4th of July Resources: Part III

Happy Friday MABW readers! We hope you had a fantastic week, and are getting super excited for celebrating our Nation’s independence next week! To continue with our previous two installments we have some more great (but simple) recipes and ideas for planning and executing your Independence Day bash! These recipes would also be perfect for a summer birthday party 🙂

No Bake Cheesecake Trifles – This recipe from Hoosier Homemade looks decadent, but only requires 6 ingredients, and did we mention NO BAKING. Which is perfect since the 4th doesn’t fall on a weekend.

No Bake Cheesecake Trifle – Image & Recipe from Hoosier Homemade

Fourth of July Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles – Who doesn’t love popsicles in the summertime? The perfect refreshing treat for any summer afternoon, but with this color combo these popsicles are perfect for the 4th!

4th of July Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles – Image & Recipe from Daily Dish Recipes

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa – How beautiful is this salsa? Great with regular tortilla chips or cinnamon sugar pita chips, this salsa from Two Peas & Their Pod  won’t disappoint. 

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salad – Image & recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

How does your family celebrate the 4th of July?

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Skip the Chips &Soda Part II: Serve These Refreshing Beverages Instea!

Earlier this week we shared some healthier and happier alternatives to chips that you can serve at parties.Today we’ve rounded up a collection of alternatives and recipes that won’t have you or your guests missing the soda!

Swap Out Soda With These Alternatives:

Flavored Water – A pretty, healthy, and affordable alternative to soda. Just buy your favorite fruits and veggies (we love strawberries, blueberries, lemons, limes, and cucumbers), slice them up, and add them to a glass pitcher to steep with ice water, or add them directly to your guests glass! You can pick fruits that coordinate with your party’s color scheme or that celebrate the flavors of the season!

Juice Spritzers – super yummy and super affordable. Pick up your favorite juice and add tonic or seltzer water for a refreshing, fruity, and fizzy soda alternative! You can also add fresh fruit, mint, or basil to liven up your spritzer.

Iced Tea – this is a staple in my opinion, and if you aren’t serving up the super sweet southern version it is a healthier alternative. You can go with a traditional black, or serve green, or fruit flavored iced tea. Try swapping the sugar out for a natural sweetener like agave or stevia to keep calories low. We are in love with this recipe for Blueberry Mint Iced Tea by Brooklyn Gallery!

Blueberry Mint Iced Tea – Recipe & Photo from Brooklyn Gallery

Ginger Ale – So technically this is soda, but ginger ale is wonderful for your stomach, and if you are going to consume any form of soda you should give this spicy and refreshing flavor a try. We love Reeds natural ginger ale, and now they even offer a “light” option that is only 55 calories a bottle!

Reeds Ginger Brews

what is your favorite beverage to serve at a party?

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Fruit & Nut Granola Cookie Bites

High Fiber Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

High Fiber Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fruit & Nut Granola Cookie Bites – Makes About 30 Cookies


  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried sour cherries or dried cranberries
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 cup chopped almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine the banana with the brown sugar in a large bowl and beat in the egg, the baking soda mixture, the flour, the salt, and the vanilla. Stir in the oats, the apricots, raisins, cherries (or cranberries), walnuts, and almonds and combine the dough well.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough about 4 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. We like to leave them as cookie balls, but you can also flatten them out.
  4. Bake the cookies in batches in the middle of a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the bottom.
  5. Transfer them to racks and allow them to cool.

These cookies are a very healthy and nutrient packed alternative to traditional oatmeal raisin cookies, and they are super yummy. Make some up to keep around as a healthy snack, or serve them up at your next party or gathering! What do you think of this recipe?

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Apple Inspired Appetizer: Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Points

With Gravenstein apples just coming into season we felt inspired to share a recipe featuring the delicious California apple! This would make a great appetizer for a party or even just a healthy snack to share with little ones. (Picture from The Girl Who Ate Everything).


  • 2 Kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 2 Gravenstein – peeled, cored and diced
  • 8 oz. fresh raspberries
  • 8 oz. fresh blueberries
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries diced
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. fruit preserves, any flavor you like! We love orange marmalade in this one.
  • 10 (10 inch) whole wheat flour tortillas
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar


  1. Mix the kiwis, Gravenstein apples, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, brown sugar and fruit preserves in a large bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Coat one side of each whole wheat flour tortilla with cooking spray (buttered flavor works nicely). Cut the tortillas into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit salsa.

Of course you don’t have to use Gravenstein apples, or you could change up any of the fruit really and still get great results. What are your favorite apples!

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Guilt-Free Blueberry, Lemon, & Coconut Squares

We came across this great recipe for low-fat blueberry, lemon, and coconut squares on the Babble’s blog. We’ve made a few tweaks (adding or swapping almonds for coconut), and are sure this recipe will be a crowd pleaser—no belt-loosening required!

Blueberry, Lemon, and Coconut Bars – Makes 16 bars.

Ingredients for Base:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar or Stevia in the Raw
  • 1 scant cup unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat flour – we prefer whole wheat!
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 cup sugar or Stevia In The Raw
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (but do not thaw!) blueberries, raspberries or cranberries. Fresh and in-season is always preferred!
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)—if you aren’t a coconut fan, or just like almonds!
  • Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add flour and salt and stir until well combined and crumbly.
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8” x 8” pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or has been lightly greased. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just barely golden around the edges.
  4. To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in the same bowl. Then add the egg, egg white and lemon juice and stir until well blended and smooth.
  5. Sprinkle the berries and coconut (0r almonds if you aren’t a coconut fan… or a mixture of both) evenly over the base, and pour the lemon filling over top. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting or freezing. If you like, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Per square (without almonds): 130 calories, 3.3 g fat (1.9 g saturated fat, 1 g monounsaturated fat, 0.2 g polyunsaturated fat), 24 g carbohydrates, 21 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g protein, 0.7 g fiber. 23% calories from fat