Making Summer Get-Togethers a Breeze!
The highly anticipated season of summer gatherings is here! We’re here to help you throw a low-stress summer get-together. Whether you’re preparing all the food or just the main course here are some ideas to get you started:
Make as much as you can ahead of time.
Preparing a day in advance leaves the fun tasks like decorating and food presentation for the day of your party. Dips, desserts and cold salads can easily be prepared the day before, but leave the vegetable and fruit cutting until the day of. You can also marinate meat, vegetables or tofu for the grill the day before to give your dishes that extra flavor boost.
Keep it Simple.
Don’t feel like you have to make a seven course meal. It’s okay to supplement your main course with already prepared side dishes. Our deli offers a wide selection of fresh salads, dips and dessert items. A summertime favorite is our sweet and spicy Watermelon Salsa; fresh watermelon, with just the right amount of lime juice, jalapenos, onions and cilantro.
Make sure your foods are kept at safe temperatures.
Make sure foods being served are kept at safe temperatures and out of the temperature danger zone (40˚F – 140˚F). A general rule of thumb is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods can be kept in a crockpot or chafing dish until ready to serve whereas cold dishes should be kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If you’re serving food buffet-style, place a dish of ice under the cold dishes to keep them cold.
Serve a signature drink.
Guests will love having an ice cold drink to sip on and you’ll love how easy it is to maintain. Drink dispensers are fairly reasonable to purchase and make for an impressive display. If you’re making an adult beverage be sure to label the container so that kids don’t drink it by mistake. Or stick with kid-friendly drinks like fresh lemonade or infused waters. Try making our Strawberry Lemon Water recipe HERE.
Pick a theme and stick to it.
It’s much easier to pick food items and decorations that share a common theme. Once you’ve picked your theme the fun can start. Have a Mexican-inspired fiesta by serving a taco bar with homemade margaritas. Or host a Hawaiian-themed night with grilled chicken and pineapples and let your guests wear Hawaiian shirts. Or if a relaxing bonfire is more your speed then invite over a few friends and roast some marshmallows over the fire.
Enjoy your get-together!
No matter how you plan your party, be sure to enjoy it. Too many times we get caught up in entertaining that we don’t remember to sit down and relax. Your guests will be thrilled that you hosted a gathering where everyone can be together.
Be sure to stop in and see what this summer season has in-store at Valley Natural Foods. We have an amazing selection of products and can’t wait for you to share them with family and friends.