4th of July Party Decorating Ideas

Fruit Salad Sailboat

A simple sail is all you need to transform a watermelon fruit salad into a seaworthy centerpiece.

Fruit Salad sailboat

Photo by BHG.com

Cut a triangle from ticking fabric and fold it in half over a dowel. Hot-glue the fabric along the dowel to secure and along the loose edges for a stiff sail.

 

Decorative Utensil Jars

Don’t bother setting the table — guests can grab what they need from these adorable, no-fuss utensil jars.

Decorative Utensil Jars

Photo by BHG.com

Simply decorate containers, like empty oatmeal canisters, by wrapping them with festive paper and securing with tape. Add an adhesive chalkboard label to send a fun message.

 

Roll and Wrap Place Setting
Make picnic prep a breeze with an all-in-one utensil holder and place mat. Fold the long end of a dish towel up until it becomes the size of a place mat.

Roll and Wrap place setting

Photo by BHG.com

Stitch or hot-glue the outer edges together. Insert utensils into the pocket, roll up, and tie with a separate ribbon.

 

Fair-Style Berry Cones
Use food to decorate the picnic table.

Fair-style Berry Cones

Photo by BHG.com

Form sturdy waxed paper into cones, securing with transparent tape. Fill each cone with blue or red berries to create a sweet treat and dazzling display all in one.

 

For more ideas on how to create an American Patriotic Picnic, log on to the Better Homes and Gardens website.

 

Watermelon Shark Recipe

Watermelon Shark recipe

Photo by Taste of Home©

Is it safe to go into the kitchen?  Yes!  Take a bite out of this watermelon and leave satisfied.

(However, you might need a bigger bowl… while you watch television episodes during Shark Week on Discovery.)

 

Yield: 32 Servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large watermelon
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) pineapple preserves
  • Swedish Fish candies, optional

 

Directions:

  1. Using a large sharp knife, cut off one end of the watermelon so that watermelon stands at an angle. Using a razor blade or small knife, score an opening for the mouth. With knife, cut out and remove mouth. Cut out triangles for teeth; remove rind from teeth.
  2. For shark fin, cut a triangle from removed rind; attach to shark with toothpicks. For eyes, attach two grapes with toothpicks.
  3. Remove fruit from inside watermelon; cut into cubes. In a large bowl, combine watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries and remaining grapes. Finely grate peel from oranges and squeeze juice. In a small bowl, mix preserves, orange juice and peel; add to fruit and toss gently.
  4. Stand shark on a platter. Fill opening with some of the fruit mixture; add a few Swedish Fish if desired. Serve with remaining fruit.

 

Nutritional Facts
3/4 cup (calculated without candies): 129 calories, 1g fat (trace saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 7mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein Diabetic Exchanges:1/2 starch, 1-1/2 fruit

 
Originally published as Watermelon Shark in Simple & Delicious June/July 2012, p8

 

No Churn S’mores Ice Cream — your homebased mom

Two of your favorite summer treats in one and no ice cream maker required!! No Churn S’mores Ice Cream is the perfect summer dessert. Summer means two things at our house s’mores and homemade ice cream. We have a fire pit in our backyard and we love having a fire and making s’mores on a…

via No Churn S’mores Ice Cream — your homebased mom

Chili-Rubbed Steak & Bread Salad Recipe from Taste of Home©

We love skirt steak in our house. To make it a meal, I created a ranch-inspired bread salad with the best flavor combinations – creamy, tangy, sweet and fresh. — Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut

Yield: 6 Servings

Chili-Rubbed Steak & Bread Salad

Photo by Taste of Home©

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 beef top sirloin steak (1 inch thick and 1-1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups cubed multigrain bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

 

Directions:

  1. Mix chili powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper; rub over steak. Let stand 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, toss bread cubes with oil. In a large skillet, toast bread over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, whisk salad dressing, horseradish and mustard.
  2. Grill steak, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat 6-8 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°). Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion and toasted bread. Add 1/2 cup dressing mixture; toss to coat. Slice steak; serve with salad and remaining dressing.

Originally published as Chili-Rubbed Steak & Bread Salad in Taste of Home June/July 201