Friday, July 4, 2014

“Jell-O Poke Cake” & A "Pink Fizzy" To Celebrate July 4th!

Wishing you, my readers a Happy Fourth of July! It’s a Birthday party today! We're so grateful to live in this country and to celebrate the birth of our Nation. Most of us celebrate with family, friends, picnics, BBQ’s, parades, and showing a great emphasis on the American tradition of Freedom. The most common symbol of Independence Day is the American flag, but other symbols include the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor and Macy’s fireworks display viewed all over the United States. I have to mention “thank you” to the servicemen and women who have been fighting for our freedom and keeping our country safe. These are the people that our founding fathers would have called our heroes!

Independence Day, is the anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence. How it all began was in 1775, people in New England began fighting the British for their independence. On July 2, 1776, the Congress voted for independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was first published two days later on July 4, 1776. John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams on how the day should be celebrated. He described “pomp and parade, with shows, games, bells, bonfires, and illuminations” throughout the United States. Interestingly trivia: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and Presidents of the United States, died on the same day, July 4, 1826 - exactly 50 years after the Declaration of Independence.

Fireworks have been used by Americans for July 4th since the nation's very beginning. The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China, where they were invented. The fireworks were used to accompany many festivities. It is a part of the culture of China and had its origin there; eventually it spread to other cultures and societies. The first recorded display in England celebrated the wedding of Henry VII in 1487. Shakespeare mentions them several times in his plays.

In 1986 the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty on July 4th lit up the skies over New York Harbor with a dazzling fireworks display destined to surpass any others held in this country, or the world. The "Statue of Liberty Centennial Fireworks Spectacular" was an international display, with fireworks from many different countries including Japan, China, Germany, Italy, England, France, Spain, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Brazil. As I recall when I was young, my dad would always buy a few packages of sparklers. When it got dark out, he would light them and watch us as we swirled them around in the sky. This was a lot of fun and it made us feel like we were part of the celebration.

My son Paul (1986)
Fireworks come in so many different shapes, colors, and sizes such as stars, rotating circles, fish, and even 3D shapes. They are sometimes programmed to music as in Disney World where the fireworks are fired off to music with colors. Fireworks are used in celebrations of theme parks, Olympics, Halloween, Christmas, New Years, and Political events. States such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Delaware ban all consumer fireworks completely. Only legal professional authorities can be approved to operate firework displays.

***Please be responsible and do not use fireworks unless a professional person is on hand. Please be sure that your pets are safe as well. They do not like the noise and tend to hide. 

Here we are at the beginning of July and the summer is really heating up. However you celebrate, remember to incorporate your holiday traditions with your family and no matter where you are, take time to be thankful for our freedom. I’m sure like most people, you are preparing your menus for the July 4th, celebration. That means grilling meats, cold salads, baked beans, corn on the cob, fruits of all kinds, etc. Now we have to put out the desserts, cookies, cupcakes, and pies just to name a few. Just like any birthday party, the cake is always the most important part of your celebration. A birthday party with no tasty birthday cake will not make that event complete. My recipe is the perfect dessert for a patriotic weekend. It is made with Red and Blue Jell-O, plus cool whip, a very refreshing and sweet way to end your celebration.

Jell-O Poke Cake”


2 baked 9" white cake layers 
2 cups of boiling water
1 package of Jell-O (red)
1 package of Jell-O (blue)
1 tub of Cool Whip (20 oz container)

Place cooked layers, top sides of cake back in 2 separate 9”clean round cake pans. Pierce cake with large fork or back of wooden spoon at 1/2 inch increments. Stir 1 cup boiling water into each flavor of the gelatin in separate bowls for 2 minutes or until dissolved. Carefully pour red gelatin over one of the cake layers and blue gelatin over the second layer. Refrigerate 3 hours. Dip pan in warm water for 10 seconds, to help un-mold and then onto a serving plate. Spread with 1 cup of whipped topping. Un-mold second layer, carefully place on first layer covered with whipped topping. Frost with remaining whipped topping. Garnish as desired with some berries. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Storage in refrigerator if there is any left.

***Tips: You can substitute with Light Cool Whip and also the cake can be made with sugar free Jell-O.


Ladies, this drink is for you today called a Pink Fizzy -- 1 bottle White Zinfandel,* 2 cans of frozen pink lemonade,* 2 cans of lemon-lime soda.* Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl. Serve in stemless wine glasses, garnish with lime & lemon wheels. 

