Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rock your 4th of July Party with FamilyFun recipes and decorations

Let the fireworks begin! FamilyFun magazine has the fun crafts and remixed favorite BBQ recipes that are sure to rock your Fourth of July party this year! From supersize patriotic stars to a tomato peach salad, triple berry floats and even a lip syncing battle, these ideas will be a blast for children and adults alike.












YANKEE DOODLE NECKLACES
The perfect macaroni flair.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Various pastas (we used rotelle, rigatoni, penne, farfallini, and cannelloni)
Plastic baggies
Food coloring (like India Tree Nature’s Colors)
Rubbing alcohol
Parchment paper
Yarn (or 2 to 3 premade pom-poms or tassels per child)
Scissors (at least one pair for 2 to 3 kids)
Shoelaces or paracord (for stringing necklaces)

1.    Before the party, dye the uncooked pasta. Separate pasta into plastic baggies. Add a few drops of food coloring and two caps of alcohol to each. Close and shake until the pasta is coated. Place on parchment paper to dry.
2.    At the party, set out dyed noodles, yarn, and shoelaces or paracord. Show the kids how to make tassels and pom-poms (left), then let them loose!

TO MAKE POM-POMS: Wrap yarn around four fingers 50 times; cut the tail. Pull off the bundle; double-knot a new piece around the middle. Cut open the loops; trim to shape.

TO MAKE TASSELS: Wrap yarn around four fingers 20 times. Pull off the bundle and cut the tail; double-knot a new piece near the top. Wrap a third piece around the top six times and double-knot it. Cut open the long loops and trim.


SUPERSIZE STARS
Add instant WOW, anywhere!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
Box cutter (adults only)
Cardboard boxes
Tinsel garland (about 50 feet per 3-foot-wide star; we got ours from christmascentral.com)
Glue gun and glue sticks (2 to 3 per star)

1.    Cut a star out of cardboard.
2.    Wrap the star horizontally with tinsel, adding glue as you go, from top to bottom.


Host a lip-sync battle
Don’t know the words to “This Land Is Your Land”? Fake it! No need to carry a tune to win this game.

MAKE THE FLAG
Transform scrap fabric (old sheets work, too) into an Old Glory-ous backdrop to use year after year.
What to do: Tear 5 yards each of red and white fabric into 2-inch-wide strips (snip with scissors to start). Make each piece about 7 feet long, tying shorter pieces together, if necessary. Repeat using blue fabric, making 3-footlong pieces. You’ll need 50 to 60 strips of each color. Cut white pom-pom trim to six 3-foot lengths. Knot about 10 strips of red fabric onto one end of a 4-footlong dowel, then 10 strips of white fabric. Repeat to make 13 stripes. Tie the blue fabric in front of the stripes to cover half of the left side the flag, then tie on pom-pom trim every 4 inches. Tie twine to each end of the dowel to hang.

HAND OVER THE MIC ...and let the kids lip-sync their way to stardom!
What to do: Slice down the length of a paper towel tube, roll it into a cone, and tape it closed. Crumple tissue paper into a ball and insert it into the opening. Cover the ball with newspaper, attach it to the base with black tape, then continue to wrap the entire base. Coat the newspaper ball with glue, then roll in silver glitter. Let dry.






TROPHIES FOR ALL!
Everyone wins with lots of quirky prizes (top left).
What to do: Stack two to three cups or cans (flip some upside down) in varying shapes; hot-glue in place. Hot-glue a plastic figureto the top; let dry. Spray each trophy with two to three light coats of metallic paint; let dry.





Peach Iced Tea
Say cheers to the red, white, and blue with a sweet summer sipper.

MAKES 10 SERVINGS
INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
7 cups water, divided
3 peaches, divided
4 decaffeinated black tea bags

1.    Combine sugar, 1 cup of water, and two peaches (pitted and chopped) in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes.
2.    Remove mixture from heat and let sit 30 minutes. Then strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher.
3.    Bring 6 cups water to a boil; remove from heat. Steep tea bags in the hot water for 10 minutes.
4.    Carefully pour tea into pitcher with the peach syrup and refrigerate until chilled.
5.    Pit and thinly slice the remaining peach.
6.    Serve on ice, garnished with peach slices.






