I just love Independence Day! Jay and I are always so lucky to be able to celebrate with such fabulous family and friends, and this year was no different.
Unfortunately, I was a bad blogger and barely ever pulled out the camera today. Our first party, up in Saratoga with family was very fun and relaxing, sitting out by the lake, chatting & enjoying everyone’s company. We ended up leaving that party before the main food was served, but I did snack on a bunch of carrots & celery + some top notch spinach dip (sorry, no photo!) BUT, before we left, I did of course have to snag a piece of my fun flag cookie cake! I mean, really, I’ve been eyeballing it for 2 days and hadn’t been able to dig in – so Jay and I each took a piece for the road. It was scrumptious.
Party #2 was fun as always, with some close family friends/old neighbors from when I still lived at my parents’ house. They’re all such a blast! I did manage to yank out the camera for a quick photo of my dinner plate:
Pulled pork (which I can never pass up on, ever.) on a whole wheat roll, linguine salad, macaroni salad, and potato salad. I didn’t end up eating the potato salad, but everything else was totally delish.
Eventually, the desserts got brought out, and Courtney went a little crazy. Pictures were not taken of all things consumed, but to give you an idea, here’s one of the unbelievable desserts – “Mud Mousse” – HOLY YUM!!
Party #2 also had a great little fireworks display, which everyone really enjoyed. I just love watching fireworks…there’s something about them that makes me feel like a kid all over again!
Me & The Hubby waiting for the fireworks
Overall, we had a wonderful day filled with lots of fun, friends, & family. Honestly, we are so lucky to have such great people in our lives, but it’s a good thing we don’t have parties like this all the time. I’m actually feeling pretty disgusting at the moment, with the amount of sweets that were consumed this evening. I definitely let the “celebration” mode get the best of me, and overdid it a little to the point of uncomfortable. I’m a little disappointed in myself, but tomorrow is a new day, so I’ll just make sure to get back on track then.
So hopefully you’ll forgive my lackluster blogging today, BUT perhaps I can win back all of your affection by ending tonight’s post with the recipe for my fun & fabulous cookie cake!
Patriotic Stars & Stripes Cookie Cake
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp clear vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2-3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 pint strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10x15x1 baking pan with foil.
- Combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts until thoroughly combined.
- In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time to wet ingredients.
- Press dough mixture into pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
- Once cookie mixture is cooled, mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, & lemon zest with electric mixer until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cookie.
- Arrange berries on cream cheese mixture to resemble the flag. (*If you use raspberries instead of strawberries, you’ll be more likely to be able to fit all 13 “stripes” on the flag – the strawberries were too big to fit the proper number)
I hope you all had a fabulous, festive 4th!!