Game Day Spicy Jalapeno Dip Recipe

Football is back.

High school students are playing under the Friday night lights. College campuses are buzzing every Saturday. NFL fans are finding satisfaction every Sunday (and Monday) from sunrise to sunset. While games are always great, no game day is complete without a tailgate or watch party, and no tailgate or watch party is complete without the most important element:

Delicious food.

Much like a football team, every individual’s contribution is crucial to the success of your party before or during the game. You could always put in the time to smoke meat for hours or labor over some other elaborate dish, but we’ve got a simple dip recipe that will delight everybody and make you a hero around your house or under the tailgate tent.

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Ingredients

  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1 package (8oz) softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese blend
  • 1 can (4.5oz) diced green chilies, drained

Instructions

  • Seed and dice 2 of the jalapenos. Slice the remaining one jalapeno into thin rounds, set aside.
  • In a bowl, beat cream cheese, mayo, and garlic powder with an electric mixer on low until fluffy. 
  • Add 2 cups of the shredded Mexican cheese blend, diced green chilies, and the diced jalapenos, mix.
  • Transfer mixture into a cast iron skillet or baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula. 
  • Top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese and the sliced jalapenos rounds.
  • Bake at 375 F for about 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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Trying out this recipe for the next game? We’d love to see how it turns out. Tag us @kirklands with a photo from your tailgate!

Four Ingredient Berry Lemonade Popsicles

Labor Day weekend is almost here, and in a way, this is summer’s last stand.

Seersucker suits and white dresses are about to become fashion faux pas. Trips to the lake and vacations to the beach are about to be far less frequent. The weather, if we’re lucky, is on the verge of cooling down.

While temperatures are still warm, we wanted to offer one final way to beat the heat this year.

This DIY popsicle recipe is the perfect way to stay cool on a long weekend. This one is easy, refreshing and inexpensive, and it requires little time. When done right (and it’s hard to get wrong), these desserts will be the buzz of any Labor Day party.

 

Ingredients

  • Lemonade
  • 1 package of blueberries
  • 1 package of raspberries
  • Mint

Instructions

  • Divide blueberries and raspberries equally between 7 or 8 dixie cups
  • Top with lemonade of your choice and place popsicle sticks in the middle
  • Put finished cups together on a small pan and freeze until set – approximately 4 hours
  • Remove dixie cups and enjoy!
 

Feel free to try your own spin on these popsicles by swapping the ingredients to your favorite fruits. Try limeade instead of lemonade. Freeze them in a fun shape. We’re confident you can come up with something even more delicious than our creation.

Be sure to tag us in your own summer recipes @kirklands!

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Bring The Big Screen Home

A trip to the movie theater might be expensive, but you can create a magical movie experience at home! It’s time to bring the big screen to your backyard and enjoy a night with friends, family and popcorn.

Pick out a movie and create a guest list because we’ve got your guide to a memorable movie night below! Here’s how you can throw a spectacular show and put your local cinema to shame.

Get the proper equipment

Pull out your projector (or borrow one) and set up a screen outside. If you don’t have an actual projector screen, hanging a white sheet will do the trick. Make sure the projection is centered and focused and be sure your sheet is securely fastened. A mid-movie sheet fiasco must be avoided at all costs.

Find the perfect amount of lighting

Just enough light. That’s the sweet spot for viewing a movie. Too much light makes it hard to see the picture. Not enough light leaves people tripping over feet or falling down steps. Use lanterns or string lights to create some practical ambiance. Pretty + Practical = Perfect.

Lay down the blankets and pile up the pillows

Many movie theaters now have recliners, but you can make your guests more comfortable than the local cinema. Blankets, pillows, poufs, beanbags and chairs will make sure every person has the best seat in the house. Your guests will be able to get comfortable however they please.

Pop popcorn and then pop more popcorn

There’s no such thing as too much popcorn at a movie night. Be sure to make plenty before pressing play because having to hit pause halfway through is a real downer. Popcorn is the perfect snack to go with a great movie.

Satisfy every sweet tooth

As good as popcorn is, a movie night isn’t complete without a little candy or some sweets. Assemble a snack station or set out trays with chocolate and sugary snacks. If you really want to wow your audience, set up a s’mores station.

