Independence Day is my favorite holiday. (My second-favorite is Thanksgiving. Not sure if I should be concerned about preferring the patriotic holidays to the faith-based ones. :P) I've thrown many 4th parties. This year, with big changes going on, I didn't quite feel up to it. But my good friend Caroline convinced me that having the party was more important this year than ever! She was right, and I couldn't have done it without her and her husband's help.
My flag cake has evolved over the 14 (!) years I've been making it. This year's cake was the simplest ever. I dispensed with some complicated things I've tried before, and instead of "frosting" the cake with straight Cool Whip, I made a cream cheese and Cool Whip blend. It was a lot firmer and easier to work with. I considered actual frosting, but the 4th requires Cool Whip in some capacity.
I spent much of Friday cutting, baking and frosting these sugar cookies. I used a recipe from Kelly's Korner but will try something else next time - the cookies were a little bland for my taste. This was my first attempt at working with royal icing. I used a toothpick because many baking bloggers (prime example: I Am Baker) use them all the time to decorate absolutely perfect cookies. My conclusion: Theirs must be magical toothpicks. IT WAS HARD. Also, I had a blue food coloring fail, which is why the colors are better suited for a baby shower. It was a learning experience!
In addition to the great food, there was great time with friends:
Matt and Caroline
Me and my sister Debra (in prints) with our brother's girlfriend Stefanie (in red)
My friend Kathy's younger son James, who is in my running for AMERICA'S NEXT CUTEST BABY. *cartoon hearts*
The sparklers I bought were more smoky than sparkly. That's the last you'll see of me, Lakeland fireworks stand!!
The tank worked though. :)
My brother-in-law Lance contemplates a sparkler.
Margarita time!! (My dad made one for me. :))
Oh and on Monday I went to see Eclipse with Kathy. It was the best of the Twilight movies BY FAR. We had planned to shout, "Lord, I need a drink" the first time Jacob ripped his shirt off (inspired by a lady who was in the theater when Kathy saw New Moon), but never got the chance since he kept showing up already shirtless. LOL! There was plenty of great commentary around us, though. I love the audiences at these movies. (Bella: Jacob! Stay! Audience member: Sit! Roll over!)
It was a good weekend, and possibly the best 4th of July party ever. :)