Summer is around the corner, and there's nothing better in the "lazy days" than a great party. Summer get-togethers are casual and relaxed - the best kind, in our opinion. We've put together a few "recipes" for great summer gatherings. Here's the Funspired scoop:
GUESTS: family & friends of all ages
SIMPLE MENU: start with some steamed artichokes and a simple sauce of greek yogurt, lemon juice, and mustard for dipping plus some chips, salsa and guacamole for the kiddos - then grill up some brats or other sausages with sauerkraut, sweet potatoes and an arugula salad for the main meal
SWEET ENDINGS: s'mores, of course! fill a big basket with graham crackers, marshmallows, and a variety of chocolates to suit everyone's palette - if you don't have an outdoor fire pit, just roast the 'mallows on the grill
SLURPS: craft beer for all ages - root beer for the young & a selection of IPAs, wheats, and blondes for the "young at heart" (great choices of both available at United Market Street) - for the wine-os, chill some of our favorite Dead Flowers rose (available at Crush)
ACTIVITIES: hula hoops - the kids will be naturals, but the adults will get lots of laughs trying to hoop the hula - wal-mart has regular hoops, but we also recommend this weighted hoop for the grown-ups
TUNES: Lumineers station on Pandora
KIDS-ONLY: create a special area just for the kiddos stocked full of bubbles, water balloons, and sidewalk chalk - set up a tee-pee or tent with lots of pillows and blankets & no grown-ups allowed!
GROUP: gal pals or workout buddies
SWEAT: take a group jog around the neighborhood or do a yoga class together
DRINKS: green smoothies or bellinis (or both, depending on the crowd) - for simple peach bellinis, blend frozen peaches with a splash of fresh-squeezed oj and top with prosecco
EATS: choose prep-ahead foods, so you can just set everything out after your workout - serve wild smoked salmon with mashed avocado, hard-boiled eggs (farm-fresh from Pan-Handlers Cafe), capers, sliced cucumber, tomato, frisee, lemons and this fabulous seed bread - or whip up an easy veggie fritatta with fruit salad
PARTY FAVORS: send guests home with one of your favorite healthy recipes, a great workout plan, or a copy of our new favorite wellness book The Daniel Plan
CONCEPT: cocktails with friends
AMBIANCE: set the mood with some fun lighting - from string lights to color cubes, you'll know when you find the perfect thing for your taste
SIPS: make a big batch of these blueberry lavender vodka spritzers or these strawberry basil margaritas - we love the mix of fruit and herbs for a fresh flavor!
EASY SOLUTIONS: order bruschetta from Crush, lettuce wraps from BL Bistro and a sushi from Kushi Yama - or just pick up some yummy pizza from 575 Pizzeria and have them cut it into bite-size pieces for easy nibbling
FUN IDEAS: cocktail popsicles (yum! we love the ones in small shot glasses) and sliders galore
MARTHA: if you like to be fancy
PARTY GAMES: set up a grown-up I SPY game - give guests a list of things to find - hide small items like a paperclips & pennies and list unique features to your patio like a chipped tile or a special potted plant - crown the winners with fun party hats
BEATS: set a cool vibe by hiring some live music - we love the Turbine Toolshed & Sadie's Rangers
We hope we've inspired you to gather up your gang for a little fiesta. Yippee for summer!
Your fun friends,
Susan and Farrar