Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary
I don’t know about you, but I’ve finally gotten tired of the cold. Getting snow was cool. Well, literally yes, but it was also a nice change. And we’ve gotten it, several times now. And, you know, I want to feel warm and be surrounded by green again. Barring some indoor gardening, I figured my best choice was to throw a Summer themed party in the middle of Winter. Crank up the thermostat, put some logs in the fire (it’s a Summery “bonfire” today) and switch to tanks and flip flops for a day that’s an awful lot of fun with friends and family.
We had the fire and piles of beach towels to set the mood. Then we set out the beach umbrella, pool noodles, folding beach chairs and loungers, inflatable inner tubes, and the like. It felt like we were back at the beach house featured here. We went to town on this, and you should too!
We started the night off by watching a retro Summer classic, Beach Blanket Bingo. It was on Netflix, and perfect for our theme! It’s kind of sad the tv feels like it came from the same era, though. (At least we recently got rid of a much larger and older television elsewhere in the house)
Everything is here and ready to go! Did you notice the little fishie napkin rings? Vintage and handmade (supposedly). Way cooler is that pitcher on the right, it really was hand painted by my great aunt in the forties or fifties. There are painted hula girl glasses too, but they really aren’t up to use as a cup. Maybe a vase, but not a cup.
Of course it was mandatory that everyone wear at least one lei, and paper umbrellas in your drink are a cheap little addition that looks really cute. You could pour coconut juice or coconut water into those cups, or you could go all out on a virgin sangria.
This buffalo chicken dip was amazing! And it was much cheaper than actual buffalo chicken. The dip was tasty with Fritos or crudites (raw veggies), and it was gone within the first ten minutes of the movie. I may post the recipe, though there are a lot of versions already out there on the web, like Brown Eyed Baker’s spicy version or Mommy+Me’s healthy bento edition. You can even do a normal version from Sticky Gooey Creamy Crunchy. Of course my recipe is different from everyone else’s, because I’m incapable of exactly copying a recipe without some changes, but it’s pretty similar except for the addition of peaches and mozzarella.
These shrimp were boiled with old bay and pepper and had lemon wedges on the sides. The veggies were broiled on a ‘grill’ pan. That’s sweet potato, bell pepper, onions, and carrots in the photo, and it was mighty tasty. The reason the veggies and shrimp weren’t boiled together is because the veggies take longer to boil and need more spice, while the shrimp gets overwhelmed by spice easily and cooks really quickly.
Besides petit fours and mochi, flourless chocolate cake may be my favorite dessert out there. I got this one, and the maraschino cherries, at my local Trader Joe’s. I like to make them myself as well, but this was for relaxing, so I let myself get lazy and buy a cake. If I were baking it, though, I like making mini cakes by baking the batter in a muffin pan. Just throw some heated fudge sauce on top and you have a super easy gluten free molten lava cake. Sure, it’s not the same, but easy. It’s important to non bakers like me.
I know you really only saw food, but we did games too. We played uno, and keep the ball off the ground with a beachball. We didn’t really get too active though. It was a fun and relaxing day, not a workout! But it did work out pretty well.