So, here is the download from our 4th of July neighborhood party. We have a fab neighbor who has a degree in recreational something and is a professional when it comes to organizing group events. She agreed to again coordinate a 4th of July family bash for our street. We followed the same basic format as last year and here are a few highlights. In case you are new to TheRoomMom’s world, you can read about last year here.
The Parade, The Games, and the Prizes
Each family decorates bikes, scooters, wagons… This is the kick off to the party. Any participants ride up and down the street a few times to the cheers and shouts of the bystanders.
Following the parade, we are teamed up and compete in a sack race, dizzy bat race, egg carry, and other classic relay races.
Prizes for the winners awarded after dinner. I made this year’s “medals” with Mardi Gras beads, jewelry clips, and silver posterboard with a printed message glued to the top. They are not as nice as the Dollar Store trophies from last year, but I was under a time crunch.
After the races ended, a few adults wrote in silly award names like “Best Competitor”, “Most Confident Egg Carrier”, or “Best Spinner”.
The Food and Drinks
There was lots of grilled meat and tasty (but bad for you) party food. One person did contribute a fresh fruit salad, but we mostly ate things with melted cheese in them.
I baked a pizza dip, which is a party dip that works for any occasion, any age, and any time of year. Click for the 4th of July Recipes 2013.
I also concocted a blue drink for the adults. Be careful because it does look like Gatorade. I wanted to make the cherry margaritas for the crowd, but it takes time to pit all of those cherries, so I tinkered with the recipe for this blue drink and created the Dizzy Eagle (name is not finalized– please send suggestions if you have them). Click for the 4th of July Recipes 2013.
The Cake Walk
This is everyone’s favorite event. Each family donates a sweet treat or two. Kids stand on a numbered square. An adult plays music. When the music stops, the child stops on a square. Our organizer draws a number. The child standing on the matching number gets to pick a treat from the table.
You can let adults play too, but we have it worked out so all kids win one item.
This year I boxed Oreo Truffles. I had trouble melting my white chocolate, so they did not look as professional as I would like. The taste, however, was not compromised. Click for the 4th of July Recipes 2013.
Jackie knows how to cut a large white paper plate into 3 masks from a former job as a camp director. She cut an oval (football shape) from the center of the paper plate. The resulting 3 pieces are the 3 mask shapes. Then, two eyes are cut in the center of each shape. You can also do the football shape in the top half of the plate and create 2 masks from one paper plate.
I took over after Jackie cut the masks. I found red bamboo skewer sticks in the 4th of July section at Hobby Lobby. Using a piece each of red, white, and blue curly ribbon, I tied them together around the end of a stick in a knot. I hot glued the stick at the point where the ribbon knot is to the back edge of each mask. Once the glue cooled, I curled the ribbon.
We had a table at the party with Elmer’s glue, glitter, sparkly stars, and markers. Kids could walk up and decorate a mask.
We set a big disposable roasting pan on the table with the glitter jars inside. Kids set the mask in the pan to glitter. It made clean up very easy.
FYI– this would be a great craft for Halloween parties and school celebrations.
How do you celebrate the 4th of July? Jackie was exhausted, and this may have been the last time she will be organizing a neighborhood event of this scale. Do you have any suggestions I can bring to her for consideration?
It’s a sad day on my friendly little street. One of our neighbors (and primary organizers of the neighborhood potlucks) is moving. Last night we had a casual farewell party for our dear friends. Even though they will not be moving far away, our street and neighborhood gatherings will not be the same.
In honor of this special event, I needed a dip untasted by the group. I pulled out a recipe for a Hot Vidalia Onion dip that I have not made in years. Man, is this stuff good. It falls into the “face food” category meaning you want to stick your face into it to eat. The dip lasted about 17 minutes (after picture below).
3 c. finely chopped Vidalia onions (the Vidalia part is important)
2 c. mayonnaise
2 c. grated Swiss cheese (I combine 1 1/2 c. baby Swiss and 1/2 c. Gruyere)
2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
paprika to taste
In a medium bowl, mix chopped onions, mayonnaise, Swiss cheese, and Tabasco.
Spread mixture in a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.
Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake ~30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden and bubbly.
It has taken me several days to write about the final party dip decision for our dip-for-dinner meal while watching the Super Bowl. After considering all of my dip options for Super Bowl Sunday, I opted for a new RoomMom recipe. Several years ago, I ate something like this at a friend’s house. She picked it up in the pre-made section of her grocery store. Then, I started seeing a variety of Buffalo Chicken Dip recipes popping up on Pinterest. If you like hot wings, you will like this.
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
2 chicken breasts, skin on, bone in (about 2 lbs)
1/2 c. Louisiana Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
1/2 c. blue cheese salad dressing (or ranch)
6-8 oz. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla chips or Frito Scoops
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put chicken breasts on a roasting pan. Rub skin with olive oil and season generously with Kosher salt and black pepper. Cook chicken for about 40 minutes until golden on the top and cooked through. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Let rest until cool enough to handle. When cooled, remove skin and pull chicken off the bone; cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Beat cream cheese, hot sauce, and blue cheese dressing together until smooth.
Fold in chicken pieces.
Spray baking dish with Pam and spread mixture into the dish.
Sprinkle Colby-Jack cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve hot with chips and celery sticks.
You can use 2 (10-oz) cans of chunk white chicken, drained if you do not have time to cook your own chicken. Although, now that I have perfected roasting a package of chicken breasts, I recommend the method above.
A pie pan or a 9×9 baking dish is a good size for serving this dip.
I am trying to decide which one of my favorite party dips will make the Super Bowl cut this year– definitely something with cheese.
I am including a new recipe for Pan-Fried Onion Dip courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa in tonight’s post, and the recipe is followed by photos with links to my other favorite party dip recipe posts. Please leave a comment to vote for the Super Bowl dip recipe TheRoomMom should serve this Sunday. If you vote for the winning dip choice, you will have the satisfaction of the knowing that you made TheRoomDad (aka my husband) very happy.
2 large yellow onions
4 T. butter
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 t. ground cayenne pepper
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream (or a little more)
1/2 c. good mayonnaise (or a little less)
Cut the onions in half, and then slice them into 1/8-inch-thick-half-rounds. (You should have about 3 cups of onions.)
Heat the butter and oil in a large sautee pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and sautee for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and carmelized.
Allow the onions to cool. I scooped mine out of the pan with a slotted spoon and let cool on a couple of layers of paper towel on a plate.
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings.
Serve at room temperature with kettle cooked potato chips, pretzel sticks, or veggies.