Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Campfire Campout

Summer is the time for campouts, so I knew camping would be the perfect theme for my August monthly dinner.  On top of that, our family had a weekend camping trip planned for the weekend before my dinner, so I already had camping on the brain.  Of course, this was not the greatest planning on my part as I ended up creating and cooking everything the day of the party without the weekend to prepare!!  I think it turned out great though.

Invite:  I kept it simple with this invite.  My other ideas were to make a S'More out of card stock and have the white marshmallow fan-fold out with the party details on it....ran out of time for that.

Entry Decor:  My husband nailed together some plywood to make an A-frame which we threw a tarp over as a makeshift tent.  A fun way to enter.  I also made a sign out of wood for our Campfire Cookout and set out a rolled sleeping bag and lantern by the tent.  For a last minute job...not bad.

Decor:  I set the table with a brown tablecloth and a couple of matching camping lanterns.  The fire centerpiece I made using paper towel rolls that I covered in brown packaging paper and painted lines to look like wood.  Then just tissue paper flames.  I used plastic paper plate holders that we use for picnics/camping (yeah...less dishes!) at each place setting.

On each plate, I made a tent out of a green napkin using a hole punch and cut up wooden skewers.  I rolled the plastic silverware in a second black napkin to look like a sleeping bag inside.

As a place card, I made a book of matches with each guest's name on them. The photo is the front of the matches.  The back had the date of our monthly dinner as well as a pretend strike swipe.  Inside each matchbook, I made pretzel matches.  The girls gobbled these up before dinner..they were yummy and hard to resist!!

We enjoy wine at our monthly dinners, but I didn't think my fancy wine glasses would go well with a camping theme!  Instead, I bought cheap mason jars from Target and added a strip of gingham fabric with a twine tie, and a leaf wine charm made with my Cricut machine. I also had water bottles which I made a simple label for using Microsoft Word.

Menu: My monthly dinners are usually nicer food, so I didn't want to do hot dogs or a generic camping food.  I chose to make hot wraps instead.  I called these Sleeping Bag Chicken Wraps to fit with the theme.  They were easy to make and delicious.  I will definitely make these again and recommend the recipe.

Sleeping Bag Chicken Wraps

1 package Tyson's Grilled and Ready Chicken Strips (or your own chicken grilled and cut in slices)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup light ranch dressing
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped romaine lettuce
Tortilla Strips (mini, found in the salad section)
Large Tortillas (any flavor)

Cook up the Tyson chicken strips according to the package. Mix together the barbeque sauce and ranch in a small dish; set aside.  Place your tortilla on a plate and fill with lettuce, cheese, tortilla strips, chicken, and then drizzle barbeque ranch over the top.  Wrap the tortilla and secure with a toothpick.

I also served baked beans and corn on the cob.

...and watermelon cut in triangles to resemble a tent.  For the menu tags, I just cut a piece of wood in a rectangle, put the card stock tag on top, wrapped a piece of gingham around it and stapled it in the back.  Simple.

For dessert, we of course roasted S'Mores, so I had a small S'more station set up outside.  I used camping chairs to surround our fire pit and added my kids' mini play tent to the decor. It was nice to move outdoors for roasting and visiting.  By the way, if you haven't tried a Reece's peanut butter cup in place of regular chocolate on a S'More, you are seriously missing out!! Delicious!

I also had a plate of Inside-Out S'More Brownies.  Aagain...yummy!

Favor:  As each guest departed our camping trail, I gave them a small treat. I made small logs out of toilet paper rolls (same as the fire centerpiece), and filled each log with a treat bag of trail mix.  The tag wished them Happy Trails.

This was a great party, and we all had a very fun time chatting, roasting marshmallows, etc. As usual, if you would like any of the tags, labels, etc, just comment below.  I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!