I know it’s not here yet, but it’s time to start thinking about where you will be for Memorial Day. This year, I have my fingers crossed we’ll be on a boat, by a pool, or somewhere near water. In hopes of that, here’s what we did last year…. It was our FIRST co-hosting gig ever, so I really wanted it to go well.
I found these GREAT “patio wares” at Target and bought them up! I love a chevron, so when I saw them I just had to have them. (Note: we still have them and use them whenever we have people over. I’ll post about our first dinner party in the
new not-so-new house later.) Anyway, we hosted a big bash at Bear’s apartment complex’s pool last May. We sent out a big group text, and luckily all our friends gathered for a day of fun in the sun.
So… We had the wares and this fabulous teal beer tub and stand. All we needed now was something munch on and drink. Since it was going to be a scorcher, I got the bright idea that we should serve things that were cool and refreshing. (It’s a great plan in theory, but I would recommend really considering how you’ll keep everything cool in the outside heat. I didn’t think that part through very well, so we had to be really crafty with ice and coolers.) Anyway, step one: get things to serve on. CHECK!
Step Two: Plan the Menu…
– cherry tomatoes, fresh mozz, fresh basil, and balsamic
– Halve the cherry tomatoes. Stick a bite-sized portion of fresh mozz and a small basil leaf in the middle of the two tomato halves, like a sandwich. Then stick a toothpick through to make sure they stay together. Drizzle with balsamic. Done.
– You can either buy one a whole watermelon (vodka optional) and then slice it up, or just buy the slices. We just bought slices. (No use adding more work, right?) Easy. We also had sliced mangos, my favorite summer time treat. Done.
– Buy them. Put on ice. Done!!! (Pop one while you work. Ah! Refreshing!)
– It’s one part buffalo sauce and one part ranch. I added cream cheese for thickness. Don’t forget the chips.
– I believe we bought pre-made chicken salad and enhanced it with chopped apples, much to Bear’s chagrin. In case you want to make your own, I’d go basic… Check out this recipe. Very easy.
– We had potato salad as well. Also store-bought. (Don’t judge me on pre-made food. We didn’t live together and his apartment didn’t have the cooking tools I was used to, so we took the easy road. No shame in my game.)
Shrimp and Avocado Bites:
– I sautéed some shrimp the night before and let them chill in the fridge over night. The day of the party, I tossed around the shrimp in lemon juice and garlic powder. While the shrimp was doing its marinating thing, I made some guacamole and spread it across yummy crackers. Then I topped each one with a shrimp. Delish. Done.
Fancy Schmancy Drink:
– You’ll need an infusing pitcher, fresh mint, raspberries, liquor (we started with vodka, but once it ran out made some batches with rum and they were just as yummy), and lemonade/lime-ade. (I think we started with lemonade but later swapped to lime-ade when the lemonade was out and like the liquor switch-a-roo, it was still delicious.)
– Put the raspberries and fresh mint in the infuser. Then pour one part liquor, one part lemonade into the pitcher. Let sit. Drink on ice. (It’s SOOOO refreshing, and leads to some very silly pool time.)
As people came, they brought various items to add to our feast, which was wonderful. Someone had a “Mexican night” the night before and brought over leftovers, so we had yummy steak sammies to add to the mix. We even had blood orange Pellegrino in the cooler as well. I recommend this for ANY summertime activity. It’s the BEST! You can’t go wrong with Pellegrino. Ever. (Write that down.)
So, there you have it. The very first joint hosting event we did as a couple. It was so much fun and I hope to repeat it very soon over the summer. Stay tuned for the post about the first dinner party we hosted. It was even more fabulous than this one!