Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Front Lawn Picnic

Hot summer nights and the lack of an A/C in our bungalow stop me from ever wanting to run my oven at night which means we eat a ton of salads and light, easy dinners during these LA heatwave months. 

When it comes to entertaining, we don't have a private backyard but we do have a semi-private front yard that is perfect for picnicking  Last night we hosted a mid-week picnic; an ode to summer and the perfect way to enjoy the company of some of our most favorite people without being confined to our stuffy indoor dining nook. 

Items Needed:
Big Lightweight Blanket (or Deck Towel!)
Pretty Candles (use at least one with citronella to help discourage bugs)
Plates / Flatware / Napkins
Glassware / Wine / Hardcover Books to use on Grass as Coasters
Simple Flowers for a pop of color in mixed bud vases (Heath!)
Festive Music Play list (we love the Pandora "French Cafe" station)
Simple, Seasonal Menu (see below)

I picked up everything for dinner at my local farmers market then called and ordered a couple of wood fire pizzas from Stella Rossa (here in Santa Monica) that my brother could pick up on his way over for dinner. I selected some  wine (Heitz Rose & a couple Italian reds) and chilled down some brewskies (Allagash Triple Reserve) . 

Right before my guests arrived I put out a few little snacks:
 Roasted and Salted Pistachios, Olives, and Dehydrated Mandarin Orange "chips".

Then I put together two salads - served rustically of course - one on a parchment-lined half sheet tray and another in a standard mixing bowl with tongs for serving. 

For dessert, I filled clear juice glasses with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries and topped them with a dollop of fresh vanilla bean whipped cream. Simple Goodness. Light & Bright. 

Photo by RW Simms

No-fuss Dinner. Done & Done. 

Midweek dinners don't have to be difficult or boring. The best dinners always seem to be the ones that come together at the last minute - just like this one. A little bit of thoughtfulness goes a super long way. Plus, at the end of the day, the most important part of entertaining has nothing to do with the menu and everything to do with the people you choose to share your time with. 

Happy Picnicking! 

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