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Summer Entertaining with Great Day Houston

IMG_3853I had a great time this morning sharing tips for Summer Entertaining with Great Day Houston.

One of my favorite things about summer is a more relaxed schedule.  That allows for more time to socialize and catch up with friends and family.  My goal is to enjoy our time together, I don’t want to be running around like a busy hostess.  Here are a few tips to make your summer entertaining fun, fresh and easy.

Veggie Centerpieces  IMG_3804

Real food is vibrant & beautiful!  How about making a fruit tray or veggie platter serve as your centerpiece?  It’s both gorgeous and delicious.  Chop up vibrant veggies (or fruit) and put them in a grouping of pretty jars, bowls or glass vases of all sizes and heights.  Make your dip as part of the grouping.

IMG_3825For decoration only, I love to surround vases with asparagus, long green beans or green pea pods and tie with ribbon or twine then add fresh flowers or candles to the vases.  I also hollow out artichokes to make them into vases.  Also, something as simple as rainbow chard or a blooming purple cabbage can take the place of flowers.

Party Food in a cup

If you want to mix and mingle and snack – here are a few ideas for appetizers in a cup.  You might remember I shared some “snack cup” ideas previously, you can check those out here.  Below are a few more:

7 layer dip

 Ingredients:

1/2 bunch Green onions

2 Roma tomatoes

1 (16 ounce) can refried beans

1 cup Guacamole

1 (2.25 ounce) can black olives

1 cup Salsa or pico de gallo

1 (1 ounce) package Taco seasoning (homemade version below)

1 bag of Tortilla chips

1 cup Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

8 (9 ounce) plastic tumblers

IMG_3829Directions:

Mix Taco seasoning with refried beans

Layer: beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese and top with green onions, tomatoes, black olives and a tortilla chip.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

¼ cup Chili Powder

¼ cup Cumin Powder

1 Tbsp Garlic powder

1 Tbsp Onion powder

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Paprika

2 Tbsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a jar and shake well. Makes approximately 1 cup.  Store in an airtight jar for up to six months. 3 Tbsp = 1 packet of store bought taco seasoning.

Veggies & Hummus (or Ranch)

Ingredients:

Carrots

Celery

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

Hummus or Ranch

Plastic tumblers (or shot glasses)

Directions:

Cut your favorite veggies into sticks or place on toothpicks.  Add dip to your cup/glass followed by veggie sticks.

IMG_3832Party Food on a Stick

Because eating off of a stick is just fun.  But, it does not have to be deep fried!  In fact, it could be a salad.  Sound crazy? Give these a try!

Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle

Ingredients:

Fresh Basil leaves

Cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup Balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper

Mozzarella cheese, mini

Toothpicks

Directions:

Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil then reduce to medium heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes until it thickens to a light syrup consistency.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Cut tomatoes in half. Place cheese, basil (folding if needed) and tomato on a toothpick. Repeat. Sprinkle all with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Greek Salad on a Stick

Ingredients:

Chunk feta cheese, cubed

Dried oregano

Olive oil

Kalamata olives

Grape tomatoes, halved

Mini cucumbers, sliced

Directions:

Toss the feta cubes with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with oregano.

Thread skewers with olives, tomatoes, cucumber slices and feta cubes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

IMG_3816Frozen Mimosa Pops

Need I say more.  Seriously, you can thank me later. 😉

Ingredients:

Orange Juice

Champagne

Popsicle Molds

Directions:

In Popsicle molds, pour champagne half way up each mold. Allow the bubbles to subside.

Top each mold with the juice of your choice.

Freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Serve cold upside down in pretty glasses for added flare and to help with melting.

So there you have it – a few ideas for your summer entertaining.  Tune in next week and I’ll share a sweet surprise for National Cheesecake Day!

 

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