Monday, June 3, 2013

summer entertaining: the essentials

We're not fans of the heat and humidity that summer brings, but we live in Kentucky and that's just part of it. I could whine for days about how unpleasant it is, but I won't. Instead, I'll tell you about things we do that make the heat more bearable. Namely, we plan get-togethers with friends, quite a few of them through the summer months. I love having people over, whether we're grilling out in the afternoon or having wine and cocktails in the evening. It allows us the opportunity to be social, to share great food and new recipes with friends, and it's a little escape from the every day.

I originally planned to do one post about summer entertaining, but as I started collecting ideas it became obvious that there was a lot going on, too much to talk about so there will be a few Summer Entertaining posts coming your way in the coming weeks. Today is all about Summer Entertaining: The Essentials. Below you'll find a list of some of our essential items:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

I won't address everything on this list, but I do want to touch on a few things. If we're having a group of people over we always go for paper plates, rather than dealing with a sink full of dishes at the end of the night. As for plastic cups, we try to buy and use them but it seems like most of our friends head straight for our glassware, and more than anything - the wine glasses. I suppose we have a tendency to do the same thing, (Wine is just better in a proper glass I guess?) so if you think this may be a thing at your get-together go ahead and set out a few glasses, it will keep people from running in and out of your kitchen while you may still be preparing food.

For most cookouts you don't need to do any major decorating, just cleaning. If you're looking for a little something new to add a touch of color go for something simple, like a table runner. Tablecloths (I'm talking fabric ones, not cheap plastic) are just begging for kids to use the edges to wipe their ketchup or barbecue covered hands on, and they're more clean up to deal with in the event that happens. You can line a table runner with candles (citronella if you're outdoors) and other small decorative accents too and it's unlikely it will have any food wiped or spilled on it.

I highly recommend a chip n' dip for any occasion. If you don't own any other serverware this is the one thing you should buy. Even if you're just having a cocktail night it's nice to serve something people can snack on. We serve spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo chicken dip, chips and salsa, and even a few dessert dips.

Do you have any entertaining essentials that you don't see on our list? Leave a comment, I would love to know what your must-haves are.


  1. My husband and I found clear plastic wine glasses at Kohl's. They are specifically reserved for outdoor use and are wonderful since there's less chance of an accident! :)

    1. That's a great idea! I never thought to look for plastic wine glasses. I'll keep that in mind for this summer, thanks for the tip!

  2. That is so sweet, love all your picks, and love finding your blog!
    Definitely following on GFC to stay in touch :)



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