Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Summer BBQ Party

Outdoor Grilling Party!
This party was a lot of fun to put together, and something I wanted to do for a while. I created this bright and colorful graphic collection to use at a "Indian Summer" (a heat wave that occurs in the fall) grilling party.  I did use some of it then, but unfortunately didn't take any pictures... So when it started to warm up again I saw it as a great opportunity to finally dust off the barbecue utensils and fire up the grill :-)

The colors, the sounds and the smells of summer inspired me to create this party décor. I wanted something simple, casual and inviting, but also festive and with a mod flair. Colorful background colors speckled with white polka dots and a handful of summer and grilling elements sounded just right!

To purchase this printable collection via automatic download, click here and/or here.

The invitation - as simple as it is, I think it represents really well what the party was all about: outdoor fun and good food!
I brought the indoors out by utilizing some colorful household furniture and paired it with white serving pieces and other rustic elements, such as a vintage picture frame where I displayed colorful pennant flags and used as a table backdrop.

We had a “caipirinha” bar (or caipifruta station) where guests could mix their own drinks.  Caipirinha is a typical Brazilian drink made with only a few ingredients but with endless possibilities of flavors. I cut fresh mangoes, kiwifruits, limes, lemons, raspberries and lychees and arranged them in separate matching-color bowls, along with demerara sugar and crushed ice. I like to make my caipirinhas with raw sugar, since it gives the drink a more complex and sophisticated depth of flavor. Besides cachaça, which is the traditional liquor used to make this drink, I also had available bottles of sake, rum, vodka and tequila, so guests could use the fruit-liquor combination of their choice.
Bar menu: "pick your fruit + sugar + pick your liquor + crushed ice
I used inexpensive wood letters from my local craft store as a signage for the "bar." I customized the B, A and R for the party by covering them in the same polka dot pattern I used throughout the décor. 
Mason jars fancied up for the day. I replaced the metal lids with cut circles from the polka dot paper pattern and added plain white paper straws sprucing them up with little flags from my printables collection. You can download a free template for the mason jar "lids" at the end of this post.

Left: Raw sugar and crushed ice on background, adorned with handmade pinwheels (included in the printable party set); Right: Bottles of cachaça, vodka, rum, tequila and sake.
It doesn't get much better than a lemon caipirinha on a hot and sunny day :-)
I kept the food to a few basic and classic grilling staples and “dressed” them in a bit more exciting way: the grilled corn on the cob gained a drizzle of cilantro-lime butter, a seasonal grilled salad was sprinkled with grilled polenta “croutons” and the plank-smoked chicken skewers got a nice coat of a homemade smokey barbecue dry rub (adapted from a Tyler Florence's recipe.)
To keep the colors vibrant, I opted for using colored hashis (or "chopsticks") to serve the chicken skewers

Grilled romaine (try it, it adds an amazing smokiness to the salad!!) with local feta cheese, heirloom orange, yellow and red tomatoes, and polenta croutons.

Grilled corn on the cob with a side of cilantro-lime butter

Paper fans to cool off :-)
The dessert and party favor station
For dessert, four different flavors of cooling fruit sorbet to choose from – mango, raspberry, lemon and blood orange. We also had ripe watermelon served on popsicle sticks – a whimsical and practical way to serve them up that was a big hit among the kids.
Mini paper umbrellas from my Summer BBQ Collection. They would look fabulous paired with a cocktail as well :-)

Watermelon on a stick :-)

Party favors at a barbecue party?  Why not?! Using baker’s twine, I tied together a mesquite grill plank and a metal tin containing my homemade dry rub so guests could replicate the main dish at home.
I hope you had fun reading the details about this party, which was such a pleasure to put together. As a "thank you", here are two treats: one recipe and one free printable. ENJOY!!



  • fresh fruit 
  • raw sugar (demerara, turbinado, muscovado) 
  • cachaça (or other types of clear liquor such as sake, rum and vodka) 
  • crushed ice

Lightly muddle cut fruit and raw sugar, then add cachaça and ice to taste. Muddling the fruit releases their juices and in the case of fruits like citrus, it also releases their essential oils.

And here's your free gift - a free printable template for mason jar labels.  Just click on the picture to download it. Happy grilling everyone!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...