Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

How To Throw a Neighborhood Carnival

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I saw a photo of the amazing carnival the kids in Jenny Dixon's neighborhood put together, and I was so impressed, I asked Jenny, from Craft That Party, to write about it. I  love when neighborhoods come together to do something great (something bigger than its individual parts), and that's definitely what happened here. Here's how Jenny describes it...

As the summer winds down, the children in my neighborhood start practicing their routines for a very special show. The Kids' Circus has been performed in two adjoining backyards for the last four years. To celebrate the 5th anniversary, the kids wanted to make the event bigger and better than ever.

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We used four adjoining backyards this year to separate the talent show, food, desserts, and games. Guests were invited to visit each yard to enjoy the various festivities.

The stage was one of our main attractions -- the marquee sign with working lights was designed by Shane from Birthday Express just for this event! We covered four wood pallets with two large pieces of wood to create the stage floor and hung red stage curtains over two sets of curtain rods to create the backdrop.

backyard-carnival

The main show started at 5pm. Guests were asked to move to the main stage. The children had prepared wonderful acts: a fortune teller, lion tamer, fairy dance, gymnastics routines, magic tricks, songs, flying acts (involving a tire swing), bike tricks, and tightrope walking!

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backyard-carnival

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After the show, guests mingled through the backyards to enjoy food, desserts, and carnival games.

The kids enjoyed playing ring toss, duck pond, and clown ball toss. Of course everyone had to get their picture taken with the strong man cut out! backyard-carnival backyard-carnival

backyard-carnival

backyard-carnival

The summer days are short, but the memories made are long and cherished. Seeing our children take ownership of this event, watching their talents grow and blossom each year, and witnessing our neighborhood open their hearts and yards to each other is what community (and summer) is all about.

With the help of Birthday Express and costumes from Costume Express, the kids put on the best show in town!

To learn more about Jenny and read all about her DIY adventures, please visit her her blog, Craft That Partyand on Etsy, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Photo Credits: Allison Duda of A Joy Photography & Jenny Dixon of Craft That Party

{RECIPE} Italian Roasted Potato Salad

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My husband is not a fan of mayonnaise, so I'm always on the lookout for non-mayo salads. I saw Mario Batali make this warm potato salad on The Chew, the new food show on ABC, and thought it looked delicious! Plus, who doesn't love Mario Batali! If you haven't checked out The Chew yet, you definitely should, it's a lot of fun to watch, and I keep getting great tips and recipes.

I wanted to give it a try, but I also wanted to make a few tweaks, like roasting the potatoes instead of boiling them, and substituting thyme for marjoram because thyme is one of my favorite herbs.

ITALIAN ROASTED POTATO SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds new (small) potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon thyme + 1/2 tablespoon for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 shallot minced
  • fresh pepper to taste
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Directions:

Preheat the to 400 degrees. Quarter potatoes.

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Toss the potatoes in a bowl with olive oil and salt.

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Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes - until they start to brown. Halfway through I turned the potatoes so they would brown on both sides.

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Here's what they looked like roasted.

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Cook three eggs over easy and cut into slices.

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In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard powder, thyme, and the minced shallot to make the dressing. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and top with the fried egg slices. Garnish with couple more pinches of thyme.

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While it tastes terrific warm, you can also enjoy it cold.

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The Chew celebrates and explores life through food - from cooking to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more all aimed at making life better, fuller and more fun. Featuring celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly and fresh face of healthy living Daphne Oz, “The Chew” is a leap forward into a delicious new kind of talk show.

Watch The Chew Weekdays at 1e|12p|c on ABC!

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ABC via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ABC.

{RECIPE} Strawberry Ginger Lemonade + Fun Summer Shopping Ideas

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Summer is right around the corner. In fact it's been so warm here, it already feels like summer.

As I've written in my blog before, we have a ginormous lemon tree in our backyard, so lemons are one of my favorite ingredients. I've already shared my lemon cake recipe and my lemon sugar cookie recipe, so of course I had to share my sparkling strawberry ginger lemonade recipe. This lemonade is refreshing and sweet. It's got a little spice from the ginger and earthiness from the lemongrass, perfect for a hot day!

STRAWBERRY GINGER LEMONADE

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 12-15 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large strawberries
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (a little bigger than a walnut)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups of sparkling water or club soda
  • 4 cups of ice
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Directions:

Peel and quarter the ginger. Trim the bottom 4 inches of the lemongrass stalks, and cut in half. Put the ginger, lemongrass, salt, and sugar into a saucepan with two cups of water. Put it on medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is just about to boil. Then take the pan off the heat, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Strain the liquid into a pitcher along with the lemon juice. Mince and add the strawberries. Now you can add the sparkling water (preferable chilled). Serve in glasses filled with ice.

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I was also asked by Target to make a wish-list (scroll down to see it) of some of my favorite summer beach and pool items, including my favorite beach towels. By the way, I always buy my beach towels at Target. They're colorful, thick, and not too expensive. I'm especially loving the bright new patterns this year. I can already tell that my daughter will be all over that popsicle towel!

