After 5 years of covering the Fourth of July party scene, I must confess that I have a feeling of déjà vu. I found two DIY projects that you can do with the kids. I feel that it is always important to involve them with family celebrations.
Star and Stripes Garland Kit $10.50 USD at Paper Source | USA Party mega kit by Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff $4.80 at MyGrafico
Many of you will celebrate the Fourth of July at a cottage. This is why I present two festive tabletops by the lakeside. Both of these tables are made of plain white tableware mixed with galvanized metal containers. The key is to add a festive touch through the accessories.
Light pendants that float over the dining table are a must if your party will continue after the sun is down. Select a model that will also look great during the day. I have my doubt about the Southern Living set up. Do the bamboo sticks will stay up against the wind or with people moving around them? But you could recycle the principle with the sticks put on the ground.
photo: Jennifer Davick for Southern Living
The second table has a different feel. I like the general feel of this BBQ Burger table except for the flower centrepiece. I would replace it with the pinwheel centrepiece.
photo: Pottery Barn
How and where will you celebrate this weekend? And if you created an innovative design for your Fourth of July celebrations, make sure to send me the details.
Let’s face it, the easiest way to throw a BBQ is to serve burgers. The preparation and the cooking is stress-free. Plus, it is affordable. Everyone loves a good burger. You can be creative with your recipes. Chefs elevated the burgers with new recipes. There are a lot of ways for you to make your burger feels special. My husband and I cook our version of the Parisian burgers.
Event planner Marla Brown designed last month a beautiful Burger BBQ Party tablescape for her Party of Month column on the blog of HGTV.ca. A hydroponic wheat grass runner brings a fresh look and feel to your dining table. The wheat grass delivers form and function. You can easily stick items on the wheat grass to create your centerpieces, to serve appetizers on skewers, hold the condiment containers and for dessert, to display tons of fresh fruit skewers or cake pops.
Repetition is key. To will achieve a refined look by using the same containers for all your conditions. The containers do not have to be expensive to look stylish but keep in mind the easy access to the various condiments before selecting which container will are going to use.
For more tips on how to do your own version, watch a video about the making of this burger BBQ party. Marla shared excellent tips that will make it easy for you.
+ Summer Burger Party Theme from Style Sheet, the blog of HGTV.ca
+ Photos by Christine Kufske
I love Sunset magazine. I discovered it a few years ago while we were in San Francisco or Los Angeles. There was a copy in our hotel room. I was hooked. Every week, Sunset organized a Celebration Weekend outdoor exhibit at their headquarters. They have activities for all members of the family, food and drinks demonstrations, beautiful gardens and a product exhibit. It is definitely on my to-do list for next year.
If you are not too far from the Menlo Park area this weekend, plan a day at Sunset Magazine Headquarters. Watch this video with footage of the 2010 edition.
+ See the lineup of Celebration Weekend 2011
You can’t go wrong with BBQ gears for Father’s Day. And there are so many cool stuff out there that I wish to give you a head start with my BBQ product suggestions.
These are for the dad who has everything and likes gadgets. The first item is a charcoal grill meat and seafood humidifier. You fill the cast-iron boxes with water, beer, wine, juices or other liquid. Steam is released as you cook the meat or seafood. It will add moisture and will infuse food with flavors. As one buyer suggested in his review, oil them after cleaning to keep the cast-iron boxes from rusting.
Another gift idea is a wireless grilling thermometer. The one at Williams-Sonoma lets you monitor roasting meats and poultry from up to 150 feet away. It comes with 7 pre-programmed settings that you can custom to your liking.
BBQ at the Beach or the Park
A picnic is an old-time favorite activity for parents with young children. Therefore, why not buy a portable grill for dad? I love the charm of the beach-side grill. Otherwise, small charcoal grill may be more handy since they do not take too much small on the trunk of your car. My favorite is the colorful Fyrkat picnic grill by Bodum. I want it for myself. Bodum makes a good looking Charcoal Chimney Starter.
The Notebook grill can be transported flat. You carry it in a shoulder bag. Therefore, it is wonderful when you are walking to the park. The Smokey Joe by Weber has great review.Visually, it is not too far from the Bodum model, except that it only comes in black. Lastly, if your dad prefers a portable gas grill, I heard good things about the Cuisinart 12,000 BTU tabletop grill or the Weber Q-100 propane gas grill.
