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Patriotic Parties – Part 7: Cocktails & Drinks

June 30, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

Last up in our series on how to host a patriotic party is the post on cocktails! Because no party is complete without a couple of refreshing beverages, we’ve put together a list of festive cocktails, to help you celebrate in style.

Patriotic Parties Cocktails

Fourth of July Cocktail | Strawberry Sucker | Red, White & Blue Martinis | Classic Canadian Caesar | Patriotic Margarita | Raspberry Collins | Papa Doble | Cocktail for Canada Day | Mason Jar Drink Dispenser | Strawberry-Basil Iced Tea | Lemonade Favors

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 6: Sweet Treats

June 30, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Baking, Canada Day

Nature is full of vibrant reds and blues perfect for making your dessert table bright and festive. In addition to your standard cupcake and cookie fare try using fresh fruits combined with whipped cream, yogurt, or white chocolate, to bring a patriotic look to your desserts.

Patriotic Parties Sweet Treats

Fabric Trimmed Cake | Red, White and Blue Parfaits | Eager beaver cupcakes | Red Velvet Canada Cupcakes | Vanilla-Raspberry Sundaes | Berry Lemon Napoleons | Cinnamon Candied Apples | Red & White Candy Buffet | All-American Strawberries (For Canadian Strawberries dip them in red sugar instead).

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 5: Good Grillin’

June 30, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

Lets face it your patriotic party just isn’t complete without the good stuff…. Food!

And nothing says summer like a good old barbeque. This holiday, fire up your grill and check out these ideas and tips to keep your grillin’ good and your guests happy.

Patriotic Parties Grilled Food

Burger Bar

Setting up a burger bar is a great way to make something for everyone with limited effort. Pick a couple of meat options and set out a buffet of different toppings and let your guest build their own.

Try these twists on a good old classic:
Bacon Swiss Burgers with Tomato and Avocado
Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Burgers with Beet, Red Onion, and Orange Salsa
Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli

And don’t forget your vegetarian friends:
Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone, and Roasted Peppers

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade barbecue sauces are a great way to add a delicious kick to your grilling favorites. Fruit based sauces like this Peachy Barbecue Sauce, work great on meats like pork and chicken. Try a this Sweet Mustard Barbecue Sauce for a nice change from your traditional sauce. And for those of you who think grilling just wouldn’t be grilling without adding beer to at least one dish, try this Guinness® BBQ Sauce.

Other Grillin’ Favs

Grillin’ Tips

1. Keep It Hot.
You should preheat your grill before your start, otherwise food will stick. To gage the temperature, hold your hand five inches above the grate if you can leave it for for two seconds if the fire is “hot” and three to four seconds if the fire is “medium-hot.” Another way to prevent food from sticking is to grease your grates before cooking. This will also make it easier to clean up later.

2. Get good Meat.
You can’t hide bad meet with good sauce! Quality meat doesn’t have to be expensive, and you’ll be thanking yourself later if you get the best you can afford.

3. Cook with Duel Heat.
If possible on your grill it’s a good idea to have two heat zones. One side hot for searing meat first and the other side set to low to finish off the cooking.

4. Sauce Later.
Many BBQ sauces have a high sugar content so it’s best to apply these later in the cooking process. If you sauce too soon, there’s a good chance they’ll just burn.

5. Grill Veggies Without the Lid.
Grilling with the lid down traps in moister and can make your veggies go soft. With the exception of larger veg like potatoes, which benefit from the steam, when grilling veggies keep the lid up.

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 4: Party Supplies

June 29, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day, Supplies

Ok so it’s probably a little too late to order things online, I really must get better about planning my party posts further in advance. For now here’s a few things to keep in mind when searching for supplies. A lot of these products can be found at you local craft, or party supply store.

Patriotic Parties Supplies

Maple Leaf Craft Punch – Craft punches come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and have lots of uses. Use them to create themed confetti, invitations, garlands, labels, tags, cupcake toppers, and much, much more. Check your local craft store to see what kind of selection they have.

