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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

Summer Entertaining-Who Wants to Do Dishes?

June 15th, 2009 · No Comments · Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Dinner, Drinks & Cocktails, Grilling, Holiday, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Side Dishes, Snack, Summer Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian


Is your summer house full of guests this weekend? There is a trick to hosting guests and keeping your sanity. As far as meals are concerned, I think it’s best to have defined plans and inform your guests in advance so that they know what is expected of them. You should tell your guests that you are taking care of breakfast and a picnic lunch and that you look forward to hearing about the dinner or party plans that they would like to make for that evening.

Bambu Dinner Ware

This way they know what to expect of you as the host. You are providing them with lodging and two meals and they should make plans for dinner and pick up the tab.  A summer house is supposed to be fun for the guests and the host!


Beach House Champagne Brunch

Any modern summer host knows that disposable dinner ware is essential to carefree summer entertaining (unless you have a live in, round the clock staff, and even then, you’d rather engage them in something more challenging).  Make sure you are always stocked with a good supply of bags of all purpose plastic tumblers for juice, cocktails, soft drinks and water, champagne glasses for brunch or evening aperitif and colorful paper coffee cups or just plain white for hot drinks.


My favorite new find in disposable ware is this new line of “Bambu” plates made from wood compost.  You can buy the plates in dinner and dessert sizes.  Not only are they gorgeous, they are good for the environment.


Get these funky wooden forks here

Brunch menu
Serves 10 to 12 people

Orange Juice
Pitchers of ice water with lemon or mint
Scrambled eggs with truffle butter
Toasted English Muffins
Smoked Salmon
Cream Cheese
Sliced tomatoes garnished with red onion
Green Salad
Tray of whole strawberries as finger food or on napkins
Coffee cake cut into small cubes also as finger food or on napkins

Prepping the night before

Set up coffee machine so that you just press on to start your coffee and have coffee mugs out on the table with folded napkins inside. Spoons should be arranged by the coffee cups and next to arranged champagne glasses. Arrange plastic tumblers for water and juice.

Place large vacuum thermos for coffee

Fill electric kettle with water and place close to outlet

Arrange tea bags and packets of sugar and sweetener in basket. Stack your plates – this is a single dish buffet. Place forks and knives next to plates with additional napkins and set up chafing dish. Purchase local strawberries, rinse and arrange on platter-cover with plastic

Cut store bought coffee cake, plate and cover with plastic. Slice tomatoes and Red onion and place on platter, cover with plastic. Make or choose your salad dressing – pour into decorative decanter. Select greens of choice for salad and place salad bowl on table with serving tongs.

Purchase whole side of pre-sliced smoked Salmon and plate on large platter or wooden cutting, cover with plastic

Open or slice two packages of English muffins and arrange in large flat basket-cover with plastic (do not toast). Buy two pounds of whipped cream cheese. You’ll probably only use one pound but have a backup for tomorrow’s bagels.

Buy two dozen eggs and open 12 of them into a large mixing bowl. Open the second dozen into separate mixing bowl so that they are ready to mix in the morning in two separate batches.


Small vases of fresh mint or lavender from your garden

Bowl of whole lemons

Other flowers

And last but not least, strategically place large garbage pail with extra bags so that guests can throw out their own trash.

Morning of

Brew coffee and pour into Thermos to prevent burning. Boil water. Pour OJ into your favorite pitcher. Fill ice chest and place tongs close by (those little prissy ice buckets don’t work for parties since the ice melts and needs to be constantly refilled).

Place 4 bottles of sparkling wine in large ice bucket on table – open one. You don’t need expensive Champagne for mixing with juice and there are many Methode Champenoise alternatives available.

Sparkling Pointe Brut

We recommend Sparkling Pointe Brut, a perfectly yeasty dry bubbly with summer fruit $29, the North Fork’s hottest new vineyard specializing in sparkling wines.

Arrange all items prepared night before: Strawberries (spoon for serving), coffee cake (finger food), English muffins (tongs), tomatoes with onions (tongs or large serving fork), cream cheese (butter knives).

Place toaster on table close to outlet and secure the cord (avoid tripping guests after too many Mimosas).

This way everything is on the table when your guests come down and you are finishing your scrambled eggs and tossing the green salad.

Two large sauté pans with Teflon finish

Two small containers of Truffle butter

Olive Oil

Whip or beat eggs until frothy. Add salt, pepper and ½ cup of whole milk

Heat pan and add ¼ cup of olive oil. Once pan appears hot, add small container of Truffle butter. Immediately pour egg mixture into pan and stir with wooden spatula. Empty contents into chafing dish while still moist (eggs will continue cooking).

Repeat with second batch of eggs and empty into chafing dish.

Toss your greens with dressing and empty into serving bowl and call everyone to the table.

And serve yourself a Mimosa immediately!

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