Take it Outside: Entertaining Al Fresco
When beautiful weather beckons, try our fresh ideas for outdoor dining.
Al Fresco Ideas
Add a sophisticated touch to your patio party with these updated takes on classic outdoor dishes. Your guests will be delighted with the presentation of these light, flavorful recipes, and you'll be amazed at their no-fuss flair.
Liven up Spicy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pimiento Cheese by serving it in affordable egg cups. Thin breadsticks and parsley springs or butterfly cracker halves and chives make fun garnishes. For heartier fare, top toasted bread slices for instant crostini or create finger sandwiches on thick pumpernickel. Tip: Use the largest holes on a box grater to shred cheese in a snap.
For extra elegance, stack simple white cake stands and dress them with paper napkins to serve Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad-Stuffed Eggs. Not your everyday deviled eggs, these derive their unexpected flavor from smoky grilled chicken blending with the tang of fresh lemon and dill.
Showcase tasty, five-ingredient Cream Cheese-Olive Spread in a clean, symmetrical display of serving pieces. This colorful, nutty spread is delicious on almost any bread or cracker, so add interest to the arrangement with crispy complements in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The Art of the Meal
Impress guests with simple-to-prepare Bacon-Blue Cheese Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette. Serving it in individual cucumber rings gives the salad an extra-special touch that's easier than it looks. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, cut cucumbers lengthwise into very thin strips just until seeds are visible. Shape the largest strips into wide rings and wrap them evenly with the remaining slices.
Martini glasses and lemon slices lend sophistication to Sparkling Punch. This pretty pink refresher gains its fruity flavors from an easy-to-prepare blend of pineapple juice, pink lemonade, and strawberry daiquiri concentrate. Prefer a cocktail? Sparkling Punch is a natural mixer for light rum or infused vodka.