Family, Friends, Food & Fun on the 4th
Happy fourth of July!

We usually go to Indiana for a big family reunion (with my mom's side) on the 4th of July, but we decided with our move and high gas prices we'd stay home this year. We're going to be celebrating the 4th with friends, who are like family, that we met through our church over the past year. We were asked to bring a side dish but I was feeling all domestic so I made a side dish and two desserts. The side dish is a mexi-dip that is still cookin! Here are the two desserts...

One is patriotic and healthy...


and BLUE!

Sugar-free cherry jello with light cool whip, blueberries and red sprinkles.

Recipe added
: Prepare instant red jello (strawberry or cherry) according to box instructions. Pour into clear glass dish (so you can see the colors) and let it set in the refrigerator approx. 3 hours until firm. When jello is firm, cover it with a thick layer of light cool whip. Top with blueberries and a light dusting of red sprinkles to get a red, white and blue dessert! (See my comment in this posts "comments" section for variations on this recipe.)

One is rich and famous...

Rich because it's made with chocolate brownies on the bottom, covered in frosting and topped with Oreo Cookie Crumbles.

Famous because they are ooey and gooey, which makes kids love them!

Recipe added: Prepare brownies according to box instructions in a 13x9 inch pan. Once they are done, let them cool completely. Once they were cooled, I spread a thick layer of vanilla icing (I used Betty Crocker whipped vanilla icing that was already made) over the pan of brownies. Then I topped them with Oreo cookie crumbs. I bought the cookies and crushed them myself in a ziploc bag. I cut them into squares and put them on a platter because it would have been very messy to try to serve them from the pan at the party. They were delish!

So, are you celebrating the 4th of July? If so, how and where? Are you making anything special?

If you don't live in the U.S., I'd love to hear about your country's traditions and recipes, too!


Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Happy 4th!

I'm not doing much today. I took yesterday off to extend the long weekend. A friend and I took her kids to a park for a bit. She is originally from Argentina and moved here as a child. She helped me write a letter in Spanish to my Compassion Child in Ecuador. One of my roommates from She Speaks is going to Ecuador and I'm going to be able to send a few things. I'm thrilled....

It turned out to be a real blessing that I took yesterday off. My friend Jill was gone all week on a cruise. Flights and things were a bit hairy. She wouldn't normally ask something like this, but I had offered . . . . So, instead of taking a bus from Chicago here I drove the 2 1/2 hours to pick them up. The boys slept in the back seat (14 & 11) and Jill and I talked the whole way back. It was fun.

I had tried to make plans with a friend today for a bit, but that has fallen through. But, I am oddly okay with that and spending a quiet day with the cats and labeling the things with my child's name and number for the trip to Ecuador. And I'm pondering things like our need for dependence on God rather than independence.

Your treats look yummy.

I had no clue you were from Indiana. Where? I went to the University of Evansville and then I was on staff with IVCF for 5 years at Indiana University.

Hope your 4th is wonderfrul. Wish I could have a brownie!

Blogger Diane said...

How is JJ?
We had our celebration last night so nothing would interfere the fireworks.
The entire youth group came over last night. It was a great party for the kids. They cooked out, made smores in the fire pit, played basketball and had a great time in the pool. As I sat and caught up with their hearts. I never stop being amazed at they way they want to serve the Lord.
As the night went on, the flicker of the fire glowed I thought to myself how good it was to be in the USA.
Have fun,

Absolutely nothing, unless you count the Slim-Fast shake I made at lunch. We went to Smithfield to meet my folks for a Cracker Barrel dinner (a real treat since dad was paying). Yep, I'm already in my jammies and will light up the night with a good movie and a lengthy bath. Freedoms I enjoy. Thank you Jesus for the simplicity that brings me such joy!


Blogger April said...

Hey Renee!
Happy Independence Day! Well, it still will be for a little while... We just got home from watching a fireworks display in Waxhaw. It was our first year going, and it was really, REALLY crowded. Even though the show was over at 10, we couldn't even get out of our parking spot until 11! But, we still had a blast, the fireworks were gorgeous, my children were happy, and we enjoyed hanging out with my brother and his wife. We will definitely make plans to do this again next year...I'll just plan on bringing more snacks and getting there earlier! But, before all this, we swam at my in-laws and she insisted on doing all the cooking(as usual), and it was delish(as always)! It has been a wonderful day, the perfect birthday for our country! Glad ya'll had a great day too! Would love your recipes for your yummy desserts! God bless! April

ps-Still praying for good results for your husband!

Happy 4th! That food looks good! We spent most of the day with friends at their house-I brought buns and chips! She made the most delicious dessert. We have a great time together.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are in Germany on a ministry project with 27 staff and college students and our 2 kids. They are the only kids and we were excited to find out the US Embassy was shooting of fireworks. It was great celebrate with fireworks even though we are far from home. God gives blessings in big and little things.

Blogger Mari said...


