Friday, April 3, 2015

March Madness Dinner

The March Madness basketball tournament was our theme for the March monthly dinner.  I've been so busy, I wasn't able to post about it!  Better late than never right?

Invite: I created a ticket with images I found online and just added the wording to match my party details. This is the original ticket I sent, but I did have to change the date to a week later.

Entry Decor:  I made a scoreboard sign out of foam board and card stock for my front door.  Although it looks like a Bible verse as the time, it was actually the date (March 17th), that I had the party.  The score is the year, 2015, broken up between the two teams. 

I also placed my son's toddler basketball hoop by the front door just for fun.

Inside Decor:  I set my table with a simple black tablecloth and bought contact paper that looked like wood to use as a table runner. I found the contact paper at the Dollar Tree!  For the centerpiece, I borrowed a new basketball net from a coach at my work and covered a glass vase. I bought a basketball to place on top.  For the side centerpieces, I bought megaphones from Party City and mini basketballs from Michaels for the top.  I also purchased basketball napkins from Party City to place on each plate.

Place Cards: Relied on my creative juices to come up with a fun place card to fit the theme. I made orange play-dough and then shaped it into balls.  I then used black embroidery thread to create the lines on the basketball. I did them the night before and they set out, so they did harden up a bit and lose their bright orange color (you can see in the photos that they have a speckled look), but they were cute. I created pendants inspired by various colleges participating in March Madness, but changed the university name to each guest's name.  I tied these to skewers I cut in half.

Wine Labels/Charms:  I made simple labels for the wine that said "Red Team" and "White Team".  I found images of the popular college teams' mascots to use as the wine charms.

Menu:  As a starter, I set out carrots and celery with ranch dip.  Just easy items for guests to "dunk."

The main dish was blackened turkey basketball sliders.  I found the recipe for these at Hungry Happenings.  These were SUPER tasty and easy to make.  To make the buns look like basketballs, I sprayed them with Wilton's Color Mist food coloring and then drew the black lines on them with a black food coloring pen. I bought the pen and color mist at Michaels. FYI - it took one full can of color mist to spray the tops of 9 buns.

I served potato wedges that I cut in the shape of triangles and called "Three Pointer Fries."

We also had a fruit salad with fruit balls of watermelon, cantaloupe, and blueberries.

For dessert, I made ice cream sandwiches. I made sugar cookies using a pre-made mix and then added orange food coloring to get them to look orange.  The lines I piped on with black frosting.  I made these ahead of time and froze them as a sandwich.

Games Activities:  If your theme is March Madness you better have an actual tournament going on!  I made a bracket out of foam board, and since there were only 6 of us at this party, we played 3 simple Minute to Win It games.  

The first game I title, "This Team is STACKED", but in Minute to Win It terms, it is called Tilt-A-Cup.  The goal is to create a tower of alternating plastic drinking cups (8) and ping pong balls (8) in one hand, by bouncing the ping pong balls and catching them in the cups.  Once the first ball is caught in the cup, the player pulls the bottom cup from the stack and places it on top, covering the ball he just caught, and bounces another ball to land in the new cup.  This continues for all 8 cups.  The first player to make a wobbly tower of eight balls and cups without the whole thing toppling over is the winner and advances in the tournament.

The second round game I called "Don't BLOW the Game; Make the Bucket!" I taped 3 plastic cups to the edge of my coffee table.  Each player got an empty paper towel roll with a basket of ping pongs balls to share.  Using only the paper towel roll, the players had to blow the ping pong ball across the table and try to make a basket in one of the cups.  The player who made the most baskets in one minute was declared the winner and advanced in the tournament.

The final round game I called "Ka-Broom".  For this game, the player holds a cup in one hand and a broom (bristle side touching the floor) in the other.  On a table 7' from the player, set up plates so that they hang halfway off the table with a large marshmallow centered on the portion of the plate covering the table.  When the clock starts, the player releases the broom handle so it makes contact with the plate.  This catapults the marshmallow in the air and the player then tries to catch it in the cup.  Whichever player caught the most marshmallows in one minute was our Tournament Champion!

The winner of the tournament made the game winning shot, so she gets a "shot" of whatever alcohol you desire!

Favor: As a parting gift, I gave each guest a Skor bar and a Cutie orange that I drew black lines on to look like a basketball.  I created the tag to match the gift using PhotoShop.

It was a great dinner party. The games were easy and a lot of fun!

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