summer soiree in the hamptons - darci hether new york
source: change & co

a few weeks ago, my family and i were in the hamptons and i was planning an alfresco-style summer soiree. my family and i were spending a long weekend in the hamptons for the father’s day holiday and it started me thinking of some of the cooking possibilities that i don’t have when i’m cooking in our city apartment… read: outdoor grilling and poolside entertaining! 

summer soiree in the hamptons table setting by the pool
source: change & co

so, where did i begin my search for some some easy yet yummy culinary creativity? … no further than within the pages of the cookbooks of my usual go-to gals: ina garten (aka barefoot contessa) and giada de laurentiis. within minutes they had me salivating and scheming up a fun and scrumptious summer soiree.

my go-to gals: ina garten & giada de laurentiis
ina & giada

one thing i absolutely love about summer foods is the lighter, crisper, and cleaner tastes of farmstand freshness and “just picked”  deliciousness that can elude us in the winter months. summer produce just tastes fresher, juicier, and is more flavorful!

prepping for a summer soiree: with a trip to the farmers market in bridgehampton - darci hether new york
a recent haul from one of my trips to the local farmers market in bridgehampton

when my family and i are in the hamptons i really like the ease of the indoor/outdoor dining and entertaining experience. everything is more relaxed, more casual. preparing a meal for a summer soiree becomes a fun group activity instead of a more formal affair in the colder months. so, with that in mind and armed with some fabulous options from my cooking gurus that featured seasonal produce, i started to plan my menu.

of course, of course, of course i had to start with some cocktail inspiration…….

summer cocktails: summer rosé sangria, watermelon mojito, aperol spritzer - barefoot contessa
summer rosé sangria, watermelon mojito, aperol spritzer

not too shabby, don’t you think? i have to say, the aperol spritzer… yummmmmmmmm.

next up – light fare that was full of flavor, looked festive and was easy to prep. i had a very hard time trying to narrow down my selections but i think everyone was pretty happy with the items that made the cut. don’t these amazing dishes just scream summer? and bonus: they are super simple to make and real crowd pleasers!

summer soiree dinner essentials: watermelon arugula salad; peach, corn and burrata bruschetta; grilled herb shrimp
watermelon arugula salad; peach, corn and burrata bruschetta; grilled herb shrimp

once i felt i had enough sustenance to have everyone liquored up and well fed, it was time to think about a sweet treat to round out the celebration. i was planning on falling back on one of my martha stewart favorites – blueberry crisp (with the secret ingredient being sea salt!!) but these other two caught my eye:

summer soiree desserts: strawberry cake & strawberry rhubarb crisp
strawberry cake, strawberry rhubarb crisp
summer soiree dessert: blueberry crisp
the oh-so-perfect martha stewart blueberry crisp (with sea salt!!)

i ended up making my go-to summer dessert – the ridiculously simple to make but oh-so delicious blueberry crisp – since i had oodles and oodles of plump, flavorful blueberries. but i have a feeling the other tasty looking treats will be tried before this summer is over!

all in all it was a wonderfully relaxing, memory making day. the weather was pure perfection, the poolside celebration was a hit and the man of the hour (weekend really!) couldn’t’ have been more  thrilled.

the perfect hamptons fathers day! - darci hether new york

how about you? what are some of your favorite summer soiree dishes? do you love to host your own relaxed yet chic indoor/outdoor festivities?

let’s all lift our glass of rosé in celebration of summer entertaining!

 

cheers ~ darci

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