On the drive home last night, I realized that this 4th of July is actually the ten year anniversary of the first time I used drugs (if you prescribe to the social norm that alcohol differs from illicit drugs.) Hooray… I guess? I don’t remember most holidays from The Using Years, aside from the real hot-mess-express moments. Which aptly describes the night of July 4th, 2006. Luckily, in my past five years of sobriety, each clean 4th has been memorable in it’s own way. A few of my favorite ways to celebrate America’s birthday without any festive self-destructive implosions:
- Listening to Lana del Rey’s Born to Die on a loop with mega-ultra loops of “National Anthem” in particular
- Taking a silly amount of fireworks-related pictures (bonus points for sparkler light-painting)
- Wearing some sort of flag pattern or (as is the case this year) a slightly more mature iteration of red, white, and blue
outfit: shirt: express barcelona cami (poshmark) // skirt: j crew crewcuts red & blue tartan plaid (poshmark) // cardigan: loft (poshmark) // bracelets: (gifted)
USE MY REFERRAL CODE PFAKI FOR $5 CREDIT WHEN YOU SIGN UP THROUGH THE POSHMARK APPMy year-round capsule wardrobe (which is almostalmostalmost done and ready to be the subject of a WHSH post series- contain your mutual excitement) has navy as the primary color with red, white, and blue as the main secondary colors.
So I either accidentally or subconsciously have become a walking billboard for patriotism. Pretty adorable patriotism, if I do say so myself. Beyond the self-admitted adorable factor, my outfit is also completely appropriate for the holiday since it’s all secondhand. You know, taking something that once belonged to someone else and appropriating it for my benefit. Kind of a loose metaphor but yeah, patriotism okay sure moving on.
Well, it’s all secondhand other than the bracelets gifted from my late grandma (blue) and my younger sister (yellow… at least it once was before I started wearing it every day.)
- Eating some kind of red, white, and blue dessert that most likely involves fresh strawberries and blueberries- and really, what’s more American than tricking yourself into eating fruit by covering it in cream cheese?
Not only is this dessert seasonal in both ingredients and aesthetic, but it’s incredibly easy and refreshing. I always jump to make a new dessert whenever going to a potluck, cookout, or other equally delicious gathering. Normally, I try to force any leftovers on others before leaving- my sweet tooth is very wicked and very real. With this dessert, however, I was vocally very okay with taking the entire pan home with me after the 4th celebration shenanigans (which, of course/thankfully, didn’t happen.)
If using pre-prepared cookie dough and the same size of pan that I did (9″x11″) you’ll end up with extra cookie dough and extra cream cheese icing. OH NO WHAT A TRAGEDY. So feel free to either make an additional mini pizza, save the ingredients for another occasion in the near future, or put on some sunglasses and defy the FDA, you American rebel you.
1.5 rolls (~20 oz.) sugar cookie dough
2 package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 lb. strawberries, halved
3/4 cup blueberries
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 quarter lemon slices
4 yogurt covered pretzels
1/2 cup apple jelly
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Use your preferred non-stick method (mine is greasing the pan with butter rather than non-stick spray) on pan.
- Press cookie dough into pan- it doesn’t have to be super pretty but try to get it as even as possible.
- Pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes. This was my time in using a glass pan in my oven, which isn’t very effective with heat retention, so check around the 15 and 20 minute mark. Let cool.
- Add the juice from 1 lemon quarter to strawberry slices and toss, let sit.
- Cream together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and the juice from 1 lemon quarter on medium. Finish off with about 30 seconds to 1 minute beating on high.
- Spread the icing on cooled cookie. I ended up using about 2/3-3/4 of the amount of icing and I was pretty heavy-handed.
- Arrange your fruit! I did blueberries first and using some yogurt covered pretzels as the guide for “stars.” I’ve also seen people use white chocolate chips.
- Once everything is arranged just so, heat the apple jelly in the microwave in 30 second rounds until melted.
- Brush the fruit with melted apple jelly.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
I don’t know about y’all but our weekend has been pretty rainy so far. So this will most likely be the extent of my 4th celebrations for the year… but since I have a massive amount of packing that I’ve been expertly procrastinating, it’s probably for the best. I hope you’ve enjoyed your holiday weekend so far- stay safe and enjoy!
As always, if you have any questions, whether they are recipe-related or not, please write me in the comments below or contact me on my various social media outlets. Also, if you have anything you’d like to see in a future video or post, just let me know. I love hearing from y’all!
Be kind. Live authentically. Practice gratitude. Hustle daily. Work hard. Stay humble.
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