Summer is the time of year when folks get together for graduations, family reunions, birthdays, cookouts...and to celebrate July 4th! With the July 4th holiday coming up, have you ever wondered what the colors of red, white, and blue signify or why they were chosen to be the colors of the newly formed United States of America in 1776? Until recently, I didn't realize that the colors were taken from the colors of the US's mother country's flag, the Union Jack flag of England. Because many of our founding Fathers had served under or been exposed to the colors of Great Britain, it was rather fitting that those same colors were chosen for our flag's colors. They were also used in the Great Seal that was developed to represent the newly formed country.
But just what do the Red, White, and Blue signify to us as Americans? Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, presented the Great Seal to Congress and explained that the red signified hardiness and valor; the white signified innocence and purity; and the blue signified perseverance and justice. The US flag has 13 red and white stripes to signify the original 13 colonies and 50 stars, one for each state of the Union.
In honor of our country's flag and her 3 defining colors, here are some very fitting Red, White, and Blue recipes to try at your July 4th celebration!
This is incredibly easy to whip up when unexpected company arrives!
Angle food cake - all ready prepared
Strawberries, washed and sliced, set aside a few for garnish
Blueberries, washed, seta side a few for garnish
Can of whipped cream topping
Cute serving dishes that are clear
Cut up the Angle food cake into small cubes that are about 1" square. Arrange in the bottom of your serving dish. Sprinkle on the strawberries and blueberries so they drop in between the cake cubes. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a slice of strawberry and a couple of blueberries. Serve immediately.
Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Add the coconut flavoring if you'd like.
~Separate the batter into 3 small bowls. Color the first bowl blue and color the second red. Leave the third bowl white.
~Divide the red batter between 24 cupcake papers in muffin tins.
~Carefully top with the white batter, being careful not to break into the red layer.
~Lastly, top with the blue batter, again, do not break into the white layer.
~Bake cupcakes according to the box directions until done. Cool completely.
~Frost your cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with coconut and red & blue sugars.
Store loosely covered.
~Cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Stir in almond extract and lemon zest.
~Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until soft dough forms.
~Separate into quarters, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Take one quarter of dough. Roll between sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper to 1/4" thick. Using a STAR shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies and carefully place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
~Bake for about 9-11 minutes until edges look slightly dry and top is barely browned. Cookies will look slightly under-baked.
~Cool completely on racks.
~REPEAT above for remaining quarters of dough until all cookies are made.
~Beat 4 oz. cream cheese with 1/4 c. powdered sugar until smooth. Carefully frost each cookie. Decorate with sliced strawberries and blueberries.
These are best topped with the fruit right before serving to avoid the cookies getting too soft. You may keep the plain cookies tightly covered at room temp and frost them right before serving.
YIELD: 2-3 dozen based on the size of your cookie cutter.
Happy 4th of July!
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If I'm not in the kitchen cooking up new items for my shop, I'm sewing fabric baskets, taking care of our honeybees and Ms. Kitty, pitching in on the latest project at my son's, or planning a trip somewhere with my daughter. Here, I'll share a "day in the life" at Tailored Touches!
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