Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Baseball - Opening Day Party!

Believe it or not, in nine and a half years of monthly dinners, I have never done a baseball theme!  This month's dinner fell on Opening Day, so it made baseball the perfect theme.  There are a ton of ideas out there on the internet, but as usual I wanted to make up some of my own.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Invite:  I created the invite on PhotoShop.  The fonts I used were BOSOX font, Candy Inc., and Marcelle font/Marcelle swatches.  These fonts are available for free online.

Entry Decor:  I made a sign for the front door using foam board and scrapbook letters cut using my Cricut.  I borrowed a plastic Angels helmet from a neighbor and the blow up bats from another friend.  My PE teacher husband already had the giant baseball, so I added it to the decor as well.

Inside Decor:  I set the table with a green tablecloth, and put a home plate base in the center.  On top of that, I had a vase filled with small baseballs.  I borrowed the Angel helmets to place on both sides.

On the table, I also filled small vases with peanuts and added a baseball to the top. 

I know that you can buy paper plates that look like baseballs, but I decided to create my own using my nicer dinner plates for a more formal look.  I used my Cricut machine to cut red card stock to make the lacing.  I used a dab of scrapbook glue on each end to adhere it to the plate so it wouldn't fall off.  We just pulled the paper off when it came time to serve the food.

I also borrowed mini plastic baseball helmets from friends to place next to each plate. My original plan was to serve a salad, ice cream, or some part of the menu in each hat, but instead I just used them for more fun visual decor.

I created a baseball card of each guest for my place card.  These were intended for laughs.  Some of my favorites were me as Pitcher holding a "pitcher" of juice and my friend Maria as the "Designated Reader" (instead of hitter) since her photo is of her reading a book at an Angel game. Other funny friend and her boyfriend kissing as "First Base", another friend doing a yoga pose as "Center(ing) Field", and another with a dazed look as "(out in) Left Field"!

I used scissors and cut my napkins to look like home plate bases.  I bought mini foam fingers off of Amazon to use with my silverware.  If you buy these, take them out of the package as soon as you get them to air them out.  They were kinda stinky, but super cute!

For wine charms, I printed off the logos of various MLB teams.  I used a circle punch to cut them and then attached them to the wine stems.

I created wine labels which played off team names to distinguish the red (Cinncinati Reds) from the white (White Sox) wines.

Here's what the entire label looked like.  If you want either of these images, just comment below, and I will email them to you.

Menu: At first I was planning to have a hot dog bar as my main course, but if you know me, you know that that would be too simple!  I always try to come up with something a little more creative.  Here's what I came up with...

Slider = one of the more popular pitches in baseball, so why not have sliders to eat!  I made mini cheeseburger sliders in the oven...didn't even have to slave over a grill = super easy!

  • 2 pounds ground beef (I used 80/20)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 slices american cheese
  • 12 dinner rolls
Preheat oven to 375° F.  In a large bowl combine hamburger meat, onion, seasoning salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Press mixture evenly in the bottom of an un-greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake, uncovered for 25 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in center (the meat to shrink a little).  Remove from oven and then carefully pour out the grease in the pan. Place cheese slices over the top of meat. Place back in oven for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Cut meat into 12 equal size squares. Place each square of meat in the center of dinner roll. Serve with your favorite cheeseburger toppings! (Ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc).

Foul ball = "Fowl" ball chicken wings!  These were Asian BBQ chicken wings I made mostly in the slow cooker.  These were AMAZING! I found the recipe at Valerie's Kitchen.

Spitball = another pitch.  For me, this was Spitball Veggies, I cooked over a spit fire. I chose red and orange peppers, red onion, yellow squash, and zucchini to give it color.

Bunt = when a batter gently taps the ball with the bat, so it is difficult for the infield to get to it.  I decided to make red velvet Bundt Cakes!  These were super yummy.  The photo isn't very good of these (sorry), but they had a cream cheese frosting.  I added a white chocolate baseball in the center.  The lacing was drawn with a red food coloring pen.

Favor:  As a parting gift, I packaged some peanuts with a box of Cracker Jacks - the typically "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" gift. I displayed them in another Angels helmet next to my Angel gnome!

I designed the tag on Photoshop using some typical baseball terms.  They came out pretty cute!

All in all, another fun party!  Hope you enjoyed my post and can use some of these ideas on your next baseball bash!