Cheers: Craft Beer at Great American Ballpark #GABPBeerChallenge

Here in Cincinnati, we are just a few days away from Opening Day of the new baseball season. At It’s Your Party Everyday, we are big fans of America’s past-time and bigtime Cincy Reds fans. One reason we love baseball is because you get the chance to sit back, enjoy the summer, and have a beer. And with the recent craft beer explosion (in particularly here in the ‘Nati) the Reds’ Great American Ballpark has added a whole slew of incredible craft beers with a focus on local brews.

image source - brewprof.com

image source – brewprof.com

In order to make sure that we enjoy this new feature to the fullest, IYPEveryday has created the #GABPBeerChallenge for Great American Ballpark. Below you can find our checklist to make sure you try each and every one of the newest options. (List is subject to change.)

**PARTYHACK: Track your beers on the mobile app Untappd where you can rate your faves & learn what new beers your pals are trying! You can even put these beers on a wish list to make sure you drink ’em all!**

Great American Ballpark Beer List – #GAPBBeerChallenge (for more info check out full articles at BetterOffRed, BrewProf, &  QueenCityFresh)

Approximate cost per craft beer: $9

Share this checklist with your friends – at the end of the baseball season give the person who drank the most different beers a prize (probably a 6-pack would be a pretty safe reward guess!).

image source - David Myers Photos via Wikimedia Commons

image source – David Myers Photos via Wikimedia Commons

As with all of our drinking games, be smart & be safe. Have a designated driver & drink plenty of water (especially in those dog days of summer where you can get dehydrated).

Find your reason to celebrate every day!

Cheers: Slow Cooker Drinks

It’s been a long winter filled with polar vortexes & snow days & ice storms & Southerners trapped in cars on the highway. What we all could use are some yummy cold weather beverages that allow for as much sled-riding, snowman-making, & napping in pajamas as possible. What we’ve got here are a couple of crock-pot-beverages that you can make & leave & come back to later!

Bourbon Citrus Sipper (inspired by Better Homes & Gardens)

6 cups apple cider or apple juice

image source - bhg.com

image source – bhg.com

1/4 cup sugar

9 inches of cinnamon stick

8 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds

1 large naval orange, sliced

1 medium lemon, sliced

1/2 cup bourbon

Place all ingredients (except orange, lemon, bourbon) to crockpot.  Cook at low setting for 4 hours or high setting for 2 hours.  Add orange & lemon slices. Cover & cook another 30 minutes. Remove non-liquid items. Add bourbon. Keep on low to keep warm.

Total approximate cost for host: $19

Crock-Pot Apple Pie Moonshine (inspired by the Crock-Pot Ladies)

image source - crockpotladies.com

image source – crockpotladies.com

1 gallon apple cider

1 liter Everclear alcohol

3 cinnamon sticks

Place cider & cinnamon stick in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Turn off & bring to room temperature.  Add Everclear. (If your crock-pot is not large enough, do this  in a large pot on stove). Pour into separate jars or bottles & place in a cool, dark place for 30 days.  Can be served warmed up or cold. Note that this is a VERY strong drink – serving size is a shot.

Total approximate cost for host: $10

We think it’s wonderful to prep a meal & leave it in our slow cooker all day, come home from work, & enjoy a home-cooked meal. The same logic applies to rewarding yourself with a yummy boozy beverage. Or make something special to share with friends at a future party!

It’s YOUR party – enjoy it!

Party For One: Oscars Party

So, it’s Red Carpet Sunday and you’ve decided to spend your Sunday night at home, away from the paparazzi to casually enjoy the 86th Annual Academy Awards. That doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate with class & fun (& comfort!).

image source - whatremainsnow.com

image source – whatremainsnow.com

Drinks

Nothing says The Oscars more than that golden statue. So of course, our chosen drink for the night will be golden! Much of the country will be covered in ice & snow for the Academy Awards this year, so why not choose something simple & shimmery, using ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

The Gold Rush (recipe inspired by thekitchn.com)

image source - thekitchn.com

image source – thekitchn.com

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons boiling water

1/2 cup bourbon

1 & 1/2 lemons juiced (about 4 ounces)

Pour honey into a small bowl. Pour in boiling water & whisk into a syrup. Whisk in lemon juice & bourbon. Place in fridge until ready to serve. Prep your glass with an ice cube or two. To serve, shake with ice & strain into glass. (Makes two drinks.)

