Everything you need for summer entertaining this Christmas (+ delicious salad recipe)Mona
One of the best parts about Christmas is summer entertaining. It is the time for catching up with friends and family while making memories over delicious food and drink. Yet, there are many things to think about and plenty of planning to do when it’s your turn to throw a party.
That’s why we’ve pulled together five tips for putting on the ultimate summertime gathering! Thanks to foodie and nutritionist, Liv Kaplan, we’ve also included a yummy summer salad you won’t be able to get enough of.
No matter how many guests you’re expecting or what the weather decides to do, you’ll be ready for every occasion with these summer entertaining tips.
Tip 1: Set your space
Once you’ve got your list of guests and double checked there’s enough seating, you can have some fun with this one! For an outside gathering, make sure you’re on top of any garden maintenance that needs doing. Then, dress up your space with some fairy lights. Also, be sure to keep in mind that the weather doesn’t always want to cooperate. Therefore, organising plenty of shade is essential – if you don’t have a permanent setting consider the use of umbrellas or a gazebo.
Next, choose some centrepieces for your table on the day. You may like to add some freshly picked flowers and start off with a platter or some treats – easily displayed with our Cook+ Range, which can serve as bowls. At the end of the day, this makes for a simple pack up as all you need to do is put on the lid and store the summer entertaining leftovers in the fridge.
Tip 2: Include backyard games
Get everyone involved and look forward to plenty of laughter with some backyard activities. Having plenty of fun games is sure to get everyone excited – for the competitive family you may even like to create a scoreboard. Some ideas you could include are mini golf, darts and capture the flag. If it’s going to be a hot day, we can’t go past a water gun showdown!
Tip 3: Have a kids table
While the adults are catching up over a drink, the kids will love having their own activity table to share. Set up the table with plenty of Lego, paper and crayons. They’re sure to love spending their time being creative together. To help maintain some order our Daily Container is the perfect way to store any crayons, pencils or paintbrushes.
Tip 4: Cook for the occasion
Start preparations early and aim to have any food that won’t spoil ready the day before. We recommend setting up a buffet-style approach as this will allow guests to decide their own servings and encourage mingling. It’s important to keep in mind that cold food needs to be kept cool and hot food should be kept at 60 degrees Celsius or higher. Therefore, incorporate the use of tin foil to maintain heat, or alternatively serve cold meats – ensuring you regularly check the temperature.
Our Daily Container is ideal for storing any pre-made food to keep things fresh. Similarly, our selections of tongs, spoons and turners from our Gadgets Range are essential for cooking and serving on the day.
Tip 5: Include a selection of salads
Get creative by including a selection of various salads. This makes for the ideal summer entertaining buffet and your guests will love piling their plates with all the different options. Get started with this Pumpkin, Blackberry + Mint Salad by Liv Kaplan that is sure to be a hit among everyone. A new take on some classic Christmas ingredients like peas and mint, this salad has all the flavours we’re used to, dressed up in a new way with rich roasted pumpkin and sweet juicy blackberries which make a beautiful addition to a summer salad. Wow your guests with this side dish that tastes just as good as it looks.
Pumpkin, Blackberry + Mint Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
½ kent pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
8 cups salad greens
2 cups frozen garden peas
1 punnet blackberries
Salt and pepper, to taste
Creamy Mint Hemp Sauce
1 cup hemp seeds
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup water
1 bunch mint, leaves and stems chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200℃.
- Place the pumpkin on a baking tray and coat in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until soft and starting to brown on the edges.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by placing all ingredients in a blender and blending. Set aside.
- Plunge the frozen peas in freshly boiled water to defrost. Leave for ten minutes, then drain.
- Assemble the salad by placing a bed of greens on the base of the plate. Sprinkle over the peas, pumpkin and blackberries. Drizzle over hemp seed dressing and top with an extra drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.