Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Planning a Summer Party - Inspirations, Considerations & Recipes

We're hosting a summer party on Friday. Ellie and I have been finding inspiration for what we want it to be like on Pinterest. Here are some of the things we like:

We like the idea of having a laid back party. I think we will clean out the wheelbarrow and serve some of the drink from there, only ours will be in mason jars.
We will fill some of the jars with homemade lemonade. I will use the recipe from Coupon Clipping Cook. her instructions are top notch.
Fresh Lemonade

For the Simple Syrup:

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
zest from 1 lemon

For the Lemonade:

1 cup of fresh squeezed and strained lemon juice (about 4 to 5 lemons)
4 cups of cold water
4 to 5 cups of ice cubes
1 lemon (sliced for garnish)

For the Simple Syrup:

Zest the lemon and set aside for a moment. Heat a sauce pan on low to medium heat and add the water, sugar, and the lemon zest. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil and stir. Once the sugar dissolves (about 6 minutes) remove the mixture from the pan into a bowl and let cool.

For the Lemonade:

Juice and strain the lemons. In a large pitcher, add the strained lemon juice, cooled simple syrup, and water. Stir together and add the ice. Slice a lemon into about ½ inch wide slices, remove the seeds if possible, and add to the pitcher and serving glasses for garnish. As an option, chill the serving glasses in the freezer. Then dip the rim of the glasses in sugar just before serving. Serve over more ice.

Some of the jars will be filled with sweet tea. I usually use 2 Luzianne tea bags and a simple syrup that I made with 1/3 cup of sugar. This works well for my pitcher. However, I thought the posting and recipe from Lemon Sugar is worth consideration. She uses a small bit of baking soda in her tea. She says that it removes the bitterness in the tea.

Perfect Sweet Tea

via: Lemon

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8-12 servings

This perfectly sweet, perfectly strong tea is made the old-fashioned way, with a simple syrup and a secret ingredient, baking soda! It'll knock your socks off!

2 Pitcher-size, cold brew tea bags
12 cups water, slightly warmer than room temperature

Simple Syrup:
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Fill a large pitcher with warm (but not hot) water.
Place 2-3 teabags into water, and allow to seep for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar.
Bring to a boil, then turn heat off, and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Stir in baking soda, then pour syrup into tea.
Remove teabags, then stir to combine.
Serve warm over ice (my favorite) or refrigerate, then serve chilled.
I think the watermelon mint spritzer sounds good, too.

Watermelon Mint Spritzer
1. Boil 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water.
Let cool & store in refrig
2.. In a blender mix seedless watermelon.
Add torn mint.
Store in refrig.
3. Add the watermelon mixture with the syrup
& stir.
4. Pour over ice 3/4 full & add club soda.
5. Garnish with blueberries & spearmint.

Ellie wants to make two desserts:
Watermelon No Bake Cake
via: I Save A2Z

Whipped cream or Coconut Whipped cream (Paleo Version)
1 Large Watermelon cut in a circle like a cake (see photo above)

Cut your watermelon based on the photo tutorial in the post.
Pat the watermelon down with wipes to dry it.
Frost it with whipped cream
Add Almonds to the side
Decorate the top with fresh fruit of your choice. I like raspberries and blueberries.
Fruit Pizza

I am making mini cheese burgers and homemade buns.

I am also grilling up Beer Brats. Here's the recipe I will use:

Beer Brats
via:JellyToast Blog
Makes 10 Brats

For Brats:
2 tsp olive oil
½ sweet onion, sliced
2 bottles of beer
2 Tbs worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
10 fresh brats (turkey or pork)

For Peppers and Onions:
1 Large onion, sliced
1 green pepper, cored and thinly sliced
2 tsp olive oil

For Serving:
10 hoagie rolls
Brown mustard
Bbq sauce



Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until the onions are beginning to caramelize, but not burn. Add beer and remaining 6 ingredients (through caraway seeds) and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add brats, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow brats to cook through, about 30 minutes. Heat an indoor or outdoor grill over high heat. Grill brats until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes. Remove them to a platter, cover, and set aside.

Peppers and Onions:
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté until tender and caramelized, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.

To serve:
Top each hoagie bun with a grilled brat, plenty of caramelized peppers and onions, and your choice of extras: brown mustard, bbq sauce, sauerkraut

I have also made some fun hula hoop chandelier. I will post a photo of them later, once I get how to hang them up and get electricity to them all figured out.

Tonight I will begin making a pendant bunting with fabric I am dyeing today. My mom found a set of sheets at the thrift store, I already have the dye, I love dyeing fabric and this way I might be able to make reasonable decorations for almost nothing, other than time.

Okay, I think that is enough. I hope it all comes together well. Wish me luck!

No comments: