Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Grilling with Price Chopper....Red, White and Blue Style

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification with #CollectiveBias for #PriceChopperBBQ  All opinions are my own. 

This Saturday was the 1st official day of summer and that means the BBQ and grilling season is here! This year I'm throwing a 4th of July party and I can't wait.  I haven't had one at my house in a couple of years, so of course I want to go all out.
But "going all out" doesn't mean having to spend a ton of money.  Price Chopper is a great place to get everything you could possibly need for a fun summer of grilling without breaking the bank.  I'm thinking some Certified Angus Beef hamburgers and hot dogs are on the top of the list.

I'm big into "themed" parties, you can ask anyone who knows me.  So naturally I plan to do everything in my power to  Red, White and Blue  my whole BBQ. This will be my practice for the actual party, decide what will work, what won't and what I can add.

First, I've gotta head out to Price Chopper with my list and coupons in hand.   When walking into the store I always stop at the iSave kiosk, scan my AdvantEdge card and print out even more savings.

Another way to save at Price Chopper besides their low prices, specials and coupons is on gas.  Just by shopping and using your AdvantEdge card you earn points towards discount off every gallon  (up to 20) at a participating gas stations.   Also, each week there are usually bonus items that earn you even more Fuel AdvantEdge points.  So, keep your eyes peeled for those bargains as well.  (every little bit helps)

Ok, now that we've got that all squared away, it's time to get shopping!
Walking through the produce section I'm grabbing some must have grilling veggies.   Corn on the cob, onions and ripe tomatoes are always a "given" at my BBQ's.

Next, it's on to the meat department.. by far my husband's favorite stop in any grocery store.    He insists on only buying Certified Angus Beef hamburgers and steaks.  I'm picking out hamburgers for our BBQ but getting a couple steaks to have for ourselves as well.   Can't pass up a great looking steak.

For the hot dog lovers in the group (me included) we are going to try these new Hillshire-Ball Park Park's Finest hot dogs.  They are all natural 100% beef and come in several different varieties.  I'm going to try the Cracked Dijon Mustard and Slow Smoked Hickory.  They sound like they'd have a great flavor.    

While at the store I picked one of these FREE Grilling Guides.   It's full of tips, tricks, do's, don'ts, recipes and more.  I suggest you grab one for yourself, it's helpful to have handy at any time of the year.

I also suggest you check out some of Price Choppers' social media sites they're a great place to get ideas and see what Price Choppers is up to.

* Price Chopper on Facebook 
* Price Chopper House of BBQ on Pinterest
* Price Chopper on Twitter
* Price Chopper on Instagram
* Price Chopper on YouTube 

Now that I have the meat all picked out it's time for the fun stuff, side dishes, drinks and can't forget about the desserts!

Now the fun part....... EATING.
I sent my husband Chris to man the grill with the burgers and dogs while I got working on setting up the table, drinks, side dish and brownies.
I'm in love with the mason jars. (Of course it's an idea I got off Pinterest) It's so easy to just grab and go at a picnic, everything you need all together. Glass, utensils, napkin and even a red, white and blue straw.
The Betty Crocker Suddenly Pasta Salad is an easy dish to add to any BBQ table.   Just boil the pasta add the seasoning packet, mayo and you've got a great pasta salad everyone will love.  Doesn't hurt it's flavored with bacon, I mean who doesn't love bacon?

On to the fun stuff where I can really make the Red White and Blue  shine the drinks and the dessert.   
First of all I'd have you know the drink is more of an experiment.   I got the idea I wanted red, white and blue ice cubes and what better way then using Gatorade.  (on sale for 77cents each this week at Price Chopper)  I thought adding them to some plain seltzer water would give some flavor and fizz while being all patriotic at the same time.   This has to be tweaked a little.   The Gatorade ice cubes needed to stay in the freezer longer, the seltzer water needed to be colder.   I'll give myself an "A" for effort. It did taste good.   But you get the idea I was going for, right?  

