An Old Fashioned Fourth of July…And a Few Recipes!

Hey guys!  Happy Monday!  I know, I know…that sounds entirely too peppy for a Monday following a holiday that pretty much spans a week.  Well, if you live in Michigan, it usually does because, well, the weather is nice and it’s America’s birthday, and lots of employers shut down for the week, and people go up north or camping, or to the beach.  It’s just what we do.  At least I hope all of you got to do at least some of those fun things.  Mardi and I and our families celebrated the Fourth of July as usual at my parents’ annual party, followed by a trip up north.

The party was huge this year!  My mom and aunt counted over 200 people!  We had some new faces this year, some I didn’t even know.  But I am so glad they felt comfortable enough to come, and I hope they all felt welcome.  The weather was absolutely perfect…80ish and sunny.  The kids were in and out of the water all day right until dark.  One of my favorite things about this day is seeing the kids, many who only meet up once a year at this party, instantly act like old friends from the minute they arrive.  And I didn’t see kids on electronics literally the whole entire day!  And they lived to tell about it!

We ate around 4, and let me tell you, I think it was better than Thanksgiving dinner.  Since it is a potluck, the choices are amazing!  I always love the deep-fried shrimp that the guys make, and my mom’s smoked sausage cooked in crushed pineapple, and Danya’s crab salad.  Then there are Mrs. Vogel’s homemade cinnamon rolls that are always a party staple.  Can you tell I’m really into health food?  One of my new favorites this year was a corn salad with chili cheese fritos.  I’m not even sure who brought it, but it was so yummy.  Luckily I found a recipe on Pinterest.  Here is one that looks similar.  You should check it out if you haven’t had it before!  I think I will definitely make this in the future.

I actually made the little fruit tarts with the star cut-outs that I mentioned I might make in the previous post.  I added blueberry pie filling as well, and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the top.  They were super easy and tasty too.  I also made the Six Sisters’ Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.  They are sooooo good, and the recipe yields a lot of servings.  Mardi made scotcheroos, sugar cookie bars, and a really good snack mix.









We ended up dragging the kids out of the water for a sack race, a three-legged race, and tug of war.  They were having so much fun swimming that they didn’t seem to mind the simplified games this year, which was nice.  Most of the kids are getting older now, too, so we don’t have as many participants. Sniff, sniff.  Especially the boys…they have graduated to letting off their own fireworks.  Always a little scary, but there is no coming between boys and bottle rockets.  Sometimes you just gotta let boys be boys, I’m learning.  But sometimes I just can’t really watch too close, either.  Thankfully, they all have wonderful guardian angels (Thank you Jesus!), and no one was hurt.

Mardi and our friend Kathi decorated the pontoon boat this year to participate in the annual Wolf Lake boat parade.  They did a fantastic job getting it all decked out, but when it was time to leave the dock, the darn boat wouldn’t start.  The battery was dead.  Sigh.  Oh well…the parade went on without us, but it’s always fun to watch anyway!  Better luck next year!















The evening ended with an awesome display of fireworks that my dad and a friend went in on together.  They even let some of them off from an old pontoon boat off shore!  It was just an amazing way to end a perfect day.  And I’m so thankful to my mom and dad for opening their home to everyone and getting to celebrate such a special holiday with so many wonderful people every year.















How did you spend your Fourth of July this year?



Fun Fourth of July Food Picks

Fourth of July is almost here!  And I have to say, it is coming too soon.  I still have to figure out what dish I am going to bring to my parents’ annual Fourth of July picnic.  This year, I am determined to decide what I am going to make and buy the ingredients at least a whole day before the picnic.  Just call me a think-aheader, I know.  Seriously, I always wait until the last minute and it drives me crazy.

So to help me out of this dilemma, I took to Pinterest, of course, to gather some ideas.  I noticed that everything I was pinning was a dessert and red, white, and blue.  Probably because I typed in Fourth of July potluck…duh!  So here are a few patriotic food choices that stood out as easy, cute, and yummy.

These cookies are so pretty!  And I love me a good sugar cookie.  Although, the more I think about it, I’m probably too lazy to make the cool swirly frosting.  How about you make them and let me eat one?   Source:  Sugar Spun Run

These little fruit skewers are so cute…especially all lined up like the American flag.  And, my kids might actually eat these, along with all of the potato chips and brownies they are sure to consume!  Source:  Domino

Fruit pizzas are so delicious!  And this one is really pretty and patriotic, too!  And if you use a premade sugar cookie mix, it wouldn’t even be very time consuming to make. Source:  Crafted Sparrow

Aren’t these little cherry tarts the cutest!  They look pretty simple, too, but also look like you went to a ton of trouble.  Plus, I would score major brownie points with my dad, since he loves cherry pie!  Source:  Frankly Entertaining

Who doesn’t love chocolate covered pretzels?  This would even be fun to have the kids help make.  Source:  The 36th Avenue

Now, if I can only decide which one.  And then maybe I should figure out a non-red-white-and-blue dish as well, since it is okay to bring food that doesn’t match the color scheme!

So, do you have a favorite dish you like to take to potlucks and picnics?  Let me know what your tried and true favorite is!