Light Bites and Sips For Summer Nights

Le-Grand-Aioli-Classic French Dish

Summer Cocktail

The Fixings For A Cocktail

Always searching for entertaining dishes that can be made ahead for those hot summer nights.  Pick up your fresh produce from your local farm stand to serve up the rainbow.  Being able to have friends over with little effort is the goal but in all honesty nothing goes without effort and some prep.  Here is a fab classic French platter that I will be giving a go to share with friends.  Bring this lovely platter to any summer gathering for something to noche on. Try Goop’s Green Goddess dressing for a healthy alternative to the aioli.    I also stumbled across a bright and light cocktail that can be sipped all summer long. Hydrating with watermelon sounds pretty perfect to me.  I am also sharing a lovely list of 30 Rose`s to enjoy from Food & Wine.  Time to trade in the red for all those lovely shades of pink.  Cheers to summer!

images @ Food 52 and Epicurious

Take It Outside

this summer with alfresco dining at home. Let’s just say June is officially summer!  There is nothing better than firing up the BBQ and having friends over to enjoy the long summer nights.  It is the best time to entertain.  Summer gatherings can be simple and festive with little prep or you can go full-out gangbusters. Spending energy on creating a lovely and inviting atmosphere will delight you all summer long.  You will just need to clean up the space and make of list of the items you will need to make entertaining fuss free and easy.  After this it will be a breeze!  Here is a helpful tip:  clear out a designated space to hold all your summer dining essentials to make it easy on yourself and for those that are willing to lend a helping hand.

Make your next reservation at home! Get creative with whatever space you may have.  All spaces can be turned into a summer oasis.
Pick flowers and fresh herbs from your garden or go to an outdoor market for fresh local flowers.
Gathered utensils in a container to pass around is simple, functional, and casual.
A folding table (great for pop up dinners when you have more guests than your typical dining set can accommodate) covered by a simple white table-cloth.  Get clever with seating if you don’t have enough matching chairs by mixing in pieces from your indoors space.  Benches work really well too.
Melamine plates and glasses are worth the investment.  This would also look just as lovely with colorful paper plates and napkins. Outdoor dining can be what you want it to be.  No rules!
Light it up with string lights and candles!
Her smile tells it all!  A dear friend who just happens to be my neighbor (thank my lucky stars!) kicked off summer with an outdoor set up that has me planting flowers , dusting off summer plates , and hanging lights!  Thank you for the inspiration!

Here are a few places to check out online for your summer alfresco evenings.  Happy Summer folks!

Crate&Barrel could be your one stop shopping for all your alfresco needs.

Ikea for some Scandinavian inspiration.

Target for string lighting options and folding tables (so handy to own and can be tucked away).

Check out this great piece from RealSimple.  Lots of tips to get you excited for all your summer entertaining.