Summer entertaining should be simple. Truly, isn’t entertaining just friends and family gathering to enjoy each others’ company? Then why do we make it more complicated that it needs to be?
Lighting, food, and drinks can all be quick and easy. Let me show you some of my tips to make your next get together a bit easier!
This simple and carefree summer entertaining shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ColorYourSummer #CollectiveBias
Simple and Carefree Summer Entertaining:
Lighting and decoration in one: Three ways to use tea light candles-
This idea could not be any more simple! Add some small creek rocks (purchased or gathered on your next creek visit!) to a wine glass, then add a tea light candle.
This idea is my favorite. It can be tailored to your party colors quite easily. Add a rice to a bowl, then add a few squirts of food coloring. Shake the bowl to combine. Once combined, bake in the oven at 375* for 10 minutes or so. Using a mason jar funnel, add layers of colored rice to the jar. Set a tea light candle on top. Easy!
Or, use a combination of all three ideas all around your party area!
For outdoor entertaining, I use Rubbermaid pitchers. When I saw this beautiful Lagoon Blue pitcher, I had to have it! After all, blue is my favorite color. I like these classic pitchers because they have a three-position lid. The lid turns for pouring freely, pouring with ice guard, or closed. Its large, comfortable handle makes for easy lifting and pouring.
The summertime entertaining drink that I make most often is homemade lemonade. To make it:
Heat 2 cups water to boiling, pour into pitcher. Add 2 cups sugar, stir to dissolve. Add 1 cup lemon juice, stir. Fill pitcher up with ice and cold water. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (This can also be prepared with liquid stevia. Substitute 8 dropper-fulls of liquid stevia for the sugar. No need to boil the water, simply combine liquid stevia, lemon juice, and 1 gallon cold water.)
BBQ Cheesy Chicken packets and Bacon Cheddar Potato packets are my answer to an easy meal when entertaining. The ingredients can be prepped the day before, and the packets assembled quickly before your guests arrive.
If you have a grill, they can be cooked on it; or they can be baked in the oven. It’s an easy meal along with easy cleanup!
One of the best products to make prepping ahead that I’ve purchased is the Rubbermaid Party Platter. Each ingredient nestles into its own section, with a lidded container in the center to hold sauces. With a snap-tight outer lid, your ingredients stay fresh and ready to cook the next day!
BBQ Cheesy Chicken packets-
Chop boneless, skinless chicken breasts into one-inch cubes. Place into the Rubbermaid platter. Finely chop sweet peppers, place into another section of the platter. Finely chop onions, place into another section. Cut mushrooms in half, place into the final section of the platter. Fill the lidded container with your favorite barbecue sauce, place in the platter. Snap the lid on top. Refrigerate until ready to assemble packets.
To assemble packets- roll out a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Add a scoop of chicken, top with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top, cover with barbecue sauce.
Bring the two short ends of the foil together, fold over. Press this fold down onto the meat inside. Fold the long ends two or three times to seal, then one last fold at the edge of the meat. Grill or bake these packets seam side up, about 30 minutes (in oven 375*), or until cooked through.
Bacon Cheese Potato packets-
Wash and chop potatoes into cubes. Add cubes to salted water. Soak potatoes until ready to assemble packets. Chop bacon into small pieces. Fry until cooked through. Drain grease, store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble packets, thoroughly drain water off of potatoes. Add a cup or so of potatoes to a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 TB cold butter. Sprinkle bacon onto potatoes. Top with a handful of shredded cheese. Close packets as directed above, cooking with the seam side up, about 30 minutes (in oven 375*), or until cooked through.
Salad in a Jar-
Use wide mouth pint Mason jars for the salad in a jar. Chop all of the salad ingredients into bite-sized pieces. Keep each ingredient separate. Assemble salads, using a canning funnel, by layering each ingredient into jar.
Begin with the salad dressing. You might make a few with different dressings to offer a variety. I add about 2 TB salad dressing. More can be added later, if needed.
Next, layer harder vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, then add cucumbers, with lettuce and tomatoes on top.
I top these jars with plastic canning jar lids. This is easier to keep track of than the classic lid and screw ring. You can also write which salad dressing the jar contains on the lid, using a Sharpie. This ink is easily washed off once the party is over.
Grab & Go Cup & Silverware-
Another simple summer entertaining idea here! Place the napkin and silverware into a mason jar. Rather than paper napkins that blow away, use a bandana! The mason jar is also your guest’s cup for their meal. Easy to grab and go!
Summer entertaining just seems to call for ice cream! To make sundaes simple to serve, pre-scoop the ice cream and freeze. I freeze the ice cream scoops on Silpat liners, to make removing them once frozen easy.
When ready to serve, put the ice cream scoops into the Rubbermaid platter, add desired toppings, and fill the lidded container with chocolate syrup. I put a layer of ice in the lid of the platter, then set the platter on top. This will keep cold things cold. Obviously, add the toppings that you desire.
If you wish to serve more toppings, grab two of the platters and fill away!
Ready to plan your party? To make it easy and carefree, I’ve included a free printable invitation for you to download and print! Click on the link or this photo to print your invitations!
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