ALL POSTS TAGGED "summer entertaining"

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Sure, Labor Day might be the unofficial end of summer, but we still have two full weeks of the season left, not to mention months of prime let’s-have-a-party-outside weather.

Jonathan Adler

Color and Design Expert Jonathan Adler

We chatted with iconic designer Jonathan Adler to find out his top three outdoor party essentials, go-to foods and party pet peeves. Why not use his tips this weekend?

Watch the interview now:

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There are many big issues facing the country on this summer Friday. Obviously, the most important of them all is what to order as your drink of choice when the work bell rings and you head to happy hour. We recommend creating a fruity smorgasbord of deliciousness with a pitcher of sangria. Whether you are a fan of the white wine or the red wine variety, either party can agree that sipping on a tall, cold glass of sangria will eventually lead to happiness, camaraderie and yes, even world peace (or at least peace on your patio of choice).

Foodnetwork.com California Rose Punch

FoodNetwork.com's California Rose Punch

Happy Hour Style: The Beauty of Bar Carts

Foodnetwork.com Tropical Sangria

FoodNetwork.com's Tropical Sangria

Sangria also scores on the fruit front. Drinking a glass comes with a healthy shot of vitamin C from the wine soaked oranges, nectarines and berries. Head to the market and fill up your cart in the fruit aisle and then grab a bottle of your favorite vino. You are set for a sangria summer night.

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It might not have shown up on your calendar today as a date to remember, but August 10 is officially National S’mores Day. What better way to celebrate such a holiday than by roasting up this delicious treat and sipping fun drinks on a glamorous camping trip – otherwise known as “glamping.” We’ve got tips for throwing the perfect backyard camping party and a chocolate cocktail to keep you cool on hot summer nights.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

Glamping Tip 1: Whether you are glamping in your backyard or in the woods, there are a few things to remember when setting up your campsite. Always make sure to pitch the tent on level ground. Clear sticks and stones away beforehand. Pick a tent (or canopy or fort made out of blankets) that fits your needs. Want to set up a table with enough chairs for friends? You’ll need a bit more coverage than if your glamping adventure is a snug little area for two.

Tips for Glamourous Camping Glamping

Glamping Tip 2: Throw an outdoor dinner party during your glamping trip. Invite friends over for a barbecue, buffet dinner, or sit-down dinner – just remember to keep the theme casual and the clean up quick and easy.

Tips for Glamourous Camping Glamping

Glamping Tip 3: Serve a signature cocktail.This twist on a hot chocolate drink is perfect to cool your guests off on a hot summer night.

Texican Tailgate Cocoa Freeze Cocktail Recipe

Cocoa Freeze Cocktail Recipe

So, call up your friends, mix up some drinks and stoke the fire. You’ve got s’mores to make and glamping to do!

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It’s hard to imagine a summer cookout with out one staple item: a tray filled with giant slices of watermelon. This refreshing treat screams summer. But, when you get down to it, it can also scream mess – it’s not the easiest food to eat. The solution for having your watermelon and drinking it too? A watermelon cocktail.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

Whether you prefer frozen or on the rocks, these watermelon libations are the perfect way to update your weekend cookout. Click on the pictures below to get check out these recipes.

Frozen Waterberry Batida

Get the Recipe: Frozen Waterberry Batida

 

Mellow Melon Margarita

Get the Recipe: Mellow Melon Margarita

 

Find more ideas for easy recipes for a summer party.
 

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Don’t let the title of this blog confuse you – we aren’t saying that as a result of today’s happy hour you should hop, skip and go naked (but hey, it is summer…and it is hot out). Instead, keep your clothes on and enjoy some of this fun summer punch. In addition to having a name that in itself is a great conversation piece, Hop Skip and Go Naked Punch is also a favorite because it has something for everyone. With a recipe that calls for cold beer AND whiskey, you know you can’t lose.

Hop Skip and Go Naked PunchHop Skip and Go Naked Punch

The recipe calls for six cans of beer, a pint of whiskey, a can of frozen lemonade and two liters of soda. In other words, it’s meant to be shared with friends. So whip up a batch and invite the neighbors over, surprise your coworkers with an afternoon treat or be the most popular person at your family reunion.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

The punch can of course be made without the alcohol and the fizzy lemonade mixture would surely be welcome on a hot summer afternoon. However, that drink might just be called Hop Skip Punch because we are fairly sure that that naked part goes hand in hand with the whiskey and beer. Enjoy!

