Monday, July 2, 2012

Independence Day Ideas

Okay, I have a confession...I'm not going to be home on the Fourth this year.  I'm going to a family reunion and I'm not even making food that day...well, maybe I'll make something, but I'm not going to a barbecue or anything where I would bring anything super festive.  So...I'm going to repost from past Independence Day meals and some links to what I'm planning to do for the 24th of July...a holiday only celebrated in Utah and maybe Idaho. are the posts.  Sorry for the repeats!!!

Rich, Delicious Chocolate Cake
1 C buttermilk
½ C vegetable oil
2 C sugar
½ C applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1¾ C whole wheat flour
¾ C cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 C boiling water

Preheat oven to 315 degrees. Grease and flour 9X13 pan. Mix buttermilk, oil, sugar, applesauce and vanilla. Add eggs and mix until well blended. Mix together, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients. Bring 1 C water to a boil and stir into the cake mix. Mix for 1 ½ minutes until well-blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. When cool, frost with Fluffy White, Buttercream Frosting. Five minutes before serving line up 48 blueberries in rows 8 on the top, 6 down. Then slice the strawberries in half and line them up end to end to make the stripes (make sure they are all facing the same way). SO CUTE!!!

Fluffy, White Buttercream Frosting

5 sticks butter
9 C powdered sugar
3 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Two hours before preparing frosting, get 5 sticks of butter out of refrigerator. Whip butter for several minutes until creamy and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1 C at a time, beating the entire time. Keep beating until frosting is very thick. Add milk and vanilla and beat.
Note: If frosting seems too thick, add an additional tablespoon of milk.

FYI...this dessert is great for Memorial Day, Labor Day, Flag Day, or if you live in Utah the 24th of July. You could also make the Ooey Gooey Not-So-Wheaty Brownies instead of chocolate cake (it is in the dessert segment of my blog) 

Obviously, this one is not exactly Independence Day ready...what I would do, if I were staying home, is to use cool whip and mix 1-2 Cups with vanilla pudding (so it is lighter) and use that instead of the chocolate pudding.  Then I would alternate with strawberries, pudding, blueberries pudding, strawberries, pudding, blueberries...or something like that...I will try to make it that way on the 24th.

Here is the recipe...this one uses brownies:

Ooey Gooey Not-So Wheaty Brownies
3⁄4 C softened butter
1 1⁄2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3⁄4 C sifted whole wheat flour
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 C cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs. In another bowl mix the whole wheat flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Bake 30-40 minutes in a greased 13X9 pan. This is a family favorite and I have yet to meet anyone who can tell that there is whole wheat in it!!! YUM!!! If using chocolate chips, fold in after mixing all other ingredients. They make take a few minutes longer to bake, but this is how I prefer to make them...they are so good!

For Fudgier Brownies: Subtract one egg. Bake 30-40 minutes.

For Cake-Like Brownies: Add an egg. Bake 30-40 minutes.

And need this recipe:

Smooth Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

3 C cold milk
2-3 1⁄2 oz. pkgs. chocolate instant pudding
1-8 oz. whipped topping
Ooey Gooey Not So Wheaty Brownies
21⁄2 C sliced strawberries

Mix milk and pudding for at least two minutes, until well blended and starting to thicken. Fold in 1 C of the whipped topping. Dice brownies into 1 in. cubes.

Layer the following:
half the brownies half the pudding mix half the raspberries
Use the other half of each to make another layer of brownies, pudding mix, and raspberries. Top with leftover whipped topping and serve! Guaranteed to make everyone ooh and aah!
Note: You can substitute raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mixed berries, etc.

As for the suckers...well, there is no wheat, they are just cute. Since I usually post something fun to do with your kids on Fridays, I thought I would post this as an option for kids to make if you are having a 4th of July party at your house or going to a big get-together where there will be lots of children. Kids LOVE making these are they are easy and fun!!!

Fourth of July Suckers

Jolly rancher candies
Sucker sticks
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put three jolly ranchers in a vertical line, touching each other. (You can do this as many as will fit AS LONG AS YOU HAVE ROOM TO PUT THE SUCKER STICKS IN THE BOTTOM!!!) Melt in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and press sucker stick into the bottom of the sucker (you want at least ¾ -1 in of sucker stick inside the sucker). Roll the sucker stick completely around until the whole stick is coated in melted sucker. Add sprinkles or colored sugars while still hot. Let cool until solid (at least 10 minutes). We then wrap them in sucker bags and tie them with ribbon. Kids LOVE these and they can do ALMOST all of it by themselves!!!

Now, as for what I WANT to do...Pinterest helped me out a lot.  I want to make this drink this year:

And these parfaits look so cute and are on the lighter side of desserts:

I would like to do this fruit platter, because it is cute and healthy!

Cute stuff, huh!  There are other ideas I would like to try out, too, but I'll post those when things slow down a little! If you are in the great states of Utah and Idaho...there will be more before the 24th!

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