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.
Picnics might be one of my favorite things. I love the simplicity of it — gather a few goodies in a basket, grab a blanket, find a shady spot and just enjoy. This past weekend the family and I discovered a new local picnic spot. Best part? We showed up and they provided everything we needed! The basket, blanket, and delicious lunch inside. It was a great afternoon!
I had forgotten how much pleasure a simple picnic could bring and after realizing it’s National Picnic Month I vowed to have many more of them in the near future. I recently had this surprise backyard picnic and that was a treat as well (there are definitely more to come!).
I’m collecting new picnic spots and new picnic recipes! Check out these recipes I’ve gathered on Foodie.com.
Hot dogs are such a summer staple. Fire up the grill, toss on a pack of Hebrew Nationals (a favorite in our household), and get ready for a great meal. There are many summer evenings when we gather around on the patio and cook up something delicious while simply enjoying each other and the weather. My favorite summer recipes are those that are simple to make and incorporate fresh ingredients from the season. For this recipe, we turned to our backyard garden for menu inspiration!
Last week I shared the my youngest daughter and I had been inspired to come up with a unique idea to help create a better world, and select a Summer Sunlight Activity we’d like to do together to make our household more sustainable. Pairing the challenge with her love for the kitchen, we decided to make our challenge One Ingredient, Five Ways which will help eliminate food waste in our home.
Over the past six months, I’ve been collaborating with Pepperidge Farm and sharing my original recipes using Puff Pastry. Along the way, my readers were asked to submit ideas for recipes they would like to create using puff pastry and just a few weeks ago one reader (Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery!) got the news she would be heading with me to the Pepperidge Farms Innovation Center to compete in our own version of a Top Chef inspired cooking challenge.
We arrived with several other bloggers and guests for a day of inspiration, taste testing and recipe development! Above is Sharon and I in the Pepperidge Farm test kitchen. It was SO cool!
With aprons tied, we worked together to create two dishes that would be presented to the judges. Our mission was to create two recipes each inspired by a new food trend –Brazilian influence and using Greek yogurt in a savory dish. Above were our two dishes.
Entertaining guests? A crudite platter is always a great choice when preparing light appetizers, especially this time of year! Our own garden is beginning to really take off and one of our favorite things to do is serve up what we’ve grown. Until then, we enjoy heading to the local farmers’ market and picking up veggies. Select your favorite veggies and feel free to be creative! One idea is to make a serving bowl from an artichoke — it makes for great dip presentation.
To make you simply use a knife to cut the center out of the artichoke. Once you’ve removed most of the leaves, use a metal spoon to hallow out the center before filling with your favorite dip or hummus.