A Feast for the 4th

The Shindigz Party Recipe Food Bloggers have been busy this week preparing for National Ice Cream Month, National Hot Dog Month and summertime grilling!

We also welcome our 3rd weekly recipe author, Candace Schuler.  She joins Mark Carboni, (Cookin’with Carbo) and Heather Jurczyk. Each has their own unique background and you can read more about them here.

Let’s dive in with forks, knives and spoons.

Italian Lime Chicken

Italian Lime Chicken

Carbo created this Italian Lime Grilled Chicken with easy instructions on his signature marinade.

Set the table for an Ice Cream Tasting Party!

Set the table for an Ice Cream Tasting Party!

Candace shared several Ice Cream Toppings along with ideas for an Ice Cream Tasting Party.

An Authentic Chicago Dog

An Authentic Chicago Dog

Meanwhile, Heather shared a link to her homemade ice cream, along with her official guide to an authentic Chicago Style Hot Dog.

We’re going to have a tough time deciding which to prepare 1st!

Don’t forget before you run off to the store to pick up your ingredients, take a few moments at Shindigz.com to order your personalized summer party decor and tableware!

How to Create Your Own 4th of July Celebration

The 4th is about more than fireworks and no matter where you go across the country there is always something to celebrate. Whether it is the local parades put on in small towns, to the famous concerts, competitive eating competitions, or celebrations of the local cuisine there are festivals out there for everyone this July. You can take your cue from these festivals to throw your own homemade 4th of July festival. Uncle sam on fireworks rocket

The 4th is about Food

Around the country there are festivals celebrating local cuisine or ingredients. From celebrating the humble tomato to keeping track of how many hot dogs a person can consume, food is never far from people’s mind. You too can celebrate the humble hot dog in your own backyard. Provide your guests with a wide range of toppings for them to put on their hot dogs. If you have some big eaters at your party you can hold your own hot dog eating contest. Award prizes to the top three eaters.

For those who have a sweet tooth set out an ice cream sundae bar. It is a great way to beat the heat, and everyone can find some topping that they like.

The 4th is about Family

Everyone enjoys a holiday weekend together, plan a party that appeals to every age group. Activities are a great way to bring age groups together. Have fathers and sons compete against mothers and daughters in classic field day races. Have entire families participate in scavenger hunts to see which family works together the best.

The 4th is still about Fireworks

Even though there is so much more to celebrate, no 4th celebration is complete without fireworks. You can keep them in mind all day by decorating your yard with firework themed decorations and tableware. With these colorful decorations your party is sure to be a blast.

Impress Your Party Guests with Cheese Steak Sliders and Family Potato Salad

This week on the Shindigz Party Recipe site,  Heather and Carbo share two summer time treats that you can serve year round!

These Cheese Steak Sliders will melt in your mouth!

These Cheese Steak Sliders will melt in your mouth!

Heather shared her recipe for these Cheese Steak Sliders and you can add Carbo’s Family Potato Salad to your menu too!

Carbo's Family Potato Salad

Carbo’s Family Potato Salad almost makes a meal in itself!

Host a 4th of July Party- Seven Firecracker Ideas for the Neighborhood

Hosting the 4th of July with FriendsIMG_6665

When you begin planning this year’s 4th of July block party, start by doing some research—look at pictures from last year, chat with your friends, try to figure out just what you could do better this time. You could even see if your neighbors want to team up and host the block party together. By putting a few heads together, you may be able to come up with some ideas to plan the best block party ever!

As your neighbors and you begin the task of making this year’s 4th of July block party bigger and better than last year’s, try splitting up the workload. For example, if you and your neighbors are a team of three: put one person in charge of planning the food, one person in charge of decorations, and one person in charge of activities (whether just for the kids or for everyone at the party).

