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5 Simple Steps to Summer Fun

Summer get-togethers are all about a casual, last-minute vibe. Simply assemble the trifecta of tasty food, cold drinks and good company and you’ve got it handled. Even the most chill gatherings require a minimum amount of prep work. Follow these steps to get the most out of your summer fun!

The Pre-Planning

We’re not talking about polishing the silver or sending engraved invitations—but if you’re planning on entertaining, no matter how casually, it’s a good idea to have a good go-to selection of easy, tasty recipes and shopping lists to go along with them. Feeling really ambitious? Group recipes according to type of gathering: barbecue, cocktail party, family-friendly, pool party, etc. Be sure to have a supply of disposable plates, napkins and silverware, too.



The Location

It’s always a good idea to have a quick and simple cleaning routine down pat. You can always do a quick stash-and-dash if your place isn’t quite ship-shape. If you’re behind on the dusting or vacuuming, dim the lights, or better yet, head outside.



The Provisions

Having party-ready foods on hand eliminates a lot of the stress of entertaining! Keep these go-to items on hand at all times and you’ll be ready to toss together a party-perfect spread in no time flat.

  • Pasta and sauce
  • Precooked frozen shrimp
  • Ready-made dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, guacamole, salsa, pesto and bruschetta
  • Crackers and flatbreads
  • Olives
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • Different cheeses (some can even be frozen to keep longer)
  • Ice cream and chocolate sauce
  • Whipped cream
  • Variety of berries
  • Frozen pound cake



The Beverages

It’s perfectly acceptable, and even expected, to ask casual party guests to BYOB. It’s also a good idea to have a few bar staples in your cabinet. Be sure to stock up on non-alcoholic options like still water, sparkling water, fruit juice and soda, too.



The Music

The right soundtrack can provide an instant atmosphere to any party. Create a party-ready playlist of crowd-pleasing favorites, or visit pandora.com and let the experts create one for you.

Perfect Party Planning: Serving Suggestions

When hosting a party, it helps to plan. Are you serving the right amount of food?

Dinner Party
Appetizers Hot: 6 pieces per guest
Cold: 6 pieces per guest
Side Dishes Vegetables: 4 ounces per guest
Other Sides: 2 ounces per guest
Main Dish Meat: 4 ounces per guest
Pasta: 2 ounces per guest
Dessert Cake, Pie, Cupcake: 1 per guest
Cookies: 2-3 per guest

Cocktail Party
Appetizers - 12 pieces per guest
Guests Amount of Appetizer Options
8-10 3
14-16 4-5
17-45 6
45+ 8

Reviewed 5/26/2023