I also picked out some of my other favorite items like the hammock. I'd be so excited to have a hammock in my backyard. What could be better than lounging on one while reading a book. That is truly my dream.

I'm a big fan of the outdoor poufs. How fun would it be to ask your guests to pull up a couple of poufs to join the conversation. :)

One of my all-time favorite summer items at Target is their melamine plate sets.  I have a bunch of their white melamine plates and our family actually uses them all the time (not just in summer). I like this bold leaf pattern. I think some of the trays might work well with what I already have.

And finally, I love the big red outdoor cooler on wheels. Not only would it be functional for entertaining, but I'm grooving on its industrial look.

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I always get excited for summer... long days, warm nights, and lots of casual get-togethers with friends and family.

It’s Time for Springtime.

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.

 

Labor Day Party Ideas and a Great Summer Grilled Corn Salad Recipe

To give you some ideas for your Labor Day BBQ, I wanted to post my recipe for delicious summer grilled corn salad and show you these cool retro 1950's Labor Day printables we're giving away.

First, the corn salad...

This is my go-to summer salad because there's no better time to find delicious sweet corn and delicious cherry tomatoes. Plus, this salad is simple to make, and tastes a little like vegetable candy. :)

SUMMER GRILLED CORN SALAD

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 5 ears of sweet corn
  • 1/2 basket of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package of arugula
  • 1 poblano pepper (poblanos are also commonly called "pasillas")
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Shuck the corn, and lightly coat it with vegetable oil (I used olive oil). Put the corn on a grill (or in a large frying pan on medium heat), and rotate them every few minutes until the corn starts to turn a golden color. I like to let it blacken in spots for some extra flavor.

Let the corn cool for a couple minutes, then cut off corn off the kernels and put them in a large bowl.

You can grill the pepper along with the corn. Let it cook until it softens, turning it periodically. Cut the pepper open and scrape out the seeds.

Poblanos aren't that hot, but the seeds can still burn if you touch them, then touch your eyes, so be careful. Dice, and add to the corn. If you want to add some extra heat, you can also add a jalapeno in addition to the poblano.

Since Cotija is a strong cheese, I like to cut my pieces into 1/4 inch cubes so the flavor is more evenly distributed when I add it to the salad.

For the dressing, combine olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, red wine vinegar, and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the cheese, arugula, cilantro, tomatoes, and dressing. Mix well and you've got summer in a salad! It tastes great served warm, or you can keep it in the refrigerator overnight, and serve chilled the next day.

If you want to add some 1950's retro styling to your Labor Day BBQ, check out these fun party printables  by Clickable Party we're giving away.

The collection includes: an 8x10 inch party sign, party circles, and tented cards that you can type your own text into. DOWNLOAD THEM HERE.

Happy Labor Day, everyone! (Can you believe it's almost time to welcome fall??)

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Bacardi via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Bacardi.

{RECIPE} Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt and Honey

I was asked by LG Electronics to share what's in my fridge (check out this picture I took with Instagram). Because it's summer, my fridge is stocked with fruit -- peaches, strawberries, oranges, apples, avocado, watermelon, and tomatoes. I buy all my fruit at the farmer's market.

And what else is in my fridge? Butter, a must! Yogurt (especially Greek), another must!

I wanted to share something I made that's delicious and simple, using what was in my fridge. I decided to grill up some peaches and top them with Greek yogurt. We recently moved and our grill still isn't set up, so I made these using a skillet.

I added vanilla and lemon zest to the yogurt and topped the whole thing with honey. The whole thing turned out sweet and tangy, with a carmelized outside and soft fleshy inside. The best way to describe it... it tastes like summer.

GRILLED PEACHES WITH YOGURT

Ingredients:

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 2 ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2% fat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest + extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Directions:

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Melt just enough butter to a coat your skillet over medium low heat. Add the peaches, face down, for about 4-5 minutes. Check periodically, and flip them over when they are nicely caramelized. The more ripe the are, the faster they will brown. Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 5 minutes, or until they soften. You can test with a toothpick. Set them aside and let them cool for a couple minutes while you make the filling.

For the topping, just mix the vanilla and lemon zest into 1 cup of Greek yogurt.

Top the peaches with a spoonful of yogurt. Drizzle on some honey and add a pinch of lemon zest to garnish.

Enjoy!

LG just designed a new super-capacity 3 door French door refridgerator with Door-in-Door, which has an exclusive space for your go-to foods. They're doing a contest on Facebook where you can vote for your favorite go-to fridge foods (yogurt, juiceboxes, mustard, or diet soda) to place in the Door-In-Door.  It's fun, so you should check it out here!

