With tomorrow being the first official day of summer, lifestyle expert, Elizabeth Mayhew joined me to share the must have buys everyone needs to throw a great summer party!
Candace Rose: With summer nearly officially upon us, many of us will be entertaining this season. What are the must haves everyone needs to throw a great party?
Elizabeth Mayhew: "Well, you've got to start with a place to sit and some plates to eat on. What I'm showing today- I've got everything from chairs to pillows to glasses to plates at Target, everything for $175 on this table. So it's your good to go one stop shopping! What I love about it is the plates are melamine, so they're not going to break and they're dishwasher safe. The chairs, the table are in one of the hottest colors of the season- turquoise, and also you see lots of splashes of orange which is the Pantone color of the year; yellow. They're all great and summery and fun, and you just can't go wrong with them.
Another thing that I love that I found at Target is this melamine bowl. There's actually a little bowl set and a big serving bowl set. They are melamine so they're not going to break. They're dishwasher safe, and they also come with bamboo bottom or top. And what I love about the salad bowl is you bring it out, the bamboo top keeps everything from getting touched by bugs, birds or whatever it might be. And then you can take the top off and it can double as a tray for cheese and crackers. Both of these are under $12, so that's pretty amazing. Again, everything easy one stop shopping at Target, and it's affordable and stylish.
And then in terms of serving food, you want to have a lot of finger foods that people can snack on because, again this is a relaxed party atmosphere. I always have a bunch of bowls of chips around, and one of my favorites are the new Artisan Tostito chips. They come in two different flavors- the Three Cheese Queso and the Southwestern Spice. I love that you can see the ingredients- it's almost like they took the chip and dip and married them together, and so it's like two things in one, which I always love! They're made with a nine grain blend and you can see the roasted garlic, and the three cheeses, the cumin and the red pepper. They're so good that you're going to end up snacking on them even after the party's over as you're relaxing at home during the rest of the summer.
Other things that I like to serve- I prefer to do sausages rather than just hamburgers and hot dogs. Sausages are great because they come in so many different flavors, and all the work is done for you. There's no seasoning involved, no pepper. You just throw them on the grill and you can put them in buns and let people eat them just as they would a hot dog. And then the rest of your food should really be finger and fork friendly. People get around, they mill about, and you want to make it easy for them to stand and eat, or sit in eat- whatever it might be. But it just makes it easier.
In terms of beverages, I don't like to offer too many beverages- it just gets complicated. So I always have sparkling water, lemonade and then beer and wine, and that's it. This is about you relaxing with friends, and your family relaxing with you."
Candace Rose: Do you have any ideas when it comes to dessert?
Elizabeth Mayhew: "Well, again I love to serve just simple berries or a cobbler- something that doesn't need refrigeration. I guess if you want, it's always fun to bring out the popsicles or the ice cream sandwiches, but that means another trip back to the kitchen. So I tend to do something with either fresh berries or something that really is of the season."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Elizabeth Mayhew: "You want to be organized, and one thing about being organized is remembering about cleanup, so make sure you have garbage pails available. I like to use a big bucket so people can put their melamine plates in and their glasses, so then I can just take it in one full swoop into the dishwasher."
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Elizabeth Mayhew: "For more information today, you can go to Target.com and you can find all the products I showed today."