It’s party time with graduation celebrations this month. Whether it is for the high school or college student in your life, take your focus off the stress and fuss and instead cherish the event as your own family’s fun experiences together. For many families and friends this may be the last time that they will see each other for quite a while and the time together is as important as the food served.
A great way to keep the event fun and easy is to let your graduate choose the theme for their party and help them to decorate for it. Today’s graduate has unique ideas on how to host get-togethers for their own friends and in the process will be learning the art of entertaining!
The food can have healthy themes that are subtle such as taking advantage of in-season summer fruits and throw in some exotic fruits along the for the party goers to try.
Every time you start to get complicated with the graduation party planning, ask yourself, how can I simplify my party ideas and allow more time for enjoying the day of the party.
One resource to turn to is the new Party Planner and Cookbook which includes family-friendly menu plans, grocery lists, step-by-step cooking instructions, decorating ideas and fun activities specifically for the younger generation.
Here is one of the party ideas from the planner to try for a party theme that goes along great with a graduation party!
NEIGHBORHOOD BLOCK PARTY
- SOFT TACOS APPETIZER
- PINK LEMONADE
- FRESH FRUIT KABOBS
- CONFETTI CAKE
- Pink lemonade mix or frozen concentrate
- Ingredients for soft taco appetizer
- Ingredients for fruit kabobs
- Box cake mix any variety
- Cake decorating materials
- Think of this as the “potluck” block party, ask each of the friends that you invite to bring either a main dish like macaroni & cheese, or a salad like pasta salad or Caesar salad.
- As the host you will provide the drinks, appetizer, and dessert. It will be fun to see the variety of food that will be brought. Usually, no one ever brings the same type of food!
- This is an outdoor party, so think about asking your guests to put on a talent show or outdoor concert with a few friends that may have started their own band.
- A water balloon toss can be fun if it’s a hot summer day.
- Another idea is to host this at someone’s house that has a pool and turn it into a pool party with music and lots of food.
Beefy Guacamole Soft Tacos
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
4 medium ripe avocados
1 cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
24 (6-inch) flour tortillas, heated in the oven
Fresh cilantro and chopped tomatoes for garnish
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the onion over medium heat until softened. Add the ground beef, and season it with salt. Cook, stirring and breaking the meat into uniform crumbles, until the meat is lightly browned and just cooked through. Drain the cooked beef well, and let it cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve. In a medium bowl, mash the avocados with a fork. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, chilies, lemon juice and cumin. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. Just prior to serving, stir the beef and onion mixture into the guacamole. Serve with the tortillas, cilantro, and tomatoes. Serves 16-14
Fresh Fruit Kabobs
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
2 medium apples, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 bananas, sliced 1 inch thick
16 seedless grapes
8 fresh strawberries, halved
Thread fruit onto 16 Popsicle sticks or to make 8 servings use larger meat kabob sticks or skewers. Makes 16.
Make a Confetti box cake according to directions. Frost cake with white icing so you can decorate it with colored sprinkles. Bake in a long rectangle pan so you can cut it into small squares to feed lots of people in the neighborhood.
- Invite all the neighbors by creating a summer party invitation on the computer and delivering them door to door 2-3 weeks ahead of time.
- Set up one long 6-8 foot table outside for all the food that everyone will bring. Cover with a brightly colored plastic table cloth.
- Set up a smaller table for the plastic cups, lemonade, paper plates, forks and napkins.
- Set up a variety of smaller tables, like card tables, picnic table, small TV tables and rounds so people can eat in a variety of places outside.
- Bring the music outdoors!
- Set up a croquette game, a badminton net and a water balloon toss area.
Source: Party Planner and Cookbook – 14 Theme Parties and Recipes for Today’s Young Hostess [Kindle & Nook Edition] by Gina Guddat