End-of-Summer Block Party with Pottery Barn: Part 2

Fuss-Free Finger Food and Fun DIY Activities for All
Filed Under > Everyday Entertaining

Outdoor entertaining ideas via @waitingonmarthaDIY paint and plant activity, @waitingonmarthaPottery Barn teepee at an end-of-summer block party, @waitingonmartha Healthy block party food ideas, @waitingonmartha DIY plant activity, @waitingonmartha Kids DIY ideas, @waitingonmartha Pottery Barn outdoor entertaining inspiration, @waitingonmarthaDIY paint & plant idea, @waitingonmarthaOutdoor entertaining essentials, Waiting on Martha Watermelon on popsicle sticks, @waitingonmarthaHow to host an end of summer block party, @waitingonmartha

Yesterday we invited you to join in on the fun at our end-of-summer block party with Pottery Barn. With great grub and fun activities for kids of all ages, who could ever say no to a carefree block party bash?  But I know what you’re thinking: it’s hot (like really hot) and hot doesn’t always work hand-in-hand with “carefree.”  As someone who’s already counting down until fall, I hear you.  But good news: it IS possible to keep the menu easy and light, while simple DIYs can keep even the busiest of bodies busy so you can enjoy a refreshing drink or two.  I think we can all cheers to that! 

When I set up our block party, I knew I wanted to keep things comfortable, casual and laid-back. That, of course, was thanks to PB’s cozy chairs, pillows and outdoor dining set, but it was also thanks to the fuss-free food we served: my take on The Cuban and pimento cheese and tomato sandwiches (see both recipes below), homemade potato chips (because what’s a block party without chips!) and healthy-ish dips with fresh veggies and fruit.  Along with all the finger food I whipped up a super refreshing Citrus Cooler mocktail (recipe below) that could easily become booze infused with a shot or two of vodka.  

For dessert, I stuffed a bin full of ice and freeze pops, plus put watermelon slices onto popsicle sticks for the perfect dessert al fresco.  By keeping the menu super simple, and asking everyone to pitch in, no one’s stressed to whip up an over-the-top dish.  

But a block party isn’t all about the food (though it’s a big part), so I also set up a few simple DIY activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.  I think the biggest mistake people make when pulling together something like this block party is overthinking the agenda and spending too much money on what you think the kids will do.  The beauty of a block party, after all, is that it’s an excuse for everyone to come together and do their own thing…kids will be running around, teens will probably just want to hang out, and adults will be catching up (while trying to keep an eye on the little ones).  

With all this in mind, I set up an easy DIY crafts table for the little ones with all the makings of a paint-and-plant station.  We brought small terracotta pots labeled with each kids’ name (gorgeously handwritten by Jenn Gietzen) for them to paint all over, as well as organic potting soil and a few pre-potted (and hardy) herbs like mint, rosemary and thyme the kids can watch grow inside all year long.  The supplies can be kept simple (all you’ll need are a few colors of acrylic paint and paint brushes) and cleanup shouldn’t be overwhelming since it’s outside.  And since we had kids of all ages at the block party, I set up a table with colored beads for the teens to create DIY beaded bracelets.  We separated each color family into different dishes, making it easy for everyone to fight over the prettiest beads to add to their arm stacks. 

Check out the recipes for two fuss-free sandwiches and our Citrus Cooler mocktail (easily turned cocktail) below, and tell me what you’ll be serving at your end-of-summer block party!  Truly, MKR 

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The Cuban
Serves 15
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Ingredients
  1. 3 loaves French Bread
  2. Salami
  3. Ham
  4. Fresh mozzarella, 1/4 inch slices
  5. Dijon mustard
  6. Bread & Butter pickles
  7. Skewer sticks or toothpicks, to serve
Instructions
  1. Slice bread in half lengthwise.
  2. Assemble salami, ham and fresh mozzarella onto loaves of bread.
  3. Smear dijon mustard onto upper pieces of bread.
  4. Slice loaf into individual sandwiches (4-5 per loaf).
  5. Skewer stick each sandwich with toothpick and pickle to serve.
Notes
  1. You'll generally get 4-5 sandwiches per loaf of bread.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Pimento Cheese & Tomato Sandwich
Serves 15
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For sandwiches
  1. 3 loaves French Bread
  2. 3 large bistec Tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  3. Pimento cheese
  4. Skewer sticks or toothpicks
For homemade pimento cheese
  1. 1 block cheddar cheese, grated
  2. 1 block organic pepper jack, grated
  3. mayo
  4. 1/2 jar pimentos
  5. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegenaise or mayo
  6. salt to taste
  7. cayenne pepper (optional)
For the pimento cheese
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix.*
  2. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the sandwiches
  1. Assemble 1 slice of tomato per sandwich (you'll have 4-5 sandwiches per loaf of bread) along with pimento cheese.
  2. Slice into individual pieces and skewer stick to serve.
Notes
  1. If you want your homemade pimento cheese to be smoother, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Citrus Cooler Mocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 1-2 gallon of fresh lemonade
  2. 1 carton (59 oz) of fresh orange juice
  3. 2-3 cups fresh lime juice
  4. 6 cups club soda
  5. fresh lime and lemon slices, to garnish
  6. mint, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser with ice. Add lime and lemon slices to garnish and serve.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

PHOTOGRAPHY, RUSTIC WHITE FOR WAITING ON MARTHA  |  VENUE, SUMMEROUR STUDIO  |  HAND LETTERING, JENN GIETZEN | THIS POST WAS IN COLLABORATION WITH POTTERY BARN, POTTERY BARN KIDS AND POTTERY BARN TEEN, ALL BRANDS WE LOVE AND ADORE.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% OUR OWN. 

AS PICTURED: PATIO UMBRELLA | PATIO SET (ON SALE!) | WICKER BAR CONSOLE (ON SALE!) | WICKER ACCENT TABLES (ON SALE!) KIDS GINGHAM ARMCHAIR | PEACE SIGN PILLOW | POM POM STORAGE BASKET | JUTE RUG | NAVY POLKA DOT BEAN BAG CHAIRS | PINK AND WHITE THROW PILLOW | RAINBOW THROW PILLOW | TASSEL LUMBAR PILLOW | NAVY DUFFEL BAG (ON SALE!) | TEEPEE | STORAGE CUBE | KIDS TABLE | KIDS DINING CHAIRS | STRING LIGHTS

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