Six Easy Desserts Celebrating Us in the U.S.
The Fourth of July hasn’t ever felt like our holiday. Probably because it isn’t. We’re not American and we’ve only been living here for a few years. But, in the last few months several things have happened to make us feel like we belong:
- Our own little American girl, Baby M, was born;
- We got Green Cards.
- I became obsessed with American politics (seriously, when I’m not cooking I’m watching the MSNBC wonks. Even when I am cooking I’m tuned into politics via things like The Professional Left Podcast).
- Just yesterday, the Supreme Court made me feel very welcome with this “poetry” about immigration, read here by Rachel Maddow.
There’s a warm blanket of belonging covering me now and I want to celebrate it.
Unfortunately, we’re not going to be here for the 4th; we’re heading to Canada to spend time with my family. But our sense of being settled, of having found a place in our new homeland, is going to remain during our time away. While we celebrate Canada Day on July 1st, while I reunite with my high school girlfriends, while my family welcomes Baby M to my birthplace and while we lie on blankets at Bird’s Hill Park with the banjo twangs and the mud of the Winnipeg Folk Festival around us, we will be thinking of the celebrations going on in the United States because that is our home and we’re a part of what’s going on there.
So what exactly IS going on there?
(Watch how I segue from mushy patriotic talk to food.)
People are EATING!
Well, there are fireworks too but you’ve gotta admit that it’s mostly about the food, right? So today I’m sharing 6 Easy Desserts. They’re cool, refreshing and simple, which is exactly how things should be at a summer celebration.
Have fun on the 4th. We’ll be thinking of you!
Potent Creamsicle Milkshake
If your party involves some younguns, blend up a batch of standard booze-free vanilla shakes first. While the kids are sipping on those, make up the adult versions.
Per person: In a blender combine 1 and 1/2 cups French Vanilla Ice Cream, 1 ounce Cointreau (or other orange liqueur) and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Whiz it around until smooth. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a squirt of whipped cream.
A Watermelon Bowl of Fruit
My mom and I did a bowl like this for a BBQ I went to last year. Ever since, whenever I’m asked to bring fruit to a party, this is what I do. I find it to be a particularly nice addition to a dessert buffet. Instructions here.
This is a great dessert for a crowd. It’s made of store-bought angel food cake, chocolate pudding, whipped cream and some strawberries steeped in balsamic vinegar. It comes together simply and easily and is loved by all. Serve it in a large trifle bowl or do individual servings like those shown above. Angel’s Mess Recipe.
BBQ’ed Mangoes with Ice Cream
If your party is BBQ ALL THE WAY then this is the dessert for you. Grill mangoes on the barbecue, serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream and, optionally, sprinkle with chopped candied ginger. Find out how to grill mangoes here.
Frozen Watermelon Slices
Keep the kids cool and happy with these super-simple super-healthy summer treats. It’s really as easy as: cut slices of watermelon, insert popsicle sticks, freeze. Get full instructions for Frozen Watermelon Slices here. For an elegant adult version, sprinkle watermelon slices liberally with Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc before freezing.
Cookie-Coated Ice Cream
Simple summer fun! Scoop balls of ice cream, roll in crumbled cookie crumbs (mixed optionally with chopped nuts) and freeze. The flavor combinations are endless. Here we have vanilla ice cream in shortbread crumbs with pecans. But my new favorite is chocolate ice cream rolled in crumbled Girl Scout Thin Mints!
A great pic for sharing: