Archive for the ‘4th of July’ Category

Table Settings: Red, White and Blue

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Summer officially starts on Sunday and soon after we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July! Start planning your patriotic decor and Americana themes for your entryway, outdoor spaces and of course, your table settings. Here is a little tablescape inspiration for celebrating Independence Day in true red, white and blue fashion.

4th Of July

Decorating for this summer holiday is simple, really. Red placemats can be found almost anywhere, and you can pick up colorful or patterned ribbon at your local craft store to tie napkins, accent glass vases or create festive place cards.

The American flags bring the look of this dining room together, and you can add them to a floral centerpiece arrangement or place them in holders around the table.

Dining Rooms

We love the retro-chic vibe of these patterned placemats, napkins and color coordinated serveware.

If you’re thinking it may be a little too bold, remember that food and the room itself will tone down the starkness of any pattern; the white plates and neutral surroundings even out the look.

The pillar candles and holders are great as accents – they are not too over the top but add aesthetic appeal for just the right amount of Americana spirit.

Summer Cottage

Of course, if you decorate in the Americana style all year long, you will have no problem creating a perfectly patriotic dining space. USA wall art, classic country chairs and traditional patriotic colors never go out of style.

This is a great example of using red, white and blue in subtle ways: the country windsor chairs are a comfortable blue, while the beautifully finished white table makes the red flowers pop, especially in the sunlight.

To expand the look, patriotic-themed chair pads and a charming table runner are must-haves, although we think this dining room is spectacular just the way it is.

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Most importantly when creating a beautiful tablescape: don’t skimp on the details! Extra flair with ribbon, flower petals, paper stars and the like really turn any event into a welcoming celebration. Americana tapers add sparkle, and seasonal curtains can complete the look in an otherwise decoratively bare room.

How do you decorate your dining spaces for the Fourth of July, or with an Americana theme?

We’re celebrating this season in more ways than one: check out our entertaining ideas and related articles, patriotic decor and our made in the USA sale to make this holiday and the rest of the year extra festive.

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Tasteful Tuesday: 4th of July Favorites

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

This week we have rounded up some variations of favorite recipes for your 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Since you’ll likely be on the go and socializing with friends and family, these dishes are easy to serve and easy to eat, and taste just as good the day (or days) after if you find yourself bringing leftovers home. Let us know if you try any of these recipes, and share with us your favorites for celebrating the 4th of July.

Honey Mustard Chicken Sliders - via ShutterbeanSliders
Sliders are an excellent option to have at any party or get-together. They don’t have to be served as a sit-down meal like a hamburger or sandwich, and they pair well with many other dishes that you serve or that your guests bring. We found a chicken slider recipe that is sure to please even the youngest or pickiest eaters at your barbecue. Prepare them just as this recipe instructs, or prepare the chicken the same and set out a variety of toppings for your guests to choose on their own.

Honey Mustard Fried Chicken Sliders – via Shutterbean

Pasta Salad
We can’t go all summer without having one or two different pasta salads – and the 4th of July is a perfect time to debut a new recipe or stick with your favorite. Crisp vegetables, creamy cheeses, flavorful dressings, endless pasta possibilites; it’s nearly impossible to end up with a pasta salad that isn’t delicious. We’ve featured a delectable BLT Pasta Salad recipe here on our blog that showcases our love for the classic BLT sandwich (with chicken), but if you want to stick with just vegetables we have the perfect suggestion for a flawlessly delicious pasta salad.

Colorful Spiral Pasta Salad – via Taste of Home

Pound CakeFor Dessert
There are many excellent red, white and blue themed desserts on various blogs and in cookbooks, but we’ve chosen to stay simple and classic with a pound cake recipe. Pound cakes are relatively versatile as far as toppings go, although for the 4th we recommend using strawberries and/or raspberries with blueberries on top of whipped cream. If you have a family or favorite recipe for whipped cream in your collection, combine it with our Caramel Pound Cake recipe (just skip the icing part) and add the berries last. Or, check out the following recipe for an all-inclusive pound cake with whipped cream.

Berry Pound Cake with Whipped Cream – via Delish; Martha Stewart

Red, White & Blue Sangria - via Noble PigTo Drink
This just may be our favorite category. We’ve featured many great drink recipes to keep you refreshed on a hot summer afternoon and during summer barbecues, and the 4th of July is no exception. Our Lemon Iced Tea and Strawberry Lemonade are perfect for guests of all ages, and complement most summertime barbecue foods. We’ve also compiled a list of three perfect summer coolers for all tastes and ages to add more variety to your beverage cart. We couldn’t forget about a red, white and blue beverage, though, so we found a perfect Sangria recipe that will fit in with your patriotic themed party this weekend. Enjoy!

Red, White & Blue Sangria – via Noble Pig

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Who is Uncle Sam, Anyway?

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Wondering who Uncle Sam really is? We did some research into this iconic United States figure and here is what we found, courtesy of the History Channel:

Uncle Sam at SturbridgeOn September 7, 1913, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812. Wilson stamped the barrels with “U.S.” (for United States), but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” Local newspapers picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained nationwide acceptance as the nickname for the United States federal government.

In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast started to popularize the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today.

Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg. In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.

In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.”

There you have it, straight from the historians themselves!

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