When the sweltering Florida heat is still sweltering, the kids are back in school and football season is upon you and you think to yourself, “Self! It is August and I need something creative and fun to keep me occupied until this weather breaks!” Well, it’s the perfect time for a “Paint and Sip” party in the garden.
It is time to channel your best Monet or Vincent Van Gogh. Gather your friends around and have a great time creating the best still-life painting you can imagine, with colorful flowers staged in your garden.
What? You don’t have a garden? Then plan all the details, gather all the supplies and take it to a friend’s garden or a local park. The lush garden setting is sure to inspire colorful works of art!
Invite guests to don their favorite hats for those hot and sunny Florida days. Provide the supplies they need to explore their creativity, such as paints, brushes, pencils and stencils (in case they need a little help getting started). As the host, you can also provide smocks as their party gift. They’re functional and can be used again!
If painting is not “your thing” then consider engaging the services of a local art teacher or art student to guide the session… the key is to have fun!
Food and beverages are very important for any occasion and should complement the theme. Consider keeping everything bite-sized and easy to grab. It is a garden party after all, so be sure to provide a variety of delicious tea sandwiches, pastries, fruits and an assortment of chocolate truffles from your favorite chocolatier (Thornebrooke Chocolates is our go-to!). Keep your guests refreshed with homemade lemonade or a refreshing cucumber mojito always within reach and this Paint & Sip party is sure to be the first of many!
Herbed Chicken Salad Sandwiches
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
10 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1. In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, green onion, tarragon, dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add chicken, raisins and almonds, stirring to combine.
2. Spread a thick, even layer of chicken salad onto 5 bread slices. Evenly divide cucumber slices among bread slices. Top each with remaining bread slice. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangular shapes.
Sparkling Cucumber Mojito
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 lengthwise slice of cucumber
1 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounces white or silver rum, like Bacardi
3 – 4 ounces club soda or sparkling mineral water
1 sprig mint for garnish
1. In a tall glass, muddle the 4 mint leaves with the simple syrup.
2. Place cucumber slices in the glass.
3. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the lime juice, rum and club soda. Stir to combine.
4. Garnish with a sprig of mint.