Summer is almost here!  And in our family that means outdoor entertaining!  It’s always a good idea to take advantage of good weather and dine alfresco every chance you get!

I know that outdoor entertaining means backyard barbecues complete with grilled meats, corn on the cob, and other mouth watering goodies we can make outside.  Don’t forget the S’mores!  But really outdoor entertaining isn’t limited to cooking stuff on your grill, there are so many ways you can enjoy dining on your patio or backyard.  It could be an intimate breakfast for two, a rambunctious kids’ birthday party, or a more serene adult dinner party for friends and family.

To get your creative juices flowing I’ve got 7 ideas you can build on to take your summer time entertaining outdoors!  By the way outdoor entertaining doesn’t mean you have to invite the whole neighborhood; you can enjoy a nice quite meal outdoors with just your immediate household!

How about an intimate breakfast for 2?

They’ve always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day; how better to start your day than with breakfast outdoors with your spouse or partner?

You don’t have to go all out.  A nice cup of coffee and a croissant will do; or if you’re feeling inclined a plate of bacon and egg and some warm biscuits will hit the spot.  Whatever the menu all you’ll really need is a simple table and chairs on the patio or in the backyard.  (And maybe keep the kids indoors so you can have some quiet time!)

If you’re not a morning person then make it lunch or dinner for two.  Remember the idea is to relax and enjoy some couples time!

Vintage Garden Tea Party

Tea is my favorite method of entertaining  and a Vintage Garden Party is a great to entertain outdoors.  I love tea parties, they’re simple and easy to prepare, they make you and your guests feel pampered, and they are so pretty!

Have everyone dress up in pretty summer frocks to make it an extra special event.  You don’t have to limit tea parties to adult parties, children, particularly little girls will adore a princess tea party for her birthday!  Our you can have a Teddy Bear Tea Party for boys and girls; each child is invited to bring along their favorite plush animal for the garden party.  Kids love it!

Kids’ Birthday Party

In my opinion kids’ parties should always be held outdoors, weather permitting of course.

There are so many options and themes for outdoor birthday parties.  The kids love it because they have room to run around and parents love it because it keeps the mess out of the house and makes clean up easier.

If your patio or yard isn’t big enough to let the kids run around then take your party to your neighborhood park!  Just be sure to clean up and place your trash in the trash containers.

Boho Adult Dinner Party

Adult Outdoor parties don’t always have to include grilled meats or barbecued anything for that matter!

A Boho themed or any themed outdoor party works for any occasion and it’s great if you don’t have enough outdoor tables and chairs.  Just stock up on large floor pillows or even picnic blankets.  Use low tables or a piece of plywood resting on cement tiles for your “dining table”.  Just be sure you cover it with a pretty tablecloth!

As for food serve anything your heart desires!

Baby or Bridal Showers

Who says indoor sofas and shelves can’t go outside?  Bring the indoors out and host your bridal or baby shower in the backyard.

It’s amazing what a bit of “redecorating” can do!

This works great if you have a small indoor living area and have lots of friends and family to invite!

 

Outdoor Weddings

I just love outdoor weddings!  They can be as low key or as fancy as the bride wants.

Lots of brides have learned to think outside of the box and hired some wonderful wedding venues.  You can check out vineyards, parks, beaches, and even zoos!

Depending on the venue outdoor weddings might take a bit more planning so it’s important to have a great wedding planner on your team!

Outdoor Barbecue

I can’t talk about outdoor entertaining without including the outdoor barbecue.  Take advantage of summer and take dinner (or lunch) outside.

You’ll definitely have lots of opportunities to host an outdoor barbecue between Memorial and Labor Days you’ve got Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, possibly a birthday or two.  Not to mention you don’t need a special occasion to barbecue, you can have one for the family just because!

Now one of my favorite things at an outdoor barbecue is the corn on the cob!  A barbecue isn’t complete without it.  I’m sure you’ve heard of Elotes, Mexican Street Corn, it’s super yummy!  Well it has mayo on it and my son will not touch anything with mayo.  So I had to find a way to make something similar to Elotes without the mayo and I came up with my Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob.  Here’s my recipe!

Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

Corn

(For the corn – I used frozen mini cobs or niblets and boiled on the stove – you can use frozen or fresh and boil it, bake it, or grill it.  This recipe is to boil frozen corn.)

16 Niblets – Frozen

1 Pot water

1 Cup Milk

Topping:

1/2 Cup butter softened

1 Tbs. Chipotle Pepper Powder

1 Tsp. Cumin

1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp. Honey

Queso Fresco – crumbled

Cilantro – chopped

1 Lime – cut into wedges

Directions:

Make the topping by mixing butter, honey, and powdered seasonings together.  Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Boil corn in water/milk mixture for about 20 minutes or until done.  Drain corn and transfer to a baking pan.

Place spoonfuls of butter topping on each cob.  Butter topping will melt.  Roll cobs in melted butter until all sides are covered.

Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro.

Serve with lime wedges for each person to squeeze over cob if they want to.

You can keep this warm in the oven until ready to serve.

You can store any extra butter topping in the fridge and use for other things.  I like to use it to saute chicken or even veggies.  Pretty much anything you want to add a bit of spice to!