Ahh…Those Summer Days!

June 2016 - Our Ambassadors

Did you head to your local Farmer’s Market over the weekend? I did! I absolutely love going to the market every Saturday morning and exploring what NEW goodies have arrived. It’s also the perfect time for me to refresh last week’s flowers and get a great assortment of local fruits, veggies and even meats!

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This past weekend we spent wiping down patio furniture and getting our deck ready for some summer entertaining. Weekdays seem to be so busy and on some days the only thing that gets me through is knowing another great weekend of fun and great food is around the corner.

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Today I am sharing with you some quick and easy backyard entertaining tips that are easy to do, affordable and delicious!

Let’s start with decor! Grab any outdoor table or picnic table you already own. Add a tablecloth, great outdoor placemats, napkins (paper or linen), outdoor dishes, 1 large or 3 small vases (or both) filled with flowers from your garden OR local farmer’s market, outdoor goblets, and cutlery! If you have some nearby seating we like to throw a few outdoor pillows (similar colours to our placemats and napkins) for an extra POP of colour. Woven baskets are always a great staple and look great to have nearby as well – fill small baskets with extra napkins or bread and larger baskets with pillows or throws.

Decor Checklist

  • Outdoor table OR create a table with a folding table
  • Tablecloth
  • Placemats
  • Napkins (we like linen best but for outdoors you can sew your own in bright cottons)
  • Dishes
  • Vases
  • Fresh flowers (pick from your own garden if you can)
  • Pillows
  • Woven baskets
  • Extra: throw blankets for sitting on or for cooler temperatures.

When it comes food, I like to serve only the best quality and what’s in season. And, when it comes to entertaining, I like to keep the cost down too. While grocery shopping at Nature’s Fare Markets I do my best to watch for items that hit all three categories (Quality, Seasonal, and Price). You have no idea how gratifying it is for me when I find all three factors at once in a product. Most of the time, when items are in season the prices are great anyhow. As you may have noticed my family and I try our very hardest to eat quality organic products. I am obsessed with the quality and even more so with the taste. Plus, we all feel so-so much better. But you already know all the benefits of choosing organic 😉 Again, another reason we are NFM’s fans! Organic fruits and veggies are on our checklist too for easy quick and delicious items to entertain with. They have numerous uses and are great in things like “infused water” too. You can make a fabulously elegant cold soup from seasonal vegetables like beets, tomatoes, corn; garnish with cukes, dill, hard boiled eggs and you have the makings of a super healthy, beautiful, chilled soup.

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Locally, I am a huge fan of “Ogopogo Meats” and “Two Rivers Meats” as well. Again, quality and flavour is top notch here and our guests always rave about them. Cheese, you will find variations of the “L’Ancetre” brand in my grocery cart quite often, and I think I have mentioned previously my obsession with True North Crackers along with “kii organic natural crisps in raisin, rosemary & pumpkin seed”. OBSESSED. Top off your grocery list with some delicious bread, baguette and/or croissants, sparkling water and you are all set!

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Lunch Checklist

  • Seedless Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Oliver
  • Cucumber (great for infused water too)
  • Selections of Meats
  • Selections of Cheese
  • Crackers
  • Fresh French Bread/Croissants
  • Sparkling Water

Summer entertaining isn’t about luxury and extravagance; it’s about fun and colour and healthy local food. You can serve quality items without breaking the bank, and relax and enjoy your friends and family. Isn’t it funny how, here in the Okanagan, everyone wants to visit in the summer?

Have a great summer entertaining everyone! Feel free to send me an invitation 😉

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Natalie Grant (Founder + Creative Director at BOOMBALOO)

Photography Credit: Mary Konkin Photography: www.marykonkinphotography.com

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