The evenings here have been just perfect, not too hot or chilly and just right for a little outdoor entertaining. We’ve been gathering a few new pieces for the patio and finally got together with a few friends for a salads and sips early evening gathering.
I love keeping things super simple when entertaining, especially in the summertime and keeping the menu light and simple makes party prep extremely low key.
I’ve been gearing up for a little summertime entertaining and once I created my go-to dinner party playlist, it was time to get a few new goodies for the yard. I love using fun pops of color in the summer and combining a few pieces with the natural and white pieces we use year-round. Here are a few things I picked up while treasure hunting at Pier1 Imports.
These are all must-have pieces in my book! You want guests to be comfortable and you don’t want to worry about broken dishes or stained furniture. No fuss, no worry entertaining is best! Check out their complete outdoor department — lots to choose from.
I recently headed to the Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center to take part in their first ever blogger event. It was a great day of inspiration, taste testing and an exciting cooking challenge. Read more about it here.
Setting up for a nice buffet might sound simple enough, though your efforts could very easily result in a display that looks more chaotic than clever. Avoid confusion and traffic jams in your buffet line by planning ahead. Eliminate the common sight of guests reaching for plates and back-tracking for utensils that they missed along the way.
Before your guests can begin to dish up their meal, they will need a plate. Stack plates at one end of the table so that guests have access to these first. Also, if you are using disposable plates remember to choose heavier ones so that the food actually stays on the plate and guests can easily carry them.
Serve dishes that your guests understand and recognize. If you decide to serve a dish that your guests may not be familiar with, create a place card so guests can easily identify the dish. Also, make sure each dish has a coordinating serving utensil so guests can easily (and quickly) dish up their food.
At the other end of your buffet table (opposite of the plates), place the silverware. Only provide utensils that your guests will need to use. If a knife is not needed, don’t offer one. This will avoid confusion and lighten the carrying load for guests. To make the grab-and-go of the silverware a breeze, wrap each set up in one napkin and secure it with a piece of ribbon or twine. Condensing the utensils and napkin will make it easier for guests to carry their plates to their seats.
I love to entertain in the summertime. There’s just something so simple about hosting friends and family this time of year. Perhaps it’s the great mood everyone is in, or the laid-back vibe? I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I just find summer entertaining easy and enjoyable. Now that the nights are getting longer, I’m itching to kick off the backyard-entertaining season! We’ve been getting dirty in the garden and making sure our yard is inviting — I’d say a dinner party is soon in order.
Do you like to entertain during the summer? When thinking about hosting a gathering I like to pick a few points of inspiration to guide my party prep. I am usually inspired by: