My husband recently obtained his United States Citizenship! It was quite an exciting time for us, so we decided we needed to party! We invited everyone to come to a BBQ full of all-American staples. We had burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, potato salad, homemade baked beans—but the main attraction was the Treats and Sweets table.
Firecracker Red Velvet Cupcakes
I used the same recipe, as always, for my red velvet cupcakes. Paula Deen's Red Velvet
I found the firecracker decorations at Party City—there weren't quite enough for each cupcake, so I used decorative glitter gel to finish off the rest. I found it at Publix, but you can find it in any baking aisle.
For the Candy Bar I looked all over for red, white and blue candies. Surprisingly, or not, there are lots of red candies but not nearly as many blue or white. I was able to find a good bit of specialty sweets at Oriental Trading. Fortunately they had quite the array of Stars and Stripes-inspired goodies. I found Liberty Bell Lollipops, Unicorn Swirl Pops, Gummy Stars, flag-wrapped Tootsie Rolls and Gum Balls. They also had some fun temporary tattoos. I also got lucky at Party City where they have a huge candy selection. Not only can you get bags of solid color items, like the blue Sixlets, but they also have loose candy bins. I went through several of them to find blue Pixie Sticks, blue raspberry Air Heads and War Heads. I finished up the shopping at the supermarket and got Hershey's Kisses, Twizzlers, Red Hots and Swedish Fish.
In addition to cupcakes, we had pretzels dipped in white chocolate with fun and festive jimmies (or sprinkles, depending on where you are from). I have made these several times in the past—they are easy and fairly quick to make, just make sure you have plenty of time and room for them to cool in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
1 bag White Chocolate Chips
1 bag Pretzel Rods
You need a double boiler or something similar. I use a medium sized pot and metal mixing bowl and it works just fine. Just make sure the bowl sits steadily over the pot. You don't want it to slip into the hot water.
Lay out your parchment paper over a cooling rack or cookie sheet. You will need something that is easy to transport and will fit easily into the refrigerator.
Fill the pot with water at least 1/3 of the way. Don't fill it too high, you can burn the chocolate. Bring the water to a light boil. You should see small, rolling bubbles. Place the bowl over the pot and empty the bag of chocolate chips into the bowl. Be careful for the steam the can come out from between the pot and the bowl, try to use a pot holder if it isn't too cumbersome.
Stir regularly so that the chocolate melts evenly. When the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, tilt the bowl so that you can dip the pretzel rod at least half way into the melted chocolate and twist until fully covered. Move the pretzel to the parchment paper and sprinkle with jimmies or colored sugar, making sure to leave enough space between each pretzel so the chocolate doesn't touch. Move the dipped pretzels to the refrigerator and cool until chocolate is solid. At least an hour. They should come right off of the parchment paper when completely cooled.
Red, White and Blue Strawberries
I also made chocolate dipped strawberries decorated in a pattern that I found on Pinterest. You can follow the same instructions for the pretzels, just substitute the strawberries for the pretzels and get some blue decorative sugar. Put the sugar in a bowl or wide mouth glass. You will need to be able to dip the strawberry 2/3 into the chocolate and 1/3 into the blue sugar so your red, white and blue strawberries will be evenly colored.
We had a wonderful time celebrating with our family and friends! It was great to have so many people come together for Hylton. The kids could swim and play and the adults had some cornhole competitions in addition to a Citizenship Quiz. We thought it would be fun to see how much people knew about the United States based on the Citizenship Exam that Hylton had to pass (which he did with flying colors, of course). Hylton and I put together a 20-question quiz that guests worked in teams to complete.
Can You Answer the Questions?
1. If both the president and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
2. When was the Constitution written?
3. Who was President during WWI?
4. Before Eisenhower was President, he was a General in what war?
5. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States?
6. What is the name of the National Anthem?
7. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?
8. What are the TWO parts of the U.S. Congress?
9. We elect a US Senator for how many years?
10. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
11. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
12. Name one right only for United States citizen?
13. How many US Senators are there?
14. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?
15. What is the supreme law of the land?
16. Who does a US Senator represent?
17. Who vetoes bills?
18. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
19. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
20. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
How did you do?? If you are interested in the answers, I will post them as a comment. Don't cheat! Hope you enjoy some of these goodies at your next shindig.