July 10, 2016
Summer Entertaining: Start with the basics
Finally… it’s time for the hazy, lazy days of summer! I am able to go outside and enjoy my patio with friends and family. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the outdoors than with a party. It could be a graduation party, like we held for my daughter this year (PSU Class of 2016), or just a casual get-together thrown together on a whim!
To ensure you’re fully prepared to host any gathering, you need to start with the basics: a fabulous patio furniture set with a complimenting umbrella. Once you have your foundation set, it’s time to accessorize. I love using my outdoor tableware when entertaining. The shatterproof melamine stands up to the outdoor elements, plus it’s lightweight and it’s colorful. Many of the styles available convincingly look like elegant, indoor ceramic tableware! Since most outdoor furniture is in a rich, neutral color, it’s fun to add pops of color with tableware, placemats and throw pillows.
Planning on serving a crowd? Nora Fleming® has adorable serving pieces that can be used for any occasion. The crisp, white finish of the ceramic collection allows them to pair easily with any other serving ware you may have, but can be customize with pop-in colorful, ceramic “minis”. From red solo cups to barbeque grill “minis”, discover a mini for every occasion! I love this line because they are universal, practical and fun. They make great hostess gifts, too.
Another staple for outdoor entertaining is Stonewall Kitchen Specialty Foods. They have created the most excellent and savory barbeque and grilling sauces, plus a variety of jellies, jams and spreads. I can’t get enough of their hot pepper jelly – I slather it over cream cheese and serve with crackers for an effortless and crowd pleasing appetizer.
Don’t forget to set the mood with outdoor lighting. Add a strand of Edison light bulbs to your umbrella or a low tree branch for a classic party vibe. Patio lanterns are another easy option. If you prefer real candles, try our citronella candles to keep mosquitoes from bugging your guests!
Stop by the garden center and I’ll show you more entertaining pieces, plus I’ll gladly share more tips and ideas for fabulous summer entertaining!
Donna Dentner | Lifestyle Manager