Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial kick off of summer fun. This year, even more than ever, we can’t wait to gather with friends and family to enjoy good company, good food, and of course, good crunch! While we love burgers and hot dogs as much as anyone, summer menus can be just a little too predictable. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for tasty finger foods and drinks that are great for outdoor entertaining. Whether you’re hosting or attending a summer party, here are some of our favorite recipes to change things up a bit and delight any crowd.
SAVORY SNACKS TO GET THE PARTY STARTED…
Antipasto platters are perfect for sharing around the pool or on your patio. They are so easy to assemble and can be tailored to suit the needs and tastes of your guests. In order to make your antipasto visually appealing (meaning super appetizing), try to include cheese, crackers, sliced meats, olives and vegetables in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Filling up a cup or glass with zesty John Wm. Macy's Cheddar & Scallion CheeseSticks is a great way to add flavor and some visual interest to your antipasto platter. Get the Recipe >
Pretty much everyone loves popcorn. But, there is a good chance that everyone is as bored with the “same old, same old” as you are. This recipe gives you the opportunity to stick with an old standard, but liven it up a bit. The addition of lemon and parsley gives the popcorn a fresh new twist. Once you’ve tried it, you may never go back to the old, boring version again! Get the Recipe >
Cucumbers are a great food to eat in warm weather. Since their water content is so high, they will definitely help keep you hydrated. But, a platter full of cucumber slices doesn’t exactly scream “party time.” That’s where this dip comes in. It gives you the cool and refreshing taste of cucumbers with a rich creaminess that will make your taste buds smile. You can serve it with cut-up veggies or, better yet, add some cheesy crunchiness that perfectly complements the dip with John Wm. Macy's CheeseCrisps. Get the recipe >
Bruschetta is a perfect summer party snack because it is easily portable and won’t fill up your guests too quickly. You can create this classic appetizer in minutes and tailor it to your own tastes. Plus, the refreshing tomatoes will be ripe and delicious at this time of year. If you have a tomato garden in your backyard, this is a delicious way to share your harvest. For our recipe, we use our Grilled Crostini Toasts as the base for “the perfect crunch” with hints of olive oil and sea salt. Get the Recipe >
SWEET TREATS EVERYONE WILL LOVE…
Every party needs a little something sweet, and these lemon cupcakes fit the bill with a fresh, citrusy taste that reminds you that summer is here and life is good. These cupcakes are light and airy and provide the perfect amount of sweetness you want from a dessert. Your guests will love this tiny twist on an old standard, and you can count on them asking you to share the recipe! Get the recipe >
If you’re having a pool party or just want to accentuate the summer theme and keep your guests cool at the same time, then you need to whip up some of these adorable ice cream sandwiches. Keep the base simple by using plain store-bought sugar cookies (although you can make them from scratch if you want to). Then, decorate the tops to look like beach balls by using colored frosting. Place a healthy scoop of ice cream in between two cookies, and freeze them until you are ready to serve them. Everyone will appreciate the extra effort it took to create these masterpieces. Get the recipe >
For some reason, fruit just tastes better in the summertime. So, serving fruit at your party is a virtual no-brainer. This dip is the perfect way to perk up your fruit a bit. The familiar peanut taste is a favorite among many people (just be mindful of anyone with peanut allergies). Plus, it has a little extra zing from the sour cream, so it is different than simply spreading peanut butter on a piece of fruit. This phenomenal dip is ideal for a kids’ party, but adults will love it too. Get the recipe >
DON’T FORGET THE DRINKS…
It’s always a good idea to have a selection of non-alcoholic drinks available and even more so if you’re hosting a lunchtime party. This light and refreshing summer drink tastes delicious and looks great with a watermelon or lemon garnish. The sweet watermelon and tart lemon combine perfectly with each other. It is easy to throw together and your kids will love it too! Get the recipe >
This summer, why not surprise your guests by serving a different cocktail than they’re used to? Put aside the margaritas and mojitos and serve up a citrusy paloma instead. This zesty, refreshing take on the traditional Mexican cocktail starts with grapefruit juice, club soda and tequila. Serve it on the rocks with a garnish of lime, and your guests will be wondering why they’ve never had this delicious cocktail before. Get the recipe >
Have a great summer! We hope yours is filled with many opportunities to get together with friends and family to enjoy the beautiful weather and delicious foods. Keep these recipes in mind when you’re hosting or going to a party this summer. They’re sure to be a hit and will help put a twist on any menu. Remember to keep plenty of our gourmet cheese snacks on hand for whenever you’re sharing good times with good people. Why not order some online right now?