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New Meal Monday: Festive 4th of July Treats

July 01, 2019

For this week's New Meal Monday, we have a guest writer!
These 4th of July themed treats were provided to us by Trixie Philpot of North Carolina.
Trixie is mother of one of our team members here at Kiss the Cook, Conrad (who is also the boy referenced in the story for the first recipe!)  Thanks to Trixie for sharing, Happy Birthday to Conrad and a Happy 4th of July to all!

US Flag Cake

My son was born on July 5th, so every year at the close of the fireworks grand finale on the 4th of July, I would kiss him and say, “Happy Birthday,” as a precursor to his personal celebrations to follow on the next day. The year that he was turning 5 years old, we were at Riverside Park in Great Falls, Montana. We were an Air Force family. There were a lot of people from the base joining local residents downtown for the celebrations. When it came time for the fireworks display, everyone congregated closely in the clearing to have a good view of the sky. I stood my son up onto a horizontal slat of a wooden fence so that he was as tall as all of the adults who were gathered to watch the show.  As usual, as the grand finale was ending, I kissed his cheek and said, “Happy Birthday.” After it was truly over, my son looked at the young airman who was standing next to us and said, “Thank you for coming to my birthday party. All of this was for me.” That is when I learned that I had been throwing my son the most effortless and most well attended birthday parties ever known to man. I didn’t destroy his happiness by telling him that Independence Day celebrations were separate from his birthday. I knew he would figure it out soon enough.

Regardless of rather or not you need a birthday cake for someone who shares their birthday with our nation or if you simply need a cake for a picnic or cookout, this US Flag Cake will be a hit. The best part is that it is so simple to make.

What you'll need:

  • Box Cake Mix – Use either White, Yellow, or French Vanilla cake mix (Ingredients called for on the box of cake mix, usually eggs, vegetable oil, and water)
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 8 oz tub of Extra Creamy Cool Whip
  • 4 tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
  • 25 Fresh Blueberries
  • Fresh Raspberries cut in half – I used 39 raspberries

How you'll do it:

  1. Bake the cake according to the box directions for a 13 x 9 cake. When the cake is done, cool it for about 10 to 15 minutes with the pan sitting on top of a wire cooling rack. Then turn the cake out onto your rack or tray to finish cooling.
  2. While cooling, mix cream cheese, Cool Whip, and confectioner's sugar in a bowl until well combined.
  3. Once cake is cool, spread icing on top.  Then arrange berries as pictured.

Tip: Cake mixes say to grease and flour the pan and it is typically done by using flour from your pantry. For a smooth decorating surface with fewer crumbs, instead of using flour, sprinkle a little of the cake mix into the pan to coat it. 

Patriotic Shortcakes

Who doesn’t like Strawberry Shortcake? That sweet syrupy filling combined with whipped topping and cake makes for a taste bud pleasing dessert.

I had often enjoyed strawberry shortcake at a friend’s home. I always wondered how she made the syrup that went over the strawberries but I was too embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know how to make it. Years went by and I finally asked her how she did this. I was surprised to find out that it is very simple. You just add sugar to cut strawberries and the moisture from the strawberries does the work of turning the sugar into a tasty syrup. So if you’ve never made it, read on and you can make a quick and easy red, white, and blue dessert for your 4th of July cookout.

 

What you'll need:

  • Dessert shells
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Sugar
  • Extra Creamy Cool Whip

Directions

  1. Wash your strawberries and remove the leaves. Cut the strawberries into small pieces.
  2. Mix ½ cup of sugar to every cup of strawberries. Stir them well. Sit it in the fridge for a few minutes. Stir again and set it in the fridge again. Keep returning to the strawberries to stir them until it has turned into a nice syrup. Cover and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to serve the shortcakes.
  3. When you are ready, set a dessert shell onto the plate and spoon the strawberry mixture into the shell. Then top it with a liberal spoonful of Cool Whip. Sprinkle blueberries over the top of it. Now you have a beautiful, patriotic looking dessert to serve to family and friends. Enjoy!

If you can’t find those little dessert shells, you can still make shortcakes. Make a 13 x 9 yellow cake from a boxed mix and cut it into squares. If you want a thinner cake, pour the cake mix into two 13 x 9 pans. 

US FLAG TOAST

On July 4th, people all across this great nation will join in celebration of our country’s independence. There will be picnics, cookouts, parades, and parties. In many towns, the festivities will come to a close with a highly anticipated light show in the sky.

You can certainly use any type of bread that you like for your toast but I will say that a sturdy piece of bread produces the best results. This fact makes this a perfect recipe for gluten free bread. The photo on the left shows this recipe done using deli style sourdough bread. Light and fluffy bread like white sandwich bread is still rather soft after toasted and that makes it a little more difficult for spreading cream cheese across the bread. But it is able to be done if you take care with the pressure you apply when spreading the cream cheese across the toast. The photo on the right shows it done with white sandwich bread.

What you'll need:

  • Bread
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Cherry or Strawberry Jam, Jelly, or Preserves
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Banana

How you'll do it:

  1. Toast your bread.
  2. Spread cream cheese over the toasted bread. Then spread your red jelly over that.
  3. Next, place 9 blueberries in the top left corner of the toast in three rows of three berries each. This represents the stars section of the flag.
  4. Then slice your banana in thin slices. They will be placed on the toast to represent the white stripes of the flag. The red jelly that shows through will represent the red stripes of the flag.
  5. You can do the banana in one of two ways. You can simply cut the slices in half and line that up across the toast as shown in the photo on the right. Or you can cut the curved end off of the banana to make straighter stripes and line it up across the toast as shown in the photo on the left. Just remember that the flag starts and ends with a red stripe, so make sure that red jelly shows as the first and last stripe.

 Not only is this a patriotic breakfast treat that is great for the 4th of July, it is great for Flag Day, Memorial Day, or for military families to serve on special days. Do you have a child who is a picky eater? This is a fantastic way to interest them in eating fruit for breakfast.

 

By Trixie Philpot

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