Happy long Independence Day weekend, friends! What are your barbeque, beach, firework show plans? Jason and I are staying local this year, attending a friend’s barbeque, and working on the new house. I know I’ve mentioned it a couple of times now but I promise to share more about the house next week. Promise, promise, promise! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks of early renovations and I have so much to share. But until then, onto the Popsicle Cocktails and Tassel Stir Sticks…
If you’re looking for the easiest last minute way to dress up cocktails for the 4th look no further. These tassel stir sticks are so easy to make and look adorable adorning a popsicle cocktail.
Here’s what you need:
wooden skewers, available at the grocery store
tassels, available at Michael’s Craft Store
1. Cut wooden skewers in half or to the length of your cocktail glasses.
2. Open up tassel and apply a small dab of hot glue to the inside center.
3. Insert skewer into the tassel.
4. Allow to dry before using.
Now for the cocktail portion of this post, hurray! Since I’m currently pregnant, I’m rather sensitive to the fact that there are a lack of fun and festive alcohol free cocktail ideas out there. This recipe however can be made with or without the boozy stuff and would be perfect for pregnant ladies, kids, and the cocktail drinkers at your barbeque. To make these non-alcoholic simply substitute sparkling water for champagne. Done!
Who wouldn’t want to cool off with a popsicle and cocktail in one? Oh, and if you have time to make your popsicles I have a recipe for homemade Firecracker Ice Pops you might like to try. Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America!
Craft by Christina Streit & Cocktail by Leah Bergman
- Firecracker popsicles
- Red popsicles
- Blue popsicles
- Champagne or Prosecco
- Place one popsicle (stick side up) in each cocktail glass.
- Fill glass with champagne and serve immediately.
- Make these kid friendly by substituting the champagne for sparkling water.
We’d never ask you to stray from the requisite burgers & dogs on July 4th. But if you’re looking for something just a smidge different to show off your culinary chops, these couldn’t-be-easier ribs are a major bang-for-your-buck way to go!
Ribs are definitely one of those dishes than seems harder to make than it actually is. If people knew how easy homemade ribs truly are, we’d all be in trouble. Well, this recipe is the perfect place to start. With only 5-ingredients and a set-it-and-forget-it cooking method, it really is foolproof.
Like most of my favorite recipes, this dish is totally customizable. See something you don’t like in the spice list? Swap it out! Want spicy? Up the cayenne. Feeding a crowd? Double or even quadruple the recipe. You’re in charge.
The thing that makes ribs so tender and juicy is the low and slow cook time, so make sure you give yourself the proper lead. While they cook, prep the rest of your backyard feast! I love this recipe with simple coleslaw, cornbread and lots of hot sauce. Got bless America!
photos by Erin Phraner
- 1 rack St. Louis–style ribs
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tablespoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- PANTRY STAPLES: Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300. Cover a baking sheet with a few long strips heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will be your rib wrap!
- Pat the ribs dry and place on top of the foil. Season very generously with salt and pepper—rub it in!
- Mix the brown sugar, garlic, paprika and cayenne in a small bowl until combined. Get in there with your hands! Rub the mixture all over every inch of those ribs. Make sure you end with 'em meaty-side down. Wrap up and completely seal your packet, then repeat with another layer or two around to make sure they're snug. Bake on the baking sheet for 2 hours.
- Don't open the packet! Remove baking sheet from the oven and let them sit, wrapped, for 1 hour. To serve, pop the ribs on the grill for a few minutes per side until crisp (basting with your favorite BBQ sauce, if desired) or broil for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp.
The most common question I get asked about my pregnancy is, “Twins? Did you have fertility treatment?” And the second question I get asked is, “Do twins run in your family?”
When I first announced that I was having twins I was so excited and felt so blessed to be given not one but two babies that these questions really bothered me. Why did it matter and whose business was it anyway? The point was, I was pregnant and wanted to celebrate that fact, not explain it!
Now at 24 weeks I’m feeling much less emotional and sensitive about the whole topic. I feel more comfortable answering questions about my pregnancy and I know now that twins attract a certain amount of curiosity. It took time for me to realize that most people are generally just interested, not judgmental. Although the woman in the grocery store who pronounced (at 23 weeks) that “I looked just about ready to pop!” is not my friend…moving on.
From speaking with other women I’ve realized that everyone’s journey to pregnancy is very, very different. Sometimes that road isn’t easy, like in my case. And then there are those women, like most of my close girlfriends, who seem to look at a baby and get pregnant. The point is, everyone’s story is unique and by answering some questions and sharing mine, I hope to help or at least make one person feel better about the road they are on to pregnancy. After all, the desire to carry a baby is sewn into our female DNA. It’s a longing that can’t be filled with anything else and for that reason it makes it the most painful and joyful journey all at once. So here’s my story…
Q: How long were you and Jason trying to conceive? We tried without medical help for almost 4 years off and on before I finally consulted a doctor. I blamed our struggle on stress, a big move back to Los Angeles, and all other sorts of crazy life events along the way. I felt healthy and couldn’t imagine that my body wouldn’t just “get pregnant” when it was ready.
Over the last year and a half we got really serious about conceiving and tried everything from acupuncture and Chinese herbs to a clean eating diet, yoga, and cutting back on my work load to relieve stress. But after about one year of alternative medicine, I called my doctor.
Q: Did you go to a fertility specialist? No, the first step for me was simply finding an OB that I loved and speaking to her. Looking back I wish I hadn’t waited so long! I could have saved myself months and years of disappointment and heartache if I had only gotten the tests I needed. read more…