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Warm Weather Entertaining Ideas to Keep Your Cool

Hosting warm weather gatherings is a perfect way to spend time with friends and family. Reduce stress by following these four simple tips for a great soiree that both you and your guests will enjoy.

Pick a theme

Get started by choosing a theme for your celebration. A defined focus will allow you to quickly narrow down menu and decor selections. Easy ideas include seasonally inspired concepts, like Christmas in July; location-specific parties, such as a Hawaiian luau or Parisian cafe; and era themes, like the Roaring Twenties.

Streamline your menu

Looking for recipes that require little prep work but are sure to please? Consider whipping up a large batch of seasonal appetizers, such as guacamole, a yogurt-based vegetable dip or a cold soup.

Make a style statement by serving them in glass shooters with chips, veggies or pita bread for perfectly sized servings. Slow-cook a few chicken breasts ahead of time that can be shredded and quickly tossed with a delicious sauce for healthy sliders.

When selecting desserts, use seasonal ingredients. A mixture of sliced fruits pairs well with pieces of shortcake on skewers that can be assembled ahead of time. Sorbets are also simple to make in a blender and only require a few ingredients – fruit, ice and a sweetener. By choosing recipes that allow you to prep some elements ahead of time, you'll find yourself with more time to mix and mingle.

Select a useful kitchen sidekick

When fixing your menu, a must-have kitchen partner is a high-performance blender that does all the hard work for you. One versatile option, the Vitamix Professional Series 750, features five pre-programmed settings, including programs for smoothies and frozen desserts, helping reduce prep time and cleanup, and allowing you to create a variety of delicious party recipes.

With a Vitamix you can much more easily chop ingredients for gazpachos, salsas and coleslaws; achieve a silky smooth texture for hummus and spreads; emulsify vinaigrettes and marinades; quickly prepare seasonal sorbets; and even blend frothy frozen beverages.

Make beverages a breeze

Ensure your guests have easy access to drinks and will avoid running for refills by setting up a station with pre-mixed, thirst-quenching beverages housed in large glass or plastic dispensers. This station will help you create a central beverage zone and get imaginative with drink concoctions.

Mixtures of lemonades or flavor-infused waters are the perfect combination for keeping everyone cool on a warm day. For a more unique approach, let guests personalize drinks with flavored simple syrups, frozen fruits and – for added flair – frozen herb ice cubes, which are a great way to add refreshing flavors. Complete the beverage station by labeling the drink options with small chalkboard signs and display a collection of seasonal cups and colorful straws.

With just a bit of creative planning and pre-event prep work, you'll be ready to host stress-free parties and enjoy more time with your guests.

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