This post was written by Creative QT Owner & Founder Dana Sue Hinkle.
I have always been a sucker for those Normal Rockwell paintings where everything looks so picturesque and quaint. And on some scale, I feel like we have that where we currently live. In our small town in Illinois we have a parade in which every farmer in town drives his tractor… literally. The kids gather candy like crazy and then everyone heads back to our local park for food, games, and music. I realize not every town has this, and we may not always live here, but I am enjoying these memories with my kids & hubby while they last.
The 4th of July, or really any holiday, screams “family time” to me! I try not to pressure myself and make this a “pinterest” holiday. While I have done the occasional craft (i.e. bent pipe cleaners dipped in paint and pressed onto black paper to make fireworks) I usually stick to some sort of red, white, and blue themed dessert and just ENJOY the time with family.
On the not-so-scorching hot days we play games in the yard: whiffle ball, throw the frisbee, bike ride, etc. On the stinkin’ hot days, we almost always head outdoors and involve water: sprinkler, lake, water balloon toss, water balloon tag, water balloon piñata….pretty much any way to stay cool.
One of our family favorite grill recipes is Banana Bacon Chicken Kebabs... I tore this recipe out of a cookbook years ago. It sounds funny, but our kids BEG for these. A fantastic mixture of salt and sweet….and besides, I said “bacon”- do I need to say anything else? :)
1. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, oil, and garlic in ziplock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss until coated. Close bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
2. Cut the bananas in pieces about the thickness of your bacon. Cut the bacon in half and wrap bacon around the banana (so that it does not wrap around the banana more than once) and place on skewer.
3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and alternate the chicken and the banana-bacon on metal or presoaked wooden skewers. Reserve the marinade for basting.
4. Grill the kebabs for 8-10 minutes, or until the bacon and chicken are done. Baste and turn the skewers frequently.
I try to keep this as simple as possible. Anything with blueberries and strawberries for blue and red works well. Mercy and I made a fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust one year decked out with patriotic fruit. We also have cut watermelon into star shapes with a cookie cutter. Or for a quick win, I rolled ice cream sandwiches in red, white, and blue nonpareils sprinkles.
And then of course, my favorite part of the evening: FIREWORKS! We always tend to get there earlier to scope out a spot for our blanket, so I recommend bringing a light-up frisbee, glow sticks, etc. to keep the kids busy. The glow-sticks actually help us keep track of our kids as the sun goes down, but don’t forget to bring extra glow sticks for all the friends your kids will spontaneously make. :)
What are your family's favorite ways to celebrate? We wish you and your family a Happy 4th of July!