Monday, June 21, 2010

Let Freedom Bling!

Show off your American spirit by throwing a party that will go down in history! These 4th of July ideas are sure to make a big bang, with a small amount of effort.

D├ęcor & More
Save money and sanity (you won’t have to worry about those mustard stains ever again) by swapping out your tablecloth for white butcher paper. Use red twine or ribbon to tie the paper down and hold it in place; and scatter red and blue markers along the table so guests can doodle and decorate while they eat.
Butcher paper is reasonably impervious to water, great to write on, and cheap (it’s much less expensive than prepackaged paper tablecloths, which run around $12 each vs. about $10 for a large roll of butcher paper)

Plate-balancing guests will be able to easily navigate the backyard buffet if you station grab-and-go silverware in glass canning jars near the seating area. Trim jars with red, white, and blue ribbon, and fill with eco-friendly reusable flatware.

Add red, white, and blue Light Up Ice Cubes to your 4th of July drinks or table setting. The cubes are sealed so you are able to use them in liquid and they have a small hole in the casing so that they can be strung or worn on a lanyard.

Red, white, and blue bands of sand dress up votives in these patriotic sand candles, as featured on Martha Stewart.
To make, fill a small glass with enough sand so that a votive candle placed on top falls just below the rim. Set the glass inside a larger clear glass vase or jar. With a funnel, fill the gap between the two containers with layers of red, white and blue colored sand (found in art-supply stores), using enough to reach the rim of the small glass.

Plastic drinking straws can take hundreds of years to biodegrade. Instead, take Twizzlers candy, snip off the ends, insert it into your beverage and sip. It's that simple (and delicious to eat when your drink is finished). Serve them in tall glasses with spiked punch or experiment with different Twizzler flavor combinations, like licorice-flavored Twizzlers and Sambuca.

Featured Recipe
Red, White and Blue Margarita

Red Layer Ingredients
1 1/4 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce triple sec
1 1/2 ounces lime juice
2 ounces prepared sweet-and-sour mix
8 frozen strawberries
2 cups crushed ice

White Layer Ingredients
1 1/4 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce triple sec
1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce prepared sweet-and-sour mix
1/3 cup frozen pineapple chunk
2 cups crushed ice

Blue Layer Ingredients
1 1/4 ounces tequila
3/4 ounce blue curacao
1 1/2 ounces lime juice
2 ounces prepared sweet-and-sour mix
1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice
2 cups crushed ice

Mix ingredients for red layer in blender until smooth and divide between 3 glasses.
Rinse the blender before mixing the ingredients for the white layer.
Blend until smooth and pour over the red layer, dividing equally between 3 glasses.
Rinse the blender then mix the ingredients for the blue layer and top off the glasses. Serve immediately to your very impressed guests.

Tips: Borrow a couple of blenders from neighbors or friends. The process goes a lot quicker!
If the layers aren’t holding, use a little more ice than usual to thicken. It should be thick enough so you need a spoon to assist you in getting the tasty elixir out of the blender.

Patriotic Playlist
American Girl - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Young Americans - David Bowie
American Pie - Don McLean
R.O.C.K in the U.S.A. - John Mellencamp
American Woman - The Guess Who
Living in America - James Brown
America - Neil Diamond
Star Spangled Banner - Jimi Hendrix
Fireworks - Louis Armstrong
Living in the U.S.A - The Steve Miller Band