Approximate total cost for host: $15 (if buying all ingredients new)

**PARTYHACK: One theory for how the Academy Award statue became known as “The Oscar” is that in 1931, Executive Director of the Academy, Margaret Herrick, said it reminded her of her Uncle Oscar & staff picked up the nickname & ran with it.**

Food

If you’re talking movies, we’re talking popcorn. Take that movie-watching snack-staple and gussy it up for Hollywood’s biggest night! Whether you make your popcorn in a popper or in the microwave, here are some ideas for cheap & easy ways to “dress up” your popcorn for this very special night! Seriouseats.com has lots of great ideas for making what we call “Fancy Pants Popcorn” but we’re posting our personal favorite – & if you’re celebrating by yourself, you don’t need to worry about garlic breath while giving your acceptance speech.

“Pesto” Cheesy Garlic Popcorn (recipes inspired by seriouseats.com)

image source - seriouseats.com

image source – seriouseats.com

1 ounce parmesan-reggiano cheese

1/4 cup parsley leaves

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine cheese , parsley leaves, garlic, & red pepper flakes in a food processor until finely ground. Drizzle melted butter over popcorn in a large bowl. Make sure that the popcorn is pretty well coated. Add the spice mixture & mix again to fully coat.

Approximate total cost for host: $10

Just because you’re at home watching Hollywood’s most glamourous night in your pajamas doesn’t mean that the evening can’t be special & all about you! Make all of those celebrities jealous of your fabulous night & fabulous night’s sleep!

Find your reason to celebrate every day!

Cheers: Girl Scout Cookies Drinks

It’s that time of year again: Girl Scout Cookie time! As former Brownies, the IYP staff is more than happy to support the Girl Scouts. We’re also more than happy to enjoy the yummy cookies!

image source - girlscoutsaz.org

image source – girlscoutsaz.org

We’ve noticed everyone social-media-sharing various articles pairing Girl Scout Cookies with beer and realized that everyone is looking for ways to kick their cookie-addiction up a notch. And since we’ve already shown you how to take plain ol’ milk & cookies & turn them into an adult beverage, we’ve decided to find out favorite grown-up variations of Girl Scout Cookies for you today.

If your favorite GS cookie is the Samoa:

Samoa Cookie Cocktail (inspired by KLUV.CBSlocal.com)

2 ounces chocolate liqueur

image source - fortheyum.com

image source – fortheyum.com

1 & 1/2 ounces caramel vodka

1 & 1/2 ounces Malibu Rum

1 ounce half & half

Shake ingredients in a chilled shaker & pour!

Total approximate cost for host: $28 (buying all ingredients new)

If your favorite GS cookie is the Thin Mint:

The Thin Mint Cocktail (inspired by thekitchn.com)

image source - thekitchn.com

image source – thekitchn.com

2 ounces chocolate-mint liqueur

1 ounce vodka

2-3 Dashes of coffee bitter of chocolate bitters

Ice

Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake it up & then strain into glass.

Approximate total cost for host: $24 (buying all new)

If your favorite GS cookie is the Tagalong:

The Tagalong (inspired from Thrillist.com)

2 ounces rum

image source - thrillist.com

image source – thrillist.com

3/4 ounce peanut rum creme

1/4 ounce vanilla creme de cacao

2 dashes mole bitters

Combine in a shaker with ice & then strain into glass. Garnish with a mini-spoon of peanut butter!

Approximate total cost for host: $30 (again, buying everything new)

If your favorite GS cookie is Do-Si-Dos:

Spiked Do-Si-Do Milkshake (inspired by SeriousEats.com)

image source - seriouseats.com

image source – seriouseats.com

2 & 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 & 1/2 ounce Frangelico

1/2 ounce gold rum

Nutmeg for garnish

Place all ingredients in blender. Mix until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape sides & make sure all is mixed properly.  Pour into glass & sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes two servings.

Approximate total cost for host: $26

image source - theshamesquad.blogspot.com

Which Girl Scout cookies are most popular?
image source – theshamesquad.blogspot.com

Invite your friends over for your favorite Girl Scout cookies & their favorite Girl Scout Cookies in drink form!

Find your reason to celebrate every day!

