It has been an awesome summer so far. We are not going to mention the one deterrent that has given us all heartache. Being an eternal optimist, I want to spread some cheer with some food for thought . . . or drink. Lol !! And with that, I want to tell you that summertime entertaining is still in full swing.
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Fun In The Sun
Now that things have finally gotten a little more relaxed, we have long awaited for some summertime entertaining with our loved ones. And believe me that summertime entertaining is still in full swing.
Although our summer is slowly coming to a close with talk of back to school, the weather tells a different story. We still have a lot of fun in the sun and summertime entertaining.
It has been an extremely hot summer for some of us. I know my family overseas are not that happy with their weather. And we were supposed to go to Croatia to visit my in-laws. They have been having a lot of rain and mild temperatures. Not like that here my friends.
What’s On The Menu?
With the heat and the summertime entertaining, you wonder what is the best type of menu to serve your guests. You can make a lot of easy dips with veggies or nacho chips; easy appetizers with crackers; all types of salads are popular; and don’t forget the desserts and cool cocktails.
Related Article: 4 Ways To Make Homemade Ice Cream
But first, let’s take into consideration how we can comfortably and safely live with the heat.
Beating the Heat
Summertime temperatures can often reach 90 degrees or hotter depending upon where you live. The heat index can make it seem as if the temperatures are even higher. If you’re trying to beat the heat, these ideas may help.
Choose Cool foods
Choose cool foods such as salads during the summer months. Of course, if you have a picnic or outdoor gathering, you will want to keep the foods cool to avoid the formation of bacteria which can make you and your family sick.
Remember that any food is at risk if it is kept outdoors at 90 degrees for an hour or more.
Obviously, if you are at home you can keep foods cool by leaving them in the refrigerator. If you are having a picnic or family reunion where refrigeration is not available, you can use some of these other options:
7 Things To remember when entertaining
1. Electric coolers are a great option if you are away from home. These are coolers that can plug into the electric outlet in newer vehicles. The cooler enables food to remain in the safe zone of under 40 degrees while it is in use. You can often purchase electric coolers at camping supply and discount stores.
2. Chest-style coolers are also helpful for keeping foods cool as long as they are filled properly and kept closed until the food is needed. It is best to pack your cooler in the opposite way you expect to need the food.
This will enable you to find what you need when you need it and then close the cooler. You can also pour some ice on the bottom of the cooler, place the food on top of the ice, and then pour more ice around the food. This creates a pillow of cold air to keep the food safe.
3. Make sure the food is pre-chilled or frozen before placing it in the cooler. Having the food already cold will lengthen the amount of time the food will remain safe for everyone to eat it.
4. Transport packed coolers inside the car where it is air-conditioned rather than in the trunk. The air around the cooler can affect how quickly the ice will melt. If the cooler is placed in a hot trunk, the ice will melt and the food may be affected.
5. Put your beverages in a separate cooler rather than putting them in the same cooler as the food. People can drink several beverages in a short period of time. If each person gets two drinks in an hour the cooler could be opened dozens of times which might affect the quality of the food in the cooler.
6. Use two serving bowls, one larger than the other. Put ice in the largest bowl and then nestle the smaller bowl into the ice. This will keep cold foods cold much longer.
7. Plan to have the meal at a specific time rather than having a buffet-style meal where the food is left out for hours. If you think the food has been out too long and may not be safe, go ahead and throw it out. Don’t take any chances; it is much better to be safe than sorry.
Beating the heat and keeping foods safe is easier to do than you might think. Use the above ideas and you will be sure to enjoy your fun in the sun as well as avoid getting sick from food that was not kept cool enough.
With summertime entertaining being still in full swing, what type of menu is best for this type of heat?
Cold Food Ideas
What do you do when you’re sick of plain sandwiches or green salads during the summer months? What else can you make? Consider some of the following cold food ideas when you need to prepare a nutritious and delicious meal for your family.
Spicy Mexican Flair
Get your inspiration from the spicy Mexican flair . . .
Flour tortillas can be used for so many different types of cuisines. Spread a savory cream cheese spread over the tortilla, add fresh from the garden vegetables, a slice of cheese or two and you have a wonderful cold roll-up the family will love.
Fresh fruit salads are another option to consider. Go to the local farmerís market or fruit stand to purchase fruits in season. These will be juicy and full of flavor. Slice the fruit, place it in a large bowl and refrigerate until time to enjoy it.
Three-bean salad is something you may want to prepare. If you’ve never prepared a three-bean salad, you will be surprised at just how easy it is to make:
Drain and rinse one 15 ounce can of green beans, one 15 ounce can of kidney beans, and one pound of wax beans. Mix these together with one sliced onion, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup distilled white vinegar, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed. Once the salad is thoroughly combined, allow it to set in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. That’s it! Serve and enjoy.
If your family enjoys macaroni and cheese during the colder months, they’ll likely enjoy cold pasta salads during the spring and summer. There are a variety of recipes to choose from when making pasta salad or you can create one of your own using your favorite pasta, veggies, cheese, and dressing.
Potato salad is another great food choice when the temperatures climb. Nearly every family has a recipe that has been passed down from mother to daughter. For an extra creamy twist to your potato salad, simply add eight ounces of sour cream to the recipe. You won’t believe how delicious your potato salad will be with that one extra ingredient.
Purchase some pre-cooked bacon (or turkey bacon) and make BLTs. The crispiness of the bacon against the softness of the bread is a delight. Add lettuce, onions, and fresh from the garden tomatoes to create a taste sensation you will surely enjoy.
If you haven’t tried cold summer soups, now is a perfect time! Gazpacho is a wonderful summer soup that is served cold. It is made with onion, cucumber, green pepper, garlic, wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, tomato juice, and oregano leaves.
Blend all of the ingredients except the tomato juice until it is smooth. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and then add the tomato juice. Cover it for at least six hours prior to serving.
These are but a few cold food ideas you may want to try this summer. Preparing a healthful meal doesn’t mean spending hours slaving over a hot stove. Your family will appreciate the delicious meal and remain cool when the temperatures start to rise.