6 Easy Ideas for Summer Entertaining

Who says it's a dinner party requirement that you whip up everything from scratch? We like the philosophy of lifestyle expert Brooke Peterson, who says it’s just fine to buy premade. “If you put one thing into it, it’s yours,” she says. Here, products and stress-free recipe ideas that will make your next soiree fun for your guests—and easier for you!

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Bumble Bee SuperFresh Lemon Shrimp with Garlic and Herbs

While your guests are on the patio sipping drinks, slip into the kitchen and heat up an offering from Bumble Bee SuperFresh as your main course. The delicious entrees include shrimp, salmon or tilapia—and the shrimp (lemon or spicy romesco) also makes a terrific appetizer. All the products go from your freezer to table in 20 minutes or less, without even needing to defrost. Bumble Bee SuperFresh products include all the seasonings, even butter, right in the packaging. Plus, the ingredients are all natural with no preservatives. 


Sauza Sparkling Margaritas

Unscrew the cap, pour a glass for your guests and bam! Your party is launched, thanks to Sauza’s Sparkling Margaritas. The new line—with a Sauza Silver Tequila base—comes in three flavors we love: Original Lime, Wild Berry and Mango Peach. The alcohol is included; just add ice. 


Polar Pomegranate Sangria Seltzer

For an alcohol-free option, serve Polar Seltzer in its new, Limited Summer Edition flavors such as Pomegranate Sangria, Pina Colada and Mint Mojito. Each is calorie- and sodium-free (the only ingredients: water, bubbles and natural fruit essences). Polar Seltzer is great on its own or as a mixer in mocktails or cocktails; also check out this recipe for sangria, with and without alcohol.


All-American Sangria

makes 1 pitcher

1 bottle apple juice (or fruity yet dry white wine)

1 cup white grape juice (or light rum)

1 bottle Polar® Pomegranate Sangria, chilled

Blueberries, whole

Strawberries, cut in quarter spears

Star fruit, sliced


Combine all the ingredients, except the Polar Seltzer, in a pitcher. Refrigerate for several hours so the flavors can settle.  Refrigerate the Polar Seltzer, as well.


Right before serving, add the seltzer to the mixture and stir gently.


*Editor’s Tip: Instead of ice, keep sangria cold with frozen fruit like Dole’s Single Serve Blueberries or Sliced Strawberries

Polar Seltzer

Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe by Susan Spungen

For a quick, no-cook dish, try Susan Spungen’s Heirloom Tomato Salad. “It’s an easy, elegant way to show off your inner chef,” she says in her new book, What’s a Hostess to Do? 313 Ideas and Inspirations for Effortless Entertaining


Arrange sliced heirloom tomatoes, torn lettuce, shredded basil leaves and sliced goat cheese on a serving platter. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


For more simple salad recipes from Susan Spungen, click here.

"What’s a Hostess to Do? 313 Ideas and Inspirations for Effortless Entertaining"

McCormick Recipe Inspirations Chicken Chipotle Tacos

Make a last-minute dinner party a little more exotic with McCormick Recipe Inspirations—a collection of spice packets that also include recipes for such ethnic dishes as Chicken Chipotle Tacos, Stir-Fry Sesame Chicken & Vegetables and more. The packets offer pre-measured spices, with the relevant recipe printed right on the back.  


Häagen-Dazs Dark Chocolate Chip Gelato

  • For a dessert that's as easy as it is decadent, try the new gelato line that Haagen Daz is premiering this season. The seven fancy flavors include black cherry amaretto, cappuccino and limoncello.


For an extra treat, serve with cookies that you’ve baked ahead of time. The recipe on the next slide from Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi was inspired by her favorite flavor from the new Haagen Dazs line, dark chocolate chip.


Häagen-Dazs® Dark Chocolate Cookie, Italian-style by Christina Tosi

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ glucose (or 2 tablespoons light corn syrup) 

1 egg

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces 72% dark chocolate, melted

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup valrhona cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground espresso

5 lemons, zested

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt

1 recipe chocolate crumbs (recipe on next slide)


Heat the oven to 375° F.


Combine the butter, sugar and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; add the egg, vanilla and chocolate, then beat for an additional 7 to 8 minutes.


Reduce the speed to low and add the flour, cocoa powder, espresso, lemon zest, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or you will risk over mixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.


Still on low speed, add the chocolate crumbs and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.


Using a 2 ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1⁄3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes to make them flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. (Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly!)


Arrange the pieces of chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment or silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle and spread. Give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.


Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.


Christina Tosi's Chocolate Crumbs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

⅛ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon cornstarch

⅛ cup valrhona cocoa powder

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt


Heat the oven to 250° F. In a microwave, gently melt butter on a med/low setting for 30-60 seconds. Let it cool until it is not hot to the touch.


Combine the flour, cornstarch, valrhona cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. With a spoon, mix all dry ingredients until evenly dispersed.


Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters: crumbs, by another name.


Spread the clusters on a parchment or silpat-lined half sheet pan and bake at 250° F for 35 minutes. The crumbs should be slightly moist to the touch at that point; they will harden as they cool.


Let the crumbs cool completely before using in a recipe or eating. In an airtight container, crumbs will keep fresh for 1 week in the pantry or 1 month in the fridge or freezer.


Yosicle Swirlz

This summer, let Popsicle whisk you back in time with a grown-up spin on your favorite childhood treat.  Yosicle Swirlz are yogurt pops that contain 10% nonfat yogurt and as much calcium as 1/3 glass of milk. Brooke Peterson gave us the fun idea of setting them up on a dessert table and letting guests dip them into different toppings, such as cereal or nuts. She swears by do-it-yourself stands like this one, which she refers to as “twofers,” a dessert and activity in one.

Yosicle Swirlz

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