Looks like the food was good at your house! We barbequed and had our usual sides, corn on the cob, backed beans, mac and cheese and greens. I usually cook a cake but this time I did not. Hubby thought it would be nice for me to have apple pie (which he hates) so we got a premade one. That was a sweet present from him becasue dessert is his thing! And it was less cooking for me.

Hope everyone's Fourth was fabulous and restful.

Blogger Heather Conrad said...

Looks yummy! I too find myself more motived to branch out in the kitchen during the holidays and concoct something new!

Just had to chuckle reading the title of your post. I just finished typing one too called the Four F's (food, friends, family, fireworks), love when that happens! Glad to hear things went well for JJ and that God has given you such peace. Have a great weekend!

Blogger Jai said...

We spent time with friends we met at church 11 years ago. It was special because they moved away from Texas for about 8 years and we would go visit wherever they would move a make a vacation out of it. Now they are much closer to us and we were able to only spend a few dollars in gas to see them this year.

One thing that is clear is that men need each other and need close relationships with other and many don't have that. This friendship between my husband and the other used to be SO close and they would hold each other accountable, but the friendship has changed, not for the worse, but not as open.

Is it ok to ask for prayer for our husbands and their man on man relationships? The bible is clear that iron needs to sharpen iron - Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.

We still has a good day, but I was saddened a little that their relationship had changed.

Your goodies look really yummy!!!

Blogger Joy in The Truth said...

Oh, Renee...please pass a brownie! :) They look terrific!

It's fun when one gets all that culinary energy and just keeps creating delicious treats!

Enjoy the holiday weekend with your family! We are just getting settled back in from our vacation. Going to have a family movie night ("Fly Wheel") and then watch the town fireworks from our deck. The simple pleasures....


Blogger Bonita said...

We grilled out and I bought a deee-licious strawberry pie which we ate with Cool Whip on top. Then we went to a Knights Game and Sky Show. Your desserts look yummy.

Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

I JUST read about your sweet husband's procedure. Hope the results come back with a happy note.

I love the way your friends circled around you in prayer. That's truly what Christian fellowhsip is meant to be.

Hope you had a relaxing 4th of July!

Blogger StitchinByTheLake said...

Family times are the best. We had shrimp gumbo, cooked by my husband who makes the best gumbo ever! Blessings to you, marlene

Blogger HeatherV said...

Hi, Thought I'd write and say hi. Hope you had a good 4th. We had exchanged comments several months back as we are both adopting from Ethiopia.

How is the adoption going? Are you still working on your dossier or is it complete? You may have written about this but I'm not super good at checking.

We received a referral for a baby boy on 6/2 and have a court date of 7/23. Praying like crazy we make it through before the courts close.

Just wanted to say hi!

Blogger Joyful said...

Sounds like you had a happy time of celebration. Being Canadian, we celebrated July 1st. My husband, son and I all have different designed t-shirts in red and white that say, "God Keep Our Land", words taken from our National Anthem. Our Canada Day celebrations at Muskoka Bible Conference Center were wonderful - from the singing of our Anthem at the start of our day, to the barbeque and fireworks, the prayer time for our Country - so much to be thankful for always!

July 4th found us in Chapel again, listening to a representative from Focus on the Family in the morning and in the evening, Dr. David Epstein - American - from New York City, teaching on the Samaritan woman. Nothing like filling your day with the teaching of God's Word and going away with so much to apply and experience.

Had a fabulous week of holidays!
Continuing in prayer for you and yours.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

can u give us the recipe for the blueberry jello dessert? : )

Blogger Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

We invited our Sunday school class over which didn't make my husbands family too happy. My mother-in-law was late in notifying us that the whole family was coming in-our invites had already gone out. Ouch!
I am so happy to be celebrating my freedom in Christ...this year it really has seem to come together...freedom from me and what I had been. Thank you for your ministry and the role it has played in that journey!!

In His Graces~Pamela

Blogger Cindy W said...

Hi! The food looks yummy, I need both recipes, I love Potluck Keepers.

For the Good stuff. My son, Bradley 11 years old, was baptized on the fourth of July. He had just finished out a week of camp, we've been talking the last year about baptism, believing, but when he left he asked me again. I told him it was his choice, he would know when the right time would be. I didn't want to be one of those moms that pushed their child too early, ya know. I got a call he was getting baptised, so I drove 2 hours to camp to see my son get baptized. I was very emotional. It's amazing. The bus driver (also my sunday school teacher) said that he said he was a different kid, and to that I said I'm a different mom now.

So, now I feel like I am moving from shepard to mentor, and I am asking for prayers of praise and guidance in our journey.

Renee, how is your husband?

Blogger Renee Swope said...

I just added the recipe's girls, and they are really simple! The jello dessert can be varied with stawberry jello and bananas/strawberry slices. Or orange jello with manderine orange slices. It's a great low calorie, cool treat for hot summer days. Hope you enjoy!

Blogger Barbara k said...

Your family is on my mind and in my prayers. Isaiah 26:3

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