CRISPY CHEESE STARS Turn tortillas into a stellar snack. For this recipe, you’ll need two star-shaped cookie cutters, one slightly smaller than the other (ours were 4 and 21/4 inches between opposite points). Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Use the larger cookie cutter to cut out stars from flour tortillas (about five stars per 10-inch tortilla). (You can use a rolling pin to roll back and forth over the cutter.) Bake the stars on a foil-covered cookie sheet for five minutes. Use the smaller cookie cutter to cut out an equal number of cheese stars from sliced cheddar, provolone or mozzarella and place them atop the tortilla ones. Bake the stars for two more minutes or so until the cheese melts. Then sprinkle them with chili powder or paprika and let them cool before serving.
in each panel starting from the top and ending just above the tape. Step 2: Flip over the fringed foam and position a gold pipe cleaner in the center of each of the inner eight panels so that the lower end is about an inch below the fringe. Tape them in place. Now sandwich the top of each pipe cleaner between a yellow foam star and a large sticker star. When you’re ready to wear the crown, wrap it around your head, overlapping the ends and securing them with a large paper clip.
FESTIVE FANS Show your holiday spirit while keeping your cool. These stars-and-stripes fans are fun to wave while waiting on the sidelines for the parade to begin. Simply use glue to sandwich the top of a wooden paint stirrer between two 8-inch squares of card stock (one white and one blue). Apply strips of red tape to the white side and sticker stars to the blue side, and the fan is ready to wave.
FRUIT FLAG Serve summer berries patriot style. For ultimate freshness, prepare this treat right before serving. Present it with toothpicks for spearing the fruit and a bowl of your favorite dip, if desired. First, hull and halve 29 large strawberries and set them aside. Then arrange 30 large blackberries, as shown, in the upper left corner of a serving tray or cutting board (it should be at least 8 by 13 inches). Cut 58 3/4- inch-thick banana slices into a bowl (seven or so large bananas should do it). Sprinkle on lemon juice and toss the slices gently with a rubber spatula to keep them from browning. Then assemble them in rows like a flag and top each slice with a strawberry half.