Summer BBQ's and entertainment season is upon us. Pizza and Beer or grilled out Burgers & hot dogs are always a solid option, however, if you are anything like my little family, when we entertain, we like to do it up right. We just celebrated our "Housewarming and Baby BBQ" as we lovingly called it, yesterday. and It. was. a. blasttttt. We moved into our house in January, however, it hasn't been warm enough to really have a housewarming yet. and Grey wanted a "manly baby shower" for Kamila so we decided to combine that with our housewarming party and do it up BBQ style. We had great food, a great turn out, and an even better time.
For this event, we went with a way more relaxed menu than we usually would- fresh garden veggies, chips with queso blanco & pico, and chilled gazpacho with charred sourdough as our appetizers. For the main course, we brown-sugar-and-spice rubbed some baby back ribs, grilled italian sausages & brats, charred baked potatos in our fire pit, grilled some cuban style corn, and chased it all with homemade lemon cupcakes that my aunt sells out of her bakery.
It. Was. BOMB, folks.
So entertainment like that is definitely a summer go to. However, for those of you looking to do an elevated summer gathering, this blog is for you. The below is the EASIEST elevated entertaining you can do. Fresh and simple, easy to prepare and store, and wonderfully bright and refreshing ingredients. Plus its all super light (and happens to be healthy) so your guests wont feel heavy and sleepy afterwards. All of the options are super interactive- guests build and cook their own foods. I love interactive buffets- they keep the party moving and the guests mingling and allow each guest to eat and drink exactly what they want and nothing more. If this sounds like the type of event you want, look no further and enjoy. Your friends will thank you.
C H A R C U T E R I E
A Charcuterie board display is ALWAYS a win. Literally just toss meats, cheeses, fruits, figs, plums, jams, mustards, and a ton of breads/ crackers on a cutting board and its a fancy little self serve station. The above photo diagram gives you a great idea of how to present one and the common choices entertainers usually include. This bad boy can be made in advance for convenience and most of the cheeses and meats are cured (so they do not spoil fast and can be left out)
>> This is best served with a bright and citrus-forward White Wine sangria.
C A P R E S E B O A R D
Caprese. ok so caprese is literally heaven on earth. and this is literally the easiest thing to make ever and can be both made and stored ahead of time. I try to keep my entertaining as simple as possible. Slice fresh peaches, fresh mozzerella, and heirloom tomoatos, layer across a platter with prosciutto and fresh basil leaves, drizzle liberally with basil olive oil, truffle honey, and balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. boom. done. and it. is. delicious.
>> This is best served with a Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule or Margarita
s h i s h k a b o b B a r
1. A build your own shish kabob bar will never be out of style. We did this so many times last summer I lost count. Literally, cube and season raw meats, vegetables, and seafood with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and display next to a grill with soaked skewers and 2-3 glaze options. (We usually do an asian glaze, a bbq glaze, and a citrus cajun glaze.) You can buy these in premixed marinades or make your own- whatever is easiest. With the Shish kabob bar Everyone can make whatever variety they want, and cook it how they like it, at their own leisure. It was such a blast last summer. and SO SO easy. again, this is one of those things you can prep and store ahead of time and is super easy to just throw out there on the table. We would usually do cubed steak, spicy italian sausage, chicken, shrimp, red onion, red and green bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, pineapple, and cherry tomatoes. This was always a huge hit for us. Serve this with a big bowl of white rice and your done. Simple. Easy. Elevated.
>> Best Served with craft beer & wine options.
S ' M O R E S B A R
1. A build your own s'mores bar is the easiest way for your guests to enjoy rich chocolaty desserts they can make themselves- make way for ooey-gooey perfection when the sun goes down and the fire gets lit! One-Up traditional s'mores by adding white chocolate, dark chocolate, a variety of cookies, reese cups, kit kats, and chocolate graham cracker alternatives to your display. Make it fun. get creative with the candy. You can get long skewers from amazon.com and tiered displays like the one pictured from walmart.com
>> Best served with an Irish coffee bar, complete with the whiskey, irish cream, and whipped cream.
So, there you have it. A super simple but elevated party; Interactive yet easy; Modern & delightful. Its easy to prepare and fairly inexpensive to supply. Display your cocktails in beverage dispensers filled with cut fruit, herbs, and lots of ice, a bucket with ice for white wine and beer, and a biiiig dispenser with ice water (it gets hot, we get thirsty, and alcohol should never be the only option lol) We would have people bring their own beverages and only provide a couple of cocktails. And for large groups we would have everyone bring their own chair or blanket to sit on. We would have the music blasting on a portable speaker and it was such a great time. I cant wait to do that again this year. I hope you guys love this! Let me know how yours turns out!