I hope y'all are having wonderful 4th of July celebrations!!!
We're aren't able to go in to visit family for the first time ever, but we've been with them so much lately it feels like we have already celebrated! The tradition start with Freedom Fest! We always are excited to go to the parade bright and early in the morning before the day really heats up. We have on our patriotic red, white and blue along with everybody there! It's funny how our family sits in the exact same place every year at the parade....ever since I was a baby! It's always good to see the same people around and catch up with them each year. After the parade, we walk down to the court square where the street fair is going on. There's usually a bbq competition that smells and tastes so good, along with lots of local vendors, arts and crafts, free slices of watermelon, and a great band to round off the fun! Following the street fair is cooling off at home with a nap and making the food for the evening family grill-out! It's so good to spend time with everybody. We finish of the day with going to see the spectacular fireworks display that's held every year. It brings everyone out of the woodwork from around the county. I've always LOVED fireworks! It's the ultimate sign of the celebration of summer and America's freedom!!!
Truly, until you experience small-town USA celebrations steeped in family heritage and patriotism, you don't know what a thing you're missing!
Last week we had some good friends come over for a potluck supper. I made fried chicken and baby heirloom tomato salad, Mr. Cozy made sweet mint & lemon tea, and for dessert was homemade blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream and these sweet little fruit tartletts! My wonderful friends brought all of the delicious sides which included fresh fruit, homemade potato salad, buffalo chicken dip, baked beans and garden fresh sauteed vegatables. It was a delicious feast of summer bounty!
These fresh fruit cookie tartletts are not only cute, but so easy to make and delicious! I didn't make nearly enough. I got the idea from Mommy's Kitchen where her adorable looking cookies caught my eye. She's clearly a great cook with attention to detail. Although the idea came from her, my cookies are a little different. I already had some homemade shortbread cookie dough in the fridge, so that's what I used. (I need to tell you that I only had about 1/3 the cookie dough when I made these and modified the amount of filling accordingly.) I think you could use any sugar cookie recipe or store bought dough, if you like a chewier cookie. I think the crisp shortbread make them seem more like little tarts. My shortbread cookies are The Barefoot Contessa's famous recipe and they're very rich, buttery, and wonderful! Not to mention easy! The creaminess of the cream cheese topping and sweet fruit on them was a perfect combination of texture and flavor. This was my first time at a cookie-tartlette like this, and I'm so glad I made them because they're so good! I think they brought a flair of festivity to the night!
Here are a few snapshots of our patio. I wish I had my pillows out in these picture and the candles lit. I decorated more just before they came. Some of my flowers look a little over-heated, but with the temps we've had, I can't blame them!! I love all the shade we have from this huge willow oak tree. It provides a perfect canopy to be beneath in the summer-time.
Here's a grouping of flowers and my favorite bunny lantern.
The windchime was a gift from my husband, and I really enjoy hearing it sing as it delicately waves in the breeze. It's such a calming sound to me. Although we live right in town, I feel as though I have a little oasis right here at home!
This sweet red and white checkered table cloth and cushions are hand made from my great aunt. I love them sooo much! I think they fit my ice cream table and chairs just right! See the little blue bird feeder my parents gave me for Easter? So cute perched in the flowers!
As I'm typing, I hear the sound of winds and thunder outside, and I'm hopeful we're finally going to get a some rain tonight with this storm. :) I like being cozy in my house and listening to the pattering outside of God replenishing the earth.
I hope these Berry Yummy Tartletts cookies make it to a celebration on your own patio some day!
Happy Independence Day and God Bless America!!!
Berry Yummy Tartlettes
(Please feel free to tweak the sugar and vanilla to your own taste!)
1-8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Strawberries, rinsed, hulled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. Sugar
Make the shortbread cookies and allow to cool completely on racks.
Blend the filling ingredients together well with a mixer until very creamy. (You can do this ahead of time and keep in the fridge if you need to.)
Using a small knife --I like butter knife--take your cookies and spread a little of the mixture over each cookie, but not going quite to the edge. Sorry, I didn't measure out this part. Spread the filling on all the cookies before you top with berries in case there's filling left over. That way you can easily add more.
Add 2-3 slices of strawberries, 4-5 blueberries or a little of each on every one. Shower the cookies with granulated sugar for a pretty sparkle. Keep in the fridge until you're ready to share and eat.
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