See more tips for summer entertaining including cool drinks, party tips and chic centerpieces.

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The heat of summer can be overwhelming. When temperatures soar into the 100′s, the last thing you want is a warm glass of red wine or a heavy beer. You need to cool off with a fresh, minty treat – a mojito. This simple drink screams summer and is the perfect accessory to relax with by the pool (or on the driveway, on the beach, in a fancy restaurant – it’s very versatile!).

Classic Mojito RecipeClassic Mojitos

Once you’ve made your simple syrup, mix in rum, lime juice and soda water. Head to your garden (or grocery store) for a few sprigs of mint and you have the perfect warm weather refreshment.

Happy Hour Cocktails: The Full Collection

If you prefer to cool off without alcohol, then this mocktail needs to be added to your beverage rotation. The fresh taste of grapefruit paired with mint is a taste that’s not to be missed.

Virgin Grapefruit MojitoVirgin Grapefruit Mojito

So raise your glass to summer and say cheers to mojitos!

Find more great mojito recipes on Food.com.

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This week it’s all about outdoor entertaining. For part three of our summer party essentials miniseries, event planner Calder Clark of Calder Clark Designs shares her simple entertaining must-haves for a seamless — yet fun gathering for everyone on your guest list. And with events like the Rockefeller-Carnegie wedding under her belt, Calder knows how to bring stylish touches to the backyard. Check out Calder’s decorating and buffet picks for ideas for your next soiree.

hgtv magazine summer party essentials calder clarkEvent planner Calder Clark offers her favorite summer entertaining must-haves.

Every Warm-Weather Party Needs…

hgtv magazine summer party essentials place settingsTeal Stripe Solera dinner plates, target.com :: Chalkboard Vinyl, voguefabricsstore.com

Plastic Plates: “Every summer I stock up on melamine plates from Target. They’re just two bucks a pop, and are dishwasher-safe.”

Chalkboard Place Mats: “This makes a great kids’ table activity — I use pinking shears to cut the reusable fabric into squares and put out chalk for doodling.”

hgtv magazine summer party essentials decor20″ no frills lantern, lunabazaar.com :: 10″ sparklers, sparklersonline.com

Paper Lanterns: “Hang these in abundance from tree limbs. Use all one color to pack a punch.”

Sparklers!!!: “These little goodies are the life of the party.”

The Buffet Always Has…

hgtv magazine summer party essentials foodAcrylic pitcher, crateandbarrel.com :: Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers, mamieswafers.com

Spiked Lemonade: “Gotta love a tasty spiked lemonade! The hot sauce doesn’t change the color, but it gives the drink a spicy kick.”

Get Calder’s signature Cajun lemonade recipe, perfect for hot summer days:

Calder’s Cajun Lemonade

  • 24 oz. store-bought lemonade
  • 8 oz. Bacardi light rum
  • 8 oz. soda water
  • Original Louisiana Hot Sauce

Directions: Mix the lemonade, rum and soda water in a large pitcher. Serve with ice; add hot sauce to each drink, to taste. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Quick and Easy Finger Foods: “Slice-and-bake cheese wafers are my number-one crowd-pleaser. They have a nutty, sharp flavor that tastes homemade, but they come right out of the freezer.”

See more of Calder’s simple entertaining ideas and others in this summer’s HGTV Magazine (check out page 136) — on newsstands now! And for more can’t-miss entertaining ideas, check out HGTV.com’s Outdoor Entertaining guide.

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For part two of our summer party essentials miniseries, upscale event planner Yifat Oren of Yifat Oren & Associates shares her top seven must-haves when hosting warm-weather gatherings. Although she produces high-end events for celebrity clients like Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore, she prefers her own parties to be “laid-back, ecofriendly and fun.” From casual place settings to budget-chic decor, follow Yifat’s essentials for the perfect low-key get-together.

hgtv magazine entertaining essentials yifat orenUpscale event planner Yifat Oren shares her top seven summer party essentials.

