Fresh D'lights by Stacy: 4th Of July Recipes

Above, Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers...

4th Of July Recipes

by Stacy Carroll

I feel like July has snuck up on me a little this year, and I’m not really sure why since I haven’t been going places and doing things that I do most summers.  But all of a sudden this Redfield Press is coming out on July 1, which means Independence Day is just a few days away.

I’m not sure how I got on a dessert kick for these recipes; it just worked out that way.  Make a spinach salad with the strawberries and blueberries first, with some pecans and feta for something healthy that is red, white, and blue.  Then move on to these great desserts-lol! 

They are all simple, easy to make, no bake, and with ingredients most of us have in our kitchens.  Get the kids involved and keep them busily entertained with a sweet treat at the end as a reward.

Have a Happy and Healthy 4th of July!

Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers

Servings: 15-25, depending on the size of your cutter

Ingredients:

3 T. of butter

1 10- oz. bag of mini-marshmallows

1/2 t. of vanilla extract

6 c. of puffed rice cereal

Strawberries (one per sparkler)

Blueberries (3-4 per sparkler)

Star shaped cookie cutter

Food skewers or lollipop sticks

Ribbon (optional)

Instructions: In a heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Then add the marshmallows and stir continuously until melted and stir in the vanilla.  Remove from heat and add in the cereal, stirring until completely coated.  Pour coated cereal onto wax paper or buttered foil in a jellyroll pan and spread out to the thickness of your cookie cutter. As you spread it out, keep the mixture compact -- don't allow any "holes" to form or your star will fall apart. Once completely flat and thin enough for your cookie cutter to go through, allow the cereal mixture to cool and firm up. Once cooled, press your cookie cutter into the hardened mixture, remove the cut out treat from the cutter and set aside and repeat. Starting with the strawberries, skewer the washed and trimmed fruit onto the wooden food skewers or lollipop sticks.  Carefully add one treat on to the top of each skewer.  You can tie a ribbon to the stick/skewer, just below the strawberry for more festive color (and it helps support the heavy strawberry). 

Some commented that their stars fell apart in the heat of the day at a picnic, etc.  I would recommend arranging these on a platter instead of standing them up, or storing in the fridge until ready to display and eat!  I would also consider adding food coloring to the marshmallow mixture or red, white and blue candy sprinkles or jimmies.

Source: 5minutesformom.com

Jello Popcorn

Ingredients:

12 c. popped popcorn

¼ c. (1/2 stick) butter

3 Tbsp. light corn syrup

½ c. firmly packed light brown sugar or granulated sugar

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Gelatin

Instructions:

Pop popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.  Place butter and syrup in small saucepan; cook on low heat until butter is melted.  Add sugar and gelatin; stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Bring to boil on medium heat.  Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.  Pour immediately over popcorn mixture; toss to coat well. Spread into greased or parchment lined jellyroll pan, using 2 forks to spread evenly.  Allow to cool; break into small pieces. Make a batch of red Jello popcorn and one of blue. When your popcorn has cooled, fill a mason jar with a bit of blue popcorn, a handful of plain, and top it off with red. Most popular flavors are strawberry and blue raspberry

Source: whipperberry.com

No-Bake Strawberry Blueberry Trifle

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 10-12 "slices"

Ingredients:

17 oz. angel food cake cut into 1" cubes

1 lb. fresh strawberries hulled and sliced

1 lb. fresh blueberries

¼ c. water

2 T. sugar

2 T. lemon juice

Frosting Ingredients:

2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened

¾ c. sugar

2 c. heavy whipping cream

½ t. vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a measuring cup, combine ¼ cup water, 2 T. sugar and 2 T. lemon juice and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside until needed.

Beat together cream cheese and ¾ cup sugar (with a whisk attachment) on medium speed until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl a couple times. With mixer on, pour in 2 cups heavy cream then turn mixer to medium and continue beating until whipped and fluffy. Add 1/2 t. vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Place 1/3 of your sliced angel food cake into the bottom of a 4 to 5 qt. trifle dish 9x13 dish.  Brush with 1/3 of your lemon syrup. Add 1/3 of your cream and loosely spread it over cake pieces. Add 1/2 of the sliced strawberries. Repeat with remaining ingredients (adding 1/2 of the blueberries for the second fruit layer). Frost the top with last 1/3 of cream and decorate star motif with remaining fruit. This cake is best served the same day it's made. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

I think you could use cream cheese, powdered sugar and whipped topping for the frosting in a pinch.  Also could consider tinting it red or blue if you like.  The hardest part is spreading the frosting; try placing small dollops on top of the cake layer to make it easier to spread.

Source: Natashaskitchen.com

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