We've finally opened our barbecue for the season and are looking forward to many more summer feasts in the months ahead. But while it's a treat to indulge at summer barbecues, it can defeat the goal many of us have of sticking to healthier food choices. That's why I've put together my best strategies for offering the best this season has to offer, while keeping the guilt away with these tips for hosting a healthy summer barbecue.
Seeing the photos from this past weekend's senior prom appear on my FaceBook wall, I'm reminded that graduation is just a few weeks away. Once the prom excitement fades a bit, it will be time for many of these upcoming grads to think about their graduation party. A Hawaiian Luau is a perfect theme for a graduation party from any level of school. The food can be served buffet style, and the decorations and music have just the right level of fun to entertain grads from kindergarten on up through college. Since, in Hawaii, luaus are held for the most important celebrations, I can't think of a better occasion than a graduation to host one on the mainland.
Photo © Donna Pilato
I really can't believe that Memorial Day is next weekend. Seriously. It's the unofficial beginning of the summer season, no matter what the chilly weather outside suggests. That's why we need to bundle up and begin to plan our summer parties, since our first one is just a few days away. One of the easiest ways to host a summer party, especially during this very hectic spring season, is a summertime potluck party. Find lots of recipes that are perfect for a summertime potluck, whether you need suggestions for your guests or are looking for a recipe to bring to one someone else is hosting.
Peruvian Grilled Chicken Skewers
Photo © Marian Blazes
We have a friend who will be celebrating a milestone birthday this week - he's turning 50. Sounds old, doesn't it? But from the perspective of someone approaching double that age, he's just a kid, and has a long way to go before he's allowed to feel old. And since more people than ever are hitting the century mark, many of us may need to think about how to celebrate the 100th birthday milestone of someone we love. I invite you to share how you have celebrated any birthday milestone, whether it's as impressive as 100 years, the still celebration-worthy Sweet 16, or any milestone in between.
Have you ever been stuck with a little time to fill at a party you're hosting for your tween and his or her friends? Maybe you're waiting for all of the guests to arrive, or you're in the kitchen preparing the food and they've finished their activity, or maybe it's almost time for the parents to come pick up the guests. If you ever find yourself in one of these situations I recommend this very simple activity that we've used at my daughters' birthday parties over the years. This party icebreaker requires no supplies or expense, takes very little time to prepare, and is perfect for this group of older kids.
It's outdoor entertaining season, which means that it's very obvious when it's your party that takes all of the parking spots on the block. Also, when your party really heats up, there will be no doubt who is making all of the noise. That's why a reader asks whether she and her husband need to invite the neighbors to her Memorial Day barbecue. You can read my answer, one that I hope would have made Mr. Rogers happy.
Photo © Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
Our local farmer's market opens this weekend and I'm about as excited as a kid anticipating a trip to the new toy store in town. I can't wait to pick up a a few loaves of freshly baked Italian bread, a new jar of honey from local beekeepers, and pints of fresh strawberries. At least I hope there will be some local strawberries available, because I'd love to bake a strawberry galette for my mom this weekend.
Photo © Donna Pilato
It's the week to pamper mom and give her all of the decadent things she deserves. And what mom doesn't love chocolate? Here are photos of cakes submitted by readers that are perfect for your mom or anyone else who is crazy for chocolate!
Photo © Melissa Mendes
If hosting a Mexican Fiesta wasn't enough of a good excuse to plan a Cinco de Mayo Party, let me just share one other thought with you: Guacamole! When you're looking for a healthy snack to add to your party, one that allows you to convince yourself that the calories are so worth it - and they are!- add guacamole to your menu, whether or not you're having a Mexican theme celebration. Of course, the margaritas might be another excuse, as well.
Photo © Donna Pilato
Not only can we host a party for the Kentucky Derby this Saturday, but we also can host another one on Sunday for Cinco de Mayo. Although Sunday night isn't the perfect party night, after drinking the mint juleps at your Derby party you might be ready for a party that's just a little more low key, and easy on you as the host. Plan a Make Your Own Taco Party. It won't cost a lot, in case you've blown most of your budget the day before, it won't take too much time to prepare, and it doesn't have to run too late - unless you want it that way once the margaritas start to flow!