Now that the burgers and dogs are ready, they need to get the red white and blue treatment as well.   This took some thought.  The red and white part were easy, but the blue was a challenge.   I thought of bleu cheese, as a play on words but I don't really like bleu cheese (only bleu cheese dressing with my buffalo wings)  So I wracked my brain and came up with dying the mayo blue.   I know, it's a bit over the top but it's fun and I know everyone will get a kick out of it.

This is my plate, burger was delish, hot dog was AMAZING.   I didn't eat it on a bun (trying to be good and not go total carb overload) but it was so flavorful you don't need a bun, ketchup, mustard or anything else.

Thomas wanted to try both the hot dog on a bun and a hamburger, but he prefers chips to any kind of pasta salad.  I love the cute hot dog baskets I found, can use them for anything.

Last but not least.... it's DESSERT time!   I made the Betty Crocker brownies, but to give them the
red, white and blue treatment.   I bought some Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and the very nice lady at Price Chopper's bakery department sold me some of their patriotic sprinkles they use on their baked goods.

After the brownies were baked and cooled, I put a couple spoon fulls of the frosting into a pastry bag, microwaved it for just a few seconds so it would be easy to drizzle over the brownies.  Topped them with the sprinkles while the icing was still soft and there ya have it..... Brownies fitting any 4th of July party.

There ya have it... my test run 4th of July picnic.    Hope I gave you some inspiration for your summer grilling or BBQ.  Whether it be for the a patriotic party or just a Sunday Funday with your family and friends it's all about spending time together.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Easy D.I.Y. Distressed Pallet Flag......Just in time for 4th of July. #MadeByYouMonday

Happy Monday!  Only another day and a half of school left for my Thomas and then....."school's out for summer." (sung in my worst Alice Cooper impersonation.)   I'm excited for this summer. Vacations at the beach, day/weekend trips, BBQ's with family and friends, golf , hanging out in the sun by the pool and did I mention THE BEACH?

Before I get all sidetracked thinking about the beach, I want to share with you a DIY project I did this weekend.  So quick, so easy and so cheap it was practically free.

I've had this old pallet laying around for probably a year now.   I picked it up down the street from my house in the parking lot of a local business.   I knew when I snagged it I wanted to make it into something cool. I just didn't know what.   I see a lot on Pinterest  of what people make and do with these old pallets,  it's amazing!
I got my inspiration from wanting to do a project for my upcoming 4th of July party. Plus there's a spot on the front of my house that's had the same twig wreath for years and it was way over due for a change.   (Look at me, killin two birds with one stone.)

Supplies Used:
~1 pallet (FREE)
~1 each red, off white, blue paint and black paint - (bought craft paint from Walmart for 50 cents each)
~1 package of assorted sized wooden stars (bought at Joann's Fabric and Crafts with a 50% off coupon. paid only $2.00) 
~1 package of assorted paint brushes (bought at Walmart, $2.47 for a set of 3)
~Nail Gun
My total cost was $6.47 but most of us have paint and brushes in our craft supplies. I happened to only have foam brushes at the time and had just thrown out all my old paints.

I don't know why I bought 2 each of the red, white and blue paint.  I guess I got a bit carried away when I saw they were so cheap, plus I didn't think I was going to go with the distressed look when I started out. No worries, they won't go to waste.   I have plenty of ideas to use up the rest of the paint.

You'll have to forgive my photography skills.  I get a bit wrapped up in my projects and forget to snap good pics as I go along.   I'm trying.    This one is so easy, a step by step tutorial isn't as necessary.

First thing I did was have my husband cut the bottom 3 slats off the pallet so it had more of a "flag" shape. Pallets come in all different sizes and shapes, some are more of a square.

To get the distressed look, I painted the blue square and stripes of the flag using a very light hand and very little paint, like a dry brush technique.  

Next I had "roughed" up the stars before painting them.  I used a rock from my driveway, just so they weren't so smooth looking.    After painting them with the cream color, I dry brushed black paint to distress them a little.

Then I had my husband nail them to pallet.   (I did pick out 13 stars but dropped one on the ground and didn't notice til I was all done....shhhh, don't tell)

.....and there ya have it!  Quick, easy and cheap!  My 3 favorite things about any project.


I'm linking up this #MadeByYouMonday over at  
You should go check out her site, it's an amazing place for all things creative.