American Day-Themed Parties: Tips For Cooking a Mouth-Watering Steak

It’s a trite, but often repeated saying: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So why, when a special occasion comes around, do we buy endless ties and “message” T shirts? Is the way to his heart through his clothes? Not likely. It’s the stomach, people, and that means good food. For many men and women alike good food comes in the form of a great steak.

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Photo Credit: Williams Sonoma via Pinterest

So what if you’re not a steak eater, or you eat it only in restaurants and the thought of purchasing a raw slab scares you to death? Fear not. It’s not that complicated, really. Even a caveman can handle this job. You can definitely throw a good old American themed party with good old steak and barbeque.

It’s important to know your cuts of meat before planning the menu. You don’t want to cook your guests a tasteless, tough piece of leather. You might not notice the difference, but let’s face it – they will. Since you’ll likely be grilling, it’s important to know the best cuts of meat for the grill.

You want to choose the most tender portions of meat for grilling. Experts generally consider these cuts of beef to be the best for grilling:

 – Rib Eye

 – T-Bone

 – Porterhouse

 – Strip steak (like New York steak)

If there is the word “loin” on the package, you’re in good shape, though most grill experts agree the T-bone is the most superior cut of beef for grilling. It stays tender and juicy, and is thick enough to withstand a fair amount of time on the grill without overcooking. Stay away from top round or anything with “round” or “chuck” in the name. These will not cook well on the grill. Flank steak and London broil can also be tough.

Next, it’s important to know how to choose a steak. Don’t just grab the first package that looks good to you. Look for some good marbling in the steak. Yes, this is another word for fat. But we’re not cooking for the dieter in the family on this special day, we’re trying to give dad a good steak, remember? Those little bits of fat scattered about the steak will essentially melt while the meat is cooking, giving the meat a rich and more tender flavor.

In that same vein, don’t trim the fat from your steak before cooking. It might be the diet book author in you coming out, but that thick layer of fat around your steak is what will give the steak a wonderful juicy quality and rich flavor. You can cook the steak, and then trim the fat, but cook the steak while it’s still dressed in its fat clothes. It’s worth it.

Do you need to buy a “name brand” steak? Experts say it’s not necessary, even though branded meat is a new commodity and becoming more widely available. Nor is it necessary to choose a steak from a butcher shop or from behind the glass window in the meat department at your local grocery store. Usually the pre-packaged steaks are the same you would get from behind the glass, and since the butcher is a dying breed, you could certainly go that route if you have a neighborhood butcher, but if not, a good quality grocery store will provide what you need.

Finally, it’s important to know your grades of steak.

 – Prime is the top grade, and it features the most marbling and is the most tender, but most of us don’t have access to this grade in mainstream grocery stores. This is often what you get in a restaurant.

 – Choice is the best grade most of us can get in the grocery store. But choice does not guarantee high quality as this grade encompasses meat that can be almost as good as prime, or almost as bad as select, our next grade.

 – Select beef is the leanest and least expensive beef and is the grade of beef most commonly found in your grocery store meat case. Since this is Father’s Day, try to find choice and splurge a little.

If you are unsure about your ability to pick up a good steak locally, consider ordering online and having fresh, high-quality steaks delivered to your door.

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DIY Halloween Props for Your Next Halloween Celebration

Halloween is just a few months away and the thought of being able to scare the kids around the area, and even their parents is just something to look forward to. However, spending too much on your scare props might be dangerous for your pockets. Aim to save but scare the neighborhood kids this Halloween by testing your handyman skills.

If you are the DIY type or you would want to explore this creative side of yours, starting with DIY Halloween props is the best way to start testing your creative juices. Here are some tips you can follow to transform your home and your backyard into a Friday the 13 fiasco this coming Halloween.

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Photo Credit: Home BNC via Pinterest

For starters, decide on which theme would you go for this coming Halloween. You can go with the usual skeletons, chopped torso and hands, flying ghosts, skulls, zombies, demons and witches. You can pump up the action with audio and lighting effects, or even with fog effects as you complete your spooky ensemble.

Clear your yard with hazardous items that may spoil the fun in scaring your neighbors. They may get too spooked and trip over stones and other items in your yard. Avoid accidents while enjoying frightening people.

One great Halloween prop idea you can do at home are floating spirits. Simply create a life-sized doll and have it in black. If you have an old mannequin lying around your attic, cover it with black paint or clothing. Dress it up with a long cape gown with a hood to look like a mysterious being cloaked in the night. Have several of these in your yard and you are assured that most of your neighbors would probably think twice stepping in your area during Halloween night.

Halloween pumpkins are also considered to be traditional Halloween decorations most houses have. To make yours unique and original from the rest, you can hang your pumpkins in a tree in your front lawn. Install electric candles or battery operated lights on the eye portion of your pumpkin to make it look fierce and scary most especially during night time.

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Photo Credit: Pikore via Pinterest

Your costume for Halloween is another important aspect to consider for you to be able to complete the look for the occasion. You can simply buy a mask and call it a day or create something even more interesting and scary for fright night. Test your make-up application tips by trying one of those “Attack on Titan” scary Titan look or paint your face to look like a skeleton or a deformed beast. There are a lot of make-up tutorial tricks you can view online. You still have a lot of time to practice and you’ll probably pull-off a monstrous look even without superb make-up skills to boot.

