Summer is here, get it while you can! In our house summer means as much time spent outdoors on the patio as possible, the kids love to be outside. Their favourite thing to do outside? Eat. They always ask to eat dinner outside and with the limited amount of summer and sunshine we get, why not get out and enjoy it while you can? This year there will be no excuses, pop open the umbrella, light the citronella and fill up with food, laughs and memories. Family picnics create lasting summer memories.
Dips that everyone will love
I’m not sure why it is, but all kids seem to love to dip food. I love it because dips are so versatile and can be fun (and oh so simple) to make. They are so many items you can purchase to be dipper. Vegetables, baguette, some healthy chips, green olives. You can take the dips in so many different directions, for Mexican you can opt for salsa and guacamole. For Italian you can do an olive oil with balsamic or bean dip. A delicious yogurt dip is perfect with fresh summer fruit, like strawberries, watermelon, raspberries. Sometimes we get really wild and add marshmallows and make fruit kabobs.
Simple veggie dip
- Equal parts sour cream + mayonnaise
- Handful of parsley
- Chives to taste
- Dill to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Mix together and serve!
Keep the bugs off the guest list
Circle your patio area with citronella candles when the sun starts to set. The scent will help keep bugs at bay. These Gardina Metal Bucket Citronella Candles not only keep the mosquitos away but light up your patio.
It’s all about the patio ware
Weekday evening picnics can be as easy as a backyard barbeque with very little cleanup. You can even start a new tradition by marking days on your calendar and make this a recurring family event. I like to keep my outdoor dinnerware and drinkware in an easy to access spot – so when the weather is nice, I can quickly set up the patio. This patioware is so durable and kid friendly. It’s made of thick melamine which means it won’t break when dropped. Oh yeah, did I mention dishwasher safe? The patioware comes in all variations of dishes and serving platters you could ever need to entertain! And because they are so durable, you can easily use them from kitchen, to bbq to table.
Keep the menu simple
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to patio season: grilling, salads, fresh fruit, and cold drinks are always a favourite. Sometimes I like to add some fun finger foods to the menu, because why not? Nutella + Banana rollups are ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. They fit perfectly on this platter!
Nutella + banana roll-ups
- 1 tortilla
- 2 tbs Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread (or nut butter of choice)
- 1 banana
- Place bread on a cutting board and spread with Nutella (or nut butter of choice)
- Peel banana and lay in on the edge of the tortilla
- Roll banana in tortilla
- Slice into rounds and arrange on a plate with the cut edge facing up
Drinks and dessert
The best part of patio season is drinking a delicious cold drink on a warm summer day, for kids too. This lemonade pitcher makes is all the more fun (and simple) to keep everyone hydrated. Our go to summer drink is Strawberry Lime Sparkling Water, it’s refreshing and very easy to make.
Something fun I love to do for the kids is always a healthy dessert. Our rendition of fruit and cream (recipe below) is always the perfect way to end a backyard soiree. And when I want to be really fun, I serve it in a wine glass! These acrylic wine glasses are so easy for little hands to hold and won’t break when dropped! And of course, the kids just love anything served in a wine glass, right?
Strawberry lime sparkling water
- 3 strawberries, halved
- 1 lime thinly sliced
1. Combine sparkling water with the strawberries and lime.
2. Stir (and muddle, if desired) your ingredients to release more flavour.
Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until ready to drink.
Vegan whip cream + fruit layer
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Chill the coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
- When you’re ready to make the whipped cream, place a bowl in the freezer for about 10 min.
- Turn the can upside down and open with a can opener. The liquid should be at the top and the coconut fat at the bottom. Pour out the liquid and save for later use.
- Take out the chilled bowl and combine coconut fat, agave and vanilla.
- Whip with a hand-held mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes.
- Layer the fruit and cream in a cup or glass
Looking for more fun summer entertaining ideas?
Check out our secret weapon for easy entertaining this summer!