Summer Soiree Recipes

Recently, I was voted the “Martha Stewart” of the office at work (true story: at my first job in DC, I was the official OPM… Office Party Manager). I would say this new title is an accurate one for me, though one of the reasons given was because I was such a good cook!

Most people, at least who know my day to day life, know that this isn’t exactly the case (another true story: I started a fire in the kitchen just last week!). I tend to have great IDEAS for cooking and baking, but there’s a pretty significant difference between having ideas and actually turning that idea into an amazing, edible meal. Anyway, I eat out in DC a little.. a lot.. more often than I actually cook! (That’s another blog post in itself!)

I do, however, like to throw lots of cookouts and dinner parties, and here are some fabulous ideas I’ve gathered for the Ultimate Summer Soiree:

The first recipe is so wonderfully simple, it’s barely a recipe. But it’s SO Southern, fresh, and fabulous! I seriously swooned the second I saw it.

lara casey watermelon

http://laracasey.com/2013/07/05/watermelon-roosters-and-piggies/

What could be more perfect (or economical) than some fresh fruit served in such a fashion?!

As most people know, I studied abroad in Greece during the summertime, and feta holds a special place in my heart (stomach?). This recipe for Crazy Feta is based off a fabulous, fun dip from one of my favorite DC restaurant’s, Cava.

Crazy feta dip.  based off Cava's recipe!

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/06/creamy-feta-dip/

I’ve made this addictive dip a few times, and it’s a-ma-zing. If you like feta + jalapenos, you really can’t go wrong! Serve it with pita chips, fresh pita bread, or any veggies.

Another tried and true summer staple is guacamole… but with a twist! Grilled pineapple if one of my very favorite fruits, and adding it to guacamole just MAKES it! The sweet, smoky flavor really stands out (but not too much) and this guac is also addictive!

grilled pineapple guacamole

http://foodgawker.com/post/2012/05/03/162322/

You can’t have a summer soiree without some seriously amazing drinks, either!

I love to whip up a batch of homemade sangria using whatever fruit is in season or using whatever I may have in the house. Bridgette inspired my sangria-making from the summer she lived with me in DC!

Simply use a bottle or two of white wine (better in the summer, often) or red wine. Then add your favorite in-season fruits, such as peaches, apples, berries, or citrus fruits. Top off with a little Sprite Zero (calorie free!) or Ginger Ale. Serve icy cold (you can even use frozen fruit as “ice”)

This Blueberry Mint Lemonade just screams “summer!” to me, too. I just barely managed to keep my mint plant alive, and I’m thinking of lots of creative ways to use up my mint. Mint juleps, mojitos, and this blueberry mint lemonade will be perfect!

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

http://www.driscolls.com/recipes/view/3122/Blueberry-Mint-Lemonade

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