Stick with a simple and classic theme for your Halloween decorating ideas and see your talent flourish and bloom as you perfect the art of scaring this coming Halloween.

A Professional Party Planner’s Guide to Hosting an Oktoberfest Party

One of the most interesting and fun parties for adults these days are drinking parties. And one of the most popular of them all is the Oktoberfest. The popularity of the event has grown even bigger through the last few decades and is now celebrated in different places around the globe. People are generally coming in thousands to witness and experience the event, not only in Munich but all over the globe.

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Photo Credit: Google via Pinterest

While most adults would enjoy a fashionable cocktail party or have wine and cheese while chatting with friends, the fun that comes with Oktoberfest parties are just so entertaining, the event remains to be so enticing.

However, not all are lucky enough to be able to fund their vacation this October and be in one of the several Oktoberfest parties across the globe. But that alone is not enough to stop you from enjoying. You can actually throw an Oktoberfest party of your own right on your backyard or in a place preferred by you and your guests. Here are some professional planner’s tips on how to host an amazing Oktoberfest party that everyone will remember and be talking about.

Tip #1 – You will need way more ice for your Oktoberfest party than you think you will.  The standard rule of thumb is to have about a pound of ice per guest who will be in attendance.  However, I believe even a bit more is advisable. If the budget permits, hiring an ice machine would be a great idea.

Tip #2 – Oktoberfest party décor is a must.  Yu can hang a few colorful bon bons, giant sized beers ar buckets filled with ice and your favorite beer. You can practically check out Australia’s Parties Online for the perfect decorating pieces for this event.

Tip #3 – The most important part of your Oktoberfest party planning is making sure you have enough supplies on hand.  The most important of these supplies is your alcoholic beverages.  A good bar should be stocked with the ingredients for each of your friend’s favorite drinks, or as a basic level at least those used to make the most popular drinks of the day, plus beer and wine.  You can also ask guest to bring a bucket of beer so that you can have enough supply for your party. Food should also be put into consideration. Ask if guests can bring a kilo of meet each or any finger food that everyone would enjoy in the party. You can throw a BBQ party together with your Oktoberfest celebration to keep your guests full and entertained the whole time.

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Photo Credit: B Lovely Events via Pinterest

Tip #5 – When you are hosting a party where alcohol is consumed, you should always offer food and coffee to your guests as well as make sure they have a designated driver to get them home safely.  Please do not ever let your guests drink and drive.  It’s not safe for them and the other people on the road.  Letting them go home drunk is a party bummer so might as well invite your guests for an overnight event and have spare room or cushions available where they can crash after the party.

You can have an evening of adult fun and drinking and experience your own version of an Oktoberfest party without having to fly out the country with this useful party tips.

Organizing a Caped Crusader-Themed Party

Photo credit: Zach Copley via Flickr

Photo credit: Zach Copley via Flickr

There’s no doubt that one of the world’s most favorite superheroes is that Caped Crusader who actually doesn’t have any superpowers: Batman. As all his fans know he’s the alter-ego of Bruce Wayne and, through his genius and with tons of money at his disposal, he fashioned out not only his own suit but also his cool weapons, including that nifty Batmobile.

If your kid is celebrating his birthday soon and he’s a big fan of the Dark Knight, then organizing a Batman-themed party for him will surely make him a happy camper. Putting it together doesn’t really take much, just some time and sweat. To make the planning a lot easier, you can follow these tips:

Set the theme

Since it’s a themed birthday bash, the party venue has to look the part, meaning it has to have that environment that’s undoubtedly off a Batman scene, and what better way to decorate the venue than by making it look like Gotham City. Well, you don’t have to build miniature buildings to make the venue look like that fictional city. You can just have images of it printed out on large tarpaulins and hung on the walls. That’s one idea, anyway. You can also hang dangling plastic bats on the ceiling.

Make sure the guests come in their Batman costumes

This doesn’t mean that they’ll all come as the Caped Crusader. Some may come as one of the villains like The Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, or The Riddler. If you don’t want two people wearing the same costume at the party, you can put up a costume registry online wherein the first person that chooses a costume has it for himself and no one else can take it.

Be creative with the invites

When sending out invitations for the bash, you don’t have to give the persons you’re inviting the same design. Some invites may be shaped as a bat, while others can have the contour of the characters from the Batman franchise.

Have an exciting program

To make it more exciting, don’t just serve food. Organize a program that will feature riddles and puzzles to solve for the guests. Make sure to give away prizes that are also in keeping with the party theme.

Photo credit: Russ via Flickr

Photo credit: Russ via Flickr

Serve great food

Of course, what’s a party without good food? And since it’s a children’s party, you don’t have to go too formal with the culinary delights you’re going to serve. You can bake a Batman cake and give your little guests sweet treats to take home with them.

As long as you put your heart and time in it, putting together a Batman party can be a breeze.