Too Poor To Travel This Fourth? Have Fun At Home! - TheStreet

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Imagine this. It’s July 4th and you simply can’t afford to dole out another dollar for fuel. Say goodbye to celebrating on the sand. No longer can you bask in the fireworks’ beautiful lights while being shoved to and fro by an eager crowd. Do not fear-- being stuck at home may seem disappointing but MainStreet knows just how to cheer you up with fun activities free of the prerequisite of wheels.

No cash to go out for a celebratory meal? MainStreet uncovered some helpful hints for how to bring in the holiday with a homemade taste of red, white, and blue.

Alfresco Dining
In the mood for the great outdoors? Take it to the backyard with a picnic or a barbecue. Here are some suggestions for what to throw on the grill and/or blanket:

Barbecue: baby back pork ribs, steak, chicken, burgers, fries, fish, veggies

Picnic: sandwiches, salads, snacks, fruits, pies, ice-cream.

If you’re experiencing a major sugar craving, has some perfect recipes for snacks that will make you melt.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter (softened), 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2/3 cup milk.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin with paper/foil liners. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs one by one, beating well. Stir in the vanilla extract. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture one third at a time, alternating with the milk. Pour into the prepared cupcake pan and bake for 18-24 minutes. Test it with a toothpick.

*After they cool, it’s time to put your artistic skills to the test. Take some red, white and blue frosting and apply your magic touch. Enjoy!

Flag Snacks
Ingredients: graham crackers, white frosting, three small containers, red and blue food coloring, small plastic knives.

Directions: Divide the frosting between the three containers, adding several drops of red food coloring to one and blue food coloring into the other. Mix and spread!

Quenching Your Thirst While Staying Lean:

Disney Family’s Patriotic Punch to the rescue!

Ingredients: 12 cherries/small strawberries, 12 blueberries, 2 12-ounce cans of frozen lemonade (thawed), and one 32-ounce bottle of sugar-free lemon-lime soda.

Directions: Put a cherry or strawberry and a blueberry into each ice cube compartment. Pour one can of lemonade into the ice cube tray. Freeze. Combine second can of lemonade with soda in punch bowl. Serve a lemonade ice cube with each drink.

Check out this for more ideas!

Sing A Patriotic Song
You’ve been looking for a way to laud the USA. The tunes are right at your fingertips, or in your iTunes (AAPL) f not stowed away in an easily accessible corner of your brain. Gather family and friends in the living room for a singing session. Just make sure every participant gets the opportunity to perform his or her melodic rendition of a popular tune. Some well known songs to get you started:

“America the Beautiful “
“My Country ‘Tis of Thee”
“God Bless America”
“Halls of Montezuma”
“The Star-Spangled Banner”

Forget a line? Get lyrics here.

The theater is miles away. The tank is nearly empty. Give your keys a rest and pop in a movie. Friends and family can enjoy patriotic drinks and snacks while indulging in a movie that reawakens the holiday spirit with a joke, a tear, or the sight of that beloved flag we call our own. Don’t get lost perusing! Some movie suggestions:

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Director: Oliver Stone
Starring Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, and Caroline Kava

Independence Day (1996)

Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Director: Michael Kurtiz
Starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, and Walter Huston

Amazing Grace (2006)
Director: Michael Apted
Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, and Albert Finney

The Patriot (2000)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, and Joely Richardson

With Independence Day right around the corner, the MainStreet team wants to assure you that staying at home doesn’t mean missing out.

Happy July 4th!