It may only be Wednesday, but the weekend is almost here and it isn't just two days, but three, and we are having a party! In other words, I can't wait! I have to be honest, I haven't done all that much to get ready, but with a menu of some of my favorite things that are easy to make, I am feeling relaxed and excited. We pulled together a few tips & tricks and a menu for 4th of July here, but thought we would mix it up with a few more variations in what to offer at a party. Two things that I always try to remember when planning a menu is the more you get done ahead of time the more fun you as a host will have and secondly, the easier the food is to eat the more people will eat it! The food listed below are some of my summer favorites, and what better way to enjoy them than with a party filled with your friends and family?
1. A summer punch that combines all the flavors that make you think of lying on the beach enjoying the sun - rum, pineapple & mango, you can't go wrong. Having one mixed drink at a party can keep things a bit simpler than when you try to appease everyone's tastes. Of course, I always include beer, but having one special punch for the day elevates the drink and typically makes the host's life a bit easier!
2. Tomato, basil & mozzarella kabobs are one of the easiest things to make that everyone loves and is great as an appetizer or a filler. You simply take the three ingredients and line them up on a toothpick so no one needs forks or plates, drizzle a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you have yourself a finished plate!
3. Melon is always a hit at summer parties. I often use watermelon, but mixing in cantaloupe or honeydew brings in a bit more color and variety. I personally love the melon on a stick, but from personal experience this adds a significant amount of prep time so if you don't have much time I suggest cutting them up in triangles and calling it a day.
4. As I mentioned in our 4th of July post, corn is simple summery option. This recipe is a bit different and doesn't include the whole cob, but instead breaks it up into halves, which I think is easier to handle in the long run.
5. One of my favorite things at a party is guacamole, and this refreshing addition of pineapple couldn't work better with our party. Who doesn't love a dish that has a bit of crunch and is a little unexpected!
6. For the main course, this BBQ recipe will win everyone over. This is the perfect meat that you can prepare a head of time so everyone can enjoy themselves at the party. Be prepared to start a couple days ahead of time, but all that is needed is a few buns!
7. With meat as the main course, it is important to include a hefty veggie option. This grilled summer veggie salad is fresh, colorful and should appeal to the vegetarians and the meat lovers.
8. A party isn't a party without some sort of dessert, especially a cake and nothing says the end of summer like a refreshing lemon cake. The imperfections of the cake creates an overall casual esthetic while still making a statement. Just remember that if you are planning to have your party outside that you put the desserts on the inside so they don't melt.
9. Macarons have to be my all time favorite dessert/food! If you have a little extra in the budget or are an amazing baker, it may be nice to add them in the mix. The colors are endless and everyone will rave forever about them!
10. And to go out on one last pineapple note, these pineapple pops scream summer! Again, not too difficult and you should be able to make them the day before, but they add a level of detail and takes the overall "pineapple" concept from beginning to end!
What are your plans for the last weekend of summer? Hope you enjoy every minute!