Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Real party: the ultimate summer hoedown BBQ

The hoedown BBQ my husband and I hosted was so much fun. I'm not sure what it was exactly, maybe the fact that just saying the word "hoedown" is cool, having perfect 83 degree weather with no humidity and plenty of sunshine, or an abundance of great food and drinks. Or obviously, all of the above.

Enjoy the TONS of photos I'vde included, plus a fun hoedown menu with links to Reddi Wip recipes.

Here's a little history on how this party came to be...my group of friends and I have a "BBQ Club". This basically means that once a month we rotate hosting a BBQ at our house. July was Erik's and my month. A couple months ago, a rep from Reddi Wip contacted me about the ultimate summer BBQ project. The project consisted of 6 party bloggers hosting BBQs and incorporating Reddi Wip into the menu. It was a perfect fit since I already had the BBQ on the calendar and I actually really like Reddi Wip (my girlfriends and I always eat it with fruit as dessert when we feel like eating something sweet but don't want to splurge on all the cals).

The rest is hoedown history.

I focused on a few main details but didn't bother with stationery or labels.  My friends wouldn't really notice that stuff.  What they would notice?  Great food.  And there was plenty of that. 

I purchased sunflowers at the St. Paul Farmers' Market and placed them in mason jars.  The red and white gingham tablecloths were from JoAnn Fabrics.  The hay bales totally made the hoedown vibe come to life.  HUGE thanks to my friend Jason for picking those up for me. 

We set up a drink station in the middle of the hay bales with iced tea, lemonade and Miller High Life.  Erik claimed that beer paired perfectly with a hoedown.  I suppose he was right. 

My cute sister and I with mini BLTs.  These were a big hit. 
Here is the appetizer table that included watermelon, veggies and dip, mini BLTs and chips.  I never, ever forget about chips.
Mini BLTs are so easy.  I basically just take prepared, refrigerated biscuits, bake them in the oven, cut them in half and top with a slice of tomato, a teaspoon of mayo, a small piece of lettuce and one piece of bacon. 
Veggies and dip for those healthy types.  I forced myself to eat these between huge handfuls of potato chips. 
I made a couple different boozey popsicles.  One with rum and the other with champagne.  Both had homemade raspberry simple syrup.  They received mixed reviews. What I came to believe is the more drinks my guests had, the more likely they were to enjoy the popsicles.  I think the boozey flavor concentrates as it freezes.

Biffer is on the right.  He dressed up and looked awesome. His overalls were a bit short though!

Reddi Wip bunting that we hung in the tent.
You can't have a hoedown without fried chicken.  We catered it from The Coop in South St. Paul.  It's delicious, if you are ever in the area check it out.

I made a quick bunting banner with bandanas.  It was easy, fold a bandana in half (from JoAnn Fabrics) and tie each end to a string. 
Grilled corn on the cob was on the menu as well.  Shirts were coming off for some reason at this point in the day. 

We had little cowgirls and cowboys enjoying the party as well. 
That's my cute hubs working the grill. 
We had no shortage of Reddi Wip desserts.  This was a berry pudding trifle that I made in mini mason jars.  Perfect for individual servings. 

These were easy and called strawberries on a cloud.  They tasted like little bites of cake. But they are much lighter.  You only need one or two to satisfy your sweet tooth.
You can't have a hoedown without some pie and a good old fashioned pie eating contest.  Three brave men participated.  But only one could win.

Untitled from jenna marfori lang on Vimeo.

Pie eating contests are funny and messy. Sorry for the crazy, dizzy video at the beginning. My sister is an amateur at taking video. I was busy screaming/laughing and taking photos.

Tardiff (on the left) was victorious.  Biffer (Jason) came in second but also ended up with a blueberry up his nose.  Willie gave his all but came in third.  Good job guys. 

Each guest left the party with a packet of Reddi Wip recipes, Reddi Wip coupons and a cocktail shaker from Crate and Barrel.  Pretty sweet, huh?
Here are a few fun facts. Reddi Wip is:
  • An easy way to transform berries into a light and creamy summer dessert – with none of the guilt.
  • A fun treat to top your family’s favorite fruit – no matter the occasion.
  • Made with real dairy cream and with only 15 calories per serving, it’s a treat you can feel good about eating any day of the week.
Hoedown menu

Mini BLTs
Veggies and dip

Main Course
Fried chicken
German potato salad
Cucumber salad
Baked beans

Strawberries on a cloud
Berry pudding trifle
Apple pie with Reddi Wip
Blueberry pie with Reddi Wip

Big thanks to Reddi Wip for sponsoring my BBQ!


