Fun July 4th Dessert: Berry Flag Tart

The star of your patriotic menu will be this flag-shape dessert featuring bright red raspberries, tart blueberries, and dough cut in stripes and star shapes. Despite the masterpiece finish, it's actually quite simple to make.

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Easy 4th of July Decorations

Decorate your home in the spirit of Independence Day with our red, white, and blue 4th of July decorations. From flags to fireworks, these easy decorations cover every July 4th theme you can think of -- and they're cute to boot.

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Our Favorite July 4th Recipes

Take the guesswork out of creating a delicious spread of 4th of July food. Our July 4th entrees (hot dogs! ribs!), drinks (punch! sangria!), side dishes (fruit and pasta salads!), and desserts (mmm, pie) make organizing a patriotic potluck a breeze.

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Festive July 4th Desserts

Celebrate Independence Day with these festive 4th of July desserts! With star-shape scones and piecrusts, tempting tarts, colorful shakes, and fresh berries, these recipes for 4th of July desserts are sure to stand out at your patriotic celebration.

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Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Gather your friends and use these patriotic decorating, entertaining, and recipe ideas for this year's 4th of July celebration. From festive star banners and refreshing watermelon coolers to raveworthy party favors and more, your 4th of July party is bound to be summer's biggest shindig.

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4th of July Cake Recipes

Headed to a 4th of July potluck? Cakes are a dreamy way to end the day (well, that and fireworks), and our collection of berry-topped cakes, lush chocolate cakes, swirled sprinkle cakes, and layered red velvet cakes are worth their own oohs and aahs.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Popular in Holidays

Holiday Trends

Find out what's in for Christmas.

Break out the bows and unravel the strings of lights, it's time to start decking the halls for Christmas 2005! Looking for a little inspiration? Read on for this year's top holiday decorating and entertaining trends and steal some stylish ideas for your own home.

Red Is Still Hot!

Classic crimson is one Christmas hue that never goes out of style. This year, though, expect to see red mixed with colors other than traditional green. Eye-catching combinations like red and purple or even red and black will be popular for 2005. Another trendy way to go red: Layer different shades -- from bright cherry to sophisticated Bordeaux -- for a dramatic monochromatic look.

Jewel Tones Are Priceless

"People are moving away from mild tones and toward rich color," says New York City-based event planner Harriette Rose Katz. "I'm seeing a lot of jewel tones -- burgundies, purples, royal blues -- used in combination this year." Put away the pastels of seasons past and indulge in richly colored fabrics for tablecloths, tree skirts, and more.

Green Gets Fresh

Green is a traditional holiday favorite but this year it gets a modern update. Bright, nature-inspired greens from apple to lime to kiwi are popping up in place of the more traditional deep greens of past Christmases. Pair one of these stylish green shades with red for a fun twist on tradition.

Neutrals Add Drama

Black was back in a big way on fall fashion runways and it's making its way onto the holiday scene as a striking complement to red, gold, and white. Another trendy way to use neutrals: Pair gray with white or black for a fresh look. Also, consider swapping traditional silver accents for up-to-the-minute pewter and grays.

Crafty Is Chic

Whether you actually do-it-yourself or purchase decorations that seem like you did, the homemade look is hot for the holidays. "Items with a real American, down-home, handmade feel are very popular this year," says design pro Max Wilker. "We're seeing a lot of stitching, quilting, and appliques." Introduce a handmade quality into your decor with a quilted table runner, stockings with blanket stitching around the edges, or ornaments lovingly crafted by your kids.

Faux Snow Is the Way to Go

Flocked trees -- those with fake "snow" blown onto the branches -- are cool for Yule. You can opt for minimal flocking on just the tips of the branches or go all out with lots of flocking for a dramatic winter wonderland look.

Family Takes Center Stage

Anything to do with preserving memories and creating family traditions is tops for Christmas 2005. A timely idea: Incorporate your favorite photos into your holiday gifts and decor. You can add them as appliques to stockings, tree skirts, or even seasonal throw pillows.

Two Trees Are Better Than One

What's more chic than a single Christmas tree? A second tree that highlights a theme (Victorian, Southwestern, or sports, for example), a funky color palette (pink and purple; navy, silver, and white), or a cherished collection (tea cups, Santas, or miniature shoes). "People will have a tree in the family room that holds a mix of ornaments passed down through the years or made by the children. Then they'll also have a fashionable, 'show tree' in the entry, living room, or front window," explains design pro Wilker.

Warm and Cozy Entertaining

Event planner Katz is seeing hosts opting for buffets over sit-down dinners. The reason: They want to include lots of friends and family, and buffets typically allow for a longer guest list. Comfort food is back in a big way. On the menu for trendy holiday bashes: Homey foods like gooey grilled cheese and warm cream soups, says Katz.


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