Indoor Entertaining this Summer
After a long work week, the last thing I want to do on a Friday night is get dressed up to go out for dinner. Instead, the first thing I dream about doing when I get home from work is changing into my comfy clothes as quickly as possible. Accordingly, Friday nights at my house are usually full of friends (and their kids) coming over for a casual dinner and conversation.
As you can guess, I am always looking for recipes that are easy and minimal hands-on time, so I can spend the energy I do have left conversing with my guests. I hope you enjoy these indoor entertaining pointers and recipes!
Party Pointers for Indoor Entertaining
- Bring the ambience of the outdoors inside by using an array of colored flower pots as silverware holders.
- Serve balled fruit in ice cream cones. Simply put a cupcake liner on the inside to keep the cone from getting soggy.
Indoor Entertaining Recipes
Foil-Pack Chicken & Artichoke Dinner
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
- 3 cups instant white rice, uncooked
- 3 cups warm water
- 6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1-1/2 lb.), 1/2 inch thick
- 1 can (13-3/4 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained & quartered
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
- 1/4 cup CLASSICO Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce and Spread
- Heat oven to 400°F. Mix rice and water; spoon onto centers of 6 large sheets heavy-duty foil. Top with chicken, artichokes and tomatoes; drizzle with combined dressing and pesto.
- Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and both ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place in 15x10x1-inch pan.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is done (165°F). Remove packets from oven; let stand 5 min. Cut slits in foil to release steam before opening.
Summer Mocktail Recipe
I don’t know why, but I associate any drink that includes cucumber as being refreshing. And…refreshing is exactly what I am looking for in a summertime sipper.
Cucumber Lemonade Mocktail
- 1 paper-thin, lengthwise slice of European cucumber
- Ice cubes
- 1/4 tsp finely chopped dill (plus 1 dill sprig for garnish)
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cucumber juice
- 1/4 cup chilled club soda
Press the cucumber slice against the inside of a chilled highball glass and add ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the chopped dill, agave syrup, lemon and lime juices and 1 tablespoon of water until the syrup is dissolved.
Add ice, then add the cucumber juice and shake well. Strain into the prepared glass and stir in the club soda. Garnish with the dill sprig.