Out of The Hat

Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary

Ready for Warmer Weather

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe 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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe 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)

Tabel ScapingEverything 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe recipe for this bad boy is coming in a future post. It’s pretty darned awesome! And it comes with the cutest garnishes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 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.

shrimp boilThese 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.

Flourless Chocolate CakeBesides 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.

Would you do this, or do you hate to mix up the seasons? What makes you think of Summer?

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9 comments on “Ready for Warmer Weather

  1. an uncommon girl
    February 21, 2014

    Summer = smell of fresh cut grass + the sound of lawn mowers (that far away hum)

    • TheGreatZambini
      February 22, 2014

      Lawn mowers? That’s not the hum I tend to think of in Summer. I tend to think of cicadas whirring away, and those few magical years where they are especially loud and I want to have ear lids to block the noise! But your Summer sounds a lot quieter, I like that :)

  2. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    February 21, 2014

    I’ve always wanted to do an indoor beach party like this! So much fun- The festive decorations are what really make the scene perfect.

    • TheGreatZambini
      February 22, 2014

      Yes, right? It’s a little campy, but that makes it so much more fun in the middle of the wrong season. :) I think I may end up doing a Christmas in July type of thing as well, we will see!

  3. once in a blue moon
    February 21, 2014

    I have to preface by saying don’t hate on me. I feel almost guilty reading this, trying to empathize with the lengths my friends in colder climates go to be reminded of warmer weather. I said almost. Alas, it was 82 degrees today and the ocean is an hour’s drive. Yeah, I hate mixing up those seasons 😎☀️🌴🏄

    • TheGreatZambini
      February 22, 2014

      Oh, no, I’m really not too jealous. Though I strayed a little here, I actually prefer to have the seasons change from Winter to Spring to Summer to Fall. I’d feel a little bereft if my world was always stuck in only one season! It was just a little uncomfortable this year because the times when we get a real Winter, it tends to last only a few weeks here or there. Actually, we usually get a different season every month, due to the crazy weather we get around here! I’ve just been spoiled and I’m not used to such a long lack of change! :)

  4. genkikitty
    May 4, 2014

    Such a cute idea! I hear you on the “let’s go to spring”!

    • TheGreat Zambini
      May 14, 2014

      Thank you! It was long since due. I’m glad it’s starting to inch its way into Summer now!

  5. Pingback: Rosy Outlook | Out of The Hat

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2014 by in Recipes, Allergies, Diets, Health, Travel, Reviews, Holidays and tagged , , , , , , .

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