Friday, August 04, 2006

party theme suggestions?

Dear Loyal Three Tart Readers,

Mr. Tart and I need some ideas! We're hosting a Labor Day party but want to create it around some kind of food theme. We're thinking about grilling, but aren't feeling inspired--we do brats and turkey dogs and rosemary-balsamic veggies all the time, kebabs are a lot of work at the last minute (can't leave the meat in the marinade too long, lots of impaling required), burgers seem prosaic. We need a gimmick! (And it has to appeal to kids under age four as well as grown-ups, including a hostess who doesn't eat much meat.)

What would your ideal Labor Day BBQ involve? Please help us plan!

7 Comments:

Blogger apnea mom said...

What about a fajita/soft taco bar? You could marinade a flank steak and some chicken breasts. Grill them up then while they rest cook the veggies in an iron skillet on the grill. Slice up the meat and serve with pre-prepared sides - guac, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream. Maybe throw in some mexican rice, a cold black bean and you are golden.

7:53 PM  
Blogger lis said...

look at all of this planning! you're so ahead of schedule. i think i won't be much help because when i think about bbq, i always want steak. i like the fajita idea, though. you could fancy up some burgers--they don't have to be prosaic, right? and you can have a non red meat option for yourself. epicurious has a feature on bbq right now, including recipes for burgers.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Oooh, and/or grill fish for fish tacos (fish fajitas!)? (That would be easier than the fish kabobs I was considering earlier.) Thanks for the ideas!

2:52 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I am new to Three Tarts - having just stumbled along your site today - but I can never pass up the opportunity to spout my party planning ideas. (I love to party and rarely have the time to do it, though I've been craving a luau for quite some time now and those people at www.orientaltrading.com are out to get me!)

Anyway - the theme for a labor day party should be simple. You could grill your favorites but throw in an asian theme with teryaki maranades, mandarin orange/spinach salad w/ sesame dressing, crushed peanut coated shrimp kebabs (can do the night before) and all that. Decorate with paper parasols turned up-side-down on the table and fill with chips for dipping and serve scorpion bowls (make virgin for the kiddies w/ fruit punch and pinapple juice because they love the fancy straws and drink umbrellas). Liberally use water chestnuts, mandarin oranges, pineapple, soy sauce, pad-thai noodles, wontons, chow mein noodles or crushed peanuts in your usual grilling menu..mmmm I'm getting hungry!

Anyway - to make an overly long comment short - first figure out a fun theme and then associate food with it - it's much easier!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by and suggesting such wonderful ideas. Now I have images of hula dancers flitting through my head and I'm mentally decorating the backyard with tiki torches. This might work, because as some of the most loyal Three Tarts readers know, the fourth orginal Tart--back from when we met in grad school--is our Gary, a middle-aged Chinese-Hawaiian poet. Let's raise a wasabi peanut to Gary, everyone.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Update: We're going to do a Carribean-themed dinner. We'll grill "island" burgers (with jerk spices served with mango salsa) and pineapple, serve my slushy watermelon mojitos, and play reggae music. The guests will provide the sides and desserts, hopefully thematically. And we'll throw in tiki torches too, just for the heck of it!

9:17 PM  
Blogger lis said...

sounds like a fabulous party, Sarah.

8:25 PM  

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