Easy Summertime Dinner Party

easy summertime dinner party

My husband’s birthday in August is something I look forward to every year. I love planning the meal. Last year’s Italian Dinner Party  has been one of the most viewed posts on my blog!  I love inviting our friends, decorating my table, planning the menu and most importantly deciding on the perfect dessert. An Easy Summertime Dinner Party is my annual time to bless my husband and our friends. I get to spoil them all.

Summer tablescape

Simplicity is the secret to a successful dinner party menu. I want everyone to feel great and not miserable after the meal. Food shouldn’t be so heavy everyone wants to go home and go to bed as soon as dessert is served. And most importantly, it shouldn’t be so time consuming you can’t enjoy it yourself! I’ve certainly been guilty of that.

Over the many years of hosting dinner parties, I’ve learned that the best parties are the ones that have one delicious entree with a delightful salad, rustic bread and an amazing dessert. Then instead of slaving over a hot stove all evening, I get to enjoy my friends’ company.

summer tablescape zinniass

So, for this dinner party I decided on a Roasted Vegetable Frittata. It’s light and delicious. Combined with an arugula salad with strawberries and mozzarella and a French baguette made the perfect dinner. Roasted vegetable Frittata

My friend brought me two buckets of her beautiful zinnias. They matched my meal! I used my white tea caddies for vases. A new piece of fabric (I’m planning on making curtains) was folded and used for the table runner and lots of blue and silver candle holders made a happy looking table for a Happy Birthday celebration.

summer tablescape zinnia

The salad was made with baby arugula,  strawberries, red grapes, yellow sweet peppers, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. Tossed with a fruity dressing. A perfect Summer Salad. Strawberry Arugula Salad…yum.

Strawberry arugula salad

The baguettes are Sister Schueber rolls found in the frozen food section.

summer tablescape zinnias

And for dessert, (of course we had birthday cake,too)….but the ‘dessert’ is a blackberry mousse.

blackberry mousse2

Perfection in a parfait, I say.

Before Summer wanes into Fall, plan yourself an Easy Summer Dinner Party to bless your loved ones and friends.  It’s such a delightful way to say ‘I love you’ ……..and to say goodbye to Summer.

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 3-4 cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half N half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups swiss cheese, divided
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425* Toss onion, bell pepper, mushrooms with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add minced garlic. Bake 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350*.
  2. Add butter to a 10" skillet and melt. (I use my cast iron skillet) Add roasted vegetables.
  3. Stir spinach and 1 cup swiss cheese into egg mixture.
  4. Pour egg mixture over roasted vegetables in skillet. Do not stir.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes on stove top over low heat without stirring.
  6. Place skillet in oven and bake 20 minutes until frittata is risen in the middle and a knife comes out clean.
  7. ***Sprinkle with 1/2 cup additional cheese on top during last 5 minutes of baking.
  8. Slice into 8 wedges and serve immediately.
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Blackberry Mousse

Easy Blackberry Mousse

Summertime and the blackberries are ripe…..well, I actually bought mine at the store. These days, you can find them year round in the freezer section, so you can make this anytime you feel like it. And I do.

I have this thing about blackberries. Maybe because I remember picking them in the Summer growing up. Or maybe it’s the blackberry cobbler my grandmother always made for our family reunions. Or all the jams I made with them when my babies were little. Whatever, I love anything blackberry. If you haven’t tried my ‘signature’ Blackberry Tea…please do! It’s the perfect Summertime drink.

This weekend we celebrated a couple of birthdays at my house and yes, we had birthday cakes…but, I decided to make Blackberry Mousse, too.

blackberry mousse 2

Not only is it a pretty little dish to set before your guests…it’s a delightful little dessert. And perfect for a Summertime Dinner Party.

The fun thing about this recipe is that any berry will work. You may use blueberries, strawberries raspberries or any combination there of. I used Blackberries…..because I’m partial to Blackberries….but I already said that.

This recipe can be made ahead, even the day before.  Just wait to add whipped cream on top and berries right before serving.

This is such a pretty dessert to serve to company.  I found the parfait glasses at GoodWill…. I’ll bet you can, too. You may need to make a couple of trips, like I did,  but you will eventually find enough for a party. 😉

blackberry mousse

Here’s the recipe ….happy cooking!

Blackberry Mousse

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 8oz blocks of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 3 TBLS warm water
  • GARNISH:
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 TBLS blackberry jam/jelly
  • whipped cream
  • mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Place blackberries in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Heat over medium heat until berries hot. Press hot berries through a mesh strainer, mashing the berries with the back of a spoon to extract juice,
  2. Mix gelatin with 3 TBLS warm water until dissolved.
  3. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed; Set aside.
  4. Cream sugar, vanilla, salt, gelatin and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  5. Fold whipped cream, cream cheese mixture and berries together until well blended.
  6. Divide into 8 parfait glasses, cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
  7. Toss with 1/2 cup fresh blackberries with warmed jelly to glaze.
  8. Just before serving add additional whipped cream, glazed berries and a mint leaf to each serving.
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