Six Easy Desserts Celebrating Us in the U.S.

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The Fourth of July hasn’t ever felt like our holiday. Probably because it isn’t. We’re not American and we’ve only been living here for a few years. But, in the last few months several things have happened to make us feel like we belong:

There’s a warm blanket of belonging covering me now and I want to celebrate it.

Unfortunately, we’re not going to be here for the 4th; we’re heading to Canada to spend time with my family. But our sense of being settled, of having found a place in our new homeland, is going to remain during our time away. While we celebrate Canada Day on July 1st, while I reunite with my high school girlfriends, while my family welcomes Baby M to my birthplace and while we lie on blankets at Bird’s Hill Park with the banjo twangs and the mud of the Winnipeg Folk Festival around us, we will be thinking of the celebrations going on in the United States because that is our home and we’re a part of what’s going on there.

So what exactly IS going on there?

(Watch how I segue from mushy patriotic talk to food.)

People are EATING!

Well, there are fireworks too but you’ve gotta admit that it’s mostly about the food, right? So today I’m sharing 6 Easy Desserts. They’re cool, refreshing and simple, which is exactly how things should be at a summer celebration.

Have fun on the 4th. We’ll be thinking of you!

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Potent Creamsicle Milkshake

As a kid I loved creamsicles: tart, fresh and creamy all at once. These dessert drinks take me back to those childhood days while also very potently reminding me that I am not a kid anymore.

If your party involves some younguns, blend up a batch of standard booze-free vanilla shakes first. While the kids are sipping on those, make up the adult versions.

Per person: In a blender combine 1 and 1/2 cups French Vanilla Ice Cream, 1 ounce Cointreau (or other orange liqueur) and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Whiz it around until smooth. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a squirt of whipped cream.

A Watermelon Bowl of Fruit

My mom and I did a bowl like this for a BBQ I went to last year. Ever since, whenever I’m asked to bring fruit to a party, this is what I do. I find it to be a particularly nice addition to a dessert buffet. Instructions here.

Angel’s Mess

This is a great dessert for a crowd. It’s made of store-bought angel food cake, chocolate pudding, whipped cream and some strawberries steeped in balsamic vinegar. It comes together simply and easily and is loved by all. Serve it in a large trifle bowl or do individual servings like those shown above. Angel’s Mess Recipe.

BBQ’ed Mangoes with Ice Cream

If your party is BBQ ALL THE WAY then this is the dessert for you. Grill mangoes on the barbecue, serve with scoops of vanilla ice cream and, optionally, sprinkle with chopped candied ginger. Find out how to grill mangoes here.

Frozen Watermelon Slices

Keep the kids cool and happy with these super-simple super-healthy summer treats. It’s really as easy as: cut slices of watermelon, insert popsicle sticks, freeze. Get full instructions for Frozen Watermelon Slices here. For an elegant adult version, sprinkle watermelon slices liberally with Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc before freezing.

Cookie-Coated Ice Cream

Simple summer fun! Scoop balls of ice cream, roll in crumbled cookie crumbs (mixed optionally with chopped nuts) and freeze. The flavor combinations are endless. Here we have vanilla ice cream in shortbread crumbs with pecans. But my new favorite is chocolate ice cream rolled in crumbled Girl Scout Thin Mints!

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A great pic for sharing:

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  6. michelle @ The Village Cook — July 1, 2012 @ 9:03 am (#)

    I LOVE the watermelon slices! What a great idea! And the drink… oooo laaaa laaaa! Cheers to that one! :) And… happy Canada day & 4th! :) Glad you’re here.

    • Christine Pittman — July 18, 2012 @ 11:25 am (#)

      Michelle, Thank you for your warm wishes. We are delighted to be here. And very happy you like the watermelon idea. Let me know if you try it out :).

  7. Paula — June 27, 2012 @ 2:05 pm (#)

    I did not realize that you were Canadian! Hope you enjoy your Canada Day celebrations in Winnipeg! Glad to read that you are enjoying your home and life in the U.S. too. Great listing of wonderful desserts.

    • Christine Pittman — June 27, 2012 @ 2:17 pm (#)

      Thanks Paula! Yup! Born in Winnipeg, went to Carleton in Ottawa for awhile and lived in Toronto for 9 or 10 years before moving to FL. I miss Canada deeply but am starting to feel more at home in the U.S..

  8. Katie — June 27, 2012 @ 11:54 am (#)

    Awe I’m glad you guys finally feel welcomed and that the US is part your home too! Love your round up of recipes!

  9. phyllis — June 26, 2012 @ 9:22 pm (#)

    I love these dessert ideas. Not only do they look quick and easy, but most of the ingredients are in my pantry or fridge or freezer.

    • Christine Pittman — June 27, 2012 @ 8:31 am (#)

      True! Quick, easy and convenient. Just what you need for unexpected guests or for when you’re expecting a crowd and don’t want to have to fuss too much making a special dessert. Thanks for commenting :)

  10. Leanne — June 26, 2012 @ 1:05 pm (#)

    Enjoy Canada Day back home! We’ll be in Winnipeg too and I’m looking forward to it but I’ll be thinking of my American friends while I’m there. :) (Hi, we went to HS together, I’m sure you don’t remember me… I barely remember you except for your name, but your blog is pretty awesome! :) )

    • Christine Pittman — June 26, 2012 @ 1:36 pm (#)

      Thank you! I’m really delighted that you’ve found my blog and that you like it. Not sure if I remember you or not. Were we in the same year? Where in the US are you living now?

    • Leanne — June 27, 2012 @ 8:09 pm (#)

      I was a year or two younger, I believe. Graduated in ’96. I’m in Akron, Ohio now. :)

    • Christine Pittman — June 28, 2012 @ 2:42 pm (#)

      Yeah, I was ’94. If you’re on Facebook you should add me as a friend. I’m sure we must have several mutuals. Ohio? We sure did end up far from home!

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