Create Your Summer Oasis

Posted by Dani on July 2, 2014

Create Your Summer Oasis
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.

Ella Fitzgerald had it right. Long summer days, and lazy evenings chilling with friends – that’s what I need to stock up on after a long Canadian winter.

When the lovely folks at Pure Leaf Iced Tea asked us to think about our summer oasis, I knew exactly where mine was. It was right by the pool on my relaxing loungers, sharing some great food and drinks with my girlfriends. Nothing beats some good conversation and a few laughs with old friends. And an easy vibe ensures that everyone has a good time, including moi, the hostess.

Create Your Summer Oasis

The key word here for me is easy. Summer is all about relaxing, and your entertaining should reflect that. All you need is some simple but delicious food, refreshing drinks, and nature as your backdrop. That’s what my summer oasis looks like!

Pool Lounging Area - create your summer oasis

The first thing on the menu was a tall glass of iced tea, the perfect poolside drink. What could be more refreshing after a long day at work? Pure Leaf made this part really easy – just crack a bottle and serve. I’m big on clean eating, and I loved the simple ingredients on the label. This tea, brewed from real tea leaves and sweetened with real sugar, tastes like home made. I served the lemon flavoured Pure Leaf. Poured over ice with a little sprig of fresh mint, it was a light and fresh way to kick off our evening.

Create Your Summer Oasis by the pool

I kept the menu simple, and made up 3 appetizers using some of Nad’s fab recipes. I served her Heirloom Tomato And Grilled Corn Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing, Sausage And Ricotta Mini Pizzas With Honey And Pesto, and Vietnamese Inspired Steak Taco Appetizers.

Easy Summer Appetizers

Sounds complicated? Not really. All of the ingredients for these can be prepped ahead. When your guests arrive, just assemble and serve. And if you’ve got great girlfriends like I do, they’ll give you a hand in the kitchen and this part will be done in no time!

Summer appetizer buffet!

I served each appetizer on a little plate and set up the food buffet-style, so that I could sit back and enjoy the evening. Remember, we’re keeping things easy here!

easy summer poolside party

I wanted to cap off the evening with an easy dessert. Taking a cue from the lemon flavoured iced tea I had been enjoying, I decided to make a quick lemon sorbet using my Vita-Mix. This sorbet was bursting with flavour and I made it in about 2 minutes flat. This just may become my go-to summer recipe!

Quick and Easy Lemon Sorbet

More ways I kept the evening easy? I set up all the food and drinks on a side table, for an easy self-serve buffet station. The “flowers” were just 3 leaves from a beautiful hosta. The best part about this arrangement? It takes about 30 seconds to make, and lasts more than a week.

30 second flower arrangment

So rather than fussing with food or decor, I got to enjoy my own summer oasis with my girlfriends. We caught up and had quite a few laughs. The relaxed summer vibe was inspiring, and we planned a few more get-togethers over the next two months.

In the meantime, I’ll be spending as many lazy days as I can by that pool. In fact, I think I hear a lounger calling my name!

Easy Lemon Sorbet
makes 4 servings

½ cup lemon juice
½ cup sugar
2 cups ice cubes
limoncello (optional)
mint for garnish

Place serving glasses in the freezer to chill.

Add all ingredients to a VitaMix (or other blender suitable for crushing ice). Blend until ice is well crushed.

Serve with a sprig of mint. If desired, top with 1 ounce of limoncello.

Enjoy!

Easy summer entertaining by the pool

 

 

 

 

This post was kindly sponsored by Pure Leaf. All opinions are my own.

8 Responses to “Create Your Summer Oasis”

  1. Wow, that looks stunning! So many wonderful drinks, food and atmosphere. Love the centrepiece. I use Hosta leaves all the time on my table. So easy and Hosta’s produce so many!

    • Dani says:

      Thanks so much Kerrie! I have to admit that was the first time I used hostas as an arrangement. Now I wonder why I didn’t think of that before!

  2. Hostas are HUGE! I can not believe how leafy they get with just one plant, and do they ever spread! So much food and drink that I think by the end of the day today,I am going to be starving lol!

    • Dani says:

      Thanks so much for dropping in! I have been adding hostas here and there in my garden for a while, and now I have a never ending supply of leaves. Love that they require so little effort to grow!

  3. Elizabeth L says:

    I love tea, and homemade ice tea is such a treat. I will have to try out Pure Leaf because if it tastes homemade… well that is so much easier than DIY!

  4. This looks so fun!!! Pinning gold mine!

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