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A lot of people associate mid-fall with harvesting crops; but for the average farmer, many of the most popular crops come in during July/August. We see the largest yield of sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers during late summer. We eat or preserve as much of the fresh produce as possible, but we also like to share with family and friends. The funnest way to share (at least in my opinion) is to host a Summer Harvest Party. To make this party a success, location is a very important factor to consider. If you’re having a big party or a special event, you may want to think about having it at somewhere similar to Brookwood Camp who can offer the perfect facilities to make the event memorable. However, if you’re looking to plan a small party, there is nothing wrong with having it at your house. Just like we did. Today, I’m sharing some recipe and party ideas to help make your party as painless as possible.
My first piece of party planning advice is to decide where you plan to have your party, and create a back up plan. I wanted to host ours on our front lawn facing the pond and barn; Mother Nature decided otherwise. We have had unusual amounts of rainfall. This was a problem when it came to the sound system for the music. Looking into Dj Finance was also a part of the planning, as I wanted to ensure guests would be entertained at just the right volume – so choosing the right kit was important. Instead of relocating inside the house, I opted to put the buffet on our upper front porch.
My second piece of advice is to ask your guests about food allergies or intolerances. I try to give guests several options to choose from, and to make the food as finger friendly as possible. I like variety on my plate and in my diet, and I assume that my guests like the same.
Our Summer Harvest Party menu included:
- Kraft Bacon and Cheddar Dip marinated chicken and pork skewers.
- Bacon and Cheddar Pasta Salad
- Honey and Almond Baked Brie
- Tomato Jam and Cream Cheese Tarts
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- A variety of dips that included Kraft Bacon and Cheddar, French Onion, and Green Onion
- Chips and crackers
- Assorted fresh veggies.
Please check back in the days ahead for direct link to all these recipes on my blog.
Kraft Dips make it easier for me to entertain and add a little variety to our Summer Harvest Party menu. Skewered chicken and pork can be grilled quickly, and they’re easily served without needing knives. All three of the Kraft Dips can be used for marinating chicken or pork.
- 2 lbs cubed pork or chicken (I use a mixture of both)
- ½ cup Kraft Bacon and Cheddar Dip
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cube chicken and pork
- Mix milk and dip together
- Pour over meat
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours (best overnight) in a sealed container
- Skewer meat
- Lightly salt and pepper
- Grill over medium heat until well done
You could also substitute the Kraft Bacon and Cheddar Dip for the Kraft Green Onion or the Kraft French Onion for slightly different flavors.
I also used the Kraft Bacon and Cheddar Dip to create a delicious pasta salad recipe that included some garden fresh veggies. Please check back next week and I’ll share a recipe with a link added to this post. The dips are also great to eat with chips, crackers, or fresh vegetables. Check out the new re-designed packaging pictured below.
My final piece of advice is to keep your tablescape simple. I try to buy serving pieces that can easily complement each other, and I interchange them when entertaining. On really special occasions I’ll use a few pieces that were handed down to me by my great grandmother and grandmother such as the blue and green glass bowls. I also purchase home decor items that can be repurposed.
I purchased the two tall white vases on clearance ($6 each!!!) at a local home store to use elsewhere in our house. The pair adds height to the tablescape and a little visual interest. The two green vases were actually lanterns that I repurposed. I cut several blooms from the hydrangeas in our yard to add an additional pop of color. I just added some water to the lanterns and filled with the fresh flowers.
Many of my dishes were prepared the night before, so I could relax the day of the party. I just had to plate my dishes and set up the table.
I purchased my Kraft Dips, and other items that weren’t grown on the farm or canned here from my local Walmart; it’s a one stop shop for all of my grocery and party planning needs.
You can check out other fun entertaining recipes over on Kraft.com. Do you like to entertain? Do you have any go-to party recipes? I’d love to hear about your party planning endeavors.