One of the very best things about summertime is all the fresh produce available. Grocery stores are suddenly overflowing with piles of delectable-looking fruit, farmer’s markets attract crowds of shoppers hungry for seasonal, locally grown veggies, and “pick-your-own-produce” farm visits are in full swing, with more treats ripening every day.
If you have a backyard garden, you’re probably harvesting your own fresh fruits and veggies, as well, and enjoying that unbeatable homegrown flavor. But even if you don’t have a garden, why not celebrate this season of fresh fruits and veggies with a garden-themed party?
One of the most unique and fun aspects of holiday food is the seasonal color palette we use when making our festive spreads – St. Patrick’s Day has us eating and drinking green, Halloween calls for black and orange, and of course, for the 4th of July, we bring out the red, white, and blue.
So how can you incorporate these patriotic colors into your 4th of July party feast? With a little bit of creativity, it’s easy to wow your guests with tasty treats that show off your holiday spirit.
When you were young, your dad was always there when you needed him. If your bike had a flat tire, or you needed advice about life’s problems, he always had wisdom to share or a shoulder to cry on. He’s a rock, the classic strong and silent type… which makes it hard to find a gift for him!
If you ask him what he wants, he’ll probably say he doesn’t want anything at all. If espionage won’t work (asking mom), you can always fall back on the tried-and-true tie. But this Father’s Day, instead of opting for the same-old, try out something new. Here are a few ways you can make your dad’s special day one to remember.
We’ve done our summer homework just in time for your outdoor planning. We hope these picnic tips will help a bit when it comes down to the nitty gritty:
I went to the most adorable baby shower this weekend. It was decorated with an “Under the Sea” theme mostly focusing on mermaids. I fell in love with the set-up because it wasn’t over the top; it was just tasteful enough. I hate when it looks like the ocean puked in the room. Continue reading
There’s something about eating Chinese take-out food in those little white boxes that just adds to the overall flavor of the meal. You can recreate that same feel for a fun and unique spin on a holiday dinner party (or any other occasion for that matter) with your own supply of fun gift boxes!
Pulling off a holiday dinner takes many people weeks of planning, but even being caught off-guard, anyone can pull together a beautiful presentation with little effort. Here are a few more ideas to try, even when time is of the essence!
- For a unique centerpiece, take a serving tray and arrange pillar candles on it - an odd number is good, such as 3 or 5 candles. These can be of varying heights and even colors. Then, intermingle fresh evergreen sprigs, berries, ribbon, grapes, and even apples of varying colors and sizes. When the food is ready to be served, simply remove the tray from the center to make room!
- You can create fabulous fall decorations using scissors, a few markers and a brown paper bag or two. Cut fall shapes, such as leaves or nuts, embellish with a small outline with marker, then use these for placecards, menu placcards, greetings on the door. Embellish these with ribbon for a more formal feel!
- Who says all the food has to be served onto the plate? Embellish napkin rings with a bit of chocolate. Simply melt white or dark chocolate candy and pour into leaf or other autumn-themed candy molds (these supplies can be found at your local craft store). Once the chocolate is set, poke a hole through the top and thread the shape onto a wire. Tie napkins up in satin ribbon, and attach the wired chocolates to the ribbon.
- Will your group include a gathering of children? Purchase jelly beans, preferrably in fall colors (although the kids won’t mind the color!). Place several of them in clear plastic baggies. Then, tie the baggies into corn husks (available at your grocery store) to create “indian corn” that is deliciously edible!
And, for a last-minute twist on the standard Rotel and cheese dip, try this recipe out!
Combine 1 pound of Velveeta or other similar cheese product, one package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained), 4 oz of cream cheese, 1 can Ro-Tel undrained, and eight slices of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook in 30-45 second intervals until everything is melted and well-blended. Serve hot with vegetables or chips.
Once the date and theme have been set and a budget has been created, it is time to put plans into action. Create a time line of activities that will need to be completed prior to the Big Day. Use as much detail as possible so as not to leave out important details, and allow some “fudge room” for days when plans simply don’t go as they should. Continue reading