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America, We Salute You

It’s extraordinarily easy for Americans to take holidays for granted, especially if it involves a day off work or school and some delicious food. It’s routine for us: traditional family get-togethers at the grandparents’ house on Christmas Day, taking advantage of your day off by doing nothing in front of the T.V. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or continuously yelling “MURICA” when nothing even pertaining to being American happens on Memorial Day. It’s a common disposition of American greed, and we’re all guilty of it. However, if there is one thing Americans are good at, it’s obnoxiously exemplifying U.S.A. freedom. There’s one holiday that doesn’t go by without being celebrated for what it’s worth: Independence Day.

The Fourth of July is probably the biggest celebrated holiday in America with sparklers, fireworks, patriotic themed decorations and food, swimming, barbeques, and everything else that we can squeeze into the weekend and days leading up to the Fourth. You know a holiday is a damn good holiday when you have to take a break from your summer break to cherish all the good in your life. Although another traditional routine, this holiday tends to bring people together the most, and without ever feeling forced. Americans genuinely love celebrating themselves – imagine that. The love and fun that is held on Independence Day manifests warmth and unity, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

This year when you’re out expressing your pride for your country, take a moment to just stop, look around, and smile. Let that feeling of gratitude fill your lungs with a deep breathe in; let it out with humble appreciation. Be so thankful for everything you have to the point that you feel guilty for having it. Let go of your ego. Appreciate your existence in this country and the people and things that help make it that much better. Then party your ass off.

We’re sure that everyone had a fun-filled weekend of celebration, but just in case you’re waiting for the official date of our independence to throw your banger, Tailgating Bros is here to help with some party tips to help make sure your party tops Susan’s barbeque last year. (Just kidding, we know you only want the best for your neighbors, even if they do steal all your decorative ideas…)

If you caught last Friday's blog post then you should already have Tailgating Bros games up and running (no need to tell us how big of a hit they were – we already know). If not, you’re still in luck. Pick up a set of Yardzee for infinite fun for your Fourth festivities, and punch in the code "MERICA" to receive a 10% discount off your entire order. Also, a Fourth of July party is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our Don't Drive pillow, giving you a comfortable spot for when you make the right decision not to drink and drive. In addition to indulging in our games and merchandise, we’ve also gathered ingredients and directions for the top dessert and alcoholic beverage for you to host at this year’s Fourth of July extravaganza.

Flag Cake

Ingredients: Cake- 2 ½ cup flour/1 ½ tsp. baking powder/ ½ tsp. salt/1 cup butter/1 cup milk/ ½ tsp. vanilla extract/4 eggs/2 cup sugar. Honey Whipped Cream- 1 tsp. gelatin/1 cup heavy cream/ ¼ cup honey. Toppings- ¼ cup strawberries/1 cup raspberries/ 1/3 cup blueberries. Directions: 1.Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13x9 rectangular pan. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. 2.Place butter and milk in large microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave until butter is melted, about 2 minutes; set aside. 3.Place eggs in stand-mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until well combined. 4.Alternately add dry ingredients and milk mixture, starting and ending with flour. Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. 5.Honey Whipped Cream: Place stand-mixer bowl in freezer to chill briefly. 6.Place water in small microwave-safe shallow bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let stand until gelatin has bloomed (about 5 minutes; mixture will become solid). 7.Place bowl in microwave and heat on low for 10 seconds or until mixture dissolves to syrup consistency. Set aside to cool slightly. 8.Place heavy cream in chilled stand mixer bowl and on medium-high speed beat until thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. 9.Turn mixer to lowest setting and add in honey and beat until combined, about 1 minute. 10.With the mixer still running, slowly add in gelatin mixture and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. To assemble cake: Frost cake with honey whipped cream. Create blue corner with blueberries. Stripe cake with strawberries and raspberries. Enjoy!

Rocket Jello Shots

Ingredients: Red Layer- ½ cup water/1 box instant cherry Jello-O/ ½ cup vodka. Blue Layer- ½ cup water, boiled/1 box instant blueberry Jell-O/ ½ cup vodka. White Layer- 1 envelope gelatin/1 cup milk, divided/3 tbsp. sugar/ ½ tsp. vanilla extract/ ½ cup vodka. Directions: 1.In a small bowl, combine boiling water and berry Jell-O mix and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in vodka. 2.In a separate small bowl, repeat process with cherry Jell-O mix. Let both mixtures cool. 3.Meanwhile, make white layer: In a medium bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring remaining 3/4 cup milk to a simmer. Turn off the heat then stir in sugar, vanilla, and vodka. 4.Pour heated mixture over plain gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool for 10 minutes. 5.Lightly spray 20 one-ounce plastic shot glasses with cooking spray. Spoon about 2 teaspoons berry Jell-O mix into each. Refrigerate until set but not completely firm, about 15 minutes. 6.Top with about 2 teaspoons white gelatin mixture. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. 7.Cover with about 2 teaspoons cherry Jell-O mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Enjoy!

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