Social distancing does not mean socializing is canceled. Through the power of technology, summer parties are still a possibility — even if that means it happens digitally across locations.
We all love a good get together. And just like everyone else, my contact with other humans has been pretty limited. As much as I love the abundance of time I am getting with my kids and husband, I beam when I see the faces of my friends. I have always known how much they mean to me, but we are certainly in the absence makes the heart grow fonder stage of quarantine.
Below are three go-to tips for planning a summer party when being co-located is limited
PICK A THEME
Wine and tapas/charcuterie (one of my favorites, see recipe below)
Mimosas, coffee and brunch
Tired-mommy-and-anything-goes (think coffee, vodka in a mug, pajamas, face masks)
Margaritas and unlimited chips/salsa (another all-time favorite, see recipe below)
Costume party/ birthday party/ anything party (it’s YOUR party, celebrate someone or nothing)
Movie/watch party or game/trivia night
CONSIDER TIME ZONES
Being attached to the military means you probably have friends all over the place and in many different time zones. Cocktail hour for you, might be someone else’s breakfast time. Pick a time and theme that works for everyone.
I am a huge fan of the casual text, but we don’t have a lot of excitement in our days. Everyone LOVES getting mail. Whether you opt for something electronic, or good old-fashioned snail mail, invites can be super fun. You can even mail out a what-to-get guide for your “guests.”
And of course, this wouldn’t be an article by yours truly if I did not share a recipe. So, let’s go with some of my favorite things: Mexican food/margaritas and wine with tapas/charcuterie.
Check out more of Amy’s summer recipes.
MARGARITAS AND GUACAMOLE
For the margaritas —
Ingredients/Instructions for a large batch
4 cups tequila (I prefer silver)
3 cups lime juice
1 cup Triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 cup carbonated water (I know it sounds weird, but I like a little bit of fizz)
1/2 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup orange juice
Sugar (colored or plain, optional)
Ingredients/instructions small batch
If you are looking to make a smaller batch (3-4 margaritas), use this quantity of ingredients and follow the same instructions below:
1 cup tequila
3/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup orange liqueur (Triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup carbonated water
- Combine tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, agave and orange juice into a large pitcher and stir. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
- Wait to add the carbonated water until you are ready to serve.
For the guacamole —
4 ripe avocados
1 small bushel cilantro
1/4 cup jarred/pickled jalapenos
1-2 clove(s) of garlic, micro-planed
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
- Halve your avocadoes and remove the core. Slice each side lengthwise and then widthwise into very small squares. The smaller the cuts, the easier to mash. Spoon them from the avocado shell and toss into a large mixing bowl.
- If you like a lot of cilantro go ahead and chop up all the leaves; if you like less, you can omit a little bit. (I used them all.) Add the cilantro to the bowl.
- Juice and zest 3 limes into the bowl.
- Add 3/4 cup diced jalapenos and the micro-planed garlic into the mixing bowl.
- And finally, add your onion powder to the mixture and stir until combined.
Wine, combined with tapas and charcuterie style dining is pretty much a staple at my house. It essentially consists of assorted cured meats, cheeses, breads/crackers, dips/spreads and other elements such as fruits, nuts, olives and pickled vegetables. The great thing about doing this virtually is that you can make a small portion for yourself and do not need to worry about making a whole spread for everyone. So grab a glass, bottle or box of wine and hunker on down for one awesome tasting party.
A really simple go-to dip of mine is olive tapenade. It is a super easily crowd pleaser … even if you are a crowd of one.
For the olive tapenade —
3.5 oz drained kalamata olives
3 oz drained green California olives
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tbsp lemon juice
¼ – ½ tbsp red pepper flakes
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the olives are small, but certainly not blended. If you need to do this in two batches to not over fill your food processor, you can.
- Serve with toasted bread, crudité, pita, naan, or whatever else you like to dip with.
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