Chinese Lanterns – If you’ve got a China Town in your city there’s no better place to look for inexpensive paper lanterns. They come in a kinds of shapes, sizes and colors and work great as decorations, or add them to a string of mini lights for an evening party.

Divine Twine – This fun twine in super versatile and comes in a variety of colors. So far I’ve only seen this brand online, but you might be able to find similar twine or colored string at your local craft store.

LED Balloons – Yes that’s right… balloons with LED lights in them. (SaveOnCrafts has lots of other great products as well.)

SparklersOnline – You guessed it… where to buy bulk sparklers.

Bambu – This eco-friendly brand of bamboo dinnerwear can be found at stores like Whole Foods and Crate & Barrel. Check they’re online store finder here.

Social Couture – Another great resource for online party supplies, with products to suit any theme.

Maple Leaf Candy Mold – Make your own maple leaf candies and chocolates. Stay tuned this week for some fun cupcakes to make using this mold.

Bulk Candy – You can buy bulk candy online and choose the colors you want to suit your party theme.

Bake it Pretty – Your one-stop-shop for all things cute and decorative to make your kitchen creations look even better.
Polka-Dot Baking Cups | Star Party Cup | Striped Twist Ties | Hot Dog Bags | Peanut Bags | Popcorn Boxes | Tags | USA Cookie Cutter | Cupcake Carrier

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 3: Fun & Games

June 29, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

There are lots of ways to make your party fun and entertaining whether there will be children there or not. A few handmade games and other decorative elements like sparklers and crackers are easy to make, and can be fun for all ages.

Patriotic Parties Fun and Games

Confetti Popper Rockets | Pinwheels: Make your own here and here or Purchase on Etsy | Party Hats | CrackersTalk Crafty To Me Tutorial Here | Balloon Darts | Bean Bag Toss – For Canada Day make maple leaf bean bags instead of stars | Potato Sack Races | Bicycle Stars | Sparkler Holders I’ve posted about this before, but in case you missed it last year here it is again. (Free Printables)

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 2: Table Settings

June 28, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

When it comes to setting a patriotic table there are endless options. Think about buying plastic plates in white that you can reuse for other parties and use napkins and place markers to add in the color. If you must use disposable plates check out the great options from Bambu. Not only are they biodegradable, and 100% organic, but they also look great!

Patriotic Parties Table Settings

Patriotic Picnic | Red & White Affair | Woodland Table | Maple Leaf Coasters | Who says you need a table at all – Park Picnic | Patriotic Napkin Rings | Red & White Napkin | Mason Jar Silverware Holder | Patriotic Plates | Star Studded Table

Maybe you’re looking for something a little more casual, or perhaps you have too many guests to fit around table. Pre-wrapped sandwiches and snacks make it easy for guests to grab-and-go-and-mingle.

Patriotic Parties Table Alternatives

BBQ Cutlery Packets | Picnic Pack | Wrapped Cutlery | Six-Pack Caddy | Candy Bags | Chip Bag (Free Printables) | Popcorn Bags (Free Printables) | Cutlery Basket | Decorative Flags (Printables) | Packed Lunch

Posted by: kelly

Patriotic Parties – Part 1: Decorations

June 28, 2010 - Filed under 4th of July, Canada Day

It’s that time of year, when thoughts turn to back yard barbecues, picnics, and outdoor parties. With both Canada Day and Independence Day just around the corner, rather than do separate posts for each holiday, I decided to do a couple of posts full of great ideas to help you throw a fabulous patriotic party, no matter where you’re celebrating.

First up lets talk decorations… Use your country colors to tie everything together and create festive mood. From streamers and balloons, to bunting and paper lanterns, whatever you decide to create, be consistent with your color scheme, and you’ll be sure to pull off a great looking party.

Patriotic Party Decorations

Click on the links to learn more about each project:

Organza Flowers | Polka-dot Bunting | Paper Flowers | Star Medallions | Maple Leaf Bird | Rubber Band Candles | Holiday Lanterns | Fabric Bunting | Citronella Candles | Red & White Garland

Posted by: kelly