What could be better than a birthday in the beautiful month of July? Your country’s birthday in the month of July! Such a great time to celebrate our country and our blessings and the joy of life!
A special shout out to my dear sister Susan celebrating her own birthday right along with our country! Happy Birthday, Susan!
So Maribeth and I came up with some fun additions for this special day! A little delicious nostalgia using the fruits of summer and the colors of our flag, red white and blue!
Thank you again, Maribeth Schmidt for gracing me and all of our readers with your beautiful photos! If you would like to see more of Maribeth’s work, or for an inquiry, please visit Maribeth Schmidt Photography.
So what do we have for today? A power line up! Red, White and Blue Smoothies and Strawberry Shortcake!
These recipes as pretty much all of them on this blog are easy and open to your own interpretation to give them your own fingerprint! I’m not a professional chef, I am just having fun in the kitchen and sharing ideas with you! So lets get started!
- Vanilla Almond Breeze: 1 cup (or to taste if you like them thinner or thicker)
- Vanilla Yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)
- Bananas (I use 1 or 2)
- Honey (about a Tablespoon) *Another alternative: Blue Agave Syrup
- Sliced Almonds (1/4 cup)
- Fresh or Frozen fruit (I use enough to fill the blender 1/2 -2/3 full) See notes below for making red/white/or blue smoothies
Above is a basic recipe you can modify to your taste. I like my smoothies to be a little bit icy so I use either frozen fruit, or I add in a few ice cubes. Note you want to be sure your blender can handle crushing/pulverizing the ice before using ice.
For the RED Smoothie: Use Fresh or Frozen Strawberries (I use frozen with a few fresh for garnish)
For the WHITE smoothie: Use Bananas peeled and cut for your base fruit, can add in a teaspoon of vanilla, and for a fantastic treat, add in a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream.
For the BLUE Smoothie: Use Fresh or Frozen Blueberries (can also use blackberries)
Put all ingredients in your blender and blitz until smooth! I keep a stack of small plastic punch cups handy and serve up short servings fast as the gang is crowded in the kitchen. That way everyone can get a taste of each flavor as we whip them up! But its a really fun time to pull out your mason jars or fancy serving glasses and lavish your family and guests with something as beautiful as it is delicious!
Uh… yes please! Freedom Smoothies! You pick the flavor you like!
Red White and Blue, cheers to you!
All for one and one for all!
No smoothie left behind!
I’m smiling because I know how good these are! Maribeth and I and her kids personally taste the items in these pictures because we care and want to fully research these recipes before passing them on to you… and we’re only human!
OK next up… Strawberry Shortcakes Standing Tall!
- 1 Yellow Cake Mix (make cupcakes according to pkg directions)
- 1 Tub of Cool Whip
- 2 Quarts of Strawberries
- 1 Cup of Sugar
- 1 Container of Vanilla Ice Cream
Oh what a happy list of ingredients! Ok lets begin! Make cupcakes according to package directions *NOTE* you can substitute store bought cupcakes (scrape off any frosting) or a pound cake or angel food cake.
Strawberry Smash: Remove green leafy tops from your strawberries, wash them, and slice them and place in a bowl or container. Pour sugar over the strawberries and let sit for an hour or two.
Stir it together.
The sugar will draw the juice out of the strawberries and make a wonderfully delicious strawberry topping. This can be used in all sorts of recipes including straight up over a dish of vanilla ice cream! This was one of my favorites as a little girl! Your kitchen as a science lab: The sugar actually causes osmosis with the strawberries, drawing the water out of the strawberries creating the syrup!
Time to layer your dessert!
We used mason jars for our desserts. But a bowl works too! In traditional shortcake, you would use flaky biscuits and cut them. You can use any kind of cake that will absorb the strawberry juice. We are using cupcakes in ours. Slice your cupcakes horizontally into 2 pieces. Place one piece of the cake into the bottom of your mason jar (or dish). If this does not fill the base, you can wedge in some more of the cupcake (cut another cupcake to help fill gaps- its a worthy sacrifice!)
Next add a spoonful of those delicious mouth watering strawberries! Be careful… try to keep your mason jar pretty so you can see the layers on the outside! Spoon directly in the middle of the glass.
Next add a dollop of Cool Whip… once again being careful to try and not get the deliciousness on the glass itself but hitting your target at the base of the glass! Oh what a happy project! *Note* You could also add in a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the strawberries- this is a perfectly acceptable twist on the shortcake!
Now repeat the steps… cupcake, strawberries and then Cool Whip! Add a sassy little strawberry on top and serve with a spoon!
That shortcake is standing tall!
A Fine Calling for the Cool Whip, Strawberries and the Cupcake!
Luscious and sweet!
Strawberry shortcake is a beautiful dessert whose existence is meant to make your life a little more amazing!
Its a crazy idea… 3 different ingredients…
All combined in one delicious dessert!
The cake, the whipped cream, and the strawberry smash come together to make an amazing dessert! Each ingredient is simply fantastic in its own right, and yet when they come together in a cooperative spirit they create a truly special and beautiful dessert, a classic!
That is a little like our sweet sweet country! We are a melting pot of beautiful and very different people with so many talents and rich histories and ideas! We are every age, and every stage. We are all sorts of personalities! Some of us quiet and reflective. Some of us outrageous and wild! Some of us tirelessly caring. Some artistic or creative in our very DNA! Some are brilliant! Some are funny and make us laugh! Some give us courage by their words or simply watching them navigate their own challenges!
We have skilled athletes who push themselves to incredible levels! You inspire us! We have farmers who till the land faithfully day in and day out! Metal workers who form the very framework of our infrastructure! We have teachers from preschool to university! We have doctors, nurses and people who protect us whether they drive an ambulance or fire truck or police car… we have people protecting us in the armed forces and veterans who have served faithfully! May God bless you and keep you safe! We have people who deliver mail, or transport goods from one place to another or plow snow from our streets! God bless our truck drivers and keep them safe! We have moms and dads caring for our newest citizens of our country and planet… our children! And grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles who pitch in! May God bless our families! We have scientists looking to ever improve our quality of life! And IT people! Bless you! We have those who dedicate their lives to serving others (bless you!), and we have citizens in need of our help, whether special needs or needs of the homeless or sick or lonely or whatever challenges they have- bless them all whether the one helping or the one in need. We have the inventors! Oh how we love you! We have the food and hospitality industry! Cars, boats, trains and planes industry! We have authors and painters and architects and people who make sure we have heat and lights and ways to communicate. We have people who cut our hair and make us beautiful! People who keep our buildings tidy and landscapes beautiful! People who help us stay in shape! People who entertain us, from the cameraman to the actors and everyone in between! We have accountants and engineers and every sort of corporate worker. We have workers driving taxis and trains and airplanes and servicing them! We have people who inspire and encourage us! Bless you! We have those there with us when we enter this world, that help us in some way shape or form every step of our journey… right until our last chapter… what an amazing land we live in where you are free to choose your path.
Each of us a delicious ingredient in what is America!
This is our country… we the people… all of us! And its our country’s birthday today! Happy Birthday America! Let’s celebrate!
“God bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam, God bless America my home sweet home.” Written by Irving Berlin, at the age of 50. Irving Berlin lived to be 101, passing on in 1989. His family had immigrated here from Russia when he was 4 years old, through Ellis Island. His daughter said, when he sang “God bless America, land that I love,” it really was from a personal love for a land that had taken him in, a land he truly loved.