When it comes to the summer months, you can often find yourself looking for the perfect recipes to entertain with. Dinner parties are great at any time of year, but when the weather warms up, you want to head outside and entertain your guests out in the open air. And when you’re looking to entertain, you always want the easiest options imaginable. You want to be sure that you can enjoy time with your guests, and not spend the entire evening in the kitchen.
So, how can you achieve that? Well, to get your gathering off on the right foot, you’re going to want to choose the right kinds of cooking ideas. Paired with Oprah’s guest decor ideas and hopefully some great weather, you’ll be sure to have a hit of a party. For a little inspiration, these culinary choices could make your evening easier.
Design Simple Dishes
To get yourself off on the right foot, you’re going to want to start with your menu design. When you’re dashing around the grocery store picking up bits and pieces, you can end up with an eclectic mix that doesn’t really work. So, work it all out beforehand. Be sure you make your dishes simple but also comforting. A mix of meats and fish with veggies, salads, sides, and bread always works well for summer.
Prepare Ahead Of Time
With your menu all thought out, you’re going to want to make sure that you get as much stuff done as early as you can. The trick to making sure that you can spend as much time in the company of your guests as possible is preparation. Not only can you improve your cooking by getting your timing right, but by doing things like marinating and preparing early, your food should taste better and be quicker to cook.
Have Nibbles Ready
You should also think about nibbles. When your guests arrive, they may be peckish, so having some canapes around can help. They don’t have to be fancy – a few mini bruschettas or meats, cheese, and olives can be great. But by having finger food around, you can keep hunger at bay while dinner is being prepared.
Let The Food Cook Itself
When it comes to your cooking methods, you should think about the kinds of options that allow the food to pretty much cook itself. That way, you can be free to entertain without slaving over a stove. Two options here would be smoking and barbecuing. If you’re new to smoking, the best source for electric smoker reviews is electricsmokercenter.com to help you find the perfect one. Then, when it comes to a barbecue, you’re going to want to decide between goal or gas and what kind of size you need.
Go With Cold Options
You’re going to want to serve up some hot dishes, like your meat and some sides, but cold dishes always work a treat for summer entertaining. Things like salads and rice, even different breads and dips can be prepared the morning of your gathering and then they’re ready to go when it’s time to eat. The more you can do earlier on in the day, the better.
Make Crowd-Pleasing Desserts
Then you’ve also got your dessert options to think about. When you’re entertaining outside, you can definitely go with casual options. But, as you want desserts to feed the masses, you’re going to want to make them bite-sized if you can. These crowd-pleasing desserts as seen on tasteofhome.com are great options. Cakes and cookies are easy to eat outside and can be early. And things like cheesecakes and trifles can be created the night before and left in the fridge until dessert time.
Have A Secret Weapon
But you may also find that you need to keep something hidden away for later, just in case. Depending on how your party goes, you may have guests hanging around until late. If they get hungry, you may want midnight snack options to feed everyone with. Something like a homemade curry or even pizza in the fridge can be great to knock up in less than 30 minutes.
Create A Summer Cocktail Menu
Finally, you’ve then got the drinks to think about. And with it being a summer gathering, you want them to be fruity and fun. The Cooking Channel site shows us just how it’s done. Take a look for the best cocktails and mocktails that will suit the food that you’re serving, and that will be easy to make up in the afternoon before everyone arrives.