***(Please drink responsible)

Till Next Time……..

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Orlando, Thanks for your visit today and your comment. Glad your enjoyed reading my post...Have a wonderful July 4th as well...Dottie :)

  2. Happy 4th of July Dottie! I enjoying reading your post. I hope you have a lovely day with family and/or friends celebrating.
    Have a nice weekend x

    1. Dear Alida, Thanks for your good wishes today and for you stopping by my blog post. I am so happy that you enjoyed this post and the recipe. It is raining here, so it is kinda of a washout. Doing things inside, but by this evening they said it would clear up, so we will still be able to see the fireworks. Have a glorious weekend ahead, Alida...Dottie :)

  3. Hi Dottie,
    What an awesome post, so thoughtful of you to supply the history of our wonderful nation! I remember the Jell-0 poke cake, which I used to make years has never gone out of style, everybody loves it, and yours turned out so moist, and delicious! Also the 'pink fizz' is so refreshing, and festive!
    Happy 4th of July!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, Thank you so much for your visiting and your lovely comment. You are correct, the Jello poke cake never goes out of style, besides it is so colorful for a holiday like this...Yes, the Pink Fizzy is a favorite of mine, just love them on a hot day. Not really too strong, especially for a ladies drink. So I hope that your July 4th is a blast, enjoy and thank you again..Blessings Dottie :)

  4. Hi Dottie ,
    Your post is awesome , I wish people would think of it year round and not just July 4th . Thanks for pointing out about the pets , loud noise makes them nervous , Maxy , our dog , will hide behind the commode when he hears thunder but you can see his hind parts . I love your poke cake ... when I saw it , I thought about my 'Lemonade Party' cake . It's made like yours , instead of jello , I use frozen lemonade . I will make the poke cake for Sunday , now I have to find my recipe , had it for years , got it off a Duncan Hines box . But the Pink Fizzy my dear I am headed to make some now ...[giggling] . Thank you dear Dottie for sharing this with us .
    A very happy and joyful 4th July from my family to your and "Blessing' dear Dottie ;-D

    1. Hi Nee, Hope that your July 4th is glowing in the sky with fireworks! It is here, so beautiful. The rain left and the sky cleared just in time. Thank you for visiting and your most kind comments.I do not have any pets anymore, but I remember when I had my cat, under the bed he went. We have to protect them as they have no understanding of what is happening. Oh I really like your idea with the lemonade instead of Jello. I will have to check that out. This poke cake is fun as the kids can help as well. They can make the holes in the cake and the Jello. That is where I think I got my recipe from years ago. A cake mix box, or maybe a Jello box. Thought that the Pink Fizzy would be a nice ladies drink. I love the pink color. So glad that you enjoyed this post. It was a fun one to create. I love this part of history, and I am a huge fan of John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Actually, all that signed the Declaration of our nations birth. I hope that you and your family had a wonderful day. Enjoy your long weekend...Blessings Dottie :)

  5. Hi Dottie!
    I hope you had a Blast for the Fourth of July:) Marion and I had a pretty quiet weekend but I caught up on so many chores that I haven't been able to do for weeks. Shoulder and toe are feeling good so wanted to work while they were working, lol...

    Poke Cake has made a revival. That's a good thing and yours looks so festive! I really should bake a poke cake when the kids come. (Yippee, they are coming in August:) I think they would get a kick out of it. I'm not even sure if my daughter has ever made one. I best save this recipe as a reminder. Love the Pink Fizzy too:)

    Thanks for sharing, Dottie, be safe out there...

    1. Hi Louise,
      Thanks for stopping over, I like you and Marion had a quiet July 4th weekend. Have been under the weather a little bit and just decided to stay put. So glad that your shoulder and toe are doing better. I know what you mean you have to catch up on things since you were away and then not able to due to your shoulder and toe.
      I agree Louise, there is a revival of the poke cake...I have heard of so many people I know making them lately. I love it, Besides being so easy, fun, and delicious, it is also so festive. You can use them for any occasion. I am so happy for you that the kids are coming in August to visit. Definitely a perfect cake to make for them...Thanks for your comments Louise, you are a dear friend. Blessings, be safe too... Dottie :)