Tomato-Peach Salad
In-season tomatoes and peaches make this salad irresistibly juicy and delicious.

MAKES 10 SERVINGS
INGREDIENTS
2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 peaches, pitted and sliced
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces

1.    In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, peaches, feta, olive oil, and lemon juice.
2.    Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3.    Toss with lettuce leaves and serve.







Triple-Berry Float
We packed loads of berry flavor into thiscool Fourth of July float.

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
1 half-gallon container of
strawberry ice cream
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 quart raspberry ginger ale

1.    Fill 8 large glasses with 2 scoops of ice cream each. Divide berries among glasses.
2.    Top each off with ½ cup of ginger ale.






Smokey Spud Salad
Bacon and chives, oh my! This Dijonbased potato salad is loaded with flavor.

MAKES 10 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
2½ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes
Salt
4 slices thick-cut bacon
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. white-wine vinegar
1 Tbs. minced fresh chives

1.    Place scrubbed whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes; drain and set aside.
2.    Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 9 minutes. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain; reserve the fat in the skillet.
3.    In a small bowl, whisk 2 Tbs. reserved bacon fat (discard the rest), the Dijon mustard, and the vinegar until combined. (The dressing will taste very salty because of the bacon fat, but the flavor will balance once you add the potatoes!) When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm, cut them into bite-size chunks and place in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the warm potatoes and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with minced chives and toss again. Crumble the cooked bacon over the top.






Strawberry Whipped Cream
This simple dessert will be the star— literally!—of your block party.

MAKES 12 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
2 sheets frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
2 tsp. coarse sugar
2 cup strawberries, trimmed and halved, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar

1.    Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.    Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many stars as possible from the puff pastry.
3.    Arrange on two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
4.    Bake at 400°F until puffed and golden, about 12 minutes.
5.    Place 1 cup of strawberries in a food processor and puree until smooth. Combine heavy whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar in a large chilled bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip until soft peaks form. Add the strawberry puree and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
6.    Serve pastry stars on top of a dollop of whipped cream. Top with strawberries.





Patriotic Whoopie Pies
Fun sprinkle decorations give these sweet sandwiches some patriotic pizzazz.

MAKES 15 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CAKES
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dutch-process dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup buttermilk

FOR THE FILLING
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1¼ cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 tsp. vanilla
Red, white, and blue sprinkles

1.    To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until combined, then beat in chocolate and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
2.    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer set to low, add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat. Mix in buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Beat until combined.
3.    Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a rack
4.    Meanwhile, make the filling: Beat butter with a mixer until smooth. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add Marshmallow Fluff and vanilla and mix well. To assemble whoopie pies, sandwich a heaping tablespoon of filling between two cakes. Roll edges in sprinkles.


Finger-Lickin’ Chicken Wings
You get a big flavor bang for your buck with these grilled wings!

MAKES 10 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for grill
3 lbs. chicken wings (drumettes and wingettes separated)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup honey
3 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. molasses

1.    Preheat a grill to medium-high and lightly oil the grates. Spread wings on a baking sheet and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
2.    Combine oil, mustard, honey, ketchup, and molasses in a large bowl; remove half of the sauce to a small bowl.
3.    Arrange wings on the grill and cook, covered, until marked, about 8 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Brush the wings all over with the sauce from the smaller bowl, then cover and cook, 2 minutes. Flip wings and cook, covered, 1 more minute, or until cooked through (165°F on a meat thermometer).
4.    Transfer wings to the large bowl with the rest of the sauce, and toss to coat.


Grilled Corn with Honey-Lime Butter
This sweet-and-salty butter is so good you’ll want to slather it on everything!





MAKES 16 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS
16 ears of corn, husked
1 stick of salted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbs. honey
1 lime, zested

1.    Preheat a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates.
2.    Arrange 16 husked ears of corn on the grates and cook, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
3.    Mix butter, honey, and lime together in a large mixing bowl.
4.    Spread on the warm corn.



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