cake and plans sound so fun!

    Heather, Happy Anniversary!!! What a great celebration, to have the whole country setting off fireworks displays for you! πŸ˜‰ It’s my BIL’s b’day, too, so we’ll be over there having a pool party tomorrow, which will be welcome, given the heat we’re going to have this week…

    Back to the kitchen… getting this done, and then it’s outside to lounge in the yard with the Kindle, maybe do a little garden work, and then cookout and have a backyard fire tonight.


  4. Cathy W says:

    I love the 4th of July!! Fireworks, BBQs, friends and family. Here in AK, though…not many fireworks on the 4th. LOL – maybe around 3am, it would be really dark enough to see them!! One of these years when Miss S is a bit older, we’ll have to travel to the contiguous 48, so she can experience the true 4th of July, watermelon and everything!

    When I was younger, we’d head to my uncle’s house for a pig roast every year. I have wonderful memories of those times with my cousins. πŸ™‚

    Happy Independence Day, everyone!

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