Category Archives: Entertaining

How to Throw the Ultimate Summer Kick Off Party


This post is sponsored by Hebrew National.

I grew up in New York so winters were long and tough. The minute the snow melted and the temps shot up, people came running out of their houses like it was 100 degrees outside even though it was only 60. It was such a joyous occasion to finally get out of the house that you’ve been cooped up in all winter long. These first days of summer are some of my most precious memories as a child as it was pure joy.

How to throw the ultimate summer kick off party!

We really took advantage of the warm weather because we knew it would only last for a few short months. Our first summer bash usually happened soon thereafter. My parents always threw a casual cook out with friends and neighbors to celebrate. It was low stress but lots of fun. As an adult I want to keep those memories going, so I’m sticking to my mom’s entertaining plan.

How to throw the ultimate summer kick off party!

  • Serve only a few dishes. When you are cooking for a crowd, I’ve found that it’s easier to cook only a few dishes. It can be difficult to cook a dozen different dishes. You’ll end up in the kitchen all day long, which isn’t fun when your guests are outside enjoying themselves. If you’re only going to serve a few dishes, then they need to be the best. Use tested and beloved recipes that can be made in advance. No experimenting in the kitchen when guests are coming over. I’ve included the recipe for my favorite Mojito Watermelon Salad below. It’s a staple on our dinner table during the summer months and very easy to make.

Mojito Watermelon

  • Use the best ingredients. Since you’re only making a few dishes, you’ll want to use the best ingredients like Hebrew National All-Beef Franks and the fresh local produce. This ensures that your guests will be full and happy.

How to throw the ultimate summer kick off party!

  • Cook out on the grill. The point of a summer cookout is to be outside and enjoy the weather. I try to cook as much of the meal outside as possible, which means grilling. Obviously you are cooking your hot dogs on the grill but you can also grill pineapple, corn, watermelon, peaches, onions, asparagus, bell peppers, jalapenos, avocados, zucchini, bread and artichokes. I could go on and on, but you get the point. It’s super easy to grill amazing side dishes and dessert to go with your hot dogs.
  • Have fun and easy activities. Growing up we always had fun activities, like Frisbee or volleyball, going on while some the adults were cooking. Sometimes a few adults would join us for a game of bocce ball or croquet. It’s a great way to keep kids of all ages entertained until dinner is served.
  • Make a bonfire. As the sun starts to set, throw a few logs into the fire pit and sit around the fire. Sip on your favorite cocktail or some iced tea and just relax. It’s a nice way to catch up with your friends and neighbors.

Mojito Watermelon

Mojito Watermelon Salad
 
Refreshing side to serve at your next summer cookout
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 Watermelon (about 5 pounds)
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 bunch Mint Leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup White Rum (optional)
Instructions
  1. Chop the watermelon into bite size pieces and put them in a large bowl.
  2. Zest the lime and then add it to the watermelon.
  3. Cut the lime in half and then add the juice to the watermelon mixture as well.
  4. Next add the mint leaves and the rum (again, optional).
  5. Mix to combine and let sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.

 

AuthorLogoWhat makes a Hebrew National kosher hot dog premium? It’s all about what makes the cut (And what doesn’t). We’re choosy about what goes into our franks – we use only premium cuts of 100% kosher beef from the front half of the cow and then choose the best from that. No artificial flavors, colors, fillers or by-products. When your hot dog is Kosher, that’s a hot dog you can trust! For more summer fun with Hebrew National, visit facebook.com/hebrewnational.

*Please not that some ingredients listed here may not be kosher

Entertaining with Bespoke: Cocktail Party Bites

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I love cooking and entertaining but sometimes you just want to enjoy your guests. I fully believe that you can still feed your friends without slaving away in the kitchen. A cocktail party doesn’t require a large meal but just a few eats that can be easily nibbled while sipping and chatting. If you are only serving a few food items then you better show it off in some spectacular dishware. I received these 3 beautiful bowls from Bespoke Global, which are perfect for entertaining.

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They are just the right size for serving lite snacks such as Hummus with Veggies and Pita Chips, Yogurt Covered Raisins and Cocktail Trail Mix.

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bespoke, sponsored post, lifestyle blog, entertaining, foodfashionandfun, trail mix, snacks, veggies hummus, dip

I have to confess, I didn’t make the Yogurt Covered Raisins. I wasn’t even tempted. I was serious about the not cooking thing. I picked up this snack to keep with the easy entertaining theme. It’s a somewhat sweet and healthy treat.

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I purchased my favorite Hummus (Smooth and Creamy Hummus from Trader Joe’s) and added a few veggies and pita chips for dipping. Peeling and cutting the carrots required the most work but you can totally cut out this step by purchasing baby carrots or precut veggies. This is a little bit heavier and savory but still a healthy nibble that goes great with cocktails.

bespoke, sponsored post, lifestyle blog, entertaining, foodfashionandfun, trail mix, snacks, veggies hummus, dip

bespoke, sponsored post, lifestyle blog, entertaining, foodfashionandfun, trail mix, snacks, veggies hummus, dip

The trail mix is a combination my favorite snack foods. It’s a combination of sweet and salty. You can easily substitute your favorite nuts, dried fruits and chocolate in this recipe. Have fun with it and use whatever makes YOU happy.

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Cocktail Party Trail Mix

 

Makes 4 cups

 

1 cup Honey Roasted Peanuts

1 cup Dried Bananas

1 cup Chocolate Chunks

1 cup Pretzels

 

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Transfer to Bespoke bowl to serve.

 

That 3 bowls full of happy! Just add a couple of dirty martinis and serve!

 

I’ve teamed with Bespoke to give away a $200 gift certificate. So, if you like these bowls (or any of their other unique items) then you should definitely head on over to their site and sign up for the giveaway.

****Giveaway closed. Congrats Annette Prejean! Happy Shopping!!****

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Sponsored Post: While I received payment from Bespoke Global for this post the recipes, thoughts and opinions are my own.