Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

I think we sometimes overlook the little things in life and take for granted what is so normal to us.  Things that other places in the world can only dream about.  I’m proud and happy to live in the U.S. and sometimes I forget to stop and remember just how important it is to be grateful.  Thank you to all the men and women who put their lives on the line each day to make sure we are safe and can enjoy our American lifestyle. 

The fourth of July was just about perfect this year!  I woke up on Wednesday morning to beautiful, cloudy skies – a welcome treat in Phoenix, AZ.  The desert had been cooled to a reasonable and pleasant temperature.  So, I made biscuits and my family and I ate them outside on the patio, enjoying the garden and reading some new books.  The overcast lighting seemed too perfect to pass by, so Sean selflessly let me take pictures of him for a new painting – they turned out great!  We took some adorable family shots too. 

Almost a moment after I snapped the last handsome picture, it began to rain.  Normally, we would have been upset by this on the Fourth of July, but today it was just fine.  We took a drive together and laughed over assembling new windshield wipers, which don’t get much use here in Arizona – all the while getting soaked in the rain. 

When we returned home, we had some margaritas by the pool, as the rain had begun to let up.  By dinnertime, the clouds had completely subsided and bright blue skies made barbequing possible.  With classic American songs in the background, we munched on hamburgers, deviled eggs, coleslaw, potato salad, chips and dip, guacamole, baked beans and even tomato aspic. Dessert was truly patriotic – shortcake with white whipped cream, red strawberries and blue blueberries.  It was a real feast and I hardly cooked a thing!  It was an easy and mostly store-bought summer BBQ. 

Once we were securely in our food comas, we watched the fireworks, broadcast from D.C. and N.Y.  I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing and happy mid-week respite and Fourth of July.

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Today’s recipe is hardly a recipe.  But, even a cook sometimes needs a break from laboring in the kitchen – especially when the holiday is in the middle of the week! 

Shortcake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

Whipping cream + 2 T. Sugar

Whip the cream until soft peaks form and slowly sprinkle in the sugar, whipping until it is completely combined and stiff peaks have formed.  Arrange each shortcake on your plate and top with whipped cream.  Garnish with fresh berries.  It’s that simple.  

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