It’s month…? week….? day…? of COIVD safer at home and my need to entertain and host others is bubbling over. Is yours?
I love to entertain in any season but summer might be my favorite season of them all.
Not simply because my birthday happens to kick off the month of August, ok perhaps that may have something to do with it, but mostly because of all the wonderful opportunities there usually are to spend time hosting summer gatherings and enjoying meals outdoors.
Obviously this summer things are a bit different for us all. And since safety of course must come first, I am trying hard to find ways to safely socially distance entertain to feed the hostess need inside me.
Of course backyard BBQ’s are a summer tradition and most likely the leading social activity during the warm weather months but let’s not forget about the other summer classics like a park picnic, beach dinner and honestly socially distanced entertaining where ever we can find the space to be appropriately distanced from our guests, family or friends.
So when/if you do have a chance to gather here is my
Summer Gathering Menu ::
Blueberry Chicken Salad
Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Fruit Skewers + Watermelon Slices
Always a fan of the perfect place setting I can’t tell you how happy I am with the variety of stylish and eco-friendly dinner and flatware that is available these days that are perfect for safe outdoor entertaining.
When getting your set up ready, each guest should have their own place setting available. Tuck a fork, knife and spoon into a napkin ring with a napkin for easy individual guest pick up.
If you haven’t yet, try using melamine dinnerware for your plates and serveware if you are picnicking or by the pool, they come in fabulous colors and patterns, light weight for carrying and can be placed in the dishwasher at home for quick clean up!
You won’t need to add too much decor, let the great outdoors be the star, however a few nautically inspired paper straws and signs are inexpensive, fun and make for great selfie props.
Place them all in another galvanized bucket for easy carrying or at each guests placesetting for easy access.
Let’s get this party started!
Styling and Serving suggestions for your summer gathering
I find that in general, when the weather is warm people tend to eat less so rather than offering whole sandwiches for each guest, cut them in half, then wrap them in parchment paper.
This is great for safe single servings and also lets guests choose whether to eat just one or to come back for another half if they are still hungry.
As a side item offer kettle cooked style potato chips individually presented in parchment paper pockets – they will hold up to heat and humidity better than other chips.
Along with the chips offer individual fruit skewers and/or sliced watermelon to celebrate the flavors of the season, appeal to guests of all ages, add a pop of color to your outdoor spread and are perfect for individual serving.
Don’t forget to grab few colorful blankets from the closet for guests to sit on if you are heading to the beach or park (or asks friends to bring them from home), and you are ready to get the party started!
My Blueberry Chicken Salad Recipe
4 cups rough cut, or hand torn, roasted chicken breast pieces (make ahead or pick up a rotisserie)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup chopped celery, thin rib cut
1 green onion, green and white chopped
1 1/2 cup blueberries
salt and pepper to taste
red onion, thin sliced, optional
4 – 6 medium croissants
In a medium bowl combine roasted chicken breast, mayonnaise, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and place in refrigerator over night to allow flavors to combine.
Add green onion and blueberries to chicken mixture and stir gently to combine without breaking the blueberries. Salt and pepper to taste.
Slice croissants horizontally. Place approximately 1 cup of chicken salad on the bottoms, top with red onion slices, replace top and cut into halves.
Wrap sandwich halves in parchment paper with cut side facing up. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
This recipe was originally featured as contributor article for #SundaySupper on SundaySupperMovement.com recipe in 2017. This article is an updated version of the article and entertaining tips. Enjoy!