Pop Culture Drinking Game: 2014 Olympics Opening Ceremony

We’re going Olympics-crazy leading up to tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony (yesterday we gave you tips for your DIY Olympics Party). Olympics Opening Ceremonies are part PR, part national pride, part Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. There’s lots to laugh, cry, & drink over. Which is why our next Pop Culture Drinking Game (check out our PCDGs for Downton Abbey & The Bachelor as well) goes to the 2014 Olympics Opening Ceremony!

As with all of our PCDGs: feel free to drink at everything or pick two or three to do on your own or invite friends over & pick a couple for each person out of a hat!

2014 Olympics Opening Ceremony Drinking Game

Opening ceremony uniforms are notoriously terrible. Drink when folks are forced to wear white pants!

The US team's opening ceremony outfits designed by Ralph Lauren. image source - latimes.com

The US team’s opening ceremony outfits designed by Ralph Lauren.
image source – latimes.com

There are 85 countries participating in the Sochi Olympics & they’ll all be represented in the walk of countries. So drink when all of the countries with the same first letter runs out. (For example: the first “B” country is announced, the first “C” country is announced…)

Russia is a culturally proud country – but it’s unlikely they’ll have pop bands as recognizable to US ceremony watchers as London did 2 years ago (Spice Girls reunion! Pet Shop Boys!). We’ll probably see a focus on classical music and ballet. Which means you drink whenever you have never heard of the performer being introduced.

Spice Girls reunion from 2012 London Olympics! image source - enstarz.com

Spice Girls reunion from 2012 London Olympics!
image source – enstarz.com

All Opening Ceremonies involve pyrotechnics & dramatic lights & sets. One thing you can count on (drink for) = Fireworks!

Bob Costas will be introducing US viewers to participating countries for the 10th time. That doesn’t make it necessarily any easier. Drink whenever Bob mispronounces or stumbles over saying a country’s name.

image source - ecuatoguineano.com

image source – ecuatoguineano.com

Not all countries can have as large a delegation as the United States and China. Drink whenever a country is introduced with 5 or fewer delegates. (In fact, waterfall it & drink for the number of seconds up to 5 for each athlete.)

There are 89 different events held at this year’s Olympics. Choose one of the many sports featured at the Winter Olympics. Drink whenever an athlete mentioned participates in that sport.

Host countries use the opening ceremony to tug at the heartstrings. And nothing makes a country look more loving & precious than kids. Drink whenever children are involved in a performance.

Kids performing at London Olympics. image source - globaltimes.cn

Kids performing at London Olympics.
image source – globaltimes.cn

Let the night be full of celebration, whether you are alone or have guests & toast the beginning of another Winter Olympics!

Find your reason to celebrate every day!

Olympics Party

The Winter Olympics are upon us. And while those arriving in Sochi may not be celebrating their accommodations, you don’t have to have any of those problems & throw a party celebrating international athletes in the comfort of your own home.

Olympics Decorations

Remember our “hanging football chainlink sash” & how easy & cheap it was to make? Well that is our inspiration for our “hanging Olympic rings sash!”

image source - quizvale.blogspot.com

image source – quizvale.blogspot.com

The colors of the Olympic symbol are (in order from left to right): blue, yellow, black, green, red. So those are the colors of construction paper you need & ultimately that is the order you will want to put your colored rings in.

*PARTYHACK: The ringed symbol was designed in 1912 & featured colors (including the white background)of the flags of the countries that competed at that time.*

Cut the construction paper in half lengthwise. Cut into strips about 2 inches wide. Create the first link by connecting the ends of a blue strip & glueing or taping together. Now create a chain by building the next link (yellow looping into the blue) & so on. Now you can hang this at your food table on on your door to welcome folks.

List of supplies: blue, yellow, black, green, & red construction paper; scissors, double-sided tape

Approximate total cost for host: $9

Olympics Food

What’s more iconic to the Olympics than the gold medal? Everyone at IYPEveryday loves turning sweet foods savory & nothing looks more like a gold medal than that sweet breakfast staple the pancake.  Make your’s party-worthy by upping the savory & making your pancake out of yummy veggies. Potato pancakes are pretty common & easy, & zucchini pancakes are becoming more common. These start off with spaghetti squash which is available at most any grocery store & delicious & good for you!

