Happy Independence Week, RMT’ers! I am checking in this morning with a few cute and easy red, white, and blue crafts (edible and not) for some 4th of July fun!
First, I posted a few craft ideas for the little ones last year here and here. To add to that, this year I drew some inspiration from a Today show segment that aired sometime last week. The show highlighted a few Pinterest (read: easy) ideas for folks to toss together with things you probably already have on hand (read: no special shopping lists required).
Let’s begin with breakfast. I saw this “flag toast” waving at me for the first time on Today, but now realize that it’s become the toast of the town as THE breakfast idea for your Independence Day morning (later seeing it on Taste and Tell blog here, though I still don’t know who’s the real source behind the “beauty shot” running rampant the blogosphere, so I’m just going to use my own candid snapshots instead since I altered it slightly anyway!). This recipe (if you can even call it an actual recipe) appealed to me because it’s SO easy and because it’s not the usual dessert or cocktail offerings. Nothing wrong with cocktails or desserts, of course, but a grand ol’ breakfast idea is just sweet and different and a fun way for the whole family to kick off the 4th in a festive, fresh, and flavorful way.
Yes, this breakfast is as easy as it looks. Start by toasting a piece of bread, then let bread cool slightly (that’s so the spreads and toppings don’t run out everywhere because of the heat!). Next, spread a nice layer of cream cheese onto the bread; slather strawberry jam on top of that. Then, take your sliced or chopped fresh red and blue fruit of choice (I used strawberries and blackberries with a whole blueberry or two as a little garnish) and decorate the toast in a USA flag pattern. Finally, instead of using banana slices (my bananas have not been surviving the summer heat too firmly this season, sadly), I chose to reveal the white stripes of the flag by gently scraping the strawberry jam off the surface of the cream cheese with a butter knife. And voila – old glory is ready for consumption!
I chose to chop the berries because I personally do not like biting into anything with large pieces of non-bite-sized bits (think chopped salads versus a deconstructed salad). An easy way to chop strawberries is to use an apple corer, which works especially well on larger berries. As shown above, put the strawberry upside-down on the cutting board, then place the circular core portion of the slicer at the tip of the strawberry, and simply push down. This slices the berry in a nice, even way, giving you all the flavorful pieces clear from the hull. To keep the sweet tip, just slice it off of the core with a knife and proceed to slice or chop into uniform pieces identical with the others. I am not sure if this use of an apple corer has been featured on Pinterest yet, but I swear I came up with this idea all on my own one day as I faced a basket of large berries and my laziness of not wanting to slice and dice for some recipe or another.
Really though, these types of food ideas – recipes and otherwise – aren’t so hard to come up with and they are pretty limitless in conceptual ideas. Maybe you have vanilla yogurt instead of the cream cheese (and your kids like that better anyway), or you do want to twist this into a dessert (or brunch item) with sweetened mascarpone cheese on puff pastry or baked tortilla chips like Salad in a Jar came up with. The possibilities are endless really… and who cares if you can’t come up with these easy ideas on your own either. That’s what the internet is for, right?
I also want to make this SOLO cup wreath, which was also featured on the Today Pinterest board, but I realized I don’t have all the colors of cups. But if you have them, wow, how easy and cute is this (and again applicable for more than just red, white, and blue holidays depending on cup colors)?! We normally have a festive, kid-made wreath hanging on our front door for major holidays around here ourselves, and we don’t have one yet this year for the 4th, so this would be perfect. Ah, we’ll see, maybe I’ll still go and get those white cups after all… and I am pretty sure we’d have a use for them after the holiday, too, so that wouldn’t be a special trip really.
I’ve not really gotten into Pinterest yet simply because of the time-suck issues I’ve heard it creates (and I definitely need no more time sucks, especially now that I’m on summer “break” with T, ha, break!), but boy, oh boy, how I could lose myself in this site with pure cuteness and easy-peasy ideas. What do you think, RMT’ers, is it time I jumped over to the dark-but-extremely-creative-side of social media? What inspiration have you gotten – and applied – from the Pinterest site?
Have a wonderful and safe – and yummy and creative – 4th of July with your families, RMT’ers!
UPDATE: RMT joined Pinterest in 2013! Please go to my page here.
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