First things first:
I must say, 4th of July is perhaps one of my favorite holidays (right behind Thanksgiving and Christmas). We don’t nearly anticipate it as much as our winter holidays – stores don’t hype it up as much as Thanksgiving or Christmas, and everyone is usually too busy enjoying the summer… next thing you know, it’s 4th of July and it’s time to celebrate.
I like to think 4th of July as a laid-back, summer version of Thanksgiving: friends and family get together, there’s food and lots of fun involved, but it lacks the formality (and stress) of those winter holidays. The days are long, the sun is hot, the nighttime skies are decorated by colorful fireworks, there’s no snow on the ground, there’s none of the hype of holidays (no letdown if things don’t turn out as well as anticipated), and there’s no stress of having to make the perfect meal, nor the stress of gift shopping for 50 different family members.
The hubs and I have been lucky enough to have the past two 4th of July’s off together. That’s the downfall when it comes to working in healthcare – a lot of times you have to spend the holidays working and taking care of other people rather than spending time with your own family.
Since this is the only holiday we’re going to be able to spend together for the rest of the year (soooo lame!), we figured we would go all out and have a good ole time, even if it’s just the two of us and our two furry babies.
Bentley showed off his holiday spirit today.
I made some red white & blue cupcakes yesterday and they turned out wonderful! They might’ve been the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. The cake was spongy, fluffy, and moist, and the frosting was smooth and velvety – they were amazingly delicious!
I also attempted to make some red white and blue pinwheel cookies, inspired by Just A Taste. I couldn’t get the colors to be as vibrant as hers, and although it didn’t turn out as pretty either, the final product actually looked a lot better than I was expecting (I really wasn’t expecting it to turn out at all). Oh well, more room for improvement next time!
The hubs slaved away over our grill for 6 hours to make these Kansas City style ribs – it was his first time using a little smoke box for applewood chips, and they turned out pretty good! We were in a hurry to devour these that this was the only picture I was able to get…
Garlicky bread spirals to go on the side.
Now that our bellies are full, it’s time to relax before some fireworks tonight!
And while we enjoy the day with good food and great company, don’t forget about why we celebrate today in the first place!