Can you believe it’s already July? And one of my favorite holidays is just a few days away! For today’s Independence Day blog post, I’m going off the beaten path just a tad to talk about some fresh twists on some of my favorite 4th of July staples.
When I was a kid, I was often at my grandparents’ house in small-town Alabama for the 4th, which meant we had the freedom to set off lots of fireworks! Pop would take me to the fireworks stand in the morning and we’d load up on all kinds of goodies. I’d spend the day setting off bottle rockets and Black Cats in the backyard; after dark, the grown-ups would put on a show of Roman Candles and other colorful fireworks with crazy names I can’t remember.
Light Up the Night
I haven’t lost my love of fireworks, but living in urban Dallas means I can’t set them off myself. So instead, I’m going to make some luminaries to put along our front walkway and back patio! We can enjoy the flickering lights of these festive lanterns after the sun goes down and we’re still lingering outside. (They’ll make up for the fact that there aren’t any lightening bugs where we live, either!)
These tissue-paper luminaries are easy to make and look so charming lined up on the walkway! I especially love the alternating flags.
Painting these Mason jars is a little more labor-intensive, but it pays off with the handsome glow they cast.
I think these ribbon-and-twine festooned luminaries are just darling! They would make the perfect centerpieces for a 4th of July party, too.
Fresh and Frozen Treats
Big summer gatherings call for homemade ice cream; but it’s a lot of work and mess for just a few folks. Enter the popsicle to save the day! Have you noticed that popsicles are going gourmet? There are tons of great popsicle recipes on Pinterest and the blogosphere. Here are a few of my favorites:
Perfectly patriotic, these raspberry, blueberry, and yogurt popsicles are delicious AND healthy—a great choice after hamburgers and potato salad!
Here’s another healthy take on a 4th of July themed popsicle. These are made with fresh watermelon and lemonade.
Popsicles aren’t just for the kids! Give the adults at your party a treat of their own with these white sangria popsicles.
New Ways with Watermelon
Watermelon is a 4th of July staple, for sure! It’s also one of my favorite summer foods. I’d never tire of eating freshly cut watermelon, but it’s also fun to find new ways to use it.
Watermelon agua fresca is the perfect replacement for sugary sodas at your summer barbeques. It’s easy to make, naturally sweet (requiring just a little bit of sugar or agave nectar), and oh-so-refreshing!
(By the way, if you’re looking for a juicer for making agua frescas, popsicles, and other summer treats, be sure to check out Tuesday Morning! They’ve got this Omega Juicer for an amazing price this month.)
Watermelon, cucumber, and feta cheese combines to make this cool and flavorful salad.
And add watermelon to the list of foods that you never knew you could grill! This recipe for cilantro-lime grilled watermelon sounds delicious. I’ve added it to our 4th of July menu!
I’ve put together plenty more ideas and inspiration for 4th of July décor, recipes, parties, and more—including popsicle and watermelon recipes—on the Tuesday Morning Festive 4th of July Pinterest board, so be sure to take a look!
Have a safe and happy holiday!