For those quick trips to the fridge, the Door-in-Door is a magnetically sealed section of the refrigerator that allows you to access the door bin without opening the entire refrigerator. Due to the Door-In-Door feature, less cool air escapes when the easy access compartment is opened, keeping cold air in the rest of the fridge, where it matters most. Whether it's a refreshing drink, condiments or a healthy snack, the Door-in-Door is the ideal space for quick access to your family's go-to foods such as canned or bottled drinks, salad dressings and condiments. Learn More Here

Compensation was provided by LG via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LG.

{TRENDS} Ice Cream Desserts that Aren't Ice Cream!

With summer approaching, I can't help but think of ice cream, so I was planning to write a post about the incredible ice cream socials on our site. But then I noticed how many treats people make that look like ice cream, but aren't actually ice cream.

I love anything clever and fun, especially when it comes to dessert, so here are my favorite "ice cream" desserts pulled from different parties on our site. (Click on the photo to see the party it's from.)

Pretty unbelievable...

{RECIPE} Red, White, and Blue Strawberry Shortcakes

I love this season of outdoor parties and barbecues, and with Memorial Day and July 4th coming up, I've been dying to do a red, white, and blue dessert.

I think strawberry shortcake (with blueberries and lemon zest) is the perfect summertime dessert because it's so fresh and light.

You can prepare almost everything beforehand, then just as you're ready to serve it, either whip up some fresh whipped cream or pull out a can, and you can put these desserts together in seconds. Or better yet, set up a strawberry shortcake "DIY bar" and let your guests make their own.

I promise, these are super easy and absolutely delicious! Here's how you do it...

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 cup sugar +  3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter, sliced
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half + 1/8 cup half-and-half
  • White sanding sugar
Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, gently mix strawberries and 1/8 cup sugar. Set aside. The longer this sits, the more strawberry juice it will make.

In a food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons sugar, and lemon zest.

Add cold butter and continue to pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and pour in 2/3 cup half-and-half.

Mix gently with a spatula or wooden spoon. Be careful not to overmix. It should be sticky.

Pour the sticky dough onto a lightly floured surface. Turn it over a couple of times until the dough comes together. Pat it out so it's 3/4" thick.

Cut out 8 round 3-inch biscuits.

Place biscuits on a Silpat or parchment. Brush the tops with the remaining half-and-half and sprinkle with white sanding sugar.

Bake for 12-18 minutes or until the biscuits have risen and are nice and brown.

While they are cooking, you can make your own fresh whipped cream. It's easy and takes five minutes...

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:

Place empty bowl and beaters in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill. Beat cream with added sugar and vanilla until the whipped cream makes peaks. Don't overbeat or you'll end up with butter. :)

Once the biscuits have cooled, either cut/break in half, or use one whole biscuit as the bottom and one whole biscuit as a top. Add strawberry mixture, blueberries, and top with whip cream. Serve immediately and enjoy!

If you make some, please send a photo to jillian(at)catchmyparty(dot)com. I'd love to show off what you do!

And of course, here's Lainey, my official taster, after a day at the farmer's market getting her face painted...

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Orbit® gum via Glam Media but such compensation did not influence any opinions expressed herein.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Orbit® gum

 

FREE Summer Party Printables from Clickable Party

Summer is in full swing, and how sweet of Krysten at Clickable Party to give away this collection of party printables to add some pizzazz to your summer shindigs.

The collection includes: party circles, cupcake wrappers, tented cards, a blank invitation, a "Happy Birthday" banner (in case it's someone's birthday!), an entire alphabet of flip-flops to make your own banner, food labels, votive labels, water bottle labels, favor boxes, and thank you cards. Phew, that's a lot!! Thank you, Krysten!


Party circles


Cupcake wrappers


Tented cards


Invitations


A "Happy Birthday" banner


Complete alphabet to build your own banner


Votive candle labels


Large food labels


Water bottle labels


Favor boxes


Thank you cards

Download the high resolution file for printing:

If you use these printables for your summer party, please add your party to our site, I'd love to show it off!

And one more big thank you to you, Krysten, for sharing these amazing printables. To learn more about Krysten, please visit her blog, Clickable Party and also check out her shop where you can buy her adorable printables.

Happy Labor Day!

What a wonderful summer it's been for us here at Catch My Party (although a little cold in Santa Monica).  We hope you've had a great one, too.

We look forward to a festive fall filled with many great parties, new features on the site, and lots of posts highlighting all your creativity.

If you've thrown a  Labor Day party, please add it to the site.  We'd love to show it off!

TRENDS: Summer Parties on Catch My Party

As summer winds down, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of our most memorable beach and pool parties of the year.  Enjoy!

Lindsey M's Girly Gecko Birthday Party

Lisa R's Carnival Party

Sarah Y's Popsicle Party

Katie I's Flip Flop Fabulous Party

Christina C's Splish Splash Party

Maureen A's Blue and Green Pool Party

Jen C's Brinley's 2nd Birthday

Lisa R's Hannah's Flip-Flopped Party

Claudia S's Surf's Up Party

Tonya B's Splish Splash Soiree

Hope you've had a wonderful summer!

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