Because the Hudson Valley provides the perfect backdrop for a summer party, many families are always looking for tips on menus, cool beverages, and tasty treats. Well, here are some ideas from HV Parent. Enjoy
Plan the perfect menu:
For a garden party, the food can match the theme, or you can assemble your favorite finger foods which are fun and easy to serve. Finger sandwiches are perfect, made with ingredients such as cream cheese with cucumbers, pimento cheese, or chicken salad. Salads go nicely with the sandwiches, so try serving caesar salad and fruit salad for a lovely combination of sweet and savory.
If you have an herb garden, this is a great time to use them in your menu. For example, rosemary in your chicken salad sandwiches and a mint sauce on fruit salad. Light desserts like cold pudding or a fruit and chocolate truffle will look beautiful and taste great. Or, for a fun twist, bake individual cakes in food quality clay pots, just like the clay pots you use for flowers.
Since your guests will be enjoying the outdoors, incorporate fresh food into your banquet, offering an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Local farm markets offer great advice on recipes and can help decide on what foods are best served fresh. Grilling your food and serving it in a buffet style is a cost effective, fun and easy way to prepare your garden party food as well.
Beverages should be light and refreshing, so consider lemonade and mint flavored iced tea. If you want to serve alcohol, keep it light, too. Mimosas, champagne punch and white wine spritzers are summertime favorites.
Also, have a sample menu planned so you don’t overload on unnecessary items while you shop. Another tip is to buy all your non perishable items a few days before the party, so you aren’t running in and out in a panic the morning of. The very last step is to enjoy your party. “Take pictures and relax. You don’t need to be a perfect host – just the person everyone is coming to be with,” says founder of Event Planner Hudson Valley SusanValentine.
Bridget Schultz lives in Orange County and believes parties are always better outside.