Every Warm-Weather Party Needs…

hgtv magazine summer entertaining essentials invitationsSummer Fun Citrus Slice invitation, cocodot.com

Easy Invites: “I usually blast an informal email invite to friends on cocodot.com.”

hgtv magazine summer entertaining essentials place settings7″ compostable starch plates, sustyparty.com :: Rainbow Stripey Straw mix, shopsweetlulu.com :: Tekla dish towels, ikea.com

Earth-Friendly Plates: “These colorful plates are biodegradable.”

Paper Straws: “They’re cute and popular with the kids, but adults love them too.”

Clever Napkins: “I buy these dish towels in bulk — you can’t beat the price — and use them as napkins.”

hgtv magazine summer entertaining essentials decorSmith & Hawken 10-count string lights, target.com :: Alseda stool, ikea.com

Mood Lighting: “Stringer lights make any yard look better. Drape them above the food table or hang them from tree to tree.”

Extra Seating: “Scatter these little rattan ottomans around outside — they’re chicer than folding lawn chairs.”

hgtv magazine summer entertaining essentials lawn gamesTournament Bocce, llbean.com

Lawn Games: “Bocce is perfect for the backyard — lots of people can play or watch.”

See more of Yifat’s low-key party planning tips and others in this summer’s HGTV Magazine (flip to page 134) — on newsstands now! And check back next week for more quick and easy entertaining ideas from the pros.

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Planning a backyard party doesn’t have to be stressful. As a matter of fact, it should be fun! For the next two weeks, just sit back and let us do some of the planning for you. In this Design Happens miniseries, full-time party planners share their summer party essentials, from bocce ball to chalkboard place mats.

This week Jung Lee, event designer and cofounder of Fête, shares her top party must-haves for the season. Jung says she likes to keep her gatherings simple and alfresco. Want to steal her secrets? Check out her tips below.

jung lee hgtv magazineParty planner Jung Lee shares her summer soiree must-haves.

Every Warm-Weather Party Needs…

hgtv magazine summer party essentials

Tablecraft galvanized steel oval beverage tub, Wayfair :: Tava flatware caddy in honey stain, Pottery Barn

A Tub for Drinks: “Ice down Stewart’s sodas in a giant metal tub, and let your guests serve themselves.”

A Utensil Caddy: “I’m smitten with this rattan design for hauling out flatware and napkins.”

hgtv magazine summer party essentials

UniFlame 32″ aged bronze steel wood-burning fire pit, Lowes :: Optoma EP-PK-101 Pico pocket projector, Amazon

A Fire Pit: “For a little campfire fun, I put out marshmallows, graham crackers and dark chocolate for s’mores.”

A Movie Projector: “This nifty gadget plugs into your iPhone and projects downloaded movies onto the back of the house.”

The Buffet Always Has…

hgtv magazine summer party essentials

Govino stemless wine glasses, CB2 :: Clos Beylesse Côtes de Provence Vin Bleu Rose, nywines.com :: Frozen pizza, Trader Joe’s

Party-Friendly Wine Glasses: “These cups look like crystal, but they’re actually shatterproof plastic.”

Food That’s Delicious + Quick to Prepare: “I like to thaw frozen pizzas, then put them on the grill and set out toppings for guests to customize slices.”

The Perfect Summer Beverage: “Serve refreshing rosé as the sun is going down. It’s the perfect summer drink, and this one is one of my favorites.”

See more of Jung’s party planning tips and others in this summer’s HGTV Magazine (page 133, to be exact) — on newsstands now! And don’t forget to come back next week for more pre-Fourth of July entertaining ideas.

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Got a case of the Monday blues? I’m right there with you. But you know what? I’m going to employ a move from the lemon playbook and take the blues I’ve been handed and make — pie! That’s right, blueberry pie.

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

A bit of a stretch? Oh, perhaps. But blueberry season is just around the corner — and that, my friends, is lifting my spirits on this cloudy Monday afternoon.

More blueberry recipes:

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Scones
Appleberry Pie Cocktails
Also, tips for: How to Grow Blueberries

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