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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The 3rd Annual 4th of July Cookout (aka, please don't rain!)

I have a thing with party planning. You see, in my head, I live in a Pottery Barn catalog or a Southern Living magazine spread. In real life, I live in a 1950's ranch house with barely enough room and toddler toys coming out of everywhere and unsorted laundry. As a result, I like to plan parties. When I entertain at home, for one brief shining period of a few hours, I can be a scintillatingly effervescent (love that phrase - makes me sound like champagne!) host with super cooking and decorating skills. My house will actually be presentably clean and the iPod will have cool music playing and life will be like an excerpt from the good parts of The Great Gatsby, if only in my overactive imagination.

I haven't done a big shindig in a while, so I am feeling the party bug biting me for July 4th. I have a few college friends road tripping in to visit, so we are doing a our 3rd annual DramaFamily cookout. We got rained out last year and were stuck inside (thanks, Pittsburgh summer) so we are trying it again, hopefully with better weather and possibly a canopy of some sort, in the event of rain again.

Here are some of the ideas I have been collecting for decorating and food..

Photo credits: Martha Stewart, Country Living, Social Couture.com, Pottery Barn, FreeFoto.com and Southern Living

We are fortunate to have a larger and flatter backyard down here in Nashville, so the outdoor entertaining possibilities are endless. I am going to attempt to make those ever-present Martha Stewart poms and mix in some of the paper lanterns leftover from the Kid's first birthday. We have a nice patio set and an extra IKEA table in storage, so I will probably cover everything with a few white tablecloths to unify the look and mix in our dining room chairs with the patio furniture. Weather permitting, we will string up some fairy lights and have a cute little barbecue going.

Photo credits: Coastal Living, Luminous Lighting and userealbutter.com

On the menu for that day is the following:

  • Fruit tray
  • Kettle chips
Main food:
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs or brats
  • Shrimp skewers (I didn't want to, but I was outvoted by MrDrama and my friends)
  • Killer baked beans
  • Grilled corn on the cob with chile lime butter
  • Grilled veggie skewers
  • Peach ice cream with fresh raspberries (ETA: also doing blackberry and double vanilla ice cream)
  • Shortbread cookies
The beauty of cookouts is that I only have to do about 1/2 the cooking, since MrDrama will be grilling the meats, corn and vegetables. I am attempting to make homemeade ice cream this year (depending on how the peaches look), courtesy of the borrowed ice cream maker from one of my friends. I have also never made shortbread cookies before, so we will see how those turn out. I have also never made shortbread, so there will be some test driving of some recipes on the blog over the next few weeks.


Tamstyles said...

cute blog! love the family.

Life with Pog said...

Sounds great!
I love having people visit... sometimes it is a great kick in the rear to get things done!

Gina said...

Looks like a fun party! Isn't outdoor entertaining the best!

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