4th of July festivities

Last night we got to host our first gathering of friends in our new house. We felt so blessed to be able to be surrounded by good friends to celebrate 4th of July together! I love to host, so it is really nice to have a bit more room to have people over!
The hubs handled the really important stuff — his amazing pulled pork. That means I got to do what I love, experimenting with pretty desserts, festive drinks and decor. I thought I would share some Pinterest-inspired recipes from our 4th of July.
It turns out this layered drink is not only a tasty refreshment, but it’s also a great topic of conversation. “Wait! How does that work?” seemed to be the resounding comment as people were checking out the drink dispenser.
To make a layered beverage like this one, you just need to pay attention to the sugar content of each liquid. I used cranberry juice at the bottom, weighing in with 30 grams of sugar. Next, add a “layer” of ice. The ice will float to the top, and then you need to carefully pour the next layer onto an ice cube (otherwise, the liquids will mix). I used blue Hawaiian Punch for my second layer, with 17 grams of sugar. (You also could use blue Gatorade.) The top layer was diet Sierra Mist.
I loved this idea, and I’m excited to try it in some other color combinations for another holiday! We were all curious about whether the layers would mix when people poured them. They did not, so you have to be first to the spout if you want the most sugar in your drink! 🙂
Clearly, I’m drawn to layered foods because I couldn’t wait to try out this dessert idea I found on Pinterest. It was super duper easy and yumm-O! Just as I was about to assemble the trifle, I realized my trifle bowl was still packed away in storage. Thankfully, my new neighbor gave me the idea to flip over the top of my cake cover and use it as a bowl!  Here’s the recipe.
Oh, and since the recipe only calls for six tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, here’s a great use for the rest of the can. Offer it to your guests to stir into their coffee in place of cream and sugar. WIN!
I attempted to make these stripey candle holders from cans, but my effort to punch holes in the cans was a big fail. They turned out to be a cute way to hold sparklers or Sharpies (for writing names on cups, of course!).
I’ve shared this recipe before, my it’s one of our absolute favs. It wouldn’t be a summer gathering without S’mores Galore. These things are usually gone in about 2.5 seconds, and they are so simple! Here’s the recipe. (It doesn’t say to use non-stick spray on the pan, but I’m going to try it next time. They were a disaster to try to serve!)
I hope your 4th of July was a blast! Do you have any favorite recipes or traditions? I would love to hear!

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