Independence Day Treats

Revolutionary Berries

I’ve got a little bit of Martha in me, because when I see cute food, I swoon, and immediately try to think of a reason why I need to make it. Such was the case for these darling Revolutionary Berries my friend Hilda found. My gracious friend Julie was having a 3rd of July party, so I thought they’d be perfect for a patriotic snack.

Party-goers enjoy berries. (Pic credit: Virginia)

They’re super simple and are made with only three ingredients – white chocolate chips, strawberries and blue decorating sugar. They were kind of a pain in the butt to dip in the melted white chocolate, but the result was super cute and happily, the berries were gone in SECONDS -the best compliment you can get as a chef.

Citrus Squishies

The other thing I just HAD to make after seeing them in Food Network Mag (sorry – no link, but “Not Martha” has something similar here.) were “Fake Fruit”. I have two massive orange trees in my backyard, so a reason to actually use the fruit on my tree was a good incentive for me to make these – and they looked like fab party food.

Some of the things you need

 

 

You need these things: Lemons, Oranges, Orange Jello, Lemon Jello, a sharp knife, a muffin tin, and a cutting board.

First, you slice your fruit in half and remove the pulp. I used a sharp knife to loosen the pulp and then a spoon to scoop it out.

Those aren't muffins!

Then you place the empty halves into a muffin tin to balance them. Prepare the jello according to the directions on the back of the box, and use a small measuring cup to fill the rinds up to the top. It’s ok if a little bit spills out because the jello will shrink as it sets. Carefully transfer to the fridge and then refrigerate until firm (let them set longer than recommended – they’re hard to cut). Place wiggly side down and use a very sharp knife to cut them into wedges.

So cool!

 

Next time, I’ll blot the rinds dry so that the jello sticks a little bit better, but I think for the first time making them, they came out great. Also next time? I’ll add limoncello and orange pucker. Mmmm. Boozy fake fruit – can’t get much better than that.

 

Scroll down to see some more pictures. I had a wonderful fourth of July – I hope you did too!

 

Matt and I enjoyed a lime shaved ice!

Yummy! Virginia tries out an orange slice!

Me and my Grad School Girlies - Hostess Julie and Virginia

Happy 4th of July!

Weekend Whoopsies

Heathers and Veronica

Readers: Thanks for all the lovely comments last weekend. Made my day -several times. I will be joining Weight Watchers again as soon as this round of bills are over – and I’ll report back as soon as I get started! Now on to tonight’s topic: Weekend Whoopsies! I’m no nutrition angel M-F, but something about the regularity of my daily schedule keeps me pretty much on track. There will be occasional splurges here and there, but never with the intensity of my weekend splurges. I’ve been particularly bad this summer. Last night, I met a bunch of friends for Cinespia, an awesome Los Angeles event! Cinespia projects movies onto a giant mausoleum wall in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and you can bring wine, picnics, blankets, etc. It’s a totally unique LA experience and the cemetery turns into a little Woodstock, strewn with picnic blankets, pot smoke, good people-watching and a general happy mood. Last night we watched the 80s classic “Heathers” (CORN NUTS!), and were treated to the director and writer giving an intro. (When we saw PeeWee’s Big Adventure at Cinespia, Paul Rubens introduced the film!)

Yummy feast in the cemetery

In our shared smorgasboard we had wine, cheese, crackers, salami, animal crackers, hummus, veggies, salsa, chips, olives, shortbread cookies, chocolated covered goji berries, strawberry licorice, dark chocolate almonds, pita flatbreads and sangria. Matt and I skipped dinner and ended up essentially snacking for a meal.

Rocking the Phineas and Ferb beanie with a shortbread cookie

I didn’t drink a lot, but I definitely nibbled more than I should have. At one point, (I think on my 3rd cookie), I remembered thinking that to lose weight I would really need to address why I can’t be cool with the fact that a healthier body is going to mean occasional sacrifice. Maybe it was the fact that I did intense cardio three days in a row and had spent the morning drenched in sweat, or maybe it was just because it was a fun night out with friends and I was taking in every moment. Either way, it makes me curious – the people who have successfuly lost large amounts of weight -does it just become a habit? When I lost my thirty pounds (that was four years ago now… too bad 20 of it is back), I remember I still ate the things I liked, just less of them… and less often. Is it really just that simple? What do you think?