happy 4th

Jilly and I decided that July in Arizona is an extremely unfortunate event.  Each year we really try to count our blessings, but it always goes back to "how and why do we live here?"  We've decided if anything bad should have to happen, it might as well happen in July. 

It's so hot that the minute I shower, I have a hot flash trying to dry my hair.  It's so hot, not even clinical strength deodorant is strong enough to keep the most dainty sweat under control.  You get the picture.  With temperatures reaching in the 120's, the one saving grace during this month of doom and gloom is the celebration of our nation's birthday.

So in honor of our great country, I invited 7 friends over for the afternoon.  PS. I'm officially changing the patriotic colors to red, white, and robins egg blue.

The sugared rimmed glasses are made by dipping the rim into Karo syrup, then again in sanding sugar.  This sugar can be found at any specialty cake decorating store and I think they even have a few colors at Wal- mart.

I say Strawberries are the perfect summer fruit and I love to get them from the local farmer's market.  They prove to be a bit sweeter then the ones at the grocery store and I enjoy feeding my family organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.

I made a grilled chicken and fresh vegetable salad.

It's is served on a bed of romaine and red leaf lettuce, topped with roasted vegetables (such as summer squash, asparagus, corn off the cob, scallions, sun dried tomato) and grilled chicken, tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette.  To roast the vegetables, put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle them with olive oil.  Place under the broiler for about 7 minutes until slightly charred on top.

I always get a surprised look when I tell people I sun dry my own tomatoes.  Really, they're a cinch to make and they taste so amazing.  Here's how I do it:

Take 6-8 ripe, Roma tomatoes and slice them like silver dollars about 1/8 inch thick.  Place them in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with any kind of Italian herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, etc.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh, cracked pepper.  Place them in a pre-heated oven at 275 and let them dry out for about 1.5-2 hours.  When they're dried they should look shriveled but still red.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Here's a little patriotic treat I found while par-oozing the blog of Tomkat Studio.  Quite possibly the perfect teacher or neighbor gift, and so creative.  Click the picture to see all the details, including the free, printable tags. 

This year the entire extended family (my 7 siblings and their kids) are headed up to Scottsdale for a 2 night stay-cation.  We'll swim, golf, eat, and stay up all night long playing cards.  The next day we're off to take the cousins to their first AZ Rattler's football game.  

So I'd like to wish you a very safe and happy 4th of July.  Especially if you live somewhere that's beautiful and cool.  Think of me, watching fireworks at 9:00pm with sweat trickling down my back.  

Oh, and who will be the next five followers that will officially usher us into the 400's!  This is exciting!!!



  1. I grew up in Gilbert so I totally hear ya! I haven't felt heat like that anywhere else. I have friends here in Idaho that think it's hot in the summer but I set them straight every time!

  2. I follow you on reader but i just google friend-ed you. Im up here in the cooler Prescott area. Ill be down there soon in Chandler visiting my daughter.

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