Summer Party 2013
Every year my husband’s family throws 2 or 3 big parties in the summer, and I plan the menus and do all the cooking. I love the challenge of coming up with a menu that’s sophisticated, easy to prepare, and pleasing to a large crowd of people. To make things simple, I create one menu and use it for all the parties. So far everything has been very well received and I’ve had many requests for recipes, which was a great incentive for starting this blog! 🙂
I find it’s easiest to stick to a basic menu of one or two meats, one salad, one starch (potatoes, pasta, or grains), and a simple dessert. Things that can be prepared in advance are a good choice. Appetizers I like to keep simple and usually serve crudités, chips, and dip, since that is the time people are wandering around and chatting. For beverages we always offer one big urn of red sangria, and another big one of white sangria, as well as beer and soft drinks. Let’s take a look at this year’s menu!
Summer Party 2013
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
This sweet, savory, spicy chicken is perfect to serve at a patio party on a warm summer evening. An eclectic mix of seasonings in the marinade give the chicken a rich flavor. Everyone came back for seconds. . . and thirds! Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
Jamaican Rice and Peas
This dish set the theme for the whole menu – it’s one of my favorites! It’s easy to make a great big pot, and a real crowd-pleaser. Everyone wanted to know the secret ingredient: coconut milk! It makes everything taste better. 🙂 Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe
Cabbage & Cashew Salad
For the salad I wanted to make something light that had a bold flavor. This salad was perfect! I made huge batches for each party, but there were never any leftovers. Cabbage & Cashew Salad Recipe
Fruit Salad in Watermelon Bowl
I don’t have a recipe for this one. My mother-in-law showed me a bunch of fancy carved watermelons on Pinterest and said “Let’s make one of these!” I did my best, although I don’t think it was quite Pinterest-worthy. My advice: Don’t attempt to carve a shark! 😉 Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, and blueberries were served with lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream.
Summer isn’t quite over yet, but I’m already thinking about next year’s menu, so keep following my blog to find out what I come up with!