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Be courteous and silence your cell phones

We’re kidding! You’ve basically formed your own film festival, and now you deserve to enjoy the show. Send us a photo of your backyard movie theater by tagging @Kirklands on social media. We can’t wait to see your spin on movie night!

Get Your Patio Ready For A Party

In search of the perfect spot to make memories on a summer night? You don’t have to look much farther than your back door. With just a few simple additions or updates, your patio can become the summer destination for friends and family.

Here are eight must-haves to transform a normal backyard into an outdoor oasis.

1. Tables

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A nice table is the ideal focal point for a memorable summer evening. Select a table (wood, stainless steel, glass, etc.) to suit your style, but the most important thing to remember is you’ve created a central point where guests can gather for a meal and good conversation.

2. Umbrellas

There aren’t many ways to beat the sweltering heat of summer, but umbrellas are as good an option as any. Search for a functional umbrella to provide a little shade at your table, or if you have a pool, find one to give guests a break from the sun as they relax in a lounge chair.

3. Wicker Furniture

No outdoor setup is complete without wicker pieces. This durable outdoor furniture is affordable, looks great and screams summer. Neutral colors make it easy to mix in pops of color with other items.

4. Fun Cushions + Pillows

We just mentioned mixing in fun colors of summer, and there’s no better way to do that than with your cushions and pillows. Feel free to experiment with bright colors and exciting patterns. The right cushions and pillows will warm up your patio in a hurry!

5. Fire Pits

You’ll probably spend more time around an outdoor table, but a fire pit is a great secondary gathering point. When there’s a night with cooler-than-normal temperatures and you’ve wrapped up dinner, carry on the conversation around a small fire and make some s’mores.

6. Décor

Get creative with your outdoor décor! Find outdoor mats, rugs, garden statues and flag sets that show off your personality and get people excited for an evening outside.

7. Lighting

It’s easy to let your style shine through with all the outdoor lighting options available. Select from garden torches, lanterns and patio string lights to create the right atmosphere.

8. Flowers & Greenery

Try starting a rose garden, potting marigolds or featuring lush ferns around your patio. Fresh flowers and greenery will make your backyard seem a little more alive. We particularly love bright colors provided by blooming flowers.

The Graduation Party Checklist

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Compile a guest list

It’s hard to do anything without a guest list. Does your graduate want to invite a small group or host a huge gathering? You need to finalize your guest list before you can really start planning the party.

Pick a theme or arrange some exciting activities

What kind of party are you going to throw? Is it a pool party or a backyard barbeque? Maybe it’s a normal party with a few fun to-dos like a photo wall, a snow cone stand or a popcorn cart. Figuring out activities or a theme is crucial to the next steps.

Pick a venue

Choose the appropriate venue depending on the size of the guest list and theme. If you need to rent a space, book the neighborhood pool or borrow a friend’s backyard, make the necessary arrangements. If you can host the party in your own home, fantastic!

Don’t forget to consider parking at this stage. This is particularly important if you’re hosting the party at your house. Make sure there is ample parking for the amount of people you invite.

Send invitations

Now that you’ve gotten most of the details ironed out, send invitations. It might be the digital age, but there’s nothing quite like a paper invitation. No matter which route you go, make sure to include all the necessary details (date, time, location, parking instructions) and have the feel of the invitation match the theme or activities you decided on.

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Get the gear

There’s no going back once you’ve sent out invites, so start gathering all the essentials for the party! Beverage dispensers, cups, paper plates, napkins, tables, tablecloths, chairs, cotton candy machines and photo booths, oh my! Remember to make some phone calls and see what you can borrow before you buy.

Find the perfect playlist

You can’t have a party without music, but this one should be easy. Figure out what playlist your graduate loves to listen to and have it play the background at the party.

Prepare or order the required food & drink

You want all the food and beverage options to be fresh when guests arrive. Prepare as much as possible before the party (dips, fruit trays, etc), but hold off on things that may spoil or need to be fresh. We recommend having something catered to make life easier on you. A fajita bar or barbecue spread from a local restaurant is never a bad idea.

Enjoy the party

As guests filter in and the party gets going, soak it all in. Have people snag photos to make sure the memories last forever. This is a moment worth celebrating and a moment worth remembering.

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