As summer draws to an end, you have a great excuse to have the girls over for one last hurrah. A relaxing evening out on the terrace is the perfect cure for the back-to-school-summer-is-over- and-I-work-full-time-so-I-really-don’t-get-a-summer-break-anyhow-blues.
As inspiration for my happy hour patio party, I chose the perfect breezy summer outfit. I am obsessed with this Maxi dress from Anthropologie. It’s light, airy and has a bold pattern with plenty of color. My motto when it comes to jewelry is, “Go big or go home,” so I selected a stunning rose colored statement necklace and knotted gold bangle from Peacock Plume.
Once my wardrobe was settled, I dressed up my patio table to coordinate. Using a centerpiece of olive plant topiaries, I mixed in white vintage plates with rose goblets and patterned napkins for an elegant but casual, girly yet sophisticated look. Now, what to serve?
I like to keep things simple, so I decided to serve cheese and charcuterie on a large slate board. Labeling each selection in chalk adds a personal touch and allows your guests to know what they are eating. I always serve a fresh baguette, rice crackers, and various whole mustards and jams for extra flair.
Next, the drink of choice for a hot summer night is simple; light and refreshing wins. My girlfriends tend to like a good ol’ vodka soda but I wanted to serve something a little special, so I mixed up two glass beverage dispensers with some tasty drink recipes I found on Bakers Royale. Both are upgrades to the traditional vodka soda. The first is flavored withLemon and Lavender Soda and the other is Orange and Sage. Both are yum and yum. The Orange and Sage fizz rocked my socks and I decided it would be the specialty cocktail at my wedding!
Lastly, what girl doesn’t love dessert and who doesn’t drool over a grilled peach? I adapted a delicious recipe from my Sprouted Kitchen cookbook to fit my dietary restrictions and taste preferences. The result was a super yummy dessert, to cap off a stellar night with my galpals!
Grilled Peaches & Yogurt and Biscoff Crumbles
- (2) ripe peaches cut in half, seed removed (serve one half per person)
- 2 small cartons coconut vanilla yogurt (because I’m lactose intolerant)
- 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 biscoff cookies (or any type of ginger snap), crumbled
- Pinch of coarse ground sea salt
1) Mix yogurt and maple syrup in bowl and set aside.
2) Place biscoff cookies into a plastic bag and smash until you have a fine ‘crumble.’
*Peaches can be grilled or sauteed in butter. I’ve done it both ways and both are great.
For grill: Simply place peaches face down on grill and leave alone for 4-5 minutes until tender and golden brown.
For stove top: Heat 1 tbsp butter in skillet and place peaches face down for 5 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
To serve, smear a generous amount of yogurt mixture on plate and sprinkle with cookie crumbles. Place peach next to yogurt mixture and garnish with a tiny pinch of sea salt (a couple of grains goes a long way)
Voila! A simple and healthy dessert that is sure to impress! Now go and enjoy your remaining days of summer in style.