Fourth of July Party Ideas

There are a few great ideas that can quickly and easily help you and your neighbors plan the block party of the year. Here are seven suggestions to get started:

  1. Why not take care of two things at once? When you’re planning the activities for the block party, plan a cook-off! Whether it’s chili, burgers, or whatever else you can think of—this way, you’ll not only have a great activity planned to kick off your block party, but you’ll have quite a bit of food planned.
  2. Don’t forget all the supplies you’ll need when organizing the food—trays, tongs, spoons… To make your block party planning easier from year to year, buy these catering supplies in bulk (that way, neighbors won’t be mad if you lose their property, either).
  3. Depending on how large your block party is, you’ll want to place a few signs around the area—most likely in the yards at either end of the street (and on both sides of the street) so the partygoers have a good idea of how far the party goes on.
  4. When you’re planning the decorations, don’t go overboard! If your party has access to a few front porches to relax on, hang red, white, and blue bunting from the porch rails. This will aid the guests in determining what areas they are allowed in.
  5. When you’re planning activities, make sure they are kid-friendly! If you plan a cook-off, let the kids be the judges. Many potential activities are very kid-friendly, such as a fun block party parade or chalk art.
  6. USA cakeMake sure to create a few photo ops for your guests! Use a USA cake prop for families to gather around or a Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam couple stand-in to snap pictures with.
  7. Aside from the cook-off, why not try festival-themed treats? Popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy, you could ever serve root beer floats in old-fashioned soda shop glasses!

By planning the event with your neighbors, you’ll be able to pull off a well-organized and perfectly planned 4th of July block party for everyone to enjoy! Use these ideas as a starting point—if you start now, you’ll be able to plan the best block this year.

Create Fireworks with an Uptown Manor Theme

While we’re all awaiting the next season of events from Downton, why not host a Masterpiece of a manor party yourself? With the right background materials and props you can set the stage for an entertaining wedding, formal dance or charity event this summer.

To start, let’s agree that for castle-like buildings our Flagstone pattern is where it’s at. In flagstone you have a choice of materials: poly vinyl, corrugated paper, flat paper, and gossamer. Let’s look at the relative merits of each:

  • Poly vinyl is economical, flame retardant, and tough stuff you can use outdoors. You’ll get terrific coverage on walls and you can hang light items on it.
  • Flat paper covers well, you can stick light items on it and you can paint on this paper if you are so inclined. Use it to wrap a homemade cardboard fireplace (in this case, use a marble pattern and/or plain buff or gray).
  • Corrugated paper looks terrific on walls and will not sag. What’s more, this is a paper you can build 3D decorations with, such as pedestals.
  • Gossamer is an economical choice and easy to hang because it is light. Although it is translucent, it will look fine over walls that are fairly neutral and in fact will give you a quite realistic look.

Don’t hesitate to use more than one “flagstone” material if it works for you. A poly or paper could go on the walls – all the better for holding a cutout suit of armor every so often – and you could switch to gossamer for hanging in front of the windows.

In front of the window coverings, place the castle view panels shown at the top of this post. The panels are a magnificent 7-plus-feet tall, and free standing so you won’t have to worry about how to hang them.
Best of all, the panels are a takeoff on our highly-rated castle photo backdrop. Personalize the backdrop as a greeting banner, and select the same design in edible party favors such as mint tins and candy bars for a luxuriously customized experience.

Meanwhile, against all that gray stone you’ll need a strong secondary color to contrast with the gray. A true red is the natural choice for warming up the space, and gives you as many options in props and accents as you could hope for. Drape red, translucent gossamer from the ceiling in a tented pattern to maximize the impact of an exquisite chandelier at the center. Tack down red aisle runners as a rolled-out red carpet for guests.

Inexpensive medieval cutouts – crests, flags, pennant banners – bring a trio of bright colors to the walls, including red for continuity.

Take particular care with your tables, especially if this is a dinner party. Cover them in white satin and pull out the silver or gold plate chargers. Finish with large, sparkling glass vases of red flowers and candle arrangements using our new twisted-stem glass pillar holders, which are available in three heights for many decorating possibilities.


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