We love dining outdoors, especially over the summer. It's too hot during the daytime, but in the early evening when the backyard is shaded, the temperature has dropped just a little and we can watch the sun setting, it's perfect.
If you are entertaining friends or family this summer, you don't need to go all out to to put together a fabulous table that your guests will love.
Preparation is key though when it comes to home entertaining.
Find your theme. For this table I wanted something a little spicy so went with Thai food.
Decide on your menu.
Keep it simple. Serve a combination of homemade and store-bought dishes. Not everything has to be made from scratch.
When you think of Thai food you generally think of warm dishes, but during summer offer cold dishes too; a build-your-own lettuce wrap tray is perfect for cooling things down a little.
Plan your decor. I like to mix and match pieces. It doesn't matter if everything doesn't match perfectly, but try to stick to a few select colors.
For this table I went with yellow (for summer) and blue (to add a cool touch to the spicy food).
Fresh flowers or potted plants are a must for any table, especially for outdoor dining as it adds a natural element.
Don't forget candles, as the sun goes down you will want to cast some light over the table.
Lettuce Wrap Tray
Lettuce wraps are super easy to put together.
Simply place out small serving dishes of carrots, bean sprouts, roasted peanuts, lime and green onions, along with any other toppings you prefer.
Butter lettuce is my preferred lettuce for wraps, it doesn't seem to fall apart as easily.
Add a protein. I made a simple ground chicken dish.
- 1lb ground chicken
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (canned)
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbs crushed garlic
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 2 diced shallots
Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the shallots. Cook for a couple of minutes until they begin to go translucent. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry. Add the ground chicken, break it up and stir occasionally until cooked through. Combine the hoisin and soy sauce in a small jug and pour over the top, stir until heated through. Add the coconut milk and combine thoroughly. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until a lot of the liquid is gone.
These were my store-bought portion of the meal.
Chicken and Beef Satay Skewers
I found the chicken satay recipe on I'm Bored, Let's Go.
The beef satay recipe is from Sandra Lee on Food Network.
Pineapple Fried Rice
note: this recipe makes 2 pineapples filled with fried rice.
- 1 pineapple - center removed and diced
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 shallot - finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/2 red bell pepper - chopped
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup cashew pieces
- 2 eggs - beaten, fried and roughly chopped into pieces
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs crushed garlic
- 2tbs soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1/2 lime = juice only
- cilantro leaves - garnish
Heat the coconut oil in a pan and gradually add the following - garlic, shallot, pineapple, red bell pepper, soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, ham, rice, peas, egg and cashews.
Make sure everything is thoroughly combined, turn heat to low and stir continuously until heated through.
Spoon into the pineapple and top with cilantro before serving.
- Gloria Ferrer VA de VI Sparkling Wine
- Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Noirs Sparkling Wine
- Bottled, chilled water
Both of these fabulous Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines pair perfectly with Thai food.
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Convivial, social, elegant, fun — the sparkling wines of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards are a perfect match for any occasion and are arguably the most social beverage.
Gloria Ferrer wines have earned over 400 gold medals and 50 90+ scores in the last 5 years.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.