A Late Fourth (and Fifth)

Insanely late on the blog post, but I wanted to share a few photos (and lucky you) recipes from our fourth of July festivities.  My dad lives out in the country- which I didn't always love as a kid, but I think it's pretty swell now.  Mornings are so peaceful.  And come on.  That view of the giant satellite. Hard to beat.

Our fourth of July celebration blew up because a storm forced us inside.  Scary, scary storm.  It's what I imagine Dorothy experienced before she woke up in Oz (the winds got up to 85mph).  My sister and her family actually went out in it- thinking they could get home before it got too bad.  In the meantime, my dad, husband and I watched, appalled, through the storm door at what they had taken on.  Two minutes later they came back...kids crying because of all of the wind and dirt and a hat blew off of someone's head.  It ended up being a fun night for them though (and the hat was recovered by a brave daddy).  We let them watch a movie and they stayed up until 11 while the storm settled down.

The next night we enjoyed our fireworks.

The fourth of July was always my favorite holiday.  I spent every summer in Iowa and each independence day can be characterized by four things in my mind- cousins, sparklers, stuffed mushrooms, and bacon water chestnuts.  I'm posting them here so I don't have to ask my aunt for the recipes for the millionth time next year.

Stuffed Mushrooms

20 oz. Buttom Mushrooms- stems removed
1 Lb. Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage
1/4 Cup diced onion
Dash Italian Seasoning
4 oz. Cream Cheese 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cook sausage, adding onion when most of the pink is gone.  Drain fat off of the meat.  Stir in cream cheese (add more if needed).  Fill mushrooms on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, or until hot.

Bacon Water Chestnuts

1 lb. bacon
2 containers of whole water chestnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut bacon in half and cook partially in microwave.  Wrap bacon around whole water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Bake until bacon is crispy.  Remove oven and drain excess grease.

Water Chestnut Sauce

1 C. Ketchup
1 C. Brown Sugar
Squirt of mustard and worcestershire sauce

Heat until boiling.  Pour sauce over water chestnuts and bake at 350F until hot.

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