So, with all this talk about Fall, I think it’s officially safe to say this lady has moved on from warm-weather styles, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to spend a few more weeks enjoying the delicious tastes of summer.
I’m pretty sure every good summer ends with a party. Now, I’m not talking about the crazy “college” party where the main course is a keg with a side of Cheetos… (although, a good glass of wine is never off the table…). I’m talking about a more civilized gathering with a bit more emphasis on the food.
Now being in my mid-twenties, I have more of an appreciation for easy to prepare, relatively inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, and quite honestly, practical food. If you’re planning on playing host(ess) to some of your friends and family in the remaining summertime weekends, here are a few tapas (little plate) recipes and serving options that definitely fit the bill – literally and figuratively.
MELON BALL BLISS
Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy a watermelon. 2. Buy a melon baller. 3. Ball the melon. 4. Put melon balls back into the shell and serve. Literally could not be more simple, affordable, or adorable!
For a cheap melon baller, look no further than Target, hellooo $9.25.
I know that after the melon balls you were thinking this pretend party platter couldn’t possibly get any cuter. Sorry, but I just had to hit you with grape caterpillars – fruit with faces? Call me 6 years-old, but this is a must have.
Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy grapes, wooden skewers, mini chocolate chips, and a small tub of frosting. 2. Thread (washed) grapes onto each skewer until only about 1-2 inches of wood is showing. 3. Dip the mini chocolate chips in a tiny bit of white frosting and place on the last grape of one side. 4. Serve!
Hot day? Looking for a lower calorie option to satisfy your sweet tooth? I give you the kiwi pop. While you can likely do this with any fruit, I think the small round shape that mirrors a traditional ice cream pop deceives the mind into thinking this sweet treat is a guilty one and who doesn’t like to feel like they’re getting away with something, so dig in!
Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy kiwis, melting chocolate (75% Cacao if you’re looking for the heart healthy benefits of antioxidants), and popsicle sticks. 2. Wash, peel, and slice kiwis into desired thickness – (just be sure to not make them too heavy or they won’t stay on the stick!). 3. Place (cold) kiwis on the popsicle sticks and melt the chocolate. 4. Dip kiwi sticks into the melted chocolate until fully coated. Allow time for chocolate to harden (Tip: Like cake pops, melting chocolate hardens best when in a cooler environment. Also, when making pops of any kind, it is always a good idea to use a styrofoam block to stick them in so the chocolate dries evenly and without touching any foreign object!) Serve!
(END OF) SUMMER SALAD
Harvesting season may have peaked, but there are still plenty of hearty veggies left for the taking. Deliciousness and health benefits aside, summer salads just look great. They are full of color and whether you’re a master chef or not, a plate with that much interest and dimension is sure to leave your guests feeling
Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Pick out your favorite veggies and wash thoroughly. 2. Buy some sort of a crumbly cheese – think feta or goat. (The consistency and tangy flavor goes great with crisp greens!) 3. Add something unexpected. Think corn or dried cranberries. 4. Drizzle a light vinaigrette (balsamic, lime, or raspberry are so refreshing!)
DRESS UP YOUR SPACE
Okay, so this may be a bit elaborate for a summer party, but seriously, I’m in love with this room’s white, whimsical fantasy nature. While the white may be best served in a bridal/baby shower setting (or a fancy soiree, if you will…), I still think this room has got it going on and I’m willing to give it a try if you are.
Perfection in 4 Easy Steps: 1. Buy balloons (white & clear – or whichever color you choose), small marbles matching the color of the balloons, and a helium tank (Balloon Time – $35 from Walmart). 2. Fill each balloon with helium and before tying, drop a marble into its body. (The weight of the marble inverts the balloon so it is suspended in teardrop shape) 3. Tie balloon and let it float to the ceiling. 4. Feel accomplished and dance around your balloon palace!
Have you ever implemented these fun ideas into your parties? If you have, or are planning to, I want to
be invited hear all about it!