Celebrating America from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Happy Summer! Just a few of my favorite things about summer: A more relaxed schedule. No school, no bagged lunches to prep, no homework. Later nights and kids sleeping in. Sunshine & warm weather. This also means longer days with after dinner walks, time at the lake & pool, and vacation. Speaking of, we recently returned from a week at Lake Michigan and road tripping out west, and I’m in total denial that school resumes in 3+ short weeks.
Summer is also a time to celebrate America’s birthday and our servicemen and women who make the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country the land of the free and home of the brave. And with a more relaxed schedule, it’s the perfect time to gather friends and family to celebrate.
This summer, for a patriotic themed post for Tree Classics, I festooned a flocked white Christmas tree with red white and blue paper fans that I found at Pottery Barn on super clearance. Seriously, $5 for a box of 8 instead of the normal $25. Woot!
Then I tied the patriotic theme through to the food table. In my opinion, the buffet table is the perfect place to start decorating. Food is the centerpiece of any party and with some fun napkins, a table runner and flowers or candles and you’ve got an instant party. I recently found cute paper coasters & straws in the Target dollar bins. If you throw a lot of parties or like holiday decorating, Target’s dollar bins are great.
When planning food, I often start by looking through my Ina Garten recipes—she’s truly one of my favorites. She entertains often and gives great advice for party planning like a pro. Because I like traditional with a twist, I chose her homemade French onion dip recipe with caramelized onions. So good! Note, it’s worth watching the video because Ina mixes everything in a food processor instead of a stand mixer as the directions suggests. I think a food processor is easier than a mixer because it can be difficult to get the right consistency when creaming the cream cheese in a stand mixer. Finally, serve with something colorful such as Terra chips. The red, “white,” and blue chips add a bit of holiday flare and the vegetable chips make snacking feel healthier.
For drinks, I often keep things simple with water and iced tea and or lemonade. But, if you’re looking for something with a bit of kick, try this Lemonade Champagne Punch. To me, lemonade says summer & champagne says celebration and they taste great together. I used frozen concentrate pink lemonade, ginger ale, regular vodka, and champagne. All things I had on hand (champagne was leftover from a previous New Year’s). I love when I can save a little money by shopping my pantry.
So that’s it. Some festive décor, good food & friends makes for a great patriotic celebration. I would love hear how you plan to celebrate the this summer—from food to décor!