The weather is right for al fresco dining. Check out Betty's list of essentials for outdoor meals.
What to Have:
❑ Make sure you have a comfortable place to sit. If you're picnicking, you'll need a blanket and consider cushions.
❑ Bug spray, sunscreens and fans.
❑ If you're dining at night, don't forget a light source! Candles or lanterns look beautiful and provide a romantic touch.
❑ Use netted food domes and baskets covered with a decorative linen to keep away pests. We like this idea from The Haby Goddess for DIY Doily Food Covers.
❑ Keep food cold by using a cooler or, if closer to home, bowls made of ice or ice on a plate or bowl that you set your serving dish on.
❑ If you're hosting at your house, keep food hot with chafing dishes or a crock pot.
What to Serve:
❑ Gourmet paninis travel well and are delicious. Try various meets and cheeses with special spreads. Some ideas: Turkey and Fresh Spinach with Sundried Tomato Cream Cheese; Salami and Provolone with Basil Pesto; Roasted Vegetables and Arugula with Goat Cheese.
❑ Kabobs are easy to eat outdoors and clean up. Use bamboo skewers to load up fruit and vegetables.
❑ If you're grilling at home, check out these Great Grilling recipes and ideas.
❑ Don't forget dessert. Brownies, cookies or cupcakes are great single-serving options and do not require a lot for service.
What to Drink:
❑ Use a galvanized steel tub or cooler for beers, white wine, and water.
❑ Looking for an alcohol-free alternative? Mix up a batch of Pomegranate Lemonade: