Although our country has seen better times, we are doing much better than some countries. People from across the world envy the life we live. Today is a day in which we celebrate Independence Day. July 4th is the day in which celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Without this we would not have the freedom we do today. Across the nation, people pay tribute to this day with parades, fairs, parties, cookouts, and my favorite FIREWORKS!! Last night I went to a celebration in my hometown called Red, White, Boom. There was live music, food vendors, face painting, and again my favorite FIREWORKS! As I sit there it hit me that it is not often people come together regardless of age, race, religion, or political parties to celebrate such a historical accomplishment by our country. So today I say to you, be proud to be an American, be safe, Happy 4th of July, and last but not least, don’t forget to wear your RED, WHITE, AND BLUE!!
- large sheet of poster paper
- red and blue paint
- Lay the big paper down on the floor. Use a ruler to mark lines with pencil for the blue field and stripes.
- Have students dip or brush hands with blue paint and press onto the hands the top left corner of the paper for stars. Alternatively, you could paint a blue field, allow to dry and then make white hand prints.
- Dip or brush students feet with red paint and make foot prints in a line for the stripes. Remember, the top and bottom stripes of an American flag are red.
- Allow everything to dry and display.
Red, White and Blue Cheesecake
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- Heat the oven to 325º F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with waxed paper.
- Put the graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix with a fork until evenly moistened. Press the mixture over the bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat in the sour cream until blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Pour half of the batter into the pan.
- Put the jam and lemon juice in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring often, until melted and smooth (about 4 minutes). Drizzle one fourth of the jam mixture in stripes over the batter in the pan. Spoon the remaining batter over the jam, then drizzle with 1/8 cup of jam. Reserve the last of the jam mixture to drizzle over the cheesecake.
- Swirl the batter gently with a thin knife to marbleize it slightly.
- Bake the cheesecake until firm around the edges but still slightly wobbly in the center, 70 to 80 minutes. (Don’t worry if your cheesecake cracks while baking or cooling.) Set the cake in the pan on a wire rack, run a knife along the inside edge to loosen the sides, and let it cool completely. Wrap the cake in plastic and chill it for at least 4 hours.
- Take the cake out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Remove the pan sides and place the cake on a platter. Warm the remaining jam mixture until liquid, then drizzle it over the cheesecake. Serve with the fresh blueberries. Serves 12 to 16.