Fourth of July: Recipes + Simple Summer Moments

The best weekend of the summer has arrived. It's the height of the season, when kicking off your shoes and letting it all go is quite, well, expected. When families and friends can gather and grill, when kids (heck, and adults) can run barefoot in the cool grass, when music can be played loud and the sounds of laughter and splashes in lakes are heard for miles around.

I'm not sure the Founding Fathers had fireworks and barbecues and lawn games in mind when America was born so many years ago, but I'd say the general concept of liberty and freedom is still underlined in today's Fourth of July celebrations. That we get to spend these few days laughing, drinking, eating, playing and swimming with our loved ones, without worry, without care, without dictation, is freedom to us. While we may experience it every day of the year, I  think taking a weekend to praise the simple things is important.

Our weekend is going to be chock full of the typical summertime pleasures. Barbecues, drinks, games, swims, ice cream, softball, and the best of friends. And I can't wait. The simple moments of these days are what I live for. Laying in the grass under the summer sun with a drink in hand, a full belly, and laughter all around. If you find yourself in a moment like this over these next few days, I hope you stop and take a glance around at the smiles on the faces surrounding you. I hope you stop to feel the sun on your shoulders. I hope you relish in the feel of the water over your face as you dive into it. I hope you savor the cool grass between your toes. I hope you feel the love and beauty around you. These moments of simple pleasures are what America is all about.

So! You may be planning your cookouts for the weekend today and making a trip to the market to purchase ingredients. To help, I thought I would gather up six delicious and patriotic recipes that I think would be a great addition to any Fourth of July gathering. Scroll down for the links to the recipes.

Happy Independence Day, friends! I hope you enjoy every bit of it.