Summertime is the perfect time for entertaining!
And who doesn't like a BBQ/Party in the backyard, on the deck or on the patio!
Here are some great tips for stress-free entertainging.
PICK A DATE
Choose a time and a day that will be convenient for most people. Don’t forget to check the weather.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
It is easy to get overwhelmed when planning an event. Try not to over-complicate things. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring.
DETERMINE A BUDGET
Decide how much you are willing to spend and stick to it. Plan your menu, decorations, and entertainment around the set budget.
Facebook Event is the cheapest and one of the easiest ways to spread the word to your friends and family about the upcoming event. In just a matter of clicks, you can send a detailed invite and find out who will be able to make it. You can always go with traditional hard copy invites; although it may be more costly.
PLAN THE MENU
When it comes to planning a menu for a summer party the options are limitless. you can have everything from a BBQ, to just casual finger foods, fresh fruits, salads, appetizers, and refreshing drinks. You can even invite your guests to bring their favorite summer food item to share with others.
ORGANIZE A SHOPPING LIST
Once you figure out your budget, menus, and the theme, make a categorized list of the items and ingredients that you will need to purchase at the store. Try to buy every-thing you need a day or two in advance.
Ask a couple of friends for help to avoid work overload and potential stress. Give each person a responsibility. For example, one person can help with invitations whereas another can be in charge of the decorations.
CHECK YOUR SUPPLY
Create a check list of all the items that you will need in accordance to the number of guests. Make sure there is enough food, chairs, tables, napkins, cups, and other necessary items.
CREATE THE SPACE
Set specific areas for food and drink tables. If children will be attending, plan on having a safe spot for them to run around and play.
BREAK THE ICE
Add a casual group activity or start an engaging conversation to get your guests interacting with each other while maintaining a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
Fresh Caprese Salad
Submitted by Adrienne Snyder, NC
Makes approximately 2 servings -
• ½ cup cherry tomato halves
• ¼ cup mozzarella cheese ball halves
• 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1–2 drop Basil essential oil
• Mini wooden skewers*
• Fresh basil leaves for garnish
1. Place tomatoes and cheese in bowl.
2. Top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
3. Add Basil essential oil; stir and eat.
* Need a quick and easy appetizer?
Thread tomatoes and cheese onto mini wooden skewersand drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil mixture.
Wild Tropical Smoothie
Submitted by Vanessa Zamorano, CA -
• 5 drops Wild Orange essential oil
• 1 cup frozen strawberries
• 1 cup frozen mango
• 1 ½ cup pineapple juice
Mix in a blender; pour and enjoy!
Lemon and Orange Granitas
• 6 large lemons or 4 medium oranges
• Sugar/honey to taste
• 4 cups water
• 2–4 drops Lemon or Wild Orange essential oil
1. Clean and wash fruit. Cut off the top quarter and slice a thin bevel off the bottom of the fruit, so they stand up straight.
2. Using a grapefruit knife, carefully remove and save the flesh and juice; be careful not to cut through the bottom. Stand the rinds on a plate or cookie sheet and freeze until solid.
3. Combine scooped out flesh and juice with essential oil in a food processor or blender; pulse until mostly pureed then press mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
4. Stir in water; add sugar or honey one tablespoon at a time to taste. Pour mixture into large roasting pan or baking dish, large enough that the liquid isn’t more than one-inch deep.
5. Freeze for 1–3 hours. Remove mixture from freezer every hour and scrape with two forks to break up ice.
6. When the granita is frozen, rake until glittery. Scoop into frozen lemon or orange shells and serve.
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