Spaghetti Squash & Zucchini Pancakes (inspired by RufflesandTruffles.com)

1 cup cooked spaghetti squas

image source - rufflesandtruffles.com

image source – rufflesandtruffles.com

1 medium zucchini, shredded

1 egg

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

grated parmesan cheese

goat cheese crumbles

chopped tomatoes

Combine egg, flour, onion, & garlic. Gently add spaghetti squash & zucchini & some grated parmesan cheese. This is your pancake batter! (It will be pretty thick to start but will thin out as the squash releases moisture.) Butter or cooking spray a griddle or pan & bring up to medium heat. Drop pancake batter on griddle by the spoonful. You want it to be about a quarter inch thick. Cook 3-4 minutes, flip & cook for another 2 minutes. You want to serve them pretty soon but you can keep them warm in aluminum foil in the oven at the lowest setting possible. When you’re ready to serve, garnish with the goat cheese crumbles & chopped tomatoes.

Total approximate cost for host: $14

Olympics Drinks

Our final Olympic icon is the Olympic flame. We’ve decided to turn that into an event-worthy drink that you’ll definitely want to pass along!

image source - hardenphoto.wordpress.com

image source – hardenphoto.wordpress.com

*PARTYHACK: There are definitely some good rules to follow when lighting drinks on fire at home. Most important, blow out the flame before drinking! You should never try to drink the drink while it is on fire! For some more tips check out DrinkNation.com.*

Flaming 7-7 Drink (inspired from DrinksMixer.com)

2 ounces Seagram’s 7 Whiskey

12 ounces 7-Up

Pour the whiskey into a double-shot glass. Pour the 7-Up into a highball glass. Ignite the whiskey & drop into the highball glass of 7-Up. Stir & serve!

Approximate total cost for host: $14

Olympics Drinking Game

This drinking game is low-investment. You can come & go. You can watch whatever Olympic sports are your favorite. If you play it diligently, you will get drunk quickly. And the name explains it all: “Stick It or No?” This game works best for ice skating or gymnastics (we know that one is summer) but works even for ski jumps & things like that. Prior to a jump, each person yells out “stick it!” or “not!” & drinks if they’re wrong. This can also be translated into races by guessing who you think will will &if you guess incorrectly, you drink! Easy & you get to actually watch the sports & root for your faves.

Approximate total cost for host: $10 (that’s for a cheap 12 pack of beer!)

image source - baraboopubliclibrary.org

image source – baraboopubliclibrary.org

The Olympics only come around once every two years, so there’s plenty of reason to celebrate. While you watch others push their bodies to the limit so that they can win honor & glory, you can plan & host a party celebrating them that will bring YOU honor & glory!

It’s YOUR party – enjoy it!

Super Bowl Party Food

Okay okay – the Super Bowl was yesterday. But we love sports bar-party-food ALL THE TIME. So whether you’re drowning your Broncos sorrow or celebrating your Seahawks win, here are our Big Game recipes from last night. (BTW: We totally made some Buffalo Cauliflower Bites which IYPEveryday has already told y’all about.)

Taco Party Dip

16 ounces sour cream

image source - busyboldblessed.blogspot.com

image source – busyboldblessed.blogspot.com

8 ounces cream cheese

1 package taco seasoning mix

1/2 a head of iceberg lettuce (shredded)

2 small tomatoes (chopped)

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (use a different shredded cheese if you prefer)

Mix sour cream, cream cheese, & taco seasoning mix until smooth. Spread mixture on bottom of a shallow dish. Sprinkle lettuce, tomatoes, & cheese over top. (You can eat this with regular tortilla chips but we STRONGLY suggest using Doritos. The cheesy powder just puts the whole thing over the top.)(Oh – & add chopped up peppers or olives if you like those things too!)

Approximate total cost for host: $10

 Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip (from the FranksRedHot.com)

image source - franksredhot.com

image source – franksredhot.com

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce

1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Optional: top with blue cheese or shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a baking dish. Bake 20minutes or until heated through. Eat with tortilla chips or pretzels or the IYP Team’s choice: celery!

Approximate total cost for host: $12

In case you missed it we also gave out some of our favorite Super Bowl Party tips for decorations, drinks, & drink accessories. If you didn’t get to use them this year, save them all up for your Fantasy Football draft in the fall!

It’s YOUR party – enjoy it!