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Happy 4th of July from the Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group

The history of Independence Day or Fourth of July dates all the back to the American Revolution. On July Second, in 1776 Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence. On July, Fourth 1776 the thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Fourth has been a federal holiday since 1941 and has been celebrated by festivities such as family gatherings, fireworks, and so much more.

There are lots of family festivals and activities going on this year:

  • Red, White, and Boom on July 3rd at 5:30 in Old Town, Rock Hill, SC
  • 4th of July Festival at the US National White Water Center July 3rd-4th
  • Baxter Village 4th of July Parade 9:30am
  • Indian Trail July 4th Parade 9:30 and 1:30pm
  • Tega Cay 4th of July Celebration
  • Red White & Belmont from 4-10pm
  • Fun Family 4th of July at in Matthews at 5pm
  • Downtown Gastonia July 4th Celebration at 6pm
  • 4th of July Party at Triple C Brewery 12-9pm
  • Fireworks shows on July 4th in the Greater Charlotte Area: Carowinds, SkyShow at BB&T Ball Park (after the baseball game), Buster Boyd Bridge & Lake Wylie and many more!

If you all are throwing your own party, please find some recipes below to help your party go out with a BANG!





  • 2 1/2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck

    Via Pinterest
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 TBS onion powder
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS butter


  1. Make the spice mixture by mixing the Worcestershire, olive oil, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper together.
  2. Add the spice mixture to the ground chuck. Massage the mixture into the meat.
  3. Create six tennis-sized balls with the meat.

    Via Pinterest
  4. Compress the meat with your thumbs to create patties.
  5. Take a pinch of meat out of the center of each patty. Reserve the meat.
  6. Add a cube of butter to each patty.
  7. Replace the removed meat back to each patty, fully covering the butter.
  8. Grill the patties on high heat. 6 minutes on the first side. 4-5 minutes on the second side.
  9. Let meat rest for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with your favorite veggies and condiments.


Pasta Salad

  • 1 16 oz box of tri color pasta , cooked
  • 8 oz mozzarella balls , cut in half

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  • 2 cups of olives , cut in half
  • 2 roasted red peppers , cut in half (we use jarred)
  • 2 cups Italian Dressing
  1. In a large bowl pour in the pasta.
  2. Add in the mozzarella, olives, red peppers, and dressing.
  3. Mix ingredients together and then place into the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Serve as desired.


Peach Pie


  • 1 pie crust

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  • 7-8 medium peaches, slightly firm (about 7 cups of peach chunks)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour OR 1/4 cup instant tapioca1
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 (75g) cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • optional: 1/2 cup (63g) chopped walnuts


  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. Make the filling: Peel the peaches then cut into 1-2 inch chunks. You’ll need 7 cups. In a large bowl, stir the peach chunks, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon together until thoroughly combined. Set filling aside as the oven preheats.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  4. Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (if you made the entire pie dough recipe– you can freeze the other half of the dough at this time). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Spoon the peach filling into the crust, leaving any liquid behind in the bowl– don’t want all that in the pie. Use a small paring knife to trim excess dough off the edges. Flute the edges.
  5. Make the crumble topping: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Stir in the butter and walnuts. The crumble topping will be thick and crumbly. Sprinkle over peaches.
  6. Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.
  7. Allow the pie to cool for 3 full hours at room temperature before serving. This time allows the filling to thicken up; I actually place it in the refrigerator during this time so the filling is super sturdy. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired. Cover pie leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Patriotic Booze Popsicles


  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

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  • 1/4 cup black cherry juice
  • .5 ounce cherry-flavored vodka



  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • .25 oz coconut rum
  • .25 oz pineapple rum


  • 1/2 cup orange-pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • .25 oz blue curacao
  • .25 oz vodka
  • Optional: 1-3 drops blue food coloring to obtain optimal blue color


Prepare each layer’s mixture separately. Add the 1 1/2 oz of Cherry Bomb mixture to each popsicle mold. Freeze for 2 hours. Remove molds from freezer and add 1 1/2 oz of Piña Colada mixture to each. Freeze for 2 hours. Remove molds from freezer and add 1 1/2 oz of Blue Hawaii mixture to each popsicle mold. Freeze for 2 hours. To serve, run molds under warm water for a few seconds to remove popsicles.

Wine Sparklers


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1 750 ml bottle white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

1 liter sparkling water

1 lb strawberries, sliced

1 cup blueberries

1-2 apples


Slice the apple into thin rounds and cut out stars using a small star cookie cutter.

Add the apple stars, blueberries and strawberries to a pitcher and pour in the wine.  Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, add ice to the pitcher and top with sparkling water to taste (I only used half of my sparkling water to top off the pitcher).  Alternately you could top each glass off with the sparkling water individually to make sure each glass is extra fizzy.

To serve, spoon some fruit into a glass filled with ice, top with wine sparkler.

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