  1. This is pure awesomeness. Food looks phenomenal, decor is adorable and your friends look like a fun, rowdy bunch. Perfect hoedown!!

  2. Such an awesome party! All of the pics turned out great!


  3. The party was fun and a great way for my to spend my bday with the people I love! The food was yummy and I ate way too much for being on a diet for my wedding. You did an awesome job!


    PS. Jay and I left before we got our recipe cards and shaker!!! :(

  4. It looks like you guys had a great time! I would hate to be next in line in the BBQ rotation - you're a hard act to follow!

  5. Cute pictures and seriously gorgeous and HUGE sunflowers!!

  6. It was a great party! From the looks of your BBQ, seems like jorts are back in style, hehe!

  7. The party looks fabulous! I love the mini mason jar desserts! So cute!

  8. Look at you, miss cowgirl! Love this concept and all the details. You sure know how to host a great party, that's for sure. Miss you!

  9. ...sieht das toll aus.
    Mein Sohn wünscht sich jetzt auch eine
    Liebe Grüße

  10. Nice work! :) Love the theme!

  11. Love ur photos Jenna, so cute

  12. Wow, the BBQ spread looks absolutely delicious...and with such fun games to boot! Those huge, cheery sunflowers are the perfect focal point!

  13. Superb ! beautiful party and colorful food . that's delicious look.

  14. Looks so fun! Love the bandana bunting--great idea!

  15. Wonderful picture story. My favorite recipe is the mini BLT. I just love the idea of bringing a comfort food favorite down to a managable party size. Yummm...

  16. Love the berry pudding desserts in the mini mason jars! Such a great idea!

  17. The cute little berry trifles in the mini-mason jars!

  18. I absolutely love that the guests got so involved with "dressing up" for this hoedown! Such a cute idea on a beautiful summer evening in MN! Your ideas are so fun and adorable. I am definitely going to try the berry pudding trifle this weekend for a bbq!

  19. i definitely love the mini BLTs and the guys sporting their jorts!

  20. Cute party! LOVED the strawberries on a cloud :)

  21. The Mini BLTs have to be my favorite part of this party! So cute!

  22. What an awesome party. I think my favorite part is the pie-eating contest!

  23. Looks fantastic!!! Now I'm craving BLTs!!! My summer favorite:)

  24. I love the pictures! It looked like a blast! My favorite part is the berry trifles in the short mason jars. Very cute! I can't wait until our house is finished and we can have a similar party!

  25. Love the little mason jars as dessert cups! What a clever idea for the bandanas on a string. Looked like a blast!

  26. My favorite was the bandanna banner and I certainly intend to incorporate that into my own Texas themed bbq later this month! Plus the pie eating contest? That was genius.

  27. The mini BLTs and berry pudding trifles were my favorite!

  28. Love the bandanas, love the cakes in jars, LOVE that you had everyone dress the part!

  29. Really like the cakes in the jars.. how fun!

  30. Love all the guys in overalls! Plus the decor looks amazing :)

  31. I loved the sunflower-added such great color to the array of fun bbq atmosphere.. the berry trifle pudding desserts in mason jars were cute fun touch as well!

  32. This BBQ has so much personality! Those baby blts are so adorable and look delicious.

  33. I LOVE all the desserts. Desserts are always my favorite, and anything with whipped topping is instantly better...and fresh fruit is just its perfect pair! What a wonderful party idea!

  34. This party looked amazing! Every detail was great and I loved the red checkered tablecloth with the Reddi Wip can to match!

  35. I loved the "cake jars" topped with Reddi Whip! They looked fantastic! And I have never seen mini-BLTs before, but what a terrific idea! Impressive!

  36. I like the bandana bunting! so cute!

    Blogger won't let me sign in, this comment is for the REdi-Whip contest.

  37. I'd like to know more about this biffer guy! He sounds like a fun guy!! Have him on more blogs please! :)

  38. I'm planning a Hoedown and you sure gave me lots of Great ideas! Thanks!