16 Easy Summer Party Ideas

Gather inspiration for a casual outdoor gathering from one of our easy summer party ideas. From dinner on the deck to a festive taco buffet, your options are endless for a no-fuss summer party.

View Slideshow

11 Fun Ideas for Decorating a Cake with Candy

Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

View Video

Coconut Cream Island Punch, The Cutest 5-Ingredient Cocktail Ever!

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

View Video

Sugar-Coated Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream … You know the drill. Host a sugar-coated ice cream social the kiddos will love -- with cereal necklaces, paper crowns, candy truffles, and a whimsical ice cream truck. Go on and get celebrating!

View Slideshow

Pitcher Cocktail Recipes

Where there's a pitcher, there's a party. Whether you're brunching, dinner partying, or hosting a (very) happy hour, these fun pitcher cocktail recipes are sure to hit the spot. Find icy margaritas, fruity sangria cocktails, spiked punch, and more!

View Slideshow
Popular in Entertaining

At-Home Wedding Reception Menu

Make your at-home wedding buffet of simple, flavorful, and easy to prepare food.

This is a relatively easy menu. Four of the recipes can be made ahead and frozen, only two items are served warm, and all dishes are served on platters or bowls, not individually plated.

  • Petite Quiches
  • Herbed Leek Tart
  • Orange Yogurt Muffins
  • Orange Dream Fruit Salad
  • Apricot Almond Muffins
  • Fruit and Cabbage Slaw
  • Wedding Cake Nests
  • Champagne Punch

Petite Quiches

Pressing the crust into mini muffin cups is easy if you use the pestle from a mortar and pestle. Dip the end in flour before each use.

View Petite Quiches recipe

Herbed Leek Tart

Gruyere cheese has a more delicate, nutty flavor than its cousin, Swiss cheese.

View Herbed Leek Tart recipe

Orange Yogurt Muffins

If you wish to freeze theses muffins, don't glaze them until after thawing.

View Orange Yogurt Muffins recipe

Orange Dream Fruit Salad

For easy preparation, purchase jarred mango slices from the refrigerated part of your grocer's produce section.

View Orange Dream Fruit Salad recipe

Apricot Almond Muffins

These tangy muffins taste great with a slice of ham and a spoonful of citrus marmalade.

View Apricot Almond Muffins recipe

Fruit and Cabbage Slaw

This showy slaw is packed with a variety of flavors and textures -- chewy dried fruit, crunchy nuts, creamy blue cheese, and crisp cabbage.

View Fruit and Cabbage Slaw recipe

Wedding Cake Nests

To have enough to serve 50 guests, make one 10-inch cake and forty-eight 4-inch cakes. Make the cake and icing recipes five times and the frosting recipe twice.

View Wedding Cakes Nests recipe

Up to 3 months ahead make and freeze:

  • Petite Quiches
  • Herbed Leek Tart
  • Orange-Yogurt Muffins (except do not make glaze)
  • Apricot Almond Muffins
  • Cakes for Wedding Cake Nests

Up to 1 week ahead:

  • Mix Champagne Punch ingredients, except champagne
  • Make and freeze ice rings for punch

Up to 1 day ahead:

  • Thaw all muffins at room temperature
  • Thaw cakes for Wedding Cake Nests
  • Make cabbage and yogurt mixtures for Fruit and Nut Cabbage Salad, except do not toss mixtures together; cover and chill in separate containers
  • Make icing and frosting for Wedding Cake Nests. Cover and store at room temperature in separate containers.

Up to 6 hours ahead:

  • Thaw Herbed Leek Tart at room temperature.
  • Make Orange Dream Fruit Salad, except do not add blueberries; cover and chill.

Up to 4 hours ahead:

  • Glaze Wedding Cake Nests. Let glaze set, then frost and decorate cakes. Arrange in serving display.

In the last hour:

  • Stir blueberries into fruit salad; spoon salad into serving bowl or individual cups
  • Toss cabbage slaw mixtures together; spoon slaw into serving bowl or individual cups.
  • Prepare the glaze for Orange Yogurt Muffins; glaze.
  • Reheat frozen Petite Quiches and thawed Herbed Leek Tart.

Just before serving:

  • Arrange quiches and tarts on warm serving platters.
  • Place punch in serving bowls; add chilled champagne and ice rings.

Final Hours

  • Enlist help of four or five people for last hours of food prep.
  • Give each person clear direction.
  • One person can make the glaze for the Orange Yogurt Muffins, glaze them, and arrange them with the Apricot Almond Muffins on serving platters. Then the same person can mix the Champagne Punch and place it in the serving bowl.
  • One person can reheat the Quiches and Tart and arrange on warmed platters.
  • One person can finish the Fruit and Nut Cabbage Slaw and the Orange Fruit Salad and spoon each into serving bowls. Then they can help with the Wedding Cake Nests.
  • One or two people can glaze, frost, and garnish the Wedding Cake Nests and arrange them on serving display.
  • Other helpers cab set out punch glasses and set food on serving table.

Food Safety

  • Make sure platters for cold dishes are chilled.
  • Platters for hot dishes should be hot.

Loading... Please wait...