+ Charcoal Companion Moistly Grilled Cast Iron Grill Humidifier $19.99 USD on sale at Sur la Table
+ Wireless Remote Grilling Thermometer $59.95 USD at Williams-Sonoma
+ Beach-Side Grill $149.99 USD at Sur la Table
+ Bodum Fyrkat 13.4-Inch Portable Charcoal Grill, Orange $59 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Bodum 11359-16 Fyrkat Charcoal Chimney Starter $24.90 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: Paramount Notebook Grill $49.99 CAD at Home Depot Canada
+ For Americans: HotSpot Notebook Portable Charcoal Grill $35.96 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Gold Charcoal Grill $34.70 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Cuisinart CGG-200 12,000-BTU Tabletop Propane Gas Grill $169.95 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Weber 386002 Q 100 Portable Propane Gas Grill $134 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
Have you ever thought about grilling watermelon on your BBQ? I didn’t until I saw this picture of watermelon au poivre. It looks delicious.
I noticed when I flipped the pages of the latest BBQ cookbook from Weber that they want us to cook almost everything on the grill, including desserts. You can find on Weber’s Website recipes for Stuffed Brioche French Toast, Grilled Banana S’mores and Apple Cake with Cinnamon Sugar.
+ Watermelon au poivre recipe – photo: Johnny Miller for The Wall Street Journal
+ For Americans: Weber’s Way to Grill by Jamie Purviance $14.67 USD [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: Weber’s Way to Grill by Jamie Purviance $17.24 CAD [affiliate link]
August is about Camping and Cottaging on Style Sheet, the blog of HGTV.ca. For my monthly column, I gave it a modern twist. I am particularly proud that every item shown on the article is available in Canada. With a little digging, you can find cool products in this country.
My biggest challenge with this post was to select items for my short list. I was surprised by all the good stuff that is out there. My two favorite items are the Kayu teak table and benches and the affordable Notebook Grill. This BBQ grill is a cheaper option to the Eva Solo Table grill. And I cannot ignore the beautiful Lighthouse oil lamps designed by Christian Bjørn.
+ Read more at Kim Vallee: Modern Style at the Cottage
I was in awe when I saw those grown up pops. I love Campari. And with the hot weather – it will be another 35ºC (94°F) today – everyone is craving for ice pops. I will definitely make my batch of Campari Citrus Ice Pops for a BBQ. You will find on Zested the recipe for Campari ‘n Grapefruit pops and for Campari ‘n Orange Pops.
And then, I saw another recipe by Liz Vidyarthi of Zested. This time, she made a Campari sorbet. She did not stop there, she fashioned them as orange for an ultimate chic look. Divine!
+ Campari ice pop recipes – photos by Liz Vidyarthi for Zested
+ Campari sorbet recipe – photos by by Liz Vidyarthi for Mowielicious
If you are looking for something different to grill on your BBQ, why not get inspired by Asian cooking. I would serve the Five-Spice Chicken Noodle Salad into a big bowl placed on a tray. And the tray will also hold the bowl of Chile Lime Dressing. Serving the dressing in individual bowls will be aligned with how they serve food in Japanese restaurants.
And talking about Japanese food, you can’t go wrong if you serve Japanese Tofu Skewers on Soba. It’s healthy! You alternate the nigari tofu with alternating with green onions and shiitake mushroom caps.
These two recipes appeared on the June 2010 issue of Sunset magazine. You will find drink pairings by Sara Schneider online. And they proposed three more delicious Asian grill recipes.
+ Photography by Annabelle Breakey – food styling by Karen Shinto for Sunset magazine
When I showed the pictures of the Jalapeño Pepper Roaster to my husband, he immediately exclaimed : I want it! He knows how to make me happy. The Jalapeño Peppers roaster at Williams-Sonoma caught my eyes not just for his intended purpose. I feel that I could use it as a server for cone shaped food. You could add the Jalapeño Pepper Corer to ease the prep stage.
+ Jalapeño Pepper Roaster $19.95 USD
+ Jalapeño Pepper Corer $9
The contemporary patterns on these rice bowls are superb. Coordinate them with the dot bowls and the square dishes to create a fun dinnerware set for entertaining. They would work well to serve tapas.
You could use the excuses that it is Father’s Day to buy those for your significant others. The glossy green porcelain enamel charcoal grill has an easy-touch gas ignition and one-step cleaning system with removable ash catcher. And it’s just not no-fuss, it’s cute!
+ Rice bowls $5.95 USD
+ Dot dishes $1.95
+ Square dishes $3.95
+ Weber Green Performer Grill $329.95
I will go to Boston next week. Before my trip, I started to look at what is new at my favorite kitchenware and tableware shops, that we do not have here in Montreal. For sure, the Stainless Steel Smoker Box will be sitting inside the trunk of my car when I returned home.
You see, my husband does not want to get a charcoal grill since we live in a row house. He is right; the smoke would not be kind to the neighbors. But as many foodies, I wish to infuse a smoky flavor to our BBQ dishes. The smoker box is a good compromise. And to my delight, it is dishwasher-safe.
With Father’s day a few week away, I thought that it would make a delightful gift for dad. It is a gadget that he will use.
+ Stainless Steel Smoker Box $39.99 USD at Williams-Sonoma