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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Popcorn! Cotton Candy! Peanuts!

*** Find out how to win a FREE party at the bottom.
Food Ideas for your

One of the wonderful things about the circus theme is that the food is SIMPLE and yummy to make. Here are a few ideas of quick, easy food that screams “CIRCUS” all over them:
-       Corn dogs
-       Hot dogs
-       Corn on the cob
-       Soft pretzels
-       Peanuts
-       Popcorn
-       Lemonade
-       Candied or caramel apples
-       Cotton candy 
-       Cracker Jacks
-       Animal crackers
-       Giant lollipops

To some, this may seem too simple, and for those of you, we offer ways to “dress up” your food to help set the mood for your party guests:

To make simple serving trays for your food, find crates, box lids, fruit boxes, etc. ...
Here's what we found laying around and at the local grocery store
...and spray paint them white. To the trays you can add a number of labels in any circus font you want. {Click here to find FREE circus fonts.}

Once made, your trays can serve for serving on the table or with vendors.
To turn your box lid into a vendor tray, just add some prices and suspenders.

For the corndogs, we wrapped them in foil  to help keep them warm and add that extra circus-y feel. We also put a very thick piece of styrofoam in the bottom to help the corn dogs stand up.

Ketchup or mustard, anyone?

You can find simple bottles almost anywhere (we found them at our local Dollar Tree). Print out this pdf and voila! you've added a little circus to your condiments!

Don't forget the hot dogs!
You can find hot dog liners for as little as 1¢ per liner!

Get your fresh, hot peanuts!!!
Again, simple as can be. Cut about 1/3 off of the top of a paper lunch sack. Roll down the edges (we did ours 3 times) and slap a label on it. We have created the labels for you. All you need to do is print them out (on label paper or regular) and stick them on the bag. 

What is a circus without popcorn?

Locally, we found red and white popcorn bags at our Dollar Tree. You may also be able to find them at various party stores and random places. If not, you can always order them online. If you are not up for spending the money, simply download our labels, print them out and stick them on a brown lunch sack to serve your popcorn.
 Ways to enhance your popcorn:
•  Use scalloped scissors (can find at local craft or scrapbooking store) to cut the top of the bag.
•  To make it look EXTRA buttery, you can add yellow spray on food coloring.
 
You may want to consider renting a popcorn machine for both decoration and to pop some good, homemade popcorn. Not only will this serve as good munching food for the party, but the smell will add to the ambiance of the party!
 
Think this is too hard? We're here to help. We have created the images as labels for you. All you have to do is print them out, on label or regular paper, and stick them where ever you want.
Use them as table tents
Or to label your drink...
...or your food.
Brand your refreshments!
Price your concessions

The options are endless!!!
 
Downloads to help create all these effects

    ***Here's Your Chance To WIN***
    Become a follower of this blog (don't worry, there are no obligations, no email reminders, nothing) by clicking here  and then leave a comment below on some food ideas YOU would have for your circus party. We will pick the best recommendation for food ideas and award them a Murder Under The Big Top party! We will pick the winner Wednesday, September 14, 2011.
      We hope this helps with the planning of your Murder Under The Big Top party! Please leave comments below on if you like these ideas, how to enhance them, food ideas of your own, etc.

      3 comments:

      cathy said...

      I would have those red boxes of animal crackers, snow cones, cotton candy, ice cream cones, licorice, taffy, penny candy, cheese pizza, a clown cake or frost cupcakes different colors and lay them out like a bunch of balloons using black licorice as the strings, a train cake would be fun too, with several "cars" like the engine and box cars. Soda pop in real glass bottles that you would have to use an opener with. I would ask friends if their dog could jump through a hula hoop and then dress it up and have it do that all night! The party would be outside so that we could put up those shade awnings (pretending they were tents) and string twinkle lights around the insides of them. Sawdust on the patio would be the best - just like at the real circus!

      MShock said...

      I would do "grown up" versions of the traditional circus food.

      Hot dogs could be grilled gourmet sausages on artisan bread rolls with grilled onions and peppers. Popcorn could have shaved parmesan cheese and cracked pepper as seasonings. Peanuts could be flavored with cayenne and brown sugar for a spicy/ sweet combination. Lemonade can have some fresh basil added (or mixed with vodka for an adult beverage). Gotta have some fun and indulgence: cupcakes frosted cotton candy pink with colorful sprinkles and animal cracker toppers.

      For decorations (if you have to be indoors) you can run a string around the top edges of the walls of the room (eye hooks or whatever you can get away with from your landlord ;-). Then, have paper streamers draped over the string and running to the center of the room where they gather over a balloon bouquet. This would simulate the feeling of being under the bigtop in your own living room.

      I would have the soundtrack to "Barnum" or calliope music or the sound track to "Water For Elephants" playing in the background.

      Instead of printing money, as you do for regular murder mysteries, you could buy a roll of tickets and distribute them. Fun Fun FUN!!!

      Castronomer said...

      I am very excited for the circus theme!

      Food ideas:
      Have a gourmet mustard bar along with the bratwursts and polish sausages.

      Fried foods such as elephant ears, french fries, homemade potato chips, fried zucchini, and my personal favorite, fried dill pickle spears served with ranch.

      Caramel apples with toppings like nuts, crushed oreos, dipping chocolate, sprinkles and mini m&ms.

      Food on sticks like corn on the cob, corn dogs, beef skewers. On the sweet side would be lollipops, ice cream treats and the currently popular cake pops in bright colors.

      Popcorn can be sprinkled with hot sauce, brewer's yeast, lemon pepper, garlic salt, grated cheese or taco seasoning.

      Fisher scones with raspberry jam.

      If it's someones birthday, you can make a tiered cake-like structure out of cake donuts frosted in pink frosting with lots of colorful sprinkles.

      A table full of candy in jars for guests to take home. You can also hand out boxes of Barnum's animal crackers that have a cute circus picture on the front.

      Drink ideas:
      Lemonade garnished with fresh raspberries and/or mint leaves.

      Other drinks can be served out of vintage bottles with labels that say, "elixers" and "tonics." This would be cool if the drinks were dyed vibrant colors like blue or green. Use Blue Curacao liquor.

      Guests can drink out of canning jars with red and white candy-striped straws.

      Serve bottled drinks like pop out of an old galvanized tub or bucket or an old bath tub filled with ice.

      Serve food out of rectangular paper boats, or paper bags, or paper cones.

      Decorations ideas:
      Decorate with strings of lights and colorful lanterns. Use bright colors, stripes, and polka dots for table clothes and decorating. Put pin wheels in flower vases. Hang flag banners. You might even hang up a clothes line and hang some vintage garments like bloomers and pants with suspenders and colorful socks. Balloon animals. Sign on the bathroom that says "Elephant Bath." Any vintage furniture like trunks and chairs would be neat. You can use an old dresser with its drawers pulled out to fill up with peanuts or other snack items. You can have a cardboard head cut out with a lion and a lion tamer for people to take pictures. You can have a gypsy walking around to read peoples' palms and tell their fortunes. Have fake, curly mustaches, clown noses, and wind-up toys strewn about for people to play with or take home. Put up posters of old circus advertisements. For music, play old french accordion music.

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