The month of July is a crazy busy month for me. My friend Sami’s birthday is the third, then the 4th of July, then my mom’s birthday is the fifth, then me & Jay have our anniversary on the 12th. And then… my birthday is on the 30th. Yeah. INSANE. So basically I spend the entire first week baking and making treats, and the entire rest of the month eating delicious dinners & treats.
The 4th of July is a big deal to me, I’m a history buff and me & Jay recently (finally) finished watching the John Adams HBO miniseries, so the history of America is really fresh in my mind. I like to remind people that patriotism is not nationalism. Pride in my country does not mean I believe it can do no wrong or agree with all of it’s policies, nor do I believe it is beyond improvement. I love America and I’m a proud American, I’m just not always proud of my government. I often wonder if John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin & the other founding fathers would be proud of what we’ve become or horrified. Regardless, I love my country and I’m the first one to fly a flag… even if it’s on a cupcake!
I went really low-key with the cupcakes; simple vanilla with a vanilla buttercream and some fresh whole blueberries & sliced strawberries on top. No big gimmicks or anything this year. I was thinking about making three-layer cupcakes with red, white & blue layers but nixed it. Then I debated making frosting that looked like fireworks, then I nixed that too. So I ended up making these and honestly I was pretty pleased with them. Shamefully, these are my first “patriotic” cupcakes. I’ve made ones that were incidentally red, white & blue like these, but I haven’t made any on purpose. Usually, for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day it’s always just too damn hot & I have too many other things to make, but this year I found these adorable liners and just knew I had to make some red, white & blue cupcakes. Since they’re also for my mom’s birthday… I had to do the candle thing. I was going to use them for my Military Monday tomorrow, but I found a better image to use. So these will probably pop up on another Military Monday.
I also made some panna cotta with balsamic strawberries, which is a great warm-weather dish & a favorite around here. I was going to make some more stuff, but the weather is so brutal- 95° and with the heat index it feels like over 100°- that it just didn’t happen.
Cutest patriotic liners ever? Perhaps.
Happy (one day late) birthday Sami, aka the new Mrs. Lanza, Happy (one day early) birthday, mom… and Happy 4th of July, America. And especially this week/weekend, for Military Monday let’s really try and remember those soldiers (and cops & firemen) who can’t have a barbecue with their families, for any & every reason.