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By Hana Haidar Hana Haidar is a junior at UNC and has lived in Chapel Hill-Carrboro for 18 years.

Dessert for the Fourth!

By Hana Haidar Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:23 am

Cake-with-american-flag-insideI’ve been out of the country for the past three weeks and I have to admit that it’s nice to be back in America at the most “American” time: good old Fourth of July. Now, if you’re anything like me, you really look forward to the Fourth—both as a deep psychological reminder of where we’ve been as a country and perhaps where we are headed—as well as the boisterous, colorful festivities. It is this dual nature that makes it so special.

I have this theory that holidays are packed in the fall and winter as a deliberate way to counteract the tendency towards sadness that results from the bleak weather. It seems that the summer was left on its own, assuming that the warm weather and the long days would suffice to make us happy. But I am a firm believer that the summer needs its holidays too, which is yet another reason that I am thankful for the Fourth (outside of its obvious historical significance).

Since I love this holiday so much, I always celebrate it one way or another—whether it’s actually going out and seeing fireworks, buying my own sparklers, or just baking some festive goodies and eating them on the back porch. It has been raining all week, so I’m guessing that this year I will most likely be baking. I find holidays a perfectly valid excuses to bake (it cuts down on the guilt, I think—like, hey! It’s a holiday, so of course I should bake!). Although I like to be festive, I’m also incredibly lazy when it comes to cooking, so I’ve provided you with three fun dessert ideas. I thought about these ideas by trying to come up with recipes that wouldn’t require looking anything up online—the perfect solution for the lazy man who still wants to kind of do something!

 

1. Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you’re like me, you usually have family visit around this time of year, or you go out of town. If you have relatives who are little kids, this is a great idea. For starters, what kid doesn’t like cupcakes? And two, cupcakes provide a lot of room for creativity that other desserts just can’t. All you have to do is buy red velvet cupcake mix, cream cheese frosting, and blue sprinkles. Follow the instructions on the back of the cupcake mix and have at it! Obviously you can buy other decorating items to make it more interesting, but this is basically it! It’s simple enough, but it’s more fun than not having cupcakes, right?

 

2. Fourth of July Parfaits

This is where we get a little more fancy. If you’re entertaining or just casually having friends over, this is a really great way to impress people without really doing anything. All you have to do is get strawberries, blueberries, Cool Whip, and glasses to build your parfaits in. Put in a layer of strawberries and blueberries, followed by Cool Whip, then the berries, etc. Keep repeating until you reach the top of the glass. I like this idea because it is somewhere between being healthy and not. The fruit is obviously good for you whereas the Cool Whip isn’t exactly. This is one of those treats that makes you feel like you’re at least supplying your body with nutrients whilst you drown it with refined sugar.

 

3. Fruit Salad

If the cupcakes are the most unhealthy of this group, and the parfaits are somewhere in the middle, this fruit salad would fall on the healthy end of the spectrum. All it consists of is strawberries, blueberries, honey, and Greek yogurt. All you have to do is mix together strawberries and blueberries and drizzle them with a bit of honey. You can then spoon that mixture onto some Greek yogurt. So if you want to feel like you are engaging in the festivities without clogging your arteries, this is a great and simple idea.

 

So there you go. Simple and easy enough. I know you’re thinking that anyone could have come up with that—but that was the point. So your laziness should no longer stop you from engaging in the festivities of the  Fourth of July. Have a good one!

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