Summer is officially here and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
The long days make it so much easier for me to tackle my to do list. Perhaps It’s because it stays late until 9p or perhaps it’s because our schedule is so loose right now but I find myself with more free time than I’ve had in months. I got so much done yesterday, I felt like a rockstar as I lay down in bed last night checking off in my mind everything that I accomplished. Not only did I manage to return a bazillion emails, 3 loads of laundry (washed, folded AND put away thank you very much), unpack from our trip, but I also managed to make three recipes, put dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, play tennis and get some valuable time with my boys. TAKE THAT JANUARY WITH YOUR DARK AND COLD DAYS THAT ARE TOO SHORT AND ALWAYS TOO BUSY.
The 4th of July always marks the official beginning of summer for me. I know that summer officially started a few weeks ago but in my mind summer really starts on the 4th. That’s when I fill my outdoor planters with flowers (on the to do list this week), we generally host our first of many outdoor get togethers and it’s the time when the kids have been out of school for a few weeks and we’ve successfully adjusted to the lazy days of summer. Each morning over a leisurely breakfast and cartoon marathon we loosely plan our day making a mental list of what we need to get done and what we want to get done. It’s important to do a healthy mix of both- I’m all about balance when it comes to work and play!
Last night after dinner, I enlisted my boys as food stylists and photography interns as we’ve had this festive dessert in our mental queue for awhile now and they were more than enthusiastic to help out. My youngest boy wasn’t thrilled with his job of holding the white board while I took photos but as I tried to explain to him, that’s what he gets for taking the now lost clips that I use to hold my board upright on it’s own. As you can tell from the picture he wasn’t buying it. I couldn’t take the pictures fast enough as the kids were chomping at the bit to decorate.
My older son and I had stopped at Michaels earlier in the day so he could pick out a few Americana embellishments for this super simple 4th themed Jell-O and berry dessert. It’s been awhile since we’ve done and cooking together and this was the PERFECT project to get the kids excited about working along side me. Both my kids love Jell-O (what kids doesn’t?) but it’s a rare treat in our house as I’m not a huge fan of the ingredients. BUT since it was such a cute and perfect dessert to celebrate America’s birthday, I pushed my food preferences aside and we moved forward. It couldn’t have turned out any cuter and I have to admit, pretty darn tasty too. The berries are so good right now and I’ve never been one to turn my nose up at a bowl of lightly sweetened whipped cream, you know?
For as easy as they are to prepare, keep in mind that you need to make the Jell-O portion a day before you want to assemble the finished desserts. Hope everyone is having a great week! Be well, everyone! xoxo Kelley
This festive dessert for the 4th of July is simple to make and a fun recipe to have the kids help. It's the perfect way to highlight the delicious fresh berries in season.
- 1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
- 1 3oz package red Jell-O (I used strawberry-lemonade)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint blackberries
- 7- 1/2 pint mason jars
- Divide the diced strawberries evenly among the 7 mason jars; set aside while you prepare the Jell-O.
- Prepare the Jell-O according to the manufacturers directions on the back of the box. Pour it evenly among the 7 mason jars. Let the Jell-O set in the fridge for at least 8 hours or over night. (Can be made a day in advance.)
- When ready to serve, remove from fridge and make the whipped cream.
- Using a hand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream in a medium size bowl until it's stiff but not over whipped. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add the whipped cream to the top of the Jell-O in each container using the back of a spoon or your finger to even the whipped cream out and get it all the way to the sides of the jar.
- Garnish the whipped cream with fresh blueberries and blackberries.
- Serve immediately.
You will need 7 1/2 pint mason jars or something similar to make this dessert.