Short of Thanksgiving and Christmas, Independence Day ranks pretty high on my personal list of great food holidays. Poised smack dab in the middle of the summer, July 4th brings Americans together to celebrate the land of the free and home of the brave. And, if you’re my family, you also celebrate great food.


Each year, our friends and family gather together at our house, mostly because we have a pool (okay, maybe that’s the only reason), which keeps the kids busy and the adults happy. Last year, we decided to go with a potluck-style picnic, which prompted me to check our garage for all of our picnic supplies. I looked all around for what I like to call “the coolest cooler ever” (I swear I coulda been a stand-up comic) but couldn’t find it anywhere. As you can tell by the photo of the cooler bag, you wouldn’t think it would be tough to find in the garage.

It took 30 minutes of searching to find that it was tucked away behind the blow-up pool toys and endless mess of soccer balls, basketballs and other sporting equipment.

Anyway, to say that this is the coolest cooler ever ($32 online) would be an understatement. With the water-resistant leatherette design, it will keep your food cool, and you looking even cooler. Just don’t lose it in your garage, which is totally uncool.

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Don’t forget to enter our 2015 Watermelon Carving Contest! We still need plenty of entries in the “Beginner” category, so all you new carvers should definitely enter for a chance to win. The deadline for entries is 11:59 PM on August 3. There are $4,000 in prizes and the first 25 entrants will receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board. Check out the official contest web page for categories, judging criteria and how to enter!

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