Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Fun with my GRILLS!


There's nothing like a party to celebrate Summer.  For August's monthly dinner, I went with a theme of Summer Fun with my GRILLS!  A fun play on the words grills and girls, don't you think?  All the food and decor was either grilled on the bbq or decorated to look like a grill. Check it out...


Invite:  I created an invite on Photoshop. I went with a color scheme of red, orange, and yellow to pull in the fire aspect.  I added the light blue to give it a light summer feel.


Entry Decor:  I purchased a small charcoal grill at Ace Hardware to use as a prop at my entry.  I placed colored tissue paper in the bottom and through the rack to look like a fire.


I cut "Welcome Grills" out of card stock using my Cricut.  I sliced a slit down the center of real hot dogs, and placed the letters inside the slit to hold them in place.


Inside Decor:  I set the table with a red tablecloth and some picnic fabric I bought at Joanns.  For the centerpieces, I made a pretend grill, set out BBQ tools, and a condiment candy "grill".  The drawers in the "grill" are the salt and pepper!


Here's a side view of the grill centerpiece.  I found a red plastic bowl at Target, placed charcoal in the bottom, and glued skewers I painted black to the top.  I set it on a metal spice jar and borrowed my kids' pretend food to set on the top.


For place cards, I made mini grills. I bought metal ramekins off of Amazon.  Then I hot glued sucker sticks to the bottom in a tripod and added red buttons for wheels.  I found the flame image online here and added my guest's name.  Chopped up Oreo cookies were my charcoal and helped hold up the paper flame.


I also made flames with red, orange, and yellow napkins.  I used my Cricut to cut a black grill rack to place on the front, and then tied it to the napkin with black ribbon.


For wine charms, I cut charcoal grills out of card stock in various colors and wrote the guest's names on them.


I made my wine labels on PhotoShop.  The grill images I found online here, and I just designed backgrounds around them.


Menu:  I wanted all aspects of the meal to be somehow associated with grills - either cooked on the grill or made to look like grills.  This is what I came up with..


We started with a Grilled Romaine Salad.  I looked up several recipes for this, but many seemed to have lots of ingredients. I wanted something easy, so I decided to just keep it simple. I brushed vegetable oil on the top of each romaine heart and sprinkled it with salt and pepper.  My husband grilled them for about a minute or so on each side just to get the grill marks. I served these with Feta cheese and various salad dressings for guests to choose from.  Yum!


For the main dish, I served Grilled Chicken Burgers just to make it a little different from beef burgers which we normally associate with BBQs.  I served these on Brioche buns.  The fixings I served on the side: lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, and avocado.  


At first I was going to actually grill fruit on kabobs, but then decided I would make a pretend grill.  I hollowed out a small round watermelon and made 3 holes in the bottom to fit celery sticks snug.  I needed to use skewers along the bottom, as my watermelon was too heavy for the celery to hold on its own. I cut celery sticks to hide the skewers.  (This photo was taken before I did that.)


Inside the "grill" I placed blackberries to look like charcoal.  For the lid of the "grill" I used a slice of cucumber hollowed out and attached it with toothpicks.  There is a full tutorial on creating this fruit grill here.


I also served grilled corn on the cob to finish out the main meal.



For dessert, I found a recipe for these cute little cupcake grills! I baked chocolate cupcakes and then mixed orange and yellow frosting to pipe onto the top.  Then added the red sparkle gel.  To make the grill, I melted chocolate and piped it onto parchment paper to dry.  The skewers are gummy bears cut into 3 pieces and skewered on a toothpick.


Favor:  For my parting gift, I wanted to stick with the theme, but make something useful to my guests.  I decided to give them my favorite seasoning for BBQ - Montreal Steak Seasoning.


 I wrapped some seasoning into small bags and then crafted a grill around them.  I cut small squares of red, yellow, and orange tissue paper to make a flame.  The grill I made out of card stock using my Cricut. After placing the flame/seasoning inside the bowl, I glued the grill to the rim of the bowl.  The mini bowls I found on Clearance at Target for only $0.65 so I was pretty excited.


Instead of attaching a tag to each bowl, I made these signs to display to let my girls know I love and appreciate their friendship.

As usual, we had a great time.  Would love to hear your thoughts on the details of this party!  Happy end of summer!

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