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Outdoor party tips

Posted by Lauren Moore, catering specialist
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It looks like summer has finally arrived in Minnesota! Whether you’re planning a reception, backyard barbecue, open house or just plain summertime fun, here are a few simple outdoor entertaining tips.

As with any outdoor event, keep in mind two things: weather and food safety.

  • Weather in the Twin Cities has proven to be highly unpredictable, especially this summer. Make sure you have a contingency plan for your gathering. No matter if you move to the garage, under a tent or indoors, plan ahead for a smooth transition should weather strike. Even if you do move indoors, a cleared-out garage is great for group activities, a tent is fun for board games and your basement is a perfect spot to cool down with summer tunes.
  • Always remember that hot food needs to be kept hot and cold food needs to be kept cold. Crock pots, chafing dishes and ovens are great tools to keep food hot if you’re not serving straight from the grill. To keep food cold, think outside the box. Lots of things found around the house can be filled with ice, including kiddie pools, large bowls or even a bathtub to place platters on.

Party Food Ideas

  • We all know hamburgers and hot dogs are American cookout mainstays. Another great option is kabobs! They’re the perfect solution for a quick, colorful and healthy summer get-together.
  • Pair freshly marinated chicken, beef or shrimp with crisp produce straight from our produce department. Kabobs can be assembled a few days in advance and are easy to toss on the grill when your guests arrive.
  • For a perfect side pairing, grill fresh sweet corn. Round out your meal by celebrating national berry month with a fresh berry salad (Driscoll’s berries are amazing).
  • An ice cream buffet is a perfect outdoor dessert option. It’s a sweet ending to your summertime meal and sure to please guests of all ages. Like the kabobs, most of the toppings can be prepared in advance and just pulled out at the last minute.

Here are some great topping ideas:

    • Bowls of sweetened fresh whipped cream
    • Sliced juicy strawberries that have been mixed with a little sugar
    • Sliced bananas (don't prepare these too far in advance)
    • Blueberries or raspberries
    • Fudge sauce
    • Caramel sauce
    • Assorted nuts – if allergies are a concern, keep peanuts separate or eliminate all together
    • Chopped candy bars
    • Rainbow or chocolate sprinkles
    • Cookies or biscotti to top the sundaes
    • Don’t forget the cherry on top!

Summer entertaining doesn’t need to be overly complicated or stressful. The most important thing to remember is to have fun yourself.

Tags: summeroutdoor party

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