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.

❑ Serve up fun cocktails like the Lemon Gin Sparkling Cocktail or one of the Beat the Heat Cocktail recipes from some of Charleston’s leading lady bartenders.

❑ Looking for an alcohol-free alternative? Mix up a batch of Pomegranate Lemonade:

  • Combine 3T sugar, 1/4c lemon juice and stir well.
  • Add 1c pomegranate juice and 2.5c water.
  • Serve over crushed ice. (makes 4, 8oz servings)
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