Two things are true this time of year in my household: we watch a lot of football and we always seem to have a house full of family and friends. I love that entertaining on game day has a much more relaxed vibe which means it’s the perfect opportunity to keep things simple. No need to fuss in the kitchen or plan a ton of appetizers. Simply bake your favorite frozen pizzas and serve up a beer cocktail –you’ll make everyone happy!
Last weekend we had a few friends over to watch the game and I served up this pumpkin shandy beer cocktail (recipe below). It was really delicious and easy enough for guests to whip up themselves. This means more relaxing for the hostess and more time to visit with friends while we watched the game. (more…)
After our recent patio transformation, I was eager to invite a few friends over for a simple evening dining alfresco. Our new outdoor dining furniture and garden-inspired accents set the stage perfectly. I love how the space is pretty neutral with a few pops of color. The furniture and decor lets our backyard really shine. This time of year, we’re in full bloom with lots of greens, pinks, and yellows.
I set the table for four and got ready for a casual early evening (light) dinner. These acrylic glasses were perfect for citrus infused water (and wine later in the evening). I love their light green color and the fact that I don’t have to worry about breaking them.
I kept the food light and served salads and cheese and crackers. I love serving salads in these disposable berry baskets. And the gold plated cutlery from Pier 1 Imports added a nice touch of elegance to an otherwise, really casual tablescape.
For me, dining alfresco is all about embracing the weather and keeping things really simple. Some flowers, food, and friends are really all that is required to host a nice evening. When you have an inviting outdoor space, you’ll be able to entertain in a moment’s notice.
I served cheese and crackers on these wooden coasters. I spotted them and thought they looked just like mini cheese boards. I loved that I could put one at each place setting (I can re-purpose them later indoors as coasters –bonus!).
We had a great evening. Simple food, an inviting space, and great company –the perfect recipe for dining alfresco this summer. Will you be entertaining soon? I’d love to hear about your outdoor space.
I love Italian cuisine and flavors. In fact, I might be kindred spirits with Italians everywhere who love life simply and fully, with family, friends, fun freshness and FOOD at the core. I mean, that just sounds like the roadmap to a happy life to me, don’t you think?
I love the idea of serving appetizers that play on meals, like these one-bite meatball and marinara cups. It’s a rich, flavorful, yet simple appetizer that guests will love (recipe and instructions below).
Small bites like these are also perfect for setting a simply tuscan-inspired summer table. When entertaining outdoors I like to keep things lighter and smaller portions. These meatball + marinara appetizers are paired perfectly with some rustic bread and mini sangria sips.
You can purchase pre-bottled sangria and keep things really simple.
I placed a platter of appetizers, bread, drinks, and blooms from my garden … on a small table and made a little sitting area on our back patio. It made for the perfect spot to gather and visit with friends who were visiting.
Want to make your own?
To start, add about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce into small single-serve vessels.
Then skewer a meatball (homemade or store-bought) and a basil leaf with a cocktail fork or toothpick.
When your ready to serve, place the skewered meatball and basil right into the sauce.
Viva Bertolli® and join me in celebrating 150 years of delicious Italian food, friends and family. Felice Anniversario and Buono Appetito! Visit Bertolli on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for more inspirations and ideas to bring Tuscany to your table.
Remember those cantaloupe + prosciutto appetizers I shared a couple of weeks ago? Well, I had some ingredients left over and sort of made this salad by accident. It’s full of flavor, really fresh, and so unique that it feels like a treat. Make it for yourself, or increase the ingredient portions and make a batch for a crowd. I think you’ll impress your guests for sure!
This post is sponsored by Kellogg’s, all thoughts are my own.
Last week I hosted a few girlfriends over for what we called a #girlboss session. I shared my inspiration board for the night which included a few really simple ideas. Since the point of the night was to gather for some productive creative business brainstorming … there was no reason (or time!) to fuss over over-the-top details.
I made really, really simple small bites the gals could grab throughout the evening. And although they were really easy to make, they were very flavorful. Proof, that it doesn’t need to be fussy to be impressive. These Cantaloupe & Prosciutto Small Bites were a huge hit (recipe at end of the post). Since the point of the evening was to brainstorm creative business ideas, notebooks and pencils were a must. I set out the pretty supplies with the tray of small bites and some fresh Meyer lemon + mint water carafes.