Embarrassment aside, I was excited to have people over. It gave me an occasion to do several holiday-themed things, because, well, I'm an over-decorating geek. So maybe Martha Stewart would have scoffed at my dollar-store plastic tablecloth and star garland ... but then again, she can afford cuter decorations. (Plus she's Martha-effing-Stewart, so her table would look cute even if she had to decorate it with trash bags and duct tape.) At any rate, I was pleased with the way things turned out.
I even made mini star-shaped sugar cookies (from scratch, from the best recipe EVER, which you'll find at the end of this post) and some deeeeelicious fluffy fruit dip (ditto to the last sentence in parenthesis).
And my toes got into the Independence Day spirit:
Yes, I know it's a small picture ... but that was deliberate. I didn't want the world to be able to scrutinize my feet too closely; it's been a while since my last pedicure, ya dig? Anyway, you get the idea.
We ate (and ate and ate) and then we all went outside for a while - which was fun for those who weren't chasing after Cameron (read: everyone but me). I spent my time waddling awkardly after him as he shuttled away, repeatedly, at top speed. How do those stubby little legs move so fast? And each time I went to retrieve him, I got this:
You guessed it: the "cry-and-go-limp" maneuver popular with small children the world over. The one where you take their hand and they just hang there, refusing to walk, usually accompanied by some sort of loud and whiny vocal protest. I dealt with this until I was sweating in places I didn't even know I could sweat, and then gave it up and brought Cameron back into the air conditioning.After the festivities were over at our house, we went down to the riverfront for the big fireworks show. At first I had my camera on some weird setting, which made my pictures look like this:
Super Radioactive Neon Sperm, activate!
But then I figured out the setting and actually got a couple of decent photos.I totally loved that smiley face! It's amazing what they can do with pyrotechnics!
All in all, we had a great Fourth ... even if it was on the 3rd. Happy Independence Day, everyone!
Oh wait ... I promised you recipes, didn't I? :)
You can find the sugar cookie recipe here. These are soft and chewy and drool-inducing and have garnered rave reviews from everyone I've made them for. They're good as-is or with frosting, and the dough is versatile enough to roll out and cut into shapes or just roll into balls (flatten them slightly first, as they don't spread much) and bake. (Hint: take them out of the oven even if they still look too light. If they look anywhere near golden brown on top, they're overdone.)
The fruit dip recipe came to me courtesy of my friend Subrina, and tastes too good to be this easy - but it is:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room-temperature
1 container of lime yogurt (I use Yoplait Key Lime Pie flavor)
1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff
Using a mixer (important, or it'll turn out lumpy!), blend the softened cream cheese and the yogurt until smooth. Then mix in the fluff. Serve with fruit; I like grapes and strawberries the best. You can easily double the ingredients for a pretty big batch.