Savor Those Sultry Summer Days!

This summer, stop struggling to find the time and money needed for formal entertaining and focus on casual, inexpensive get-togethers right in your own backyard.

Make the switch from hectic to laid back; get ready to greet company with a glass of wine in your hand and flip-flops on your feet. Whatever the occasion, here are a few major ideas that require only minor planning.

Invite friends to dinner and serve their most-loved creations — steaks, chicken, veggie kebabs — but definitely treat them to an Argentine twist with chimichurri sauce. It's easy, delicious, and will spice up any occasion.


Chimichurri Sauce


6 garlic cloves
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups fresh parsley
1/4 cup oregano leaves
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. red-pepper flakes
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup water

Finely chop the garlic cloves, shallots, parsley, oregano leaves. Add to that 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes.

Add olive oil, red-wine vinegar and water.

Marinate the meat and veggies overnight in the sauce.

Grill over medium heat.

Kick back with a glass of cool sangria.

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Celebrate summer evenings with drinks and dips. Great dips are always in demand, and can be served with just about anything.

Match with this delectable starter a vegetarian or a dairy dish.


Asiago-Tomato Dip


10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups sour cream

Mix together all ingredients.

Toast your neighbors with a chilled glass of white wine, preferably a Chardonnay or Chablis.

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Don't know what to cook? Try potluck! Let guests bring their favorite foods while you provide a simple dish, like a seared tuna salad, to cool down on a sizzling day. This way, you'll get to add new foods to your repertoire.


Seared Tuna Salad


3 cups chopped bean sprouts
2 cups halved snow peas
1 cup sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 Tbsps. chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds
1 lb. tuna
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper

Combine bean sprouts, snow peas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chopped scallions, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.

Rub tuna with lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Place the tuna on a preheated skillet, and cook on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on each side.

Slice the tuna, and toss it with the salad and your favorite light dressing.

Join the dish with a cold bottle of Reisling.

Article courtesy of ARA Content.



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