Piece of Cake Summer Party

Throw a great summer party with our easy tips for pleasing a crowd. We'll show you how to upgrade your favorite dishes and let your guests customize their cocktails with these new ideas for food, drinks and more!

Photo by: Todd Plitt

Todd Plitt

Grilled Nachos:

Enjoy your outdoor party and cook an appetizer at the same time by grilling nachos! Grill your favorite nacho toppings--we like chicken, green onions and jalapenos--until lightly charred. Then layer your favorite tortilla chips in a heat-safe foil pan with shredded cheese and place on the grill to melt. Chop your grilled toppings and sprinkle over the nachos in the pan. Once the cheese is melted, remove the pan from the grill and top with other toppings you enjoy. We topped ours with sour cream, cilantro and pico de gallo.

Margarita Station:

Don't spend your whole party working the bar. Instead, let your guests customize their own cocktails by setting up a margarita station. Set out your favorite homemade or store-bought margarita mix with ice and flavor mix-ins. We're into watermelon, mango, jalapeno and thyme for additional flavor profiles, but you can use any flavors you like. Use tape to mark your blender with lines to show how much of each ingredient to add--we like a ratio of 2 parts ice to 1 part margarita mix. Set out glasses and invite your guests to get creative!

Rainbow Rim for Ice Cream Cones:

Spice up your next ice cream party with sprinkles! Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Lay out sprinkles in a row; we lined ours up by color to make a pattern around the edge of the cones, but you could mix them all together for a rainbow effect. Dip the edge of the cones in the melted chocolate, then roll the chocolate-coated edge through the line of sprinkles. 

BONUS TIP: To keep the melted ice cream from dripping through the bottom of your cone, place a mini marshmallow in the bottom before scooping your ice cream on top!

Personalized Drink Stirrers:

Start with a firmer melon like honeydew or cantaloupe so your letters or shapes won't fall apart, then cut into slices that are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and all even--not your usual slanted slices. Use mini alphabet cookie cutters to slice out desired letters; we went with initials, but you can use any mini cutter you want. Thread them on wooden skewers. For a longer stirrer, you can bookend the name or initials with other fruit (like grapes) or fun shapes cut out of the melon! As a bonus, the melon soaks up the booze, so you have a delicious treat waiting when you finish your drink.

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