Summer parties are a great way to get together and try to beat the heat. What’s nice about them is they don’t need many frills to make them fabulous.
It’s best to focus on simplicity, from the backyard set-up to the menu. Lolita Healy, a nationally known Celebrations Expert and founder of Designs by Lolita, offers some budget-friendly tips to throw the perfect backyard bash without breaking a sweat–or the bank!
An email or phone call is fine! Formal invitations are out of place—remember, we want to keep it simple, and chances are you are inviting close friends and family who won’t need a formal invite.
A nice aspect of summer parties is that you get to entertain outside. Keep your guests amused by setting up a badminton net with rackets, and have a football handy. Put out some tables on the edges of the lawn with checkered tablecloths. Balloons are not necessary, but the kids love them!
Get to grilling! Happiness can be found with some grilled burgers and steaks, a few simple side dishes and refreshing cold beverages. Here are some of my go-to menu suggestions:
- Burgers-with all the fixings
- Barbecued Chicken Breasts
- Jalapeno Coleslaw
- Summer Chopped Salad
Sodas and water
Assortment of beer and wine
Iced Tea—an American classic, pitchers of iced tea can be prepared ahead of time and are a great way to cool down guests.
For the classic iced tea, Tetley’s Iced Tea Blend makes a great-tasting traditional iced tea. For a little bit of a twist, Good Earth’s Sweet & Spicy Iced Tea is the perfect solution. It is unlike any other iced tea out there—it’s a refreshing, unique tea that tastes sweet without any added sugar or sweeteners, has zero calories and maintains a rich flavor thanks to its blend of cinnamon, orange, anise seed, and ginger root.
You can’t go wrong with a couple of pies and some vanilla ice cream to scoop on. Rather than serving hot coffee, though, try a cold coffee drink that can also act as a dessert. The Eight O’Clock Mocha Freeze will show off your “brewista” skills while keeping it cool.
Now that you have all of the tips and tricks to throwing a successful summer soiree, all you need to do is gather your ingredients and make a few phone calls. Cheers!
A few of Lolita’s favorite summer recipes are listed below. Enjoy!
Swiss Alp Bellevue Burgers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 8 ounces Emmi Swiss Alp Bellevue, crumbled
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lettuce for garnish (optional)
- 4 hamburger buns
- Preheat grill
- Combine ground beef and 4 ounces of Swiss Alp Bellevue, in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper
- Gently form meat and cheese mixture into 4 patties
- Place patties on grill. Just before desired internal temperature is reached, top with remaining Swiss Alp Bellevue and cook for 1-2 additional minutes, or until cheese begins to melt.
- Place lettuce on bottom bun (optional), transfer patties to buns and serve
Emmi Swiss Cheese Sliders
- 1pound ground beef
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 6 ounces Emmi Switzerland Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and cut in half
- 4 small hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- Lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, hot sauce and onions (optional)
- Preheat grill
- Season beef with salt and pepper and form into 8 small, thin patties
- Evenly place 3 ounces of sliced Switzerland Swiss in the center of the 4 patties. Top with remaining patties, and firmly press edges to seal
- Place sliders on grill. Just before sliders reach desired internal temperature, top with remaining sliced Switzerland Swiss and cook for 1-2 additional minutes, or until cheese begins to melt.
- Layer garnishes and bacon on bottom bun, transfer sliders to bun, and serve
Eight O’Clock Mocha Freeze
- 4 cups fresh brewed Eight O’Clock Coffee
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 oz chocolate syrup
- whipped cream
*For a healthier alternative use low-fat milk, low-fat chocolate syrup and low-fat whipped cream.
Use (2) out of (4) cups of coffee to pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Place remaining coffee in refrigerator. Once frozen, place Eight O’Clock Coffee ice cubes in blender. Pour remaining brewed coffee, milk and chocolate syrup over coffee-cubes and blend. To serve, pour and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.