Why not make the most of the last of the summer/spring weather by inviting your friends and family to your backyard?
There’s nothing like a balmy evening spent sharing good food with good friends, especially if you’ve made the food yourself! That’s why we’ve compiled recipes and tips to host a fabulous summer night dinner party, taking advantage of daylight savings, warm weather and seasonal produce. Just don’t forget the mozzie spray!
Organisation is the key to any party going off without a hitch so make sure you have a list of everything you need to do to get ready. Here are a few things you might need to think about:
- Where are you eating? If you have an outdoor area, summer is the perfect time to use it!
- Guest list – Be selective and invite those that will appreciate it the most
- A Playt account to help you find, save and shop your recipes for the big event
- Are you going to decorate? Fairy lights and candles never go astray
- Do you have enough glasses/silverware/plates for everyone?
And of course, what turns a party into a dinner party, the food. We’ve found some exciting recipes from drinks to dessert for the perfect summer night dinner party, so read on!
A dinner party isn’t complete without some delicious cocktails to keep yourself refreshed. Beer and wine never fail, but summer nights suit light and fruity mixes like this orange and pomegranate sangria with white wine and white rum. This recipe needs to be made ahead of schedule so all the ingredients can brew together.
To cater to all your guests, it’s a good idea to have a variety of drinks available. For those who prefer their drinks strong not sweet, a classic margarita is always an excellent option.
Top tip: If you’re on a budget, choose drink recipes that use the same spirits. This way you won’t find yourself spending your all rent money on alcohol! This mojito recipe uses white rum like the sangria so you can get double use out of the bottle!
If you don’t want to spend the whole night playing bartender, you can always set up a cocktail station for your guests to try their hand at Tom Cruise a la Cocktail. Just make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and the recipes on hand so the drinks are palatable.
Make sure you have some good non-alcoholic options available for the designated drivers (poor souls) like this lemon lime and bitters punch.
Shall We Start?
While you’re finishing things off in the kitchen, put out some nibbles for your guests. Nothing keeps people occupied like food! This homemade guacamole with corn chips is a simple and easy dish to prepare ahead of time, and would pair perfectly with a margarita (or three).
Top Tip: to avoid having a breakdown in the kitchen half an hour before your guests arrive, prepare as much ahead of time as possible.
Bruschetta is an entrée staple, and this one is just a little bit funky and unique. Featuring prosciutto and in-season summer peaches, it’s sure to be a people pleaser.
Top Tip: It’s always good to know of any dietary requirements ahead of time so you can avoid a starved or unintentionally poisoned guest.
The Main Event
Dinner parties aren’t fun if you spend the entire night in the kitchen. That’s why we suggest cooking a simple yet delicious main course. Even better, something that can be prepared ahead of time so you’ll have more time to enjoy yourself.
This one tray chicken and summer veg roast is a great way to minimise on dishes and complicated recipes. Simply pop everything into the oven and cook accordingly.
Do you have a vegetable appreciator amongst you tonight? Vegan rice salad with balsamic tofu will please your non-meat eating friends and if you’re lucky they might leave some for you.
Top Tip: It doesn’t have to be a terribly formal occasion, so set up a buffet in the kitchen or on a smaller table for your guests to serve themselves. There will be more room on the table for everyone and your guests can choose exactly what they want. It’s also less work for you!
A dinner party without dessert is like toast without avocado, it’s still good but it could be better. To cool down, try these coconut yogurt and berry pops. This dessert is fun and is something different than the usual.
If you want to serve something a little more on the decadent side, how about these raspberry prosecco jelly cups? No one is too old for jelly. Ignore those who say you are.
Dinner parties are fun for the foodies among us and even better for the friends! Planning a menu and getting all the ingredients together is half the battle, so save yourself the trouble and try out Playt. You’ll love it. Give yourself a congratulatory glass of wine for being so efficient. Good work!