It’s the day after the longest day of the year, which could only mean one thing: summer is officially here! And nothing celebrates the season better than a warm weather soiree. Invite your friends and family over to enjoy a cool drink, some delicious food and great conversation in your beautiful home.
Lazy lunches, cocktails and casual dinners are a great way to get together with loved ones without the pressure of a formal dinner party. Here are some tips to get the most out of your time so you can enjoy yourself, stress-free.
You don’t need hours of prep time to put together a wonderful lunch. In fact, all you need to do is run down to your local grocer or deli. You can put together an inexpensive meal with just a few high quality ingredients and a bit of creative presentation.
A make-your-own panini bar will please the pickiest of eaters and can accommodate a group of any size. Pick up a few types of artisanal bread, deli meats like sopressata, cheeses, fresh tomatoes and basil. You can even get fancy by roasting garlic and a variety of sliced vegetables. All that’s required is layering your ingredients, drizzling some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then pressing it on a cast iron grill or sandwich press. If you live by an Italian grocer, it’s even better. Independent grocers often offer specialty items that aren’t available or are more expensive elsewhere.
There are a lot of easy starters that you can make ahead of time too. Tapenades, anchovy pastes, canned sardines and antipasto on crostini only require a toaster, while roasting asparagus wrapped with prosciutto in the oven only takes 10 minutes. Parmesan crisps are even faster, only requiring melting cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Finish your lunch off with a fruit plate that you can either buy or make by slicing up some produce. Lay everything out on some wooden cutting boards, place spreads in bowls and lay out some knives and forks on a Rove Concepts Noguchi Table or Rove Concepts Oval Tulip Table. Pair with a refreshing drink and you’ll have a smashing party in less than an hour.
Cocktail parties take a little more time than a sandwich buffet but the extra effort is worth it. All those fancy appetizers and premade drinks will make a big impact on your guests, guaranteeing that it will be a party they won’t forget. All that’s needed is using time wisely.
There are a few easy starters that are always hits and can either be made ahead of time or bought. Quality frozen mini quiches, frozen egg rolls, jarred spreads and dips are dependable appetizers that can be purchased from almost any store. Vegetable and fruit plates are always nice, as are chilled soups in little shot glasses. Anything that you can put on a toothpick is also fun, like basil, cherry tomato and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. You can even grill corn on the cob sections and sprinkle them with chili and parmesan.
Themed drinks are essential for this type of get-together, especially a fruity one for a hot night. Cool down with a grapefruit sparkler made with Prosecco and fresh grapefruit juice with frozen grapefruit slices. Mojitos are classic but Caipirinha’s are much more exciting. Make it with sugar cane hard liquor from your liquor store, sugar and lime. Pour them artfully in clean, clear vases before anyone arrives so that they can refill their own glasses. Ensure that your guests have somewhere to put their food and drinks down with the Rove Concepts Eileen Gray End Tables and Rove Concepts Marble Tulip Side Table.
Use your backyard, open your patio doors or even prop up a window. Warm summer air is essential for a casual dinner during these months. The food and drink you serve doesn’t have to be elaborate either, just delicious.
Interesting salads, interactive mains like tacos and souvlaki are perfect dishes to serve. Toss cut-up strawberries, pears, spinach, candied nuts and a poppy seed dressing together or combine fried wonton strips, canned mandarin orange slices, romaine lettuce in a sesame seed dressing. Freshly caught fish tacos are delightful with a vinegar and cabbage slaw and lamb souvlaki with homemade tzatziki are delightful.
Serve everything family-style in large bowls and platters to add to the friendly atmosphere and so that people can help themselves. You can even set up Rove Concepts Victoria Ghost Chairs or Louis Ghost Chairs on your patio table because they’re outdoor-friendly.
Remember – people are there to have a good time; they won’t notice what tablecloth you choose. Don’t worry too much about the details, just take a deep breath, smile